South-Great-Plain Bicycle Tour

Type:Self-Guided
Participants:Min. 2 participants
Grade:Easy
Length:6 nights
Distance:200 km
Dates:01/04/2017 - 31/10/2017
Cost:€ 540
Starts:Szeged
Ends:Szeged

Description

On this tour you will cycle through the Hungarian puszta, where there are still traces of the free open spaces and never ending plains which many poets have celebrated in verse. This is the land of sunshine ( 2065 hours/year) and the lowest part of the Carpathian basin (lowest point 75,8 m at Tisza Island), the confluence area of rivers Körös, Kurca, Maros and Tisza. During the tour you will get acquainted with the natural values of area: the flood lands of the Maros, the Makó-Landori forests are part of Körös-Maros National Park, the Mártély Landscape Protection Reserve, the Pusztaszer landscape reserve, the lake Fehér near
Szeged, which is famous about its unique bird population, the swampy meadow at Ásotthalom and the "blond" river Tisza. You can learn the local history, admire the finding of 8 thousand years old ancient Körös civilization from new stone age and visit the Ópusztaszer National Historical Memorial Park. You can relax and cure yourself in the famous medicinal baths of "Thermal Ring of Csongrád". Thermal water includes alkaline-hydrogen-carbonate in Szeged, Makó and Hódmezovásárhely, fluoride in Szentes and carbonate in Csongrád, and iodine and brome in Mórahalom. If you are not against the culinary
delights, then you have to taste the hot fish-soup of Szeged and goose liver, they have great reputation. And not to speak of "pálinka". Inhabitants still save the traditions making the drink called "kisüsti pálinka", a special type of Hungarian brandy. Are you interesting in the peculiar product of county? Well known Hungaricums of the area include the onion of Makó, the peaches and apricots of Szatymaz and the powdered red peppers of Szeged, white paprika of Szentes, and Pick Salami of Szeged. You can reach area from Budapest by frequent trains to Szeged or by car on the motorway M5.

Map

Itinerary


Day 1: Arriving at Szeged

Individual arrival at Szeged, the centre of region. Accommodation in Szeged

Day 2: Szeged - Makó - Hódmezővásárhely (40 km)

Leaving Szeged, the city of “red gold” the paprika you will cycle along bank of the Maros (the flood-land is part of the Körös-Maros National Park) to Makó, the town of world famous onion. You can admire the architectural treasures of Makó, like the St. Stephen parish church, Hotel Korona, former County Hall and synagogue.
Towards Hódmezővásárhely you can discover a beautiful medieval monuments from the 15h century in Óföldeák, the Roman Catholic Church. Arriving Hódmezővásárhely you will walk in the town's main square, where you will encounter the Eclectic City Hall.
At a length of 123 metres it is one of the longest city halls of the country, having on its walls pictures of great Hungarian personalities. The Old Reformed Church, with a very tall tower, is a Baroque monument from the 18th century. The highly refined buildings of the Fekete Sas Hotel and the Magyar Hitel Bank represent the Eclectic style, while the Synagogue represents the Hungarian Secessionist style. Beautiful works are exhibited in Ambrus pottery introduce the arts of pottery, were inherited through generations. In case of previous appointment, Ambrus Sándor potter will make presentation on the potter's-wheel for visitors and they can try the potter's-wheel and painting as well. There is a Venus sculpture from the Neolithic age in the János Tornyai Museum which houses a rich archaeological collection, showing the 7 thousand year history of this town. The Gallery of museum showing the newest works of the so-called School of painting artists of the Plains.
Accommodation in Hódmezővásárhely.

Day 3: Hódmezővásárhely - Szegvár - Szentes - Csongrád (54 km)

Leaving Hódmezővásárhely you will pedal through the most beautiful area of the Lower Tisza, the Mártélyi recreation area. The Mártély Landscape Protection Reserve (Ramsar Site) is a section of the River Tisza floodplain, characteristic for the floodplain wetlands of southern Hungary. It features freshwater oxbow lakes, flood meadows, marshes, arable land, woodland, and many smaller and larger branches of the river. The site consists of permanently and occasionally flooded areas. Driving along the River Kurca the next village is Szegvár.In the Village Museum of Szegvár we can study the archaeological finding of 8 thousand years old ancient Körös civilization of new stone age. Beside the wonderfully polished stone and bone instruments, and the nicely shaped and wonderfully ornamented pots we can see religious relic statue, the so-called sickle god. In the museum we can also see the rocks and iron pieces of the castles of Szeg, the lifestyle of the poor peasant family of Szegvár and ethnographic collection. At the edge of the village you can visit the neatly renovated wind mill were used for flour and bread making. Leaving Szegvár you will arrive soon to the nearby town Szentes.
Szentes is located on the left bank of the River Tisza, and on both sides of the River Kurca. The town is the centre of traditionally good grain-producing area with a particularly developed horticulture. The town with its neighbourhood is known for its quality vegetable production all over the world. Its effectiveness has been greatly increased by the climate and the various uses of ample thermal water. Szentes and its vicinity is the densest geothermic field of Europe. After visiting the sights of Szentes you will cycle towards the adjacent ancient town Csongrád, the last station of this day tour.
Csongrád lies at the mouth of the Tisza and Körös Rivers. In the nearby town center you can visit the unique Great Plain folk architectural monument complex in its original size. These are thatched-roofed, whitewashed 250-year old fishermen houses, which even today succeed in creating the atmosphere of the era they were built in. These houses usually consist of two rooms and the furniture is authentic and offers a realistic image of the life-style of the old fishing population. You should not miss to visit the unique sandy beach situated at the mouth of the Körös and taste the reputed varieties of the local vineyards, Kékfrankos and Kadarka wines.
Accommodation in Csongrád.

Day 4: Csongrád - Ópusztaszer (35 km)

Today you will cycle through the Pusztaszer landscape reserve area and visit the Ópusztaszer National Historical Memorial Park museum. The Pusztaszer

landscape reserve (Ramsar site) represents wetlands characteristic of southern Hungary. The site is a very important area for waterbirds during migration. It also supports many waterbirds during the breeding season. Pusztaszer hosts several noteworthy plant species. The site is composed of separate sectors: artificial fishponds, permanently flooded marshlands and seasonally flooded saline lake, flooded woodland, oxbow lake and flooded woodland (Szeged-Féhértó, Csaj Lake, Labodár, Sasér). The Ópusztaszer National Historical Memorial Park museum complex provides many exhibitions: archaeological, ethno- graphic, natural scientific, Hungarian historical, water works and the Feszty Panorama painting. The Hungarian tribes involved in the conquest of the Carpathian Basin held their first legislation congress 1100 years ago near the Szer village. The monument of the Hungarian leader, Prince Árpád was erected 100 years ago in the Memorial Park of National History. Accommodation in Ópusztaszer.

Day 5: Ópusztaszer - Mórahalom (44 km)

This day you will bicycle in the "Homokhát" (Sandland) region, where the surface is covered by sandy soil determining the land and farming. The land is characterised by sandy forests with acacia, pine, flat meadows with special flora and small lakes. Its natural flora - mainly woods, and plain grassland - remained only in patches, today it is like a mosaic, it is varied. Its main natural treasures are the saline, marshlands, moors, so common in the beginning of the 20th century with their flora, and special flowers, and today
protected and rare species, and the birds living in the water and in the reeds. The small settlement in the area conserve the traditions of the land typical farm structure, natural conditions, values of peasant's life. The special climatic conditions and soils of the sand-covered region favourable for gardening: vegetable -, fruit -, and grape growing, like the famous the peach of Szatymaz, and indigenous wine grapes of area: kövidinka, kadarka. Near Zsombó you can refresh yourself in the famous Rózsa Sándor Tavern, where according to the legend, the famous outlaw often spent his time. His name marks a long row of bloody and infamous outlaw incidents. Having received a letter of immunity from the National Defence Committee, he joined the war of independence in 1848, but his guerilla band fighting in the South was soon dispersed for want of discipline. Following the suppression of the revolution he resumed his binding-robbing lifestyle. He was captured in 1856 and received a life-sentence, only to be pardoned in 1867. As he continued his former way of living, he was re-captured following a manhunt.
Arriving at Mórahalom the attractive thermal water bathing complex is at your disposal, with pools, sauna, solarium, fitness room and a variety of medical services. Enjoy your free afternoon and recreate yourself in the Spa of Mórahalom!. Accommodation in Mórahalom.

Day 6: Mórahalom - Ásotthalom - Szeged (30 km)

Leaving Mórahalom first you will cycle around the "Ásotthalom Láprét", the swampy meadow at Ásotthalom.
It is a not-to-miss site especially in spring or early summer time, when it is packed tight with wonderful wildflowers and orchids, several irises, orchids. Follow the road between the lakes, Kis-széksóstó and Nagy- széksóstó towards Röszke, joins
to the Eurovelo 7 international bicycle road and pedal straight to Szeged. Szeged located at the confluence of the rivers Tisza and Maros. The town was rebuilt after a flood of the Tisza River in 1879. In the downtown you can visit the famous cathedral, the city hall, the Dömötör tower, the church of Franciscans, the synagogue, Móra Ferenc Museum, Pick salami and Paprika Museum.
Albert Szent-Györgyi, the famous professor of Medical University of Szeged was the first, who isolated the vitamin C, extracted from paprika, the spice of Szeged. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1937 for his scientific achievements in biochemistry.


Between 15 July and 21 of August you can visit the unique performances of traditional Szeged Open Air Festival.
Accommodation in Szeged.

Day 7: Departure

Individual departure according the time schedule.

Dates

Available:

from 1st of April till 31th October 2017


Price

Participation fee:

EUR 540 / persons sharing the double room

Single Supplement:

EUR 160

Bike rental:

EUR 90


Services

6 nights in 3-star hotels and guest-houses, in double bedrooms with a bathroom, half board, daily luggage transportation from hotel to hotel, detailed route description, maps, information materials. Those who arrive with their own cars can leave their cars in the guarded car park of the first hotel.
The supplier can arrange pickup and return transport to Budapest airport at extra cost.

Tour Identifier: CYGP071