Visitor sites, nature trails and guided geotours

Here we provide a list of the visitor sites and nature trails of the Geopark area, managed by the leading organisation of the Bakony–Balaton Geopark, the Balaton Uplands National Park Directorate – and later the ones that are managed by our Geopark Partners.

Always the geological (or partly geological) sites and trails are listed first in each geographical unit. After the short descriptions a link takes you to the website of the Balaton Uplands National Park where the actual entrance fees, opening hours and further description can be found.
Don’t forget that if you are guided by a premium geotour-guide whose name is indicated by a (P!) in our list of guides (this part is yet under development), then you are entitled to buy a discounted ticket at the interpretation site or visitor centre of the given region (managed by the leading organisation of the Geopark) during the guided geotour.

If you would like to order a guided geotour in English or German, please contact the Bakony–Balaton Geopark Group.

The nature trails can be visited without guidance and for free all year round.

This part of the website is under construction. Please be patient.

 Hegyestu panorama 690


Magas–Bakony Landscape Protection Area


Interpretation Sites

House of Forests, Bakonybél

bukkos k bakony Toth Szabolcs webreIf you are interested in the geological history, the main rock types, minerals and interesting geological phenomena of the Bakony Hills, visit the House of Forests.

Open from spring till autumn, this visitor site is located in the centre of Bakonybél village, surrounded by forests, in the heart of Magas-Bakony Landscape Protected Area.

The exhibition was refreshed in 2012. The main topic of the site is the one time forestry of the area, the old working tools of the forestry engineer and you can also become acquainted with the activities of foresters, hunters and wood-carvers.

Opening hours, entrance fees, further information here.

 

milkyway bakony ladanyi vagott 345Pannonian Observatory Visitor Centre,
Bakonybél

The astronomical visitor centre was open in 2012 in the heart of the Magas-bakonyi Landscape Protection area,

in Bakonybél village located in a picturesque valley.

This area – mostly protected from light pollution – is an ideal place for visitors to enjoy the starry sky in all its splendour.

 No matter in which season or which part of the day, this astronomical visitor centre provides an unforgettable "space" experience and offers new knowledge in an entertaining way, thanks to the digital planetarium, the helioscope and the other state of the art telescopes, and the exhibitions.

We can learn about meteors, we can relive the events of landing on the Moon and the Mars expeditions and the films played in the planteraium uncover the world of stars, planets, black holes and also the starlit landscapes of Bakony Hills and Balaton Uplands.

Planetarium film played at every hour:

The Empire of Stars at Balaton Uplands

(22 minutes, from elementary school until pensioner age, for everyone)

Opening hours, entrance fees, other planetarium films and further information here.

 

Boroszlan tanosveny 3 Page 4 vagott 345Nature Trails

Boroszlán Nature Trail, Bakonybél

The nature trail starts 3 km away from Bakonybél village, from the parking lot of Hotel Odvaskő, next to a bus stop in the road section between the settlements Bakonybél and és Bakonykoppány. The trail leads you along a circular path, on the side of Kőris Hill, next to cool beech forests and cliffs. The recently refreshed 8 information boards give explanation of the surrounding natural heritage, including geological features and the Geopark in Hungarian and English. The 2 km shortcut of the 7 km long full trail turns back to the starting point at the Odvaskő Cave.

GPS: 47.283732,17.709937

Guided Geotours

Please contact the Geopark Group!


Southern Bakony Hills

Interpretation Site

Guided cave tours in Szentgáli-kőlik Cave

kolik 01 345Near Herend, next to Szentgál village, precious archaeological findings were discovered during the exploration of the branches of Kőlik-cave. Helictites, a few stalagmites and stalactites, pisolites can be found in the Kőlik (‘rock hole’, as the locals call it).
If you are eager to admire this underground world and you do not mind walking on your hands and knees at some parts of the caving tour, or sometimes even creeping on your belly, why don’t you participate in our caving adventure tour! The basic tour is open even for children from the age of 10. The advanced tours are organised for adults (above 18). We provide overalls, headleamps and helmets. Our approved and experienced cave guides will help you during the adventure. The entrance of the cave opens on a forested hillside, cca. 20 minutes on foot from Szentgál village.

Booking, opening period, entrance fees, further information here.


varpalotai homokbanya 345 188Eastern Bakony Hills

Interpretation Site

Várpalota Sand Quarry Nature Conservation Area

The one time sand quarry is located in one of the streets of this little town, Várpalota. Groups can participate in a visit of the nature conservation area, guided by an expert guide. Visitors can closely observe the spectacular cross-laminated sand wall of the interpretation site.

The wall preserved the fossils of bivalves and snails of an ancient subtropical sea that used to ripple at the site of the birth of the sand layers. It is unique in Hungary that the remains of more than 400 species of molluscs and almost 100 unicellular species with shells made up of calcium carbonate have been discovered at this quarry.

Take a closer look and you will see tiny miracles! Discover the fossilized creatures of an ancient subtropical sandy beach!

Opening hours, entrance fees, further information here.


balatonfured loczy-barlang 2 egri csaba 345 webBalaton Uplands (East)

Interpretation Site

Lóczy Cave, Balatonfüred

This tiny cave opens at the edge of the town, at the foot of Tamás Hill. Beautiful limestone layers, pea-stone formations, interesting solution forms – cauldron shaped solution forms – await visitors from spring till autumn (or by prior arrangement for groups of min. 15 people). During the underground guided walk you can learn about the forces that created the cave and the peculiar history of its exploration. The guide tells visitors about the difficult start of the "carrier" of the cave and also about what is hidden in lower part of the Lejtős chamber. Those who are keen on singing are welcome to try the acoustics of the cave. After or before visiting the cave, why don't you climb up to the look out tower of Tamás Hill and enjoy the great panorama that opens to Lake Balaton and Balaton Uplands?

Opening hours, entrance fees, further information here.

Nature Trails

Pele Circuit, Csopak

Ammoniterasz es alkotoi 345This short nature trail can be found in the beautiful park that surrounds the office building of the Balaton Uplands National Park Directorate, the leading organisation of the Geopark. The trail interprets gardens as habitats for many animals, from ants to roe deer. The interactive trail shows us the living creatures that have adopted to humans presence. The creek and the huge rock pieces exhibited in the park turn our attention to abiotic natural assets that surround us in settlements. Old type Hungarian fruit trees, a herb garden and a collection of bird houses are also part of the experience. You can picnic in the park and visit the shop of the National Park Directorate. The trail is free to visit. Guided walks can be ordered in advance. A unique wooden installation, resembling the form of an ammonite fossil also awaits visitors.

Guided Walk on the Nature Trail and Guided Geotours

Please contact the Geopark Group!


Levendula Haz erdei elohelyek 345Balaton Uplands (West)

Interpretation Site

Lavender House Visitor Centre, Tihany

The visitor centre is located at the Belső-tó (Inner Lake) of Tihany Peninsula, a precious part of the Bakony–Balaton Geopark and Balaton Uplands National Park, and a proud holder of the European Diploma. The Lavender House interprets the outstanding natural heritage of the peninsula. It is also the eastern gate of the Geopark. After watching an amusing short film about the history of volcanism at Balaton Uplands, at the exhibition we can get acquainted with the geological events of the region and many rock types and fossils that have been developed during the millions of years. The especially rich and varied biotic natural heritage is also interpreted by the exhibition in an entertaining, interactive way. The closing unit tells us the story of local lavender growing. The outdoor rock exhibition, a maze, a look-out point and the plank trail built above the reed bed of Inner Lake, with information boards on the fauna of the lake all invite visitors for a longer stay. The film and all of the interpretive boards are also in English and a German audio-guide is available.

Opening hours, entrance fees, further information here.

Nature Trails

Lóczy Lajos Nature Trail, Tihany

Walking along the first nature trail of Hungary, you can admire magnificent views of the landscape in all seasons. Moreover, especially interesting and precious geological phenomena can be explored on the trail, e.g. diverse volcanic layers or post volcanic hot spring cones, made of a rock type name geyserite. Now wonder that this area was awarded by the European Diploma. The springtime flower parade of the Nyugati-gerinc (Western Ridge), the vivid European gophers at the Inner Lake in summer, the Golden House hot spring cone surrounded by the colourful sumac trees in autumn or the gloomy Monks’ Cells carved in basalt tuff are especially impressive for the hiker. Interpretive boards are also in English.

Guided Geotours

Please contact the Geopark Group!


Hegyestu 4 Korbely Barnabas 345Káli Basin

Interpretive Sites

Hegyestű Geological Interpretive Site, Monoszló

It is worth visiting this site not only because of the amusing, almost perpendicular wall of the one time basalt quarry, made up of polygon basalt columns. The wonderful panorama of Lake Balaton and Tihany Peninsula, the view of Káli Basin and Tapolca Basin with its volcanic hills is also unforgettable. Moreover, when visiting Hegyestű (Needle Hill), located only a few kilometres from Lake Balaton, you also learn about the few million years old volcano and you will understand how the volcanic „witness hills” were developed. You can also observe and touch million years old rock types of Transdanubia (the Western half of Hungary). The recent past of man and basalt is interpreted by the exhibition about the history of the quarry and the use of basalt.

Opening hours, entrance fees, further information here.

Salfold Major lo Toth Szabolcs 345Manor, Salföld

The manor is home to Hungarian, old domestic animal types: herd dogs, poultry, mangalica pig, racka sheep, buffalo and grey cattle remind us what kind of domestic animals used to live in farm-steads and manors in the old times. Sheep and cattle herds are part of Hungarian cultural heritage and they are also important “maintainers” of the surrounding pastures, where – thanks to their grazing – rare, protected plant species survived. The past and present of the “seas of stones” and other geological specialities of the vicinit are depicted by a photo exhibition. These photos were taken approximately 120 years ago and they are paired with photos taken about 100 years later, from the same angle of sight.

Opening hours, entrance fees, further information here.

Guided Geotours

Please contact the Geopark Group!


Tapolcai-tavasbarlang Egri Csaba 345Tapolca Basin

Interpretive Sites

Lake Cave of Tapolca Visitor Centre, Tapolca

A really unique experience awaits you in the cave, located in the heart of Tapolca town. Following the steps to the deep, you will reach a beautifully lit chamber where your guide tells you about the development of the cave and its history of exploration. After a few steps, you can get in the boats and take a short boating trip in the circular cave branch, on the wonderful, naturally bluish-greenish, glimmering water surface. A new Lake Cave Visitor Centre was open in January 2015 where visitors are invited to explore an interactive exhibition, focusing on the wonderful world of karst. The geological features are interpreted by special attractions, 3D photos and an impressive 3D film. The visitor centre also functions as the Western gate of the Bakony–Balaton Geopark.

The Hungarian-English brochure of the future visitor center can be downloaded here.

Opening hours, entrance fees, further information here.

Nature Trails

Geological and botanical nature trail, Badacsony

Badacsony, a volcanic remnant hill on the shore of Lake Balaton boasts of wonderful basalt formations and famous wine varieties. What is the connection between Balaton, the basalt and the Badacsony wine? What kind of geological phenomena, rare plant and animal species can be found if you walk along the almost 4 km long trail? The Hungarian-English information boards tell you the answers, besides, guided geotours will reveal even more about this emblematic volcanic remnant hill (butte), also depicted in the logo of Bakony–Balaton Geopark.

szt gyorgy h kisapatirol Toth Szabolcs webreBasalt Organs Nature Trail, Szent György Hill

This nature trail also offers a lot for nature lovers, geotourists. If we look far away, we will enjoy a great panorama, as the whole Tapolca Basin unfolds in front of us: the sight of the volcanic remnant hills, the wine cells, plough lands and castle ruins.

The joy of hiking uphill is exchanged by the calmness of contemplation when we stand still and think about the information provided by the interpretive boards. The birth of the basalt organs, the development of the Ice Cave, the struggle between indigenous and introduced plants, the history of land use are all pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

 

Kamon-kő tanösvény, Szigliget

The starting point of the trail is located in the village. The Hungarian–English information boards of the nature trail interpret many interesting topics related to the area. Not only the valued folk architecture of the village but also the traditional wine- and reed growing, the flora and fauna, the exciting events of the geological past are explained during the walk. Enjoy the great panoramas on the way!

Guided Geotours

Please contact the Geopark Group!


Keszthely Hills

Csodabogyós 004 345Interpretive Sites

Csodabogyós-barlang, Balatonederics

All year round, in good and in bad weather alike, it is a great adventure to crawl in the underground branches of the cave during the guided caving tours. The cave is located at the eastern ridge of Keszthely Hills, near Lake Balaton, at the border of Balatonederics village. The basic and advanced adventure tours are lead by experienced and approved caving guides. An adventure for body and soul, in beautiful setting, above ten years of age!

Online booking, entrance fees, further information here.

Kotsy Watermill, Zalaszántó

The English text is under development.

Opening hours, entrance fees, further information here.

Nature Trails

Pele Apó ösvénye, Balatonederics, Balatongyörök

The English text is under development.


Guided Geotours

Please contact the Geopark Group!

 


Somló Landscape Protection Area

Nature Trail

Somló Kitaibel Nature Trail

The volcanic remnant hill is the treasure box of many interesting geological phenomena: the surfaces of different types of basalt can be examined along the trail. The nature trail explains why basalt organs (so typical of other remnant hills) are not present here. The wine yards and orchards established on the “skirt” of the hill coexist in a harmonious way with the habitats of great value that jewel the “crown” of Somló Hill. The Hungarian–English information boards of the trail show these habitats with numerous photos. The soil developed on the basalt also contribute to the special flavour of local wines, to be more appreciated than ever. Looking to the south from the St. Stephen look-out tower, the rolling Balaton Uplands lie before us, while turning to the north, a totally different view opens in front of us: Somló Hill emerges, like an island, from the Little Plain.

 


Fonyód Area

The English text is under development.


 

Travelling

When travelling to the Geopark, please use public transport if you can! The most important timetables can be found here:

Hungarian railways timetable

Hungarian bus timetable

Shipping timetable, Lake Balaton

Ferry timetable, Lake Balaton

 

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Geotours, geoevents

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