National Blue Trail


The National Blue Trail in the Vértes Mountains
(Last revision and update: 6th October 2019)

Remark:

The places written with bold characters in the text show the marked places in the Route-Altitude diagram.

You can find detailed hiking maps about this section of the Blue Trail in the Map Chapter



Tenth section: from Bodajk until Szárliget railway station

The Lake Bath of Bodajk village. You can see the Calvary Hill in the background

The Lake Bath of Bodajk village. You can see the Calvary Hill in the background.

Bodajk, the village which lies in the wide valley of Móri-árok, is really an interesting settlement, it is worth spending a little time there, and get to know its sights! After the stamping in the Fenyő pub we can take a short walk in Bodajk. The first sight is the Tófürdő (Lake Bath), we can reach it along the Május 1. utca (Május 1. Street), and the Petőfi Sándor utca (Petőfi Sándor Street). The artificial lake of Tófürdő lies on a square beside a small park. The lake is filled by the springs of the neighbour hillside, and the visitors can use this bath free of charge!

After a few steps we reach the fenced garden of the Roman Catholic church. We can find the Szent-kút (Sankt Well) in the garden. According to the ancient descriptions Bodajk is the oldest pilgrimage place in Hungary. The wonder-working power of the water was first mentioned in the 9th century, and the first Hungarin king, Szent István and his son Prince Imre visited it many times. Szent István had a chapel built close to the spring in the hillside.

The panorama of Bodajk taken from the Calvary Hill

The panorama of Bodajk taken from the Calvary Hill

If we walk farther on the Május 1. Street, we get to the stairs leading to the chapel in the side of the Calvary Hill. This chapel isn’t the original one, which was built in the 11th century, but it stands on the foundation of the original one. Here begins the footpath beside the stations of the Calvary leading towards the top of the hill. A nice panorama opens from the summit towards the village and the wide valley of Móri-árok. We can see the long, forest covered slope of Vértes Mountains at the far side of the valley with the old castle of Csókakő in the mountainside. We will visit it still today!

The dying, closed Hochburg-Lamberg mansion

The dying, closed Hochburg-Lamberg mansion

We continue our walk on the Május 1. Street and reach after a few steps the access road of the Hochburg-Lamberg mansion. The neo-classical mansion stands in a park in the hillside. It was built in 1839, unfortunately it got damaged in the World War 2. The total renovation of the mansion happened in 1964 and later it worked as a tourist hostel until the change of regime. It was closed in 1990, and it is abandoned since that time. There are rare, special trees in its big park.

After this small walk we continue our hike along the Blue Trail. We go back to the Fenyő pub and turn right there onto the Petőfi Sándor utca (Petőfi Sándor Street). After a few minutes we leave the settlement and reach the railway crossings. First the road crosses a branch line leading towards the closed coal mines, later the main railway line between Székesfehérvár and Komárom. The rails run along the wide Móri-árok. We can find the second stamp of the Blue Trail beside the platform of the railway stop on a wooden lamp column (Bodajk village, railway crossing).

The Vértes Mountains taken from the access road of Bodajk

The Vértes Mountains taken from the access road of Bodajk

We leave the platform and walk along the access road of Bodajk. The marked path of the Blue Trail reaches the busy main road number 81 after a twenty minutes long walk on this asphalt strip (Crossing of main road no. 81). We cross it and walk in southeastern direction on the roadside. We pass the building of the Sandokan Restaurant and boarding house, later get to the beginning of the asphalt access road of Csőkakő village. We turn onto it and continue the walk on its roadside. After a while the road begins to climb softly in the hillside, and crosses a forest patch. After a while we reach the village on its main street, on the Kossuth Lajos utca and the ruined castle of Csókakő appears above the roofs of the houses. The Vadásztanya restaurant stands on the right side of the road, we can rest a little bit on its shady terrace and continue our walk after a while.

The Castle of Csőkakő from the resting place

The Castle of Csőkakő from the resting place

We get to the square of the Roman Catholic church in five minutes. A carved wooden sculpture stands in front of the church of the settlement, it is the monument of St. Donat, the patron saint of the village and the vineyards. The well known Borút (Wine Way) crosses our road here, which goes in the western side of the Vértes Mountains and connects each other the vineyards. We go farther on the narrower and already steeply rising Vár utca (Vár Street) and reach the meadow of the resting place and car park at the foot of the Castle Hill after a few minutes. There is a Blue Trail's stamp beside the gravel car park on a wooden lamp post (Várgesztes village, road to the castle). We can stamp with it into our booklet, this will be the first stamp of the Vértes Mountains! We can rest here or climb the Castle Hill until the ruins on the Zrinyi utca (Zrinyi Street). A beautiful panorama opens from the walls of the old, ruined fort towards the village, the plain of the wide Móri-árok and the hills of Eastern Bakony. The old fortress was partly renovated in the past years, now its walls are more safety, than a few years ago.

