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. Moreover, 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-1 Írott Kő – Sárvár

OKT-2 Sárvár – Sümeg

OKT-3 Sümeg – Keszthely

OKT-4 Keszthely – Tapolca

OKT-5 Tapolca – Badacsonytömerdic

OKT-6 Badacsonytömerdic – Nagyvázsony

OKT-7 Nagyvázsony – Városlőd

OKT-8 Városlőd – Zirc

OKT-9 Zirc – Bodajk

OKT-19 Becske – Mátraverebély

OKT-20 Mátraverebély – Mátraháza

OKT-21 Mátraháza – Sirok

OKT-22 Sirok – Szarvaskő

OKT-23 Szarvaskő – Putnok

OKT-24 Putnok – Bódvaszilas

OKT-25 Bódvaszilas – Boldogkőváralja

OKT-26 Boldogkőváralja – Nagy-nyugodó

OKT-27 Nagy-nyugodó – Hollóháza

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].

OKT-16 Dobogókő – Visegrád

This section of the trail, which descends to the Duna [Danube] river, meanders through the forests of the Visegrádi-hegység [Visegrád Mountains] while also visiting shadowy gorges, charming meadows and great lookout points.

StartEndDistance
(km)
Ascent
(m)
Descent
(m)
Duration
DOBOGÓKŐ VISEGRÁD24.761012057:10
DobogókőSikárosi erdészház6.4354051:40
Sikárosi erdészház Pilisszentlászló3.6125501:10
Pilisszentlászló Pap-réti erdészház 3.61901151:10
Pap-réti erdészház Nagy-villám8.52403802:30
Nagy-villám Visegrád2.6202550:40

After leaving the viewpoint of Dobogókő, the trail continues in the largely uninhabited forest area of Öreg-vágás-hegy [Öreg-vágás Mountain] and descends into the steep-sided valley of the Bükkös-patak [Bükkös Creek]. This is the longest creek of these mountains, which reaches the Duna [Danube] at Szentendre. The trail follows the usually wide-water creek and arrives at the Sikárosi-rét [Meadow of Sikáros]. The Sikárosi erdészház [Forester’s lodge of Sikáros] is located on the eastern corner of this large meadow surrounded by mountains.

The trail leaves the meadow, crosses the Bükkös-patak, then follows its narrowing valley. This is a pleasant walk in a cool and shady forest. However, before reaching the most romantic sections of the valley, dotted with rumbles, the trail turns left into the Öreg-nyílás-völgy [Öreg-nyílás Valley]. After a pleasant walk in the valley, the trail soon arrives in the village of Pilisszentlászló.

Past the village, the trail climbs a steep hill where an unusual sight awaits us, a phone booth in the middle of the forest. The device contains a selection of Hungarian forest-themed poems. The trail continues up to Pap-rét [Pap Meadow] and the Pap-réti erdészház [Forester’s lodge of Pap Meadow].

As the trail leaves the meadow, the most special, sometimes Carpathian-style section of the Visegrádi-hegység part of the trail begins. The trail follows a relatively level traverse on the side of Urak asztala through a dense beech forest. The desolate atmosphere of the trail makes the long walk very enjoyable. Eventually, the trail reaches the clearing of Vízverés-nyerge [Vízverés Col]. The trail continues through the woods and arrives at the meadow of Barát-halom [Barát Mound]. At the edge of the meadow, the Moli-pihenő [Moli Resting Place] boasts a wonderful panorama over the Duna and the dense forests of the Visegrádi-hegység. After a short steep descent, the rock formation of Borjú-fő offers another stunning view of the Duna, Nagymaros and the green slopes of Börzsöny. After leaving the lookout point behind, the trail passes through the boggy clearing of the Sóstó-rét [Sóstó Meadow], then follows a logging trail along the hillside, and finally arrives at Nagy-villám. Here you can relax at the Nagyvillám-Kalandpark [Nagyvillám Adventure Park]: take a ride on a bobsled or climb the Zsitvay-kilátó [Zsitvay Lookout Tower].

The trail continues in a dense beech forest, then after a short steep descend it arrives at the Visegrádi fellegvár [Citadel of Visegrád]. It is worth spending some time in the citadel. After leaving the citadel and continuing the steep descent, the trail passes by a baroque Calvary. Once the trail arrives at Visegrád, the markers lead to the ferry port, because the trail continues across the Duna.

Due to its strategic position, area has always been the focus of interest throughout history. From the Middle Ages, Visegrád was one of the most important residences of the Hungarian kings. The remains of the castle complex that have survived to this day were built in the 1250s during the reign of King Béla IV (1206 – 1270), including the Fellegvár [Citadel] on a 328 m high hill, the Alsóvár [Lower Castle] on the hill below, and the Vízibástya [Water Bastion] on the bank of the Duna. The remains of the early Renaissance palace were built during the reign of King Mátyás (1443 – 1490) as a summer residence.

OKT-17 Nagymaros – Nógrád

This section of the trail crosses the vast forests of Börzsöny, climbs to its highest peak, Csóványos, and offers great views of the surrounding mountains.

StartEndDistance
(km)
Ascent
(m)
Descent
(m)
Duration
NAGYMAROSNÓGRÁD411740163013:00
NagymarosTörökmező turistaház10.95003703:30
Törökmező turistaház Kisinóci turistaház9.53352453:00
Kisinóci turistaház Nagy-hideg-hegy 5.7580552:20
Nagy-hideg-hegyNógrád14.93259604:10

After leaving the ferry port, the trail winds through the streets of Nagymaros and finally leaves through the Templom-völgy [Templom Valley]. This is a pleasant hike uphill along a narrow gorge in a shadowy beech forest. After a while, the trail reaches the Julianus barát-kilátó [Brother Julianus Lookout Tower] on Hegyes-tető. The small bastion-like structure offers stunning views of the Danube, surrounded by lush green mountains. From the top, the trail leads down the hill through a forest, after a while crosses the Köves-mező [Köves Field], then the Csapás-rét [Csapás Meadow] and eventually arrives at Törökmező turistaház [Törökmező Hikers’ Lodge] on a forest path.

The trail continues through a young forest, crosses the Békás-rét [Békás Meadow], passes through the forest of Sűrűség, and after a while arrives at the village of Kóspallag and the Kisinóci turistaház [Kisinóci Hikers’ Lodge].

Leaving the lodge, the real challenge begins: the conquest of Magas-Börzsöny. The strenuous mountain hike begins along the long Inóci-vágás [Inóci Cut], then continues on a rocky hillside path, followed by a patch of pine forest and finally arrives at the hikers’ lodge on Nagy-Hideg-hegy.

Leaving the 865-meter-high peak behind, further climbing awaits us to reach the highest peak of the Börzsöny, the 938-meter-high Csóványos. The trail follows the edge of an ancient caldera, in an untouched forest, dotted with strange rock formations. After a strenuous hike, the trail arrives at the Csóványosi-kilátó [Lookout Tower of Csóványos], with another 22 meters to climb. However, the stunning view from the top of the tower compensates for the effort; the sight of the undulating mountain ranges shows the true size of Börzsöny. Leaving the peak behind, the trail descends and traverses through a beech forest towards the ridge of Három-hárs, then continues along the ridge of Saj-kút-bérc and Cseresznyés-völgy. The trail then begins its last ascent to cross the border range of Börzsöny. Finally, the trail reaches some pastures, from where the panorama of Nógrád presents itself, with its volcanic hill and the remains of the Nógrád Castle at the top.

OKT-18 Nógrád – Becske

This section of the trail explores the rolling hills and villages of Cserhát and passes through low ridges and small valleys. The only climbing challenge is its highest peak, the horst of Naszály.

StartEndDistance
(km)
Ascent
(m)
Descent
(m)
Duration
NÓGRÁD BECSKE601885188018:00
NógrádLokó-pihenő4.4250851:30
Lokó-pihenő Magyarkút3.9102401:00
MagyarkútKatalinpuszta6.71651452:00
KatalinpusztaŐsagárd13.86855804:30
ŐsagárdFelsőpetény6.71302251:50
Felsőpetény Alsópetény4.480501:10
AlsópetényRomhány7.02252802:10
RomhányKétbodony2.855350:50
KétbodonyBecske10.32852403:00

Leaving Nógrád, the trail leads through a wooded area, crosses the meadow of the Morgó-patak, then ascends towards the Nagy-Kő-hegy [Nagy-Kő Hill] and finally arrives at the Lokó pihenő [Lokó Picnic Spot]. The rocky peak offers great views of the Börzsöny, Visegrádi-hegység and a glimpse of the Duna [Danube].

The trail continues on Magas-hegy, going straight down towards the village of Magyarkút. (The stamp is a little farther from the trail, at Irma-forrás [Irma Spring].)

The trail continues along the valley of Keskeny-bükki-patak and arrives in the village of Szendehely. After the tranquil forest walk, the high traffic on the main street of the village comes as a shock. (There is another stamping point at the Katalinpusztai Diáktábor [Children’s Camp of Katalinpuszta].)

Leaving the urban areas behind, the trail starts with a gradual ascend along the northern slope of Naszály, crosses a suspension bridge and ascends steeply to the summit after a long hike. From the top, the trail descends to the village at the bottom of the hill, Ősagárd.

After the tiring hike, this part of the trail is a leisurely stroll through woods, fields and pastures, which eventually arrives in the village of Felsőpetény. The trail then continues along the slope of the pine-covered Homok-hegy [Homok Hill] and arrives in the village of Alsópetény.

Leaving the village, the trail ascends towards Korpa-hegy [Korpa Hill], from the edge of which there is a beautiful view of Alsópetény, and after a while it passes the Kékesi vadászház [Kékesi Hunters’ Lodge]. Then the trail goes up towards Romhány-hegy [Romhány Hill] and Prónay kilátó [Prónay Lookout Tower]. The tower is not quite on the blue trail, but can be reached by a short detour. The trail continues in a hornbeam forest and eventually reaches the village of Romhány. In 1710, Romhány was the site of an important battle of the Rákóczi-szabadságharc [Rákóczi’s War of Independence] (1703-1711). This war was the first significant attempt to end the rule of the Habsburgs in Hungary, lead by a nobleman Rákóczi Ferenc II (1676-1735). There are many evidences around the village commemorating the event. In Communist times, the village was an important center of the ceramics industry, which, has now mostly disappeared.

The next section of the trail, all the way to Kétbodony, is not so pleasant because it follows a busy road. Leaving the road, the trail ascends along the Cser-hát through pine, acacia and oak groves, then runs along the valley of the Galga-patak, and finally reaches the village of Becske.

OKT-19 Becske – Mátraverebély

This section of the trail continues through the rolling hills of Cserhát and passes through shadowy forests, colorful agricultural fields and charming villages, most notably Hollókő, a Palóc ethnographic village and Szentkút, a national pilgrimage site.

StartEndDistance
(km)
Ascent
(m)
Descent
(m)
Duration
BECSKEMÁTRAVEREBÉLY73.92370240022:20
BecskeSzandaváralja62652452:00
Szandaváralja Cserhátsurány10.32553153:00
Cserhátsurány Nógrádsipek9.22602252:40
NógrádsipekHollókő11.54453453:40
HollókőBableves csárda10.32902803:00
Bableves csárda Nagybárkány13.64805904:10
NagybárkányMátraverebély133754003:50

Leaving Becske, the trail leads through open fields and wooded areas to the remains of the Szandavár castle on the hilltop. The castle is not quite on the blue trail, but can be reached by a short detour. From the top, the trail descends and quickly emerges from the forest, eventually arriving in the village of Szendeváralja through wide pastures.

The trail continues on Hucskó-hegy [Hucskó Hill] and arrives in the village of Terény thorough cultivated fields and patches of forest. The village features 80 hipped-roof houses, which represent the traditional rural architecture of the area. The trail then continues along the rolling hills towards the village of Cserhátsurány.

Leaving the village, the trail ascends towards Hegyes-hegy [Hegyes Hill], reaches the plateau of the hill and then arrives in the village of Nógrádsipek through vast sunflower fields. As a greeting from the past, the red star on one of the crumbling buildings on the outskirts of the village is reminiscent of the agricultural collectivization attempts of the Communist era.

Past the village, the trail ascends towards Dobogó-nyereg [Dobogó Col] and Dobogó-tetői kilátó [Dobogó-tetői Lookout Tower], which offers a 360-degree panorama of the surrounding mountains. The lookout is not quite on the blue trail, but can be reached by a short detour. After descending to Sós-puszta through oak forests and then ascending to Sós-pusztai kilátóhely [Sós-pusztai Lookout], the trail finally reaches the village of Hollókő. The old part of the village was built in 1909 after a devastating fire and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is worth spending some time in the village, roaming the cobbled streets, peeking into the houses, browsing through traditional crafts and climbing into the castle.

The trail continues on Szár-hegy [Szár Hill] and soon arrives at the Isten keze kilátó [God’s Hand Lookout]. Leaving the lookout, the trail ascends towards Felsőtold and then, through the meadows near the village, reaches Alsótold. Finally, through the Zsunyi-patak völgye [Zsunyi-patak Valley], the trail arrives at the Bableves csárda.

The next section of the trail is the most mountainous part of the Cserhát trail; geologically this area belongs to Mátra. The trail ascends steeply towards the Tepke-kilátó [Tepke Lookout Tower]. The tower offers great views of the rolling hills of the Cserhát and the towering peaks of the Mátra. Past the tower, the trail begins to ascent along the ridgeline rolling from peak to peak towards the village of Nagybárkány.

Leaving the village, the trail continues on a grassy meadow and then on a paved road towards the village of Sámsonháza. There is an abandoned stone quarry at the entrance to the village. Due to its geological profile of twice-alternating volcanic fragmentary and lava beads and overlaying shallow-sea limestone layers the quarry became a famous geosite.

The trail continues to ascend towards Szent László-forrás-szurdok [Szent László Spring’s Ravine] and arrives at Szentkút [Holy Fountain]. Szentkút is a national shrine, a Catholic pilgrimage site led by Franciscan friars. Pilgrims have been visiting this site for over 800 years.

According to legend, when King Szent László was fleeing from his enemies around 901, he arrived at a chasm. In this situation, survival was almost hopeless, but he managed to leap over the chasm with his horse, and that was the first time a spring had appeared here. This legend beautifully reflects the Hungarian literary tradition, which regarded the king as the new Moses, who gained water from the rock. Beside the pilgrimage site, it is worth climbing to the Remete barlangok [Hermit Caves] carved into the volcanic tuff of the hillside.

Finally, after a short hike through the woods, the trail arrives in Mátraverebély.

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