Cycling in Western TransDanubia from Sopron to Lake Balaton

Type:Self-Guided
Participants:Min. 2 participants
Grade:Easy
Length:12 nights
Distance: 500 km
Dates:01/04/2017 - 31/10/2017
Cost:€ 1080
Starts:Sopron
Ends:Balatonfenyves

Description

Bicycling in Western Transdanubia - mainly in the green belt along the western border - you will explore the natural parks of Fertőd, Kőszeg Hills, Őrség, South-Zala Hills, Kis-Balaton, Balaton Uplands, the remains of Roman empire Pannonia, the cultural values of ancient towns, romantic castles, splendid mansions, arboretums, beautiful old churches, small villages, wine yards on the hillsides, folk architecture. Last but not least you will have some time to relax at thermal baths Bükfürdő and Hévíz or at nice beaches of the Lake Balaton and enjoy the Hungarian culinary delights with excellent local wines of Sopron, Kőszeg and Badacsony.

Map

Itinerary


Day 1: Arrival at Sopron.

Arrival and accommodation in Sopron.

Day 2: Sopron

Sopron with its well preserved old town is an attractive tourist destination. Take a walk around the city center and explore the numerous medieval buildings and historical monuments. Start at the main square, where you can find the Fire-watch Tower, Holy Trinity Statue, the Gothic Goat Church , Storno House and Fabricius House . Ferenc Liszt, the genius composer and piano virtuoso was born in Sopron county and started its musical carrier in Sopron. Ferenc LisztHe returned here more times and gave concerts (e.g.. at Bezerédj House). The town saves the memory of artist at many places: the Ferenc Liszt Street, Salon, half - length portrait, Museum, Conference and Cultural Center. Sopron also famous for its excellent red wine, the "Kékfrankos".
Accommodation in Sopron.

Day 3: Sopron - Röjtökmuzsaj (45 km)

The first stop is Fertőrákos, at border of Fertő - Hanság National Park, with its unique Stone Quarry and Cave Theater in wonderful natural surroundings. From there until Sarród the cycle road leads along the Lake Fertő, the World Heritage Site. Continue towards Fertőboz, where from the late baroque Gloriett on the top of hill you can enjoy a superb panoramic view of large grasslands and colorful meadows of shallow, salt lake, which provides home for many species of birds. Turn towards Nagycenk and visit the Széchenyi palace was the home of Count István Széchenyi,”the greatest Hungarian” in the 19th century. (He initiated the foundation of the Hungarian Academy of Science, paid the costs of the building of the first permanent bridge between Pest and Buda, the Chain Bridge).Nagycenk Szechenyi Castle Return to the lake and proceed to Fertőd, where you can find the largest and most splendid baroque mansion of the country, the beautiful Esterházy palace, with 126 rooms, built in 18th century. That time the music life of Fertőd was admired throughout Europe. Joseph Haydn was living here as the conductor of the palace orchestra for nearly 30 years.
Accommodation in a romantic castle hotel at Röjtökmuzsaj.

Day 4: Röjtökmuzsaj - Kőszeg (54 km)

Before you leave Röjtökmuzsaj visit the old Water Mill Inn and Museum in the village. Arriving at Sopron- horpács visit the Romanesque church built in 13th century . It is also worth stop at the Rimanóczy Castle in Zsira and visit the Baroque Szapáry Castle at Bük. In Bükfürdő you can find a modern and beautiful health spa, where you can relax in the thermal water.
There is also a recreational park and a golf club, with beautiful 18-hole golf course. Arriving at Kőszeg you will get acquainted with the enchanting, historical town and visit the splendid monuments of city center: the Jurisics square and castle. Commander Miklós Jurisics defended the castle in a heroic fight against the Turkish troops in 1532. The captain and its 800 men resisted the siege of Sultan Sulejman II's army of 60 000 soldiers for 25 days, in this way significantly contributed to the failure of the Turkish military expedition against Vienna.
Accommodation in Kőszeg.

Day 5: Cycling between the castles Kőszeg Hills (61 km)

You will have a day off or make an optional bicycle tour between the castles of Kőszeg Hills in Burgenland. During the tour you can visit the old castles of Léka (Locken- hause) and Városszaló- nak (Stadtschlaining) dating back to the 13th century. Léka castle contains a magnificent hall, old chapel frescoes and a sanctuary have been used by the Templars. In the castle of Szalónak is worth to see the wooden-church, nights´ hall, chapel, status and outer gate. Continue to Rechnitz, the town surrounded by woods, orchards, and vineyards. You can relax a bit at the clean water of Lake Rohonc or make a detour through the fairly-tale woods of Rechnitz in the Natur Park Geschriebenstein / Irottkő. Cross the border and return to Kőszeg.
Accommodation in Kőszeg.

