A land of gentle hills, rivers and streams, pine forests and alder groves, peat bogs and marshlands, butterflies and dragonflies, and the beautiful meandering River Rába… There are pretty villages with traditional timber-framed, whitewashed peasant houses, thatched wooden belfries, fruit orchards… The climate is sub-Alpine, and damper than most of Hungary, but the welcome to visitors is unmistakably warm. And not only the hospitality of the people of Őrség, but the mild hilly landscape, beautiful wild flowers and singing birds welcome visitors.
Did you know...
Visitor and education centres:
- 63% of the Őrség is covered with forest, 3 ? times the Hungarian average?
- The so-called „szeres” form of the villages is unique to settlements in this area?
- The Őrség has been continually inhabited since the Magyar Conquest, earning it the distinction of being Hungary’s oldest inhabited areas?
Harmatfű (Moor Grass) Nature Conservation Study Centre (Őriszentpéter, Siskaszer 26/A, Tel.: 94/548-034) – lectures and exhibitions about the treasures of the National Park. Open: all year Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Reservation is recommended for groups!
Felsőszer Nature Trail (1.7 km) (Szalafő) – gives an insight into the unique traditional folk architecture of Őrség. Fürge csele (Common Minnow) Nature Trail (3.2 km) (Kercaszomor) – presenting the wildlife of Kerca Stream and surrounding areas.
Rezgőnyár (Quaking Aspen) Nature Trail (300 m)(Őriszentpéter) – presenting the flora and fauna of the National Park and the habitat of the so-called “tókák”.
Sárgaliliom (Yellow Lilly) Nature Trail (6.2 km) from Velemér to Magyarszombatfa, passing through the less frequented Belső-Őrség and displaying its less well-known natural and cultural treasures.
Nature Trail at Szala (3.8 km) (Szalafő-Őriszentpéter) – a real field exercise to get to know the flora and fauna of the Szala area.
Szomoróczi Nature Trail (3 km)(Kercaszomor) – a nature trail finishing on the Hungarian-Slovenian border introducing the past, present and cultural heritage of Kercaszomor; suitable for hikers and cyclists.
Töllös Nature Trail (2.8 km) from Szentgyörgyvölgy to Magyarföld – presenting the beautiful world of a selection forest. Free access or guided tours available.
Other demonstration sites:
Traditional Folk Monument at Őrség (Szalafő, Pityerszer u. 12, Tel.: +36-30/467-7022) – protected historic buildings typical of the area displaying both the cultural heritage and the everyday life of their inhabitants. Learn how to make traditional handicrafts at the demonstration sessions.
Open: 1st April to 31st October Monday-Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 1st June to 31st August Monday-Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Other demonstration sites within the operational area of the Directorate:
István Bechtold Nature Conservation Visitor Centre (Kőszeg, Aradi vértanúk parkja; Tel.: 94/563-174) – interactive exhibition and fascinating nature trail about the flora and fauna of Kőszeg Mountains. Open: 1st November to 30th April Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 1st May to 31st October Tuesday-Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reservation is recommended for groups!
Pottery Museum (Magyarszombatfa, Fő út 66, Tel.: 94/544-004) – national monument giving an insight into the everyday life of a potter family once living in the house. Open: 1st May to 15th October 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church (Velemér, Fő út 54.) Arpadian Church with 14th century frescos. Open: 4th April to 1st November: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., other times by appointment; for the key please contact Szabó Elekné (Tel.: +36-30/448-9276)
Harmatfű (Moor Grass) Nature Conservation Study Centre (Őriszentpéter, Tel.: 94/548-034) – 3 8-bedded rooms with bunk beds, communal bathroom and toilets, equipped kitchen and communal areas. Open: all year. Keserűszer Guest House (Őriszentpéter; Tel.: 94/548-034) –4 rooms with 4 beds each. Open: all year