Rock Climbing in Hungary: 4 Unique Destinations

Hun­gary nor­mal­ly does­n’t pop up as a world-class climb­ing set­ting, but that doesn’t mean you should write it off. On the con­trary, it has some sur­pris­ing­ly promis­ing spots, and it’s unlike­ly that you’ll have to com­pete with crowds to con­quer them.

Upon arrival, you will quick­ly learn that the Hun­gar­i­ans are very lib­er­al with the term “moun­tain,” so it would prob­a­bly be more accu­rate to say they have ranges of hills. How­ev­er, this hasn’t stopped the cre­ation of some mag­nif­i­cent lime­stone for­ma­tions that offer fun and chal­lenge to climbers of all levels.

mountains


Kecske Hill

Budapest, the cap­i­tal city, is grow­ing in pop­u­lar­i­ty because of its beau­ty, nightlife, and ease as a tourist des­ti­na­tion. More promis­ing news is that it’s extreme­ly easy to com­plete some climb­ing while vis­it­ing the city. There is a pro­tect­ed nation­al park in the Buda Moun­tains, and it’s just out­side of the suburbs.

The local rock climb­ing com­mu­ni­ty par­tic­u­lar­ly loves Kecske Hill (“Goat Hill” in Hun­gar­i­an), and many of the mem­bers head there mul­ti­ple times per week. It isn’t a very dif­fi­cult climb, but it allows climbers to real­ly immerse them­selves in nature and feel some­what med­i­ta­tive. Also, reg­u­lar usage on the crumbly rocks keeps it a con­stant­ly chang­ing and evolv­ing climb.


Csókako Cas­tle Hill

Hun­gary has seen more than it’s fair share of Euro­pean wars, and thank­ful­ly it has a cas­tle or two still stand­ing. In the north­ern sec­tion of the coun­try, there are the ruins of a cas­tle that was first men­tioned in 1299, and held an impor­tant role while fight­ing invad­ing Turk­ish armies in the 16th cen­tu­ry. Its main pur­pose was as an advanced look­out post which means the ruins still have an incred­i­ble view.

The ruins are now in the Bal­a­ton-felvidé­ki Nation­al Park, and they are perched atop some steep cliffs. It’s a very chal­leng­ing climb up sharp and slip­pery stones, and there are even options to scale the walls of the cas­tle when you reach it. But, before mak­ing the even more dif­fi­cult jour­ney back down where you’ll bat­tle large tree branch­es and bush­es, enjoy the scenery that caused this cas­tle to be built.


Öreg-ko

The small Gerecse Moun­tain Range sits close to the bor­der with Slo­va­kia. Öreg-kő is a hill which split into two pieces leav­ing a steep, ver­ti­cal lime­stone cliff to chal­lenge ambi­tious climbers. Not only that, it’s famous for many caves in the region, some of which have been found to con­tain bone tools from the Neolith­ic Ages.


Ko-völ­gy

Lake Bal­a­ton is the largest lake in Cen­tral Europe, and it’s sit­ting right in the mid­dle of Hun­gary. It’s lov­ing­ly referred to as the Hun­gar­i­an sea, and it’s a sur­pris­ing­ly diverse set­ting. Aside from the nat­ur­al beau­ty, the north shore is char­ac­ter­ized by vol­cani­cal­ly influ­enced hills that host many qual­i­ty winer­ies. The south­ern shore, on the oth­er hand, is more for sun tan­ning and nightlife.

Rough­ly halfway through the nar­row lake is the Tihany Penin­su­la, and it is home to one of the most pop­u­lar vil­lages (that shares the same name). Near­by, you can find a lime­stone rock named Kő-völ­gy which has some great climb­ing routes. They’re a lit­tle more on the chal­leng­ing side, but there are plen­ty of places for relax­ation while cel­e­brat­ing the suc­cess upon completion.