Day 6: Kőszeg - Szombathely (53 km)

From Kőszeg to Szombathely follow the signed bicycle road, which leads you on the gentle slopes of hillside through small villages along the Western border of country. Stop at Cák and visit the protected row of thatched-roofed cellars and exhibition on viticulture. Arriving at Velem you can climb up to Saint Vitus Chapel built in the 13th-century and enjoy the excellent view of land. At Bozsok it is worth to see the Sibrik Mansion and its protected park built as a royal hunting-seat in the forest. Finally you will arrive the ancient city Szombathely (Savaria), lays at the important trade route, the "Amber Road", was founded by the famous Roman emperor

Claudius. You can discover the remnants of the old Roman town in the garden of ruins and in the Iseum Garden and visit the findings of the excavations in Savaria Museum. You will find important baroque buildings in the town, like the two-towered Episcopal church and the assembly hall of the Episcopal palace. The Museum Village of Vas County, which presents the region's folk architecture and Kámon arboretum, are also interesting attraction of the city.
Accommodation in Szombathely.

Day 7: Szombathely - Szentgotthárd (56 km)

Today you will continue the riding in South-West direction until Szentgotthárd, lies at borders of three countries: Hungary, Austria and Slovenia. First stop at Ják and admire the outstanding Romanesque church, once a Benedictine abbey, with beautiful carved sculptures of its gate from the early 13th century. The best station is the old town Körmend, at the bank of River Rába offers you interesting sight: the reconstructed medieval castle of Batthyány`s and its park. Pedal to Szentgotthárd, the historical town, located very west town of Hungary. King Béla III founded here the Cistercian Monastery in 1183. There was the famous Szentgotthárd battle, when Montecucculi defeated the Turks in 1664, but according to the peace treaty signed at Vasvár in spite of their defeat, the Turks could keep their territories. The town has one of the most beautiful Baroque churches of Hungary.
Accommodation near Szentgotthárd.

Day 8: Szentgotthárd - Lenti (63 km)

Starting from Szentgotthárd you will discover the beautiful region of Őrség. After the Magyars arrived at this area in the 10th century, the land of Őrség (Guard) played an important frontier-guarding role to protect the western border-land of country. You will cycle through tiny villages of Őrség still preserving the medieval traditions. These hamlets consist of fortress like group of houses and farm-buildings on the well-defensible hilltops, called "szer" (at Szalafő, Pityeszer, Őriszentpéter). The belfries are also characteristic constructions of the Őrség. You can find one of the most beautiful skirted belfries at Pankasz. Do not miss to visit the fascinating Romanesque church, with wall paintings from the 14th century at Velemér. Accommodation in Lenti.

Day 9: Lenti - Nagykanizsa (69 km)

From Lenti towards Letenye you will cycle across the gentle slopes of South-Zala Hills covered by forest and small villages surrounded by wine yards. You stop at village Szécsisziget and visit the castle and baroque church. Continue along River Kerka, then across the Vétyem beach wood forest.
At Kiscsehi you can visit the Budafapuszta arboretum. From the lake of Kistolmács you will roll through pine and oak forest to Letenye and visit the Szapáry castle. Today the last stop is Nagykanizsa, where you will overnight.

Day 10: Nagykanizsa- Keszthely (64 km)

After breakfast, take a short walk in the town and discover the places of interest: the Baroque church, Turkish well, Synagogue, "iron man house", statue of the "turul", the mythical eagle of the ancient Hungarians, Museum and Castle Gate Memorial Monument.
Leaving Nagykanizsa you will cycle along the Kis Balaton to Keszthely. Kis-Balaton (Little Balaton) is part of Balaton Uplands National Park. The wetland area with the reed beds is a paradise for birds. Cycling to Kápolnapuszta you can find the Buffalo Reserve demonstration site. Visit Kányavár Island, with nature trail and lookout tower. You can find the ruins and memorials of ancient history at Zalavár and a fortification system at Fenékpuszta from the Roman times, on a large square area with remnants of round towers and gatehouses. Accommodation in Keszthely.

Day 11: Keszthely

Getting acquainted Keszthely, the small, baroque town, called as the capital of Lake Balaton. Visit here the beautiful baroque Festetics Castle. With its 101 rooms it is the 3rd largest castle in Hungary. The castle garden is under protection because of the many unique and rare plants and trees. Take a short trip to Héviz, Europe's largest natural thermal lake. Overnight in Keszthely.

Day 12: Keszthely - Badacsony - Balaton- fenyves (36 km)

You will ride on the northern shore of Lake Balaton through Balatongyörök and Szigliget to Badacsony.
Don't miss the last ship at Badacsony to Fonyód, because you should cross the lake by ship. During the day you can walk up to the ruin of Szigliget castle, taste the famous wines in a cool wine cellar of Badacsony, relax at one of the nice beaches of the Lake Balaton, or climb the look-out towers of Fonyód twin peaks to enjoy the panorama.
Accommodation in Balatonfenyves.

Day 13: Departure

Individual departure according your timetable.

Gallery

Dates

Available:

from 1st of April till 31th October 2017



Price

Participation fee:

EUR 1080 / person, double occupancy

Single Supplement:

EUR 230

Bike rental:

EUR 120



Services

12 nights in 3-star and 4-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.

Tour Identifier: CYWT131