Hungarian Conservative

Five End-of-Winter Hiking Tips for Families Near Budapest

Dera Gorge, also known as the Iron Gates, in the Pilis.
Dera Gorge, also known as the Iron Gates, in the Pilis
Hármashatár Hill, Camel Rock, Iron Gates, Lad’s Cave and Epöl Rocks: all wonderful hiking destinations that can be easily reached if you are based in the Hungarian capital.

The following is a translation of an article written by Mátyás Bíró, originally published in Magyar Krónika.

It is a great thing to cocoon at home in winter, but especially now that spring is near, it is even better to put on hiking boots and head up to the nearby mountains. Read Magyar Krónika’s suggestions of destinations around the capital that are easy to explore with children, too.

Hármashatár Hill: A Wonderful Panorama of the Capital

The hiking spots of the Hármashatár Hill are well-known among the people of the capital. Yet they never get boring, and it is worth hiking some of the trails in winter, too, such as the Guckler Károly Educational Path, which was established in 1918 and renovated in 2018 by Pilis Park Forestry Ltd.

The 3–4-kilometre-long trail winds along the capital side of the Buda Hills. Children tend to enjoy the interactive panels, which are also QR-coded to help hikers learn about the area’s wildlife and history, while the two lookout points offer a spectacular panorama of the capital.

Károly Guckler was the chief forester of Budapest at the end of the 19th century and is credited with the reforestation of the Buda Hills. He had giant pine trees planted alongside the oaks and designed the promenade in 1918.

There are, of course, many smaller and larger hiking trails around the mountain, but the Guckler Károly Lookout Tower is well worth a visit in any case. Climbing up to it, we can enjoy a magnificent panorama of the capital, including all the bridges of Budapest.

Guckler Károly Lookout Tower PHOTO: Mátyás Bíró

Not far away is the Hangár Restaurant, where we can not only have a nice lunch at the end of our tour but there is also a children’s corner that is quite inviting for families. If the hike has not worn the children out enough, we can still decide to visit the nearby special aeroplane-themed playground, created by a team from the Ilona Malom Workshop in Kapolcs.

Pilisborosjenő: The ‘Castle of Eger’ and the Camel Rock

A few kilometres from Budapest is the village of Pilisborosjenő, just two kilometres from the northern edge of which, on the slope of the horst of the Nagy-Kevély, is the miniature of the Castle of Eger and Camel Rock. Children will love them both.

The miniature was built for the filming of the movie version of author Géza Gárdonyi’s classic novel titled Eclipse of the Crescent Moon in English,

(in Hungarian, it is Stars of Eger), in the late 1960s; several iconic scenes from the film were shot here. The set has since fallen into disrepair. You can see the process of its construction in the video below.

The destination is also a pilgrimage site for geocachers, as the country’s very first ‘hiking treasure trove’ was put up here in 2001. The idea of geocaching is to find geocaches (containing visitor diaries, game information, and small gifts) hidden in different parts of the country based on GPS coordinates. Geocaching in Hungary is organized by the Association of Hungarian Geocaching. You can find more information about geocaching here.

The thousandth geocache has been placed on Camel Rock, a few hundred metres away from the miniature. The eroded dolomite towers have been dubbed ‘camels’ because of their distinctive shape—it is no coincidence that the unique and spectacular rock formations have captured the imagination of the creators of Stars of Eger, too. Camel Rock was the location of the Turkish camp in the film, and also the entrance to the cave through which Vicuska and Miklós, the two main characters in the movie, entered the dungeons, then the castle. Since then, this place has caught the attention of countless filmmakers, most recently those of Netflix’s fantasy series The Witcher.

The film set serving as the Castle of Eger for the movie Stars of Eger. PHOTO: Mátyás Bíró

A Beautiful Gorge in the Pilis

Not far from Pilisborosjenő, on the other side of the Pilis Mountains, the Iron Gates, also known as the Dera Gorge, is another destination popular with families. No wonder, as it is a spectacular, rocky, wooded stream valley that is relatively easy for children to reach as well—although it is not accessible with a baby carriage. It is not difficult to get to the gorge, and is only 1.5 kilometres long, with a level difference of 70 metres.

Once we have reached the end of the trail, we can follow the panoramic walkway marked with a blue triangle back to the starting point. The road to the car park branches off from the main road about two kilometres before the village of Pilisszentkereszt.

Legény Cave

Above Klastrompuszta, on the Csévi Cliffs, there is Legény (Lad’s) Cave, which is about a one-kilometre walk from the ruins of the Pauline monastery with a level difference of only 130 metres. However, it is not worth going up in heavy snow or when it is icy.

A walk in the forest in Pilis and the view from the cave entrance overlooking the Gerecse Mountains will surely impress the children, too, and youngsters interested in history will also be fascinated by the appealing history of the Pauline Fathers and the monastery ruins. In the mid-1200s, after a vision, Blessed Eusebius gathered the hermits living in the caves of Pilis and built their first monastery in honour of the Holy Cross.

Legény Cave, created by connecting six caves, is part of the third-longest cave system in Hungary,

the nearly 16-kilometre-long Ariadne Cave System, and is home to the largest cave rooms and stalactites in Transdanubia.

The entrance hall of the cave was already used by prehistoric man and later sheltered the inhabitants of the area during invasions, including the Mongol invasion and the Turkish occupation. An interesting thing is that even the tools of a counterfeit workshop dating back to the time of Ferdinand I have been found in the cave. Approximately 50 metres away is the cave’s ‘counterpart’, Leány (Maiden’s) Cave, which is connected to Legény Cave in the depth.

The view from the Legény Cave PHOTO: Mátyás Bíró

Epöl Rocks

Our last recommended hiking destination is perhaps less well-known even among frequent hikers. Not far from the capital, in the eastern part of the Gerecse, starting from the village of Epöl towards Máriahalom, there is a rock formation, the highest point of which is 315 metres, and from the top of which we can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the hills of the Zsámbék Basin, the Pilis, and the Buda Hills.

On maps, it is usually called ‘Bedrock’ or ‘Big Rock’. The area is part of the Natura 2000 network, so it is not advisable to leave the designated paths. There is a geocaching target among the rocks here as well, which, together with the beautiful view, is also a lure for children.

The above information is taken from the following websites: and For a tour planner that can help you organize your hike, visit this page.

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Click here to read the original article.

Hármashatár Hill, Camel Rock, Iron Gates, Lad’s Cave and Epöl Rocks: all wonderful hiking destinations that can be easily reached if you are based in the Hungarian capital.