Országos Kéktúra Hiking Trail

This is a 1,168.7 km long hiking trail, which runs through the northern, hilly part of Hungary.

You can find this interactive map and information about the trail on Természetjáró website.

The Országos Kéktúra [National Blue Trail] is a national hiking trail in Hungary setting off at Irott-kő in Kőszeg Mountains on the Hungarian-Austrian border then cutting across the northern parts of the country and eventually ending after 1,168.7 km at the village of Hollóháza by the Hungarian-Slovakian border. The name, Kéktúra [Blue Trail], refers to the marking of the path: it is a horizontal blue stripe between two white stripes. The trail is part of the European Long Distance Walking Route E4.

The trail can be walked from either direction, however, the descriptions and numbering follow a west to east order. The route is divided into 27 sections of varying lengths and difficulty. Hikers may complete the whole route or its sections without time limits and in any order.

For those who wish to receive an official recognition of their achievement, there are 152 checkpoints (stamping places) on the route. The participants have to validate the completion of the tour by passing all checkpoints. This can be verified by stamping and dating of the appropriate box in the Országos Kéktúra igazolófüzet és útvonalvázlat [National Blue Trail Hiking Log and Passport]. This personal completion brochure can be obtained at the Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség [Hungarian Hikers’ Association]. After the completion of the whole trail, the personal completion brochure has to be returned to the association, where the completion will be checked and validated, after which a commemorative badge is issued.

Detailed information on each section, such as the elevation transect, points of interest and the list of stamping locations, can be found on the Kéktúra (Hungarian only) and Természetjáró websites. There are many signs painted on trees, posts and rocks to guide the way. However, you can download the Természetjáró tour planner app, featuring an interactive, zoomable map showing your current location, as well as detailed descriptions and photos.

OKT-12 Dorog – Piliscsaba

This section of the trail passes around the foot of the Pilis hegység [Pilis Mountains] and offers great forest walks as well as opportunity to learn about the villages of the region.

StartEndDistance
(km)
Ascent
(m)
Descent
(m)
Duration
DOROGPILISCSABA18.55304255:40
DorogKlastrompuszta10.63701853:20
KlastrompusztaPiliscsaba7.91602402:20

After leaving the town of Dorog behind, we can enjoy a walk through a grove, which leads to the next settlement, the village of Kesztölc. From here, the trail leads up the hill thorough cultivated fields and patches of forest. Finally, reaching a large meadow at the feet of the Kétágú-hegy [Kétágú Hill], it offers beautiful views of the mountain peaks towering above as well as the villages laying below.

After the open spaces, the trail continues through forests and arrives at the small settlement of Klastrompuszta. The village is good hub for exploring the nearby rock formations and caves. It also features the ruins of the first monastery of the pálosok [Paulin Order], a monastic order of the Roman Catholic Church founded in Hungary during the 13th century.

The trail continues in the forest, after some time descends among weedy fields and finally arrives at the village of Piliscsév. Past the village, the trail runs across forests and clear cuts, and arrives at the town of Piliscsaba.

OKT-13 Piliscsaba – Hűvösvölgy

This section of the trail, leaving the border of Pilis hegység [Pilis Mountains] and through the Budai-hegyek [Buda Hills] reaching the capital, Budapest, is abundant in geological and botanical attractions.

StartEndDistance
(km)
Ascent
(m)
Descent
(m)
Duration
PILISCSABAHŰVÖSVÖLGY22.45755806:30
PiliscsabaZsíros-hegy12.54352703:50
Zsíros-hegyHűvösvölgy9.91403102:40

In the town of Piliscsaba, we can visit the grave of József Horvát, who was the first person to complete the Kéktúra in 1952. We can also make a small detour and visit the Calvary of the settlement and some interesting rock-formations. As the trail leaves Piliscsaba, it continues in the forest, and after some descend through the Kőris-völgy [Kőris Valley] and then ascend through the Bükkös-árok [Bükkös Trench] reaches the plateau of the Nagy-szénás hegy [Nagy-szénás Hill]. This always-windy peak is probably the most special peak around the capital as provides a 360-degree panorama of the surrounding mountains.

The trail leaves the stony mountain peak and continues in the forest. After a short descend, it arrives at the outskirts of the town of Nagykovácsi. Here, in the mountainside of the Zsíros-hegy [Zsíros Hill], the trail passes near the steel columns of the old miner cableway used for transporting sand. Soon, the trail returns to the forest, climbs up to Remete-hegy [Remete Hill] and then descends very steeply into the twilight of the Remete-szurdok [Remete Ravine].