Panorama from the walls of the castle towards the village and the wide Móri-árok

Panorama from the walls of the castle towards the village and the wide Móri-árok

The history of the castle is similar to the other Hungarian forts and castles: it was built in the middle of the 13th century, after the big Tartar invasion by the Csák clan. It was mentioned first in documents in 1299. The position of the castle was very important: it could watch the main road leading from Székesfehérvár towards the northern regions of Hungary. The owners of the fort changed often in the following centuries, it was the property of the Hungarian kings, as well. The Turkey troops occupied it in 1544, but a few years later the army of the Austrian Emperor took it back in 1566. Because of the important strategic position of the castle, it was the object of serious attacks during the next centuries. The Turkey troops occupied it again, but the united Hungarian and Austrian troops took back it in 1598, but the Turks invade it again in 1602 a kept it until 1686. After the war against the Turks the fort has lost its strategic importance, it was abandoned during long centuries. Later a thunder hit its tower, and the fort burnt down. The renovation of the castle began a decade ago, hopefully the conservation will finish in the foreseeable future.

Hard climb in the valley towards the plateau

Hard climb in the valley towards the plateau

After the visit in the castle we can continue our hike. The blue strip marks of the Blue Trail enter the forest at the foot of the Castle Hill and the path rises steeply in the narrow Vár-völgy (Vár Valley). We reach the wide plateau of the Vértes in 450 meter height after a hard climb. Our path runs into a small forest cultivating asphalt road, we walk along it (Határnyiladék, asphalt road). After a few hundred steps the road turns left, the crossing green strip signs go farther on the asphalt road, the blue strip marks of the Blue Trail lead us straight on a dirt road along the border of an old, already bushy clear-cut.

Later we reach the long, straight cut-lines of the forest, we walk on along them. This section is a comfortable hike in the forest, the route of the Blue Trail goes in the same elevation, without bigger climbs or descends on the wide plateau of the Vértes. After an hour we get to another asphalt road, we turn onto it and follow the asphalt strip during longer time (Turning on the asphalt road). After a junction the road descends in a small valley and we turn off in its big hairpin bend (Turning away from the asphalt road).

On a dirt road towards Gánt village

On a dirt road towards Gánt village

We climb back onto the plateau on a footpath, and after a few minutes we get to the junction of dirt roads in the forest. The green strip marks come from north together with the blue cross marks, we turn right and the blue strip and green strip marks go together a little while. We pass a lookout point with a resting place, a small monument stands on the edge of the plateau, later the dirt road branches in two directions: we follow the blue strip marks and turn left, the green strip marks go on straight. The route of the Blue Trail touches another lookout point, a short path marked with blue triangle leads to a rock in the hillside, later our dirt road begins to descend from the wide plateau of the Vértes into a valley. We meet with the blue cross marks again at the bottom of the Antal-árok (Antal Valley). Our cart tracks join to a dirt road, we walk farther on it towards east and after a while reach a wider valley. A well-trodden dirt road runs on the bottom of this valley, among meadows. We follow it in southeastern direction, later we pass a well built resting place with a wooden shelter. A big rock formation appears later on the left side of the valley (Gánti-szikla Rock), finally we reach the wide, cultivated fields before Gánt village.

The view of Gánt village from the top of Meleges Hill

The view of Gánt village from the top of Meleges Hill

We turn left at a big group of old oaks and go along a dirt road behind the houses and gardens of the settlement. Later we reach the József Attila utca (József Attila Street), we walk on it until the crossing. The marked path of the Blue Trail turns left here, back among the hills, but we have to turn off and go to stamp to the Mary néni vendéglője (Aunt Mary's Restaurant), which stands on the another side of the main street of Gánt (Gánt village, stamping place). The box of the stamp is located in the window of the restaurant (address: 59 Hegyalja út, Gánt). There is another stamp at the Gránás Tourist hostel, in the box of the electic meter (address: 17 Béke tér, Gánt).

The Bauxite Mine Museum. You can see the electric train of the former mine in the picture.

The Bauxite Mine Museum. You can see the electric train of the former mine in the picture.

If we have enough time, it is worth visiting the Bauxite Mine Museum. It lies in the vicinity of the village, it is only three bus stops, or 2.5 km walk in southern direction on the sphalt road. We can find the biggest bauxite mines of Europe in the Bakony and Vértes Mountains. This museum is furnished in an abandoned shaft of the mining area. We can see the trains of the former mine-railway there, the different tools, equipments and other documents of the history of the bauxite mining. There is a huge opencast mine beside the museum, we can take a tour there on marked footpaths.

Mindszentpuszta Homestead

Mindszentpuszta Homestead

After the stamping procedure we turn back onto the route of the Blue Trail and leave Gánt village. We walk on the fields again, and reach the forest after a twenty minutes long walk. Our route goes straight at the crossing of dirt roads, towards the wide Pap-völgy (Pap Valley). The dirt road runs on the bottom of the valley among meadows, forest patches and climbs only mildly. After a half an hour long walk our road will be steeper, the valley becomes more narrow and we climb back onto the plateau. Later we get to the access dirt road of Mindszentpuszta homestead (Access road of Mindszentpuszta homestead). We turn left onto this dirt road marked with blue square and reach the houses of the homestead on a meadow in a few minutes. Woodmen and other forest cultivating workers lived here until the 60s of the previous century. At present a part of the buildings are weekend houses, one of them is used as “key house” – it means tourist hostels without staff – the rest of the homestead decay slowly. We find the stamp of the Blue Trail on the wire fence of the key house. After stamping we walk back onto the path of the Blue Trail.

In the Ciklámen Valley

In the Ciklámen Valley

Our wheel tracks descends in the forest into the wide Ciklámen-völgy Valley and we turn right onto a small path after a little while. We climb the side of the Som-hegy Hill on a small, meandering footpath. This hardly visible path leads in a sparsed beech forest in the high undergrowth. We cross wheel