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Hortobágy Tour

Half day excursion to Hortobágy

(included in the registration fees)

Hortobágy National Park

Date: Friday, 14 June, 2019

Departure: 14.00
Gathering point: Venue, University of Debrecen
Arrival back appr. at 22.00


Useful information:

Please wear very comfortable cloths ( if possible long - trousers) and shoes during the excursion. Although it is summer time, but the weather is always windy on the Hortobágy. Please take along pullover, raincoat (just in case) and sun glasses.


Hortobágy is the largest continuous natural grassland in Europe, which means that it was not formed as a result of deforestation or river control. The first Hungarian national park established in 1973 is the country's largest protected area (82 thousand hectares). A significant part of it is Biosphere Reserve, and a quarter of its area enjoys international protection under the Ramsar Convention on the conservation of wetlands. Hortobágy has outstanding landscape features and is a unique example of the harmonic coexistence of people and nature based on the considerate use of the land, maintaining great biological variety in respect of species and habitats. However, at first sight there is nothing here. If you look around, the most conspicuous thing is that your eyes are not arrested by any buildings, hills or mountains.

During our tour we can see the ancient traditional Hungarian lifestyle. The traditional Hungarian animals are the grey cow and the mangalitza pig (original Hungarian spelling) which are living here the same way as hundreds of years before. We can find here also traditional Hungarian horse rider (called in Hungarian: „csikós”) and Hungarian cowboys (called in Hungarian : „gulyás”) and also draw well. The national park which can give us the feeling of the absolute peace become in 1999 an UNESCO World Heritage site.

When arriving at the National Park of Hortobágy our delegates are welcomed with fresh scones and fruit brandy („pálinka”). Then we start our travel around the sheer by horse wagons. The travel will last around 1-1,5 hour, during the travel we will see mangalitza pig (original Hungarian spelling), buffalo ,”racka” sheep (original Hungarian spelling) grey cow. The horses which are grazing over here are belonging to the horse type „mátai” stud this stud is almost 300 years old. We have the possibility to get to know the local people. It’s also the part of the program to introduce the traditional Hungarian horse rider( called in Hungarian: „csikós”) who dressed in wide pants.

Let's focus to the symbol of Hortobágy with a short story:

The 167-m-long bridge spanning the river by the same name is supported by nine arches. Legend has it that it came into being when the nine lovers of an infamous betyár (with the local gendarmes closing in on him) held hands and helped their beau cross the river on their shoulders and arms.

After the visit in the National Park of Hortobágy we drive to the Hortobágyi Csárda, where the lovers of Hungarian gastronomy will be received with abundant, delicious home-made meals and Hungarian Gipsy music. Among others you will have the opportunity to taste cabbage leaves stuffed with ”racka” meat and the world famous beef „pörkölt”. The word pörkölt literally means ‘roasted’ and the dish is made of beef cooked with onion, paprika and other spices, resulting in a juicy dish served with another Hungarian gastro-curiosity, the nokedli (egg noodle dumpling). As the old saying goes ‘It’s not a real Sunday without pörkölt.’

Tentative arrival back around 22:00

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