At the end of the ravine, the trail reaches the border of the built-up area of Budapest. Winding along the streets of the city, the trail passes by the Kisboldogasszony templom [Virgin Mary Church] of Máriaremete. The church is a favorite pilgrimage site for the population of the capital. The last leg of this section continues among the urban area of the capital, then crosses the Nagyrét [Nagy Meadow], and finally reaches the terminus of the Gyermekvasút [Children’s Railway] in Hűvösvölgy [Hűvös Valley].

OKT-14 Hűvösvölgy – Rozália téglagyár

This section of the trail is a hike through the Budai-hegyek [Buda Hills] with great views over the surrounding mountains, the capital Budapest and the River Danube.

StartEndDistance
(km)
Ascent
(m)
Descent
(m)
Duration
HŰVÖSVÖLGYROZÁLIA TÉGLAGYÁR14.25256254:20
HűvösvölgyHármashatár-hegy84201652:40
Hármashatár-hegyVirágos-nyereg1.7501700:30
Virágos-nyeregRozália téglagyár4.5552901:10

As the trail leaves the urban area of Hűvösvölgy [Hűvös Valley] behind, we are back in the forest. This area was the site of King Mátyás’ former medieval wildlife garden. Given that the king was passionate about hunting, the area was populated with red deer, roe deer, fallow deer and wild boar. A war grave commemorates a more recent historic importance of this area since this was the main direction of the attempt to break out of the encircled capital during the siege of Budapest in February 1945. Bit deeper in the forest we can encounter a stone lion guarding the trail – unfortunately, the head of the lion was blown off for military reasons during the Second World War.

Further afield, the trail leads to Árpád kilátó [Árpád Viewpoint]. Built in 1929, this terrace provides a splendid view of the two sides of the capital divided by the meandering Danube. After a short walk beside the suburban gardens of Szépvölgy [Szép Valley], a forest trail leads up to Hármashatár-hegy [Hármashatár Mountain]. It can be recognized by the broadcasting and telecommunication towers crowning its summit. A new lookout tower, the Guckler Károly-kilátó, was built on the top of the mountain in 2016, which provides a wonderful panorama of Budapest.

The trail gradually descends from the summit into the forest of Vihar-hegy [Vihar Mountain], through the grassy meadow of Virágos-nyereg [Virágos Col], then the forest of Csúcs-hegy [Csúcs Mountain], and finally reaches the gate of the Rozália téglagyár [Rozália Brick Factory].

OKT-15 Rozália téglagyár – Dobogókő

This section of the trail, leading back to the Pilis hegység [Pilis Mountains] and through the Visegrádi-hegység [Visegrád Mountains] reaching Dobogókő, offers great forest walks featuring shadowy limestone gorges and striking rock formations.

StartEndDistance
(km)
Ascent
(m)
Descent
(m)
Duration
ROZÁLIA TÉGLAGYÁRDOBOGÓKŐ22.810654957:30
Rozália téglagyárKevély-nyereg6.74051052:20
Kevély-nyeregPilisszentkereszt11.92853753:30
PilisszentkeresztDobogókő4.2375151:40

The trail starts at Rozália téglagyár [Rozália Brick Factory], and after a climb through the forest arrives at the village of Pilisborosjenő. In the village, we can visit the Calvary of the settlement, climb the Teve-szikla [Camel Rock] or explore the replica of the Egri-vár [Eger Castle] built as a scenery for the film ‘Egri Csillagok’ [Stars of Eger] in the 1960s.

The trail continues around the foot of the Nagy-Kevély Mountain, through the grassy meadow of Kevély-nyereg [Kevély Col], and passes near the village of Csobánka. Later, the trail leaves the fields of the col and continues in the forest. After a steep descend, it arrives at the small chapel of Szentkút [Sacred-Well] built in 1930. The healing powers of the spring’s water are legendary. It is honored as a place of worship since 1842 when a shepherd grazing a flock had a vision of the Virgin and Child here.

After leaving the chapel behind, the trail continues in the forests of Hosszú-hegy and leads to the lower end of Dera-szurdok [Dera Gorge]. This narrow valley cut into a limestone hill is one of the most famous natural wonders of the Pilis hegység. The footpath, meandering between the two sides of the gorge, features moss-covered rocks, beech trees with exposed artistically twisted roots, and rustic wooden bridges span over the creek.

At the upper end of the gorge, the trail leads to the village of Pilisszentkereszt. This is where the trail leaves the Pilis hegység and enters the Visegrádi-hegység [Visegrád Mountains], a truly mountainous environment. The trail continues in the forests of Kakas-hegy [Kakas Mountain], passes by the volcanic rocks of Zsivány-sziklák [Bandit Rocks], and finally the hard climb finishes at the flat-topped volcanic Dobogókő with its stunning views over the Dunakanyar [Danube Bend].

Sources
http://www.kektura.hu/cimlap.html
https://www.termeszetjaro.hu/en/tour/long-distance-hiking/national-blue-trail/23265051/