Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karts cave system, located 236 kilometres from Budapest, is a uniquely spectacular region of Northern Hungary that has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1995. Its most famous cave is the Baradla cave, aka Aggtelek Dripstone Cave which is the biggest and the most magnificent cave in Hungary. The cave was formed 230 million years ago in the Triassic Period, when this area was covered by water. Dripstones varied both in form and colour are the most spectacular elements of caves. Although most of the cave is in Hungary, the entire cave is almost 25 kilometres in lenght and extends 5.6 kilometres into Slovakia. Ordinary cave tours depart from three different cave entrances on the Hungarian side for seeing for example the spectacular Giants’ Hall, a 125 metres long cavern with a 30 metres high roof. In the cave the average temperature is 10 °C, while relative humidity is 95-100%.
Surrounded by the Danube river, Margaret Island is a 2.5 kilometres long and 500 metres wide island in the middle of Budapest and this is the green heart of the city. It lies in the middle of the Danube between Margaret Bridge and Árpád Bridge. Apart from a couple of hotels and sports facilities, there are no buildings on the island - it’s a huge recreational space with promenades and benches, cycle paths and a jogging track, great for a date or a picnic. Here is where you’ll find the Hajós Alfréd National Sports Swimming Pool, the popular Palatinus Lido, a petting zoo, and a Japanese Garden. Towards the north end of the island, in the shadow of the Water Tower, an open-air concert venue operates in summer for mainstream entertainment. Close by, the ruins of a medieval Dominican convent are historically linked to former resident Margaret, daughter of Béla IV, after whom the island is named. One of the highlights of Margaret Island is its musical fountain. Putting on a dramatic show five times a day (at 10:30 AM, 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 7:30 PM and 9:00 PM), it’s Budapest’s version of the famous Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas. Jets dance to music by a variety of composers and performers, from Vivaldi to The Rolling Stones, and shoot up to 10 metres in the air. For a special treat, catch the show after sunset, when the fountain is illuminated by hundreds of colourful lamps.
Perhaps it is hard to believe, but just a ninety-minute drive from Budapest, you can witness a natural phenomenon in Egerszalók. The thermal water coming up here is a unique attraction in the whole of Europe, just like the salt hills created by the hydro carbonated water which is rich in calcium and magnesium. The water which has a temperature of about 65-68 °C and comes up from a depth of 410 metres has formed an amazing limestone deposit on an area of 1200 m² which can be admired by anyone, as there is a constructed walking path to the salt hill. Although due to the high temperature, it cannot be completely accessed, you can admire from a distance of a few hundred metres the exceptional attraction which has the colors of a rainbow in the evening hours. You can see similar phenomena only in two other places in the world, at Pamukkale in the Asian part of Turkey and in the Yosemite National Park in the United States. At the bottom of the hill slope, a modern bath was made with 17 outside and inside pools. Medicinal water seating pools, jacuzzis and adventure pools await guests, who can also participate in unforgettable, icy, beer and honey sauna seances as well.
A tortuous cave system is hiding under the streets and houses of Tapolca, a little town not far from the Lake Balaton. The cave was formed in Sarmatian limestone of the mid-Miocene Subepoch 13.7 million years ago. In the strictly protected cave visitors can make a unique boat trip on the lit, bluish water of the underground lake. The visitable area of the Lake Cave covers a 250-meter long corridor: a 70-meter long section is dry and the remaining 180 metres are floated by water. The latter can only be visited by taking a boat (the conditions of the cave allow us the use of 8 boats altogether). After boating, an interactive exhibition can be seen about how the cave came into existence and how it was explored. In the cave, the temperature is 20 °C both in winter and summer.