Danube Bend (300-350 USD).
This is one of the most marvellous regions of my country. We take a nice drive along the beautiful Danube river. We make three stops during this excursion: at Szentendre, Visegrád and Esztergom. Esztergom was the first capital of Hungary, 1000 years ago. Our state founder, King St. Stephen, was born here. Today it’s the Head of the Hungarian Roman Catholic Church. Here we’ll visit the largest Chatedral in Central and Eastern Europe, including the crypt where Cardinal Mindszenty was reburied. Visegrád is located in the middle of the Danube Bend. It was Hungary’s Royal Seat in the 14th and 15th centuries. There’s a fortress on the hilltop with a breathtaking view to the hair-pin turn of the Danube (despite the famous song, the river rarely looks blue from here…). The castle functions as a museum today where visitors can get an authentic medieval impression. Szentendre is also known as an „artists’ village”. It has been favoured by many local artists because of its friendly and picturesque ambience.
Thanks to the former Serbian refugees, who originally came here to escape the Turkish/Ottoman invasions of Central Europe, there is a kind of Serbian atmosphere in the village even to this day. There are narrow, cobblestone streets, colourful houses with small courtyards, museums and lots of handycraft shops. The Marzipan Museum and the Museum of Micro Miracles are really „must see places”. In case you are interested in something special, I’d suggest you to visit one of the local ceramics workshops. Look at him during work and you might even get the change to try it out, yourself! (Please let me know in advance if this interests you!) The trip back to Budapest can be made on a boat, if you prefer.
Puszta Horse-Show (270-320 USD).
Two thirds of Hungary’s terrority is flat, called the Hungarian Great Plain. Puszta is a part of this area where vegetation used to be very limited (nowadays is getting more and more) and the soil is composed mostly of barren sands. During this excursion you get an interesting impression of 19th century rural life. We visit an authentic Puszta ranch. Having a horse carriage ride around the farm is really fun! Typical farm animals (as well as grey cows, pigs, donkeys and shepherd dogs (puli)) are visible too. The highlight is a breathtaking horse performance with the horsemen seated on horses like dogs and a cowboy rides on horses standing (Puszta-five). After the show you can also choose to enjoy a typical, traditional countryside meal accompanied by Gypsy music.
Lake Balaton, Herend (320-370 USD).
Balaton is the largest freshwater lake in Europe, also known as the „Hungarian Sea”. During the excursion we are going to explore the famous nature reserve on the Tihany peninsula. We might stop in Balatonfüred to walk along the linden-tree grove (calle Tagore-promenade), as well. Herend is a village where today’s largest porcelain factory was established in 1826.
There is a demonstration section where you can get a unique impression of the whole process. You can watch as the workers perform the different steps involved in making porcelain. Next to the factory is an interesting museum with old masterpieces. Of course you can also purchase exclusive presents in their huge porcelain factory store, as well. Because of their geographic proximity it’s possible to combine these two programs. But if you’d prefer to experience only one of the programs, that isn’t a problem either.
Eger (310-360 USD). Eger is a charming baroque city.
Famous not only for its sights but also for its wine. (known as the Bull’s Blood of Eger = Egri Bikavér) The minaret reminds us of the 160 year Turkish (Ottoman) occupation of Hungary. The Basilica of Eger is one of the biggest churches in the country. Its medieval castle functions as an interesting museum. The Exhibition of Astronomical Equipment and Camera Obscura (ancestor of the camera, working since 1779 !) are real curiosities. Wine tasting is available in the „Beauty Women’s Valley”. By request, there it’s also possible to visit the vineyard of one of Hungary’s top winemakers.
Tokaj (340-380 USD). This word means three different things in Hungary:
There is a village called Tokaj, located in the world famous Tokaj wine region. The best-known Hungarian wine (what a surprise!) is also called Tokaj(i). But there are several smaller settlements here composing the protected wine area. Since 2002 this area is part of the World Heritage of UNESCO. During our tour we can visit some wine cellars; we’ll walk around in one of the oldest wineries, learning about the production process of the excellent sweet dessert-wine that this region is famous for.
Art Tour (studio visit) (Price based on requests).
Are you curious how canvas, glass and silk paintings, sculptures, carvings, and ceramics are made? Have you ever seen an artist at work Would you like to? I can take you to workshops and artist studios to enjoy their special milieu. You’ll be informed about different techniques and artist secrets. You’ll gain a special kind of, insight into the artist’s workshop and creative work – an interesting experience if you’re curious about such things…
Back to the Roots (Price based on requests).
If you are looking for your family roots in Hungary or in the territories of the surrounding countries which used to be part of Hungary, it is a pleasure for me to help you find birth or wedding certifications, the house where your grandparents grew up and the area your ancestors came from. For tour programs based on genealogical research, please contact me well in advance.
Transfers: I provide door to door transfers with my comfortable minivan to cities like Vienna(330-380 USD), Bratislava (300-350 USD), Prague (560-620 USD), Krakow (500-560 USD) etc.
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