Country Escapes

Erdőkövesd, Heves County


Home of the Orczy family, in the village of Erdőkövesd,

history lives in symbiosis with the forests and fields.

Just at the foot of Mount Mátra, between Hollókő and Eger,

close to lakes, on the national blue walk route and Palóc

route, it is one of the best cityscapes even in wintertime. The surrounding woods are full of life, herbs, and mushroom.


Hungary's highest peak is very close in mount Mátra, the Kékes. Perfect for all kind of leisure activities, Erdőkövesd Challenge takes place in midsummer. Demjén Thermal bath is 20 minutes away, Bükkszék Thermal is just 6 kilometers. Green and wine tourism very much present in the region, good food, and a warm welcome will make your vacation memorable.

Many cultural and sports events are organized by Igazvölgy Association, This upcoming social hotspot will give you an active holiday full of laughter.


For that, we have two fully renovated and equipped country house, an open fireplace for your Goulash and a huge garden for your dogs.





















Hollókő is the only village in the country which is both at the center of a nature reserve (141 hectares) and is a World Heritage site. The villagers use the Palóc dialect and dress in richly decorated local costume. There are 65 houses in the old village which are protected as historical monuments, examples of 18th century Palóc architecture. The wooden spired Catholic church dates from 1889. The splendid castle above the village is first mentioned in records in the 13th century, recently being renovated, crowns the hills of Hollókő.























According to the most popular legend, during the Ottoman times of the territory, people from Mohács fled the town and started living in the nearby swamps and woods to avoid Ottoman (Turkish) troops. One night, while they were sitting and talking around the fire, an old Sokác man appeared suddenly from nowhere, and said to them: Don't be afraid, your lives will soon turn to good and you'll return to your homes. Until that time, prepare for the battle, carve various weapons and scary masks for yourselves, and wait for a stormy night when a masked knight will come to you. He disappeared as suddenly as he arrived. The refugees followed his orders, and some days later, on a stormy night, the knight arrived. He ordered them to put on their masks and go back to Mohács, making as much noise as possible. They followed his lead. The Turks were so frightened by the noise, the masks, and the storm in the night, that they thought demons were attacking them; and they ran away from the town before sunrise.

In the older, less popular and less original but probably truer story, the busós are scaring away not the Turks but Winter itself.

In any case, the locals have celebrated the Busójárás in early February every year ever since, hosting "guest Busó teams" from neighboring countries (Croatia and Serbia, local Šokci Croats and Slovenia) and also from Poland.

The Busó is very well known as Krampusz in Austria, the Czech Republik, and Hungary as the helpers of Father Winter, right before Christmas, on the name day of Saint Nicholaus.






















The city Sopianae was founded by Romans at the beginning of the 2nd century, in an area peopled by Celts, Avars and Pannoni tribes. By the 4th century, it became the capital of Valeria province and a significant early Christian center. The early Christian necropolis is from this era which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 2000.

Pécs has a rich heritage from the age of a 150-year-long Ottoman occupation, like the mosque of Pasha Qasim the Victorious on Széchenyi square.

Pécs always was a multicultural city where many cultural layers are encrusted melting different values of the history of two thousand years. Hungarians, Croatians, and Schwabs still live in peace together in economic and cultural polarity. In 1998 Pécs was given the UNESCO prize Cities for peace for maintaining the cultures of the minorities, and also for its tolerant and helping attitude toward refugees of the Balkan Wars.

In 2010 Pécs was selected to be the European Capital of Culture sharing the title together with Essen and Istanbul. The city's motto is: "The Borderless City". After receiving the title major renewal started in the city. Renovated public places, streets, squares and neighborhoods, new cultural centers, a concert hall, a new library and center and a cultural quarter were designed.


















Lake Balaton, Hévíz and Keszthely


Frequented by tourists all over the world, this body of water is one of the largest lakes in Europe, providing, fishing, water sports, water bicycles, beach volleyball, sailing races, and beach water polo activities from June through to the end of September. The lake is bordered by villas, public and private beaches, and a great palette of eateries small and large with amazing homemade Hungarian delicacies and wine from the Balaton region, or just plunge into one of any festivals by the lake.
















Hévíz with its fantastic open-air thermal lake is one of the top 10 attractions in Hungary and certainly a top destination when one is visiting Balaton.

Hévíz naturally provides facilities to preserve the active physical condition of the body, strengthen mental fitness, find peace and soul harmony. Active sports programs such as Nordic walking, bike tours, walk in the town or nearby in the Festetics Castle.

Bath treatment means the basis of the healing effects of thermal lake Hévíz, but it is also important to emphasize such unique medical treatments as mud-pack, weight bath, different types of medical massage and drinking cure.


















The Festetics Family is one of the most significant ducal families in Hungary. The family, who was of Croatian origin. In 1739 Kristóf Festetics bought the Keszthely estate and its appurtenances and chose it to be the center of his estates. He had the palace built, brought a surgeon and craftsmen to the town, and set up a pharmacy and a hospital.

The glimmering white 100-room Festetics Palace was begun in 1745, and the two wings were extended out from the original building 150 years later. Some 18 splendid rooms in the baroque south wing are now part of the Helikon Palace Museum, as is the palace’s greatest treasure, the Helikon Library, with its 90,000 volumes and splendid carved furniture.

Many of the decorative arts in the gilt salons were imported from Scotland by the Lady Mary Victoria Douglas-Hamilton, Duchess of Scotland who married Count Tasziló Festetics von Tolna in 1880. The marriage turned out to be one of the most romantic successes of the era. Festetics was granted the title of Duc. They both lay in the mausoleum of the castle.


Tastings of three to five wines are held in the Balaton Wine House in the cellars of the palace.

The Festetics Castle in Keszthely is the third biggest Hungarian castle in size, but it is certainly one of the grandest.