Long associated with the wine industry that Eger is renowned for, Szépasszony Völgy has become something of a tourist trap over the last decade.
This does not mean, however, that it is not worth checking out as it still retains some of its charm.
The Valley is home to a selection of resaurants of varying quality and, of course, cellars, over 200 of them predominantly offering Egri Bikavér (Bull's Blood) but also other Hungarian varieties including Muskotály (semi-sweet Muscatel), Leányka (medium-dry white) and Medoc Noir (rich, dark, sweet red).
The Valley of the Beautiful Woman is the sight most tourists express an interest in visiting in Eger, however, many do not make it because it is so difficult to find.
Below we outline 3 different ways in which you can get there which we hope will help
The cheapest, but most time-consuming way is to walk. This takes about 20-25 minutes and involves crossing a main road and passing by some not-so-inspiring houses.
The walk is not particularly strenuous. Remember, though, that if you plan to drink more than a couple of glasses of wine in the cellars then walking might not be such a good option for the return journey; in this case you can return to the town centre on the road train(s) - see below
In recent years there has been an explosion in the number of what we have been told are called 'road trains' taking travellers from Eger's centre to the Valley and back.
They all leave from the same place (see map below) and take the same scenic route to the Valley passing a number of Eger's big sights. Some also provide a pre-recordered Hungarian-speaking guide who is not very effective due to the noise of the traffic and the quality of the speakers (bring a guide book)
The trains leave from opposite Kiraly Pizza at Egeségház Utca 4 every 15 minutes, they are all operated by different companies but the cost for a one way ticket is the same for all of them around 600huf (2 Euros) for a single and a return is double that.
The journey takes around 20 minutes and you will be dropped in the centre of the Valley
Departure and arrival from Eger centre - marked above
Arrival and Departure from Valley of the Beautiful Woman - marked above (Sarok Borozó)
By far the quickest and most comfortable form of transport to take to the Valley. On the flip side, it is the most expensive from around 1500huf to 2000huf (4 Euros), however, if there are four of you, it will work out cheaper than the train (and its got better suspension)
There are lots of taxi ranks in Eger and, in our experience, you are unlikely to encounter drivers who will try and take advantage of your ignorance. For more information on calling taxi numbers, location of ranks and so on, take a look at our taxi page.
So you've negotiated the journey to the Valley, what to do next? You've got two choices:
There are quite a few restaurants here ranging from the very good to the very bad. Two restaurants we would recommend are the Ködmön Csarda and the Kulács Csarda. Both of these serve delicious Hungarian dishes in a traditional setting and are well worth a visit.
Most of the other eateries are less good serving over-priced and bland dishes. Although, they might suit those with children who want to eat something basic.
With 200 cellars in the Valley, you're spoiled for choice when it comes to wine-tasting. Many cellars will let you taste their wines for free, in the hope that you will be inspired to invest in a few bottles. We are always wary when asked to pay for wine-tasting (unless it is a top notch producer), it can be a sign that their product is sub-standard.
The cellars listed below are those we think are deserving of your taste buds (the number of the cellar is usually displayed above the entrance):
There are around 4 dozen cellars open to the public so just go out and explore. Personally, we prefer the cellars that retain a more traditional approach (cellars No.19 and No.2).
Quite a few tourists express disappointment with the Valley, stating that it does not quite live up to its name, that the reality is somewhat different to what they imagined.
Don't expect some slick operation that you might find in California or any other commercial established profit-oriented wine growing area, Eger's wine industry has had less than thirty years to adapt to commercialism and therefore remains rough around the edges but that is part of its charm