Multistage tour

National Blue Trail

Long Distance Hiking
Open in App
Share
Bookmark
Print
GPX
Status
open
Reviews
Difficulty
difficult
Distance
1157.6 km
Duration
344:15 h
Ascent
31570 m
Descent
31125 m
In and out Multi-stage tour Scenic With refreshment stops Cultural/historical value Geological highlights Botanical highlights Faunistic highlights Mountain railway ascent/descent Insider tip Healthy climate

Hiking all along the longest continuous trail of our country is a great challenge and a great opportunity to learn about rural Hungary. Hikers may cover the 27 sections without time limits and in any order. The drop-down list above includes these section to provide you with detailed information on each, you can check the elevation transect, points of interest and the list of stamping locations.

By summer of 2018 more than 6000 hikers had completed the legendary National Blue Trail of Hungary marked with a blue horizontal stripe (1165 km). The trail traverses the northern side of the country between Írottkő and Hollóháza via each major mountains, the capital and Balaton too. The terrain, the atmosphere, geological and cultural values are so much varied that each section and each day gives unforgettable experiences.

All across the country

Although the trail can be covered from any direction, the descriptions and numbering follow a west to east order. The trail sets off from Írott-kő in Kőszeg Mountains, the highest point of West Hungary. It crosses the plain of Kisalföld to arrive at the lakeside of Balaton. Via the most beautiful hills and basins of Balaton Uplands you will enter the vast forests of Bakony Mountains. In the meantime, you will visit historic towns and climb peaks offering splendid vistas (Szent György Hill, Badacsony, Csobánc), explore castle ruins (the castle of Sümeg, Rezi, Tátika and Szigliget), but spiritual experience is also granted (the stupa of Zalaszántó, Abbey of Zirc).

The trail crosses lower hills of Vértes and then Gerecse abundant in lookout points. Skirting Pilis you will reach the capital and Buda Hills around it to visit popular destinations like Hűvösvölgy, Árpád lookout  or Hármashatár-hegy.

Approaching the Danube Bend the trail passes one of the most beautiful gorges of the country (the gorge of Dera Creek) and Dobogókő, the cradle of Hungarian hiking movement.

You will say farewell to West Hungary with the view from the Citadel of Visegrád and by crossing the Danube your hike across East Hungary begins in Börzsöny Mountains. Lookout points and towers one by one: Julianus lookout tower, Nagy-Hideg-hegy and the highest peak of Börzsöny, Csóványos. Past Börzsöny the trail traverses rolling hills of Cserhát with neat palóc villages including the World Heritge Site of Hollókő.

After leaving the hill behind the trail enter the popular Mátra Mountains with the two highest peaks of the country. Hiking along the ridge you will reach the special lookout tower of Galya-tető at 963 meters for a memorable vista. Further on the ridge the trail arrives at Kékes-tető, the highest peak of Hungary at 1014 meters. The section from Kékestető to the eastern edge of Mátra poses the toughest challenge of the Blue Trail with hike repeatedly up and down all the way. It is the numerous lookout points that award you for the effort.

Past Mátra and the adjacent lower hills the trail enters the mountains of the highest average height in the country. Bükk Mountains is characterized by intact forests, sunlit meadows and cliffs towering over Bükk Plateau.

It is worth making short detours to points of interests, such as the Cistercian Abbey Church of Bélapátfalva or the highest lookout point of Bükk with Petőfi lookout tower near Bánkút (956 m).

Next the trail crosses the hills of Borsod to enter the northernmost subregion of Hungary, Karst of Aggtelek. Do not miss to visit the World Heritage Site of the Cave of Aggtelek. The cavern of Baradla-Domica stretches as long as 25 km and hides stunning dripstone formations assuring a stunning insight into the underground world of calcareous limestone.

Past discovering the karst region the trail winds through Cserehát, an impoverished region, yet rich in natural and architectural sights. You will reach Zemplén Mountains at the castle of Boldogkő photogenic for its age (short detour). The mountain is characterized by tent-like mounts (with references to this feature in some geographical names with “sátor” meaning “tent”) and peaks with castle ruins, such as the castle of Füzér.

The trail turns to the north to reach the highest peak of Zemplén at the state border (Nagy-Milic, 895 m) and continues to the trailhead of the National Blue Trail in Hollóháza.

A brief history of the National Blue Trail

In 1930, the Hungarian Hiking Association set the trailheads and the direction of the Blue Trail crossing the whole country. Originally, it was shorter connecting Bükk Mountains and Bakony Mountains to guide hikers via tourist sites along the route. Setting the route and marking the trail progressed slowly and was interrupted by WW2 leaving one fifth of it unmarked. It reached its final length after the political changes of ’89 as the western trailhead (Írott-kő) on the state border became accessible.

In 1938, a “Countrywide Hike” was initiated along the completed section with the name “Saint Stephen Hike”. A group of hikers set off from both ends and met at Dobogókő. This is the event that is regarded as the inauguration of the Blue Trail. Although it was planned to repeat it every 5 years it failed to become a tradition.

In the 1950s, on the initiative of Budapest Lokomotív Sportsclub Hiking Division the Blue Trail was integrated into a hiking movement, sectioning the trail and awarding completion. In the beginning, participation was limited to members of the club, but later other hikers were welcome too. Due to growing popularity management was handed over to the Hungarian Hikers’ Association in 1961. Since then the Association has been the sole organizer of the Blue Trail movement.

The Blue Trail gained a nationwide fame via the legendary hiking documentary filmed in 1979 by Pál Rockenbauer (One and half million steps in Hungary). The popularity of the primary hiking trail of the country has been rising and in the 2010s the record number of hikers completing it is beaten year by year.

Author’s recommendation

  • Before setting off do not forget to get a Hiking Log and Passport from the Hungarian Hikers’ Association. Keep it with you when hitting the Blue Trail.
  • Please, be aware that this combined map shows the route of the Blue Trail in June 2017. Only routes of individual sections will be updated for later changes. Please, to obtain current status always choose the section to be completed from the drop-down list above or here.
  • Click on the drop-down list to chose a section and obtain detailed information.
  • After completing a section you can mark it on this site, make comments and upload photos following registration. Share your experiences along the Blue Trail.
  • Did you know? By completing the Blue Trail you will hike through an elevation gain of 31.341 meters and an elevation loss of 31.906 meters via 151 stamping locations to log your performance.  
  • Stamping locations are listed and shown on a map here. Hike descriptions include references to stamping locations by ID codes too (OKTPH stands for ’National Blue Trail Stamping Location’).
  • Junior Blue Trail Hike: the Hungarian Hikers’ Association has started a hiking scheme for children aged 6-14 with a reduced length. Completion is awarded with a badge.
show more
Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Kékestető, 1014 m
Lowest point
103 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Safety information may vary by trail section. See details in the descriptions.

Equipment

Recommended equipment may vary by trail section. See details in descriptions.

Tips, hints and links

Start

Írottkő (882 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
47.352797, 16.433747
UTM
33T 608281 5245367

Destination

Hollóháza

Turn-by-turn directions

See detailed descriptions for the sections. 

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Responsible for this content
Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség 


Questions & answers

Pose the first question

You have a question concerning this content? Here is the right place to ask it.


Reviews

4.2
(13)
Show all reviews

Photos of others

+ 10

0 300 600 900 1200 m km 200 400 600 800 1000 Írott-kő (OKTPH_01_DDKPH_01) Írott-kő (OKTPH_01_DDKPH_01) Hét-forrás (OKTPH_02) Kőszeg (OKTPH_03_2) Kőszeg (OKTPH_03_1) Tömörd (OKTPH_04) Ablánci malom (OKTPH_05) Szeleste (OKTPH_06) Bögöt (OKTPH_07_2) Bögöt (OKTPH_07_1) Csényeújmajor (OKTPH_08) Sárvár (OKTPH_09) Gérce (OKTPH_10_1) Gérce (OKTPH_10_2) Rózsáskerti erdészház (OKTPH_11) Hidegkúti vadászház (OKTPH_12) Káld (OKTPH_13_1) Káld (OKTPH_13_2) Hosszúpereszteg (OKTPH_14) Szajki erdészház (OKTPH_15) Ötvös (OKTPH_16) Kisvásárhely (OKTPH_17) Sümeg (OKTPH_18) Sarvaly erdészház (OKTPH_19) Zalaszántó (OKTPH_20_2) Zalaszántó ( OKTPH_20_1) Rezi (OKTPH_21_1) Rezi (OKTPH_21_2) Gyöngyösi csárda (OKTPH_22_1) Gyöngyösi csárda (OKTPH_22_2) Hévíz (OKTPH_23) Keszthely (OKTPH_24) Vállus (OKTPH_25) Lesenceistvánd (OKTPH_26_1) Lesenceistvánd (OKTPH_26_2) Tapolca (OKTPH_27) Szent György-hegy (OKTPH_28) Szigliget (OKTPH_29_1) Szigliget (OKTPH_29_3) Szigliget (OKTPH_29_2) Badacsonytördemic (OKTPH_30) Káptalantóti (OKTPH_31) Csobánc (OKTPH_31_B) Szentbékkálla (OKTPH_32) Balatonhenye (OKTPH_33) Csicsói erdészház (OKTPH_34) Nagyvázsony (OKTPH_35_1) Kab-hegy (OKTPH_36) Úrkút (OKTPH_37) Városlőd (OKTPH_38_1) Városlőd (OKTPH_38_2) Németbánya (OKTPH_39) Bakonybél (OKTPH_40_1) Bakonybél (OKTPH_40_2) Kőris-hegy (OKTPH_41) Borzavár (OKTPH_42_1) Borzavár (OKTPH_42_3) Borzavár (OKTPH_42_2) Zirc (OKTPH_43) Bakonynána (OKTPH_44) Jásd (OKTPH_45_2) Jásd (OKTPH_45_1) Csőszpuszta (OKTPH_46) Kisgyón (OKTPH_47_1) Kisgyón (OKTPH_47_2) Bakonykúti (OKTPH_48) Fehérvárcsurgó (OKTPH_49) Bodajk (OKTPH_50_A_3) Bodajk (OKTPH_50_A_1) Bodajk (OKTPH_50_A_2) Csókakő (OKTPH_50_B) Gánt (OKTPH_51_2) Gánt (OKTPH_51_1) Mindszentpuszta (OKTPH_52) Kőhányás (OKTPH_53) Várgesztes (OKTPH_54_1) Várgesztes (OKTPH_54_2) Szárliget (OKTPH_55) Somlyóvár (OKTPH_56) Koldusszállás (OKTPH_57_2) Koldusszállás (OKTPH_57_1) Bánya-hegyi erdészház (OKTPH_58) Gerecse üdülő (OKTPH_59) Pusztamarót (OKTPH_60_1) Pusztamarót (OKTPH_60_2) Péliföldszentkereszt (OKTPH_61_1) Péliföldszentkereszt (OKTPH_61_2) Mogyorósbánya (OKTPH_62) Tokodi pincék (OKTPH_63_A) Tokod (OKTPH_63_B) Dorog (OKTPH_64) Klastrompuszta (OKTPH_65_2) Klastrompuszta (OKTPH_65_1) Piliscsaba (OKTPH_66) Zsíros-hegy (OKTPH_67_1) Zsíros-hegy (OKTPH_67_2) Hűvösvölgy (OKTPH_68_1) Hűvösvölgy (OKTPH_68_2) Hármashatár-hegy (OKTPH_69_1) Hármashatár-hegy (OKTPH_69_2) Hármashatár-hegy (OKTPH_69_3) Virágos-nyereg (OKTPH_70) Rozália téglagyár (OKTPH_71) Kevély-nyereg (OKTPH_72) Pilisszentkereszt (OKTPH_73_2) Pilisszentkereszt (OKTPH_73_1 ) Dobogókő (OKTPH_74) Sikárosi Erdészház (OKTPH_75) Pilisszentlászló (OKTPH_76_2) Pilisszentlászló (OKTPH_76_3) Pilisszentlászló (OKTPH_76_1) Pap-réti Erdészház (OKTPH_77) Nagy-Villám (OKTPH_78_2) Nagy-Villám (OKTPH_78_1) Visegrád (OKTPH_79) Nagymaros (OKTPH_80) Törökmező (OKTPH_81) Kisinóci turistaház (OKTPH_82) Nagy-Hideg-hegy (OKTPH_83) Nógrád (OKTPH_84) Lokó pihenő (OKTPH_85_2) Magyarkút (OKTPH_85_1) Katalinpuszta (OKTPH_86_2) Katalinpuszta (OKTPH_86_1) Ősagárd (OKTPH_87_2) Ősagárd (OKTPH_87_1) Felsőpetény (OKTPH_88) Alsópetény (OKTPH_89_1) Alsópetény (OKTPH_89_2) Romhány (OKTPH_90_2) Romhány (OKTPH_90_1) Kétbodony (OKTPH_91) Becske (OKTPH_92_1) Becske (OKTPH_92_3) Szandaváralja (OKTPH_93) Nógrádsipek (OKTPH_95_2) Nógrádsipek (OKTPH_95_1) Hollókő (OKTPH_96_2) Hollókő (OKTPH_96_1) Ágasvár (OKTPH_100_1) Ágasvár (OKTPH_100_2) Vércverés (OKTPH_103) Sirok (OKTPH_108_1) Sirok (OKTPH_108_2)