République tchèque

The southern Great Plain


The southern part of the Great Hungarian Plain (the Alfold) boasts sunlit lands, gastronomic specialities and living, rural traditions. Tourists coming from Budapest can drive on the motorway as far as Kecskemét; if they then cross the Danube at Dunaföldvár, they come face-to-face with the captivating beauty of the Alföld.

The Alföld is very diverse: There are the immense plains between the Danube and Tisza rivers, the forests of Körösök, and the Tisza itself with its rich flood plains and wonderful backwaters.

Visitors to the Southern Great Plain should know that Szeged paprika, Kalocsa embroidery and wall-painting, Halas lace, "Fütyülõs" peach brandy, Makó onions, Baja fish soup with pasta, Szeged hot fish soup, Csaba and Gyula sausage, the famous delicacy, goose-liver pate, and wine born of a unique sandy soil all come from this land that "spoils" gourmets world-wide.

The Southern Great Plain stands out for its nature-related tourism: there are ample opportunities for equestrian, spa, health, ecological and river tourism. In the Bugac Plains, one can see how the horse farms and pensions seem to grow naturally from this land famous for its traditional horse-breeding.

It's worth observing the amazement on the faces of tourists as they watch the Puszta Five (or, more recently) Puszta Ten shows; it's fascinating to watch as a team of spirited horses gallop in harness while the wrangler (csikós) stands on their backs with the reins and drives them at his own, and the audience's, sweet will.

The vast geo-thermal treasure hiding beneath the surface is the region's unrivalled natural gift. There are many thermal baths where the visitor can experience this treasure for him/herself; among these spas, Gyulai Castle Baths stands out. With its more than ten indoor and outdoor pools, its shady, manicured park and full-scale medical treatments, it is a Mecca for people seeking relaxation. Between relaxing and bathing, guests can take a refreshing walk in the Castle Park where the unique brick castle looms overhead. The castle and surroundings are packed every summer during "Végvári Evenings" and "Gyulai Castle Games" when dramas, comedies, musicals and children's plays are put on by famous directors.

The national parks and nature reserve areas, Gemenc (a part of Danube-Dráva National Park), Kiskunsági National Park, Körös-Maros National Park, the vast, flowing Danube and the "blonde" Tisza, Lake Fehér and Lake Kolon (famous for their unique bird life), the sand dunes of Kiskunság (fülöpházi hilly land) and the Szarvasi Arboretum (Pepi Garden), all offer unforgettable experiences for hikers, cyclists, anglers and hunters.

Between the Danube and Tisza and in the Körös area we can find several holiday camps (Mártély, Szanazug, Csongrádi Körös Estuary, etc.) where high-quality services and water sports facilities await tourists.

In the rural settlements we can see numerous forms of village tourism. The towns - Szeged, Kecskemét and Békéscsaba - with their monuments and airy parks provide pleasant experiences for tourists. The Cathedral in Szeged, the Town Hall, Dömötör Tower, the Franciscan Church, the Synagogue and Móra Ferenc Museum will leave permanent impressions in the souls of sensitive people. After taking in the view of Kecskemét's Town Hall, Cifra Palota building, Katona József Theatre, and the cultured, secession main square, tourists have been heard to refer to Kecskemét as the "cleanest town in Hungary".

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