The Bükk National Park is an absolute gem. Established in 1976, it is the largest national park in Hungary and 97% of its area is wooded (Oak, Beech and Hornbeam amongst others) which attracts a huge amount of flora and fauna: no less than 90 different species of nesting birds, all species of bat indigenous to Hungary hang out in the Park's karst caves, beautiful wildflowers grow in the meadows that occasionally interrupt the forest and there is much more
Autumn Day in the Bükk National Park
The Park is also rich in insect and
plant life and due to its protected status has become something of a
haven for a number of endangered species:
The Blind Ground Beetle - unique to the Bükk mountain range. Just 4mm in length and with caves their preferred habitat, you are unlikely to bump into one, but they might just bump into you
With its well-marked trails and inclusion on the National Blue Trail, the Bükk has lots to offer walkers and cyclists but there are also plenty of things to see and do for the less active of us.
In fact, so much is there to do that I have had to restrict myself to listing only the some of the sights and activities in this wooded wonderland. Apologies if I have missed out too much, but please do get in touch if you have any questions or queries regarding the Bükk.
The following list is in no particular order, please click on the names of the places/activities to learn more about each entry.
Created in 1891 by Count András Bethlen, the then Minister for Agriculture, and named after his wife, Lilla, Lillafüred is a picturesque resort with a lake, caves and forest railway
A incredibly popular destination for urban Hungarians to unwind, Szilvasvárad is in the Szalajka Valley noted for its karst waterfall, trout ponds and prehistoric remains, as well as being home to the National Lippizaner Stud.
A UNESCO world heritage site, this perfectly preserved Palóc village looks like a pristine movie set, it is, however, home to a thriving community. Somewhat spoiled by the legions of tourists swarming around the snow white houses, Easter is the best time to visit as their celebration of this holiday is truly unique.
The 'Great Meadow', is a nature reserve of sinkholes, karst formations and wildflowers. If you're lucky you might come across a large herd of Lipizzaners grazing, a sight you won't forget in a hurry.
Known as the 'prehistoric Pompeii', Ipolytarnoc was, 20 or so million years ago, a tropical jungle bursting with life, it all ended very suddenly when it was hit by a volcanic eruption. Unfortunate for the flora and fauna of the day, but it has left us with a fascinating window on the past, it is one of the largest 'fossil footprints' in the world. Sharks, 100 metre trees it's all here. Fascinating.
Famous for its delicious black cherries and beehive stones. Visit in June and you will witness the unique three-day cherry festival
Of interest to both experts and 'laypeople', the former will enjoy curiosities like the Chinese silk pine, the latter can revel in the peace and calm of the seven hectare site.
Rich in birdlife, the Bükk is a utopia for those interested in our feathered friends, a professional and knowledgeable bird guide will greatly enhance your visit. There is a couple of English-speaking guides I recommend to serious birdwatchers visiting the Bükk. Click on the picture to find out more.
The Bükk is ideal for bikers, there are lots of marked trails running throughout the National Park. Just get yourself a biking map in one of the local bookstores, hire a bike and head off.
Hunting and fishing are incredibly popular pastimes in Hungary and there are countless small businesses offering tourists the opportunity to get a piece of the action; fortunately, we have done the hard work for you and can recommend a couple of operations that will provide a great day of field sport.
Whether you're an experienced equestrian or a complete novice, there are plenty of opportunities to saddle up and enjoy the Bükk from the back of a horse. Our English friends will provide you with everything you need and take you out into the Park for an unforgettable day.