The Ipolytarnóc Fossils Nature Conservation Area is a unique paleohabitat which was perfectly preserved by a catastrophic volcanic eruption millions of years ago. Since 1944 the area has been under state protection and it is currently managed by the Bükk National Park.
Petrified giant pine
The fossils at the site date from between 17 to 23 million years ago and include petrified trees; shark, dolphin and crocodile teeth; tropical leaves and one of the largest collections of prehistoric footprints in the world.
There are over 3000 footprints belonging to 11 species
Today there is a state of the art visitor centre which adds immensely to the whole experience; there are also guided tours and educational activities for young ones, the latter includes a 4D cinematic interpretation of ancient Ipolytarnóc.
Fossilised tree trunk
Although the fossil Park is strictly protected, so much so that it can only be visited with a guide, it was a different story in the years following its discovery in 1836. The priceless site ravaged not only by those looking for souvenirs of the past but also archaeologists who were woefully under-trained and misinformed.
It wasn't until over a 100 years later, in the 1980s, that the protection order imposed on the site in 1944 actually became enforceable. It is surprising then that the park is still so richly endowed with fossils, and we can can only imagine the treasures it contained before nineteenth century man was unleashed on it.
For more on this wonderful site, visit the official webpage
The park is open between March and October (closed on Mondays) between 09.00 and 16.00.
Guided tours take place between 09.30 and 15.30
A walking ticket is 400 Huf (does not include a guided walk)
Full tickets are:
Please note that the geological trail is 700 m from the visitor centre so be sure to arrive with time to spare.
The Ipolytarnóc Nature Reserve is a good distance from Eger but we have included it as it is well worth a visit, particularly for those traveling with children. By car it will take the best part of 2 hours to get there but you do drive through some wonderful scenery on the way.
We would not recommend trying to get there using public transport, so if you don't have a car then maybe you could try something closer to Eger or you could get a taxi - for more information on the best value taxi services in and around Eger, please contact us