Just a few kilometres from Eger and lying on the main road to one of Hungary's largest cities, Miskolc, Felsőtárkány is a popular starting point for those heading off into the Bükk Hills for a trek. There is, however, much more to this village than being just a 'base camp' for hill walkers.
There is the forest railway, the Vöröskő Spring, the Felsőtárkány 'Lake', a couple of riding stables, the Bükk Museum and a marked hiking trail of 1.5 km with many stops along the way.
An ideal starting point for a trek into the Bükk National Park
Another plus is that it is possible to cycle from Eger to Felsőtárkány (a distance of roughly 7 km) along a very safe and tarmacked cycle path, although you do have to cycle on the road for a kilometre or so.
Perhaps the best reason for going to Felsőtárkány, other than hiking, is to take a trip on the narrow gauge forest railway, which winds its way through the forest giving the less active (and those with children) the chance to enjoy the beauty of the Bükk forest.
Originally the railway was used by foresters to bring lumber down from the hillsides to be processed in the sawmills around the area, with the advent of motorised transportation the railway became a tourist attraction.
The 5km railway is a great way for the less active to enjoy the forest
There are 3 stations along the 5 km route of the railway: Felsőtárkány (the starting station), Egres Valley and the Tourist House and Forestry School.
It is possible to get on and off at any of these stops and rejoin the train when you wish but be sure to check the timetable first!
The railway is open between May 1st and September 30th and the timetable can be found here.
The National Park Directorate is very good at providing and maintaining marked paths for hikers wanting to visit the Bükk. One of these is the Vöröskő Valley Trail.
Just 5 km in length, it takes in a great variety of wildlife and scenery. Along the route there are 21 illustrated boards providing information about the flora, fauna and geology of the surrounding area.
The route of the forest train - marked in red. For a more detailed map, please see Google Map below.
The highlight of the trail is the Vöröskő spring itself, a natural phenomenon that sees water being spurted into the air - a natural fountain.
The Vöröskő Spring
In the centre of the village there is a nice shady park, the centrepiece of which is a man-made lake. It is a really pleasant place to spend an hour or so and is also the site of the largest flea market in the area, which takes place on the first Sunday of every month.
The lake is stocked and it is possible to buy day fishing permits. The details are as follows:
The lake can only be fished at weekends and public holidays.
Day permits for fishing can be bought on-site and cost:
A very pleasant place for a day's fishing
Due to its position in the Bükk National park and its close proximity to Eger, Felsötárkány is a good place to use as a base, unfortunately there is a paucity of accommodation.
However, there is the four star Bambara Hotel which, although a bit pricey, is very comfortable and has great facilities and service; at the other end of the spectrum is the cheap and cheerful Akácfa Guesthouse.