As you rise to the surface from the underworld of Aggtelek Cave don’t forget to take some time enjoying the scenery and nature of this region.
One of the most exciting trips you can make is from the Aggtelek Range down to the northwestern corner of the Bukk Hills, en route to Szilvásvárad. This trip will take you through the heart of the northern hill country of Hungary. While in transit be sure to keep your eyes open, you might just spot some of the area’s rich wildlife.
Species such as the lynx and wolf that had become all but extinct in Hungary have reappeared here in recent years. As you skirt the forested hills bordering the highway look skyward. Three species of eagles inhabit this area, these include the imperial eagle, lesser-spotted eagle and short-toed eagle.
Later in the drive as you gain sight of the Bukk Hills remember that you have been transported from a Unesco World Heritage Site to a National Park all in a matter of hours. What could be better than that?
Szilvásvárad lies just within the boundary of Bukk National Park. Just east of the town you can take a trail deep into the woods to visit the Ancient Forest. See thick groves of beech trees that haven’t been felled in over a century. This is as close as you will get to a primeval forest anywhere in Hungary. And this is only one out of hundreds of outdoor opportunities awaiting you in the Bukk Hills.
And it’s not just by foot, but also rail that you can continue your journey. Szilvásvárad lies just a short distance from the Szalajka Valley. A narrow-gauge-railway takes you through the valley, transporting you back in time to an era of rustic travel.
The railway offers you an intimate window into a lush landscape as you follow a stream through the valley.
Of course at the end of this journey Szilvásvárad will beckon, home of the famous Lippizzaner horses. Check out out separate article on this beautiful breed.
written by CHRIS WILKINSON
edited by CHRIS KOVACS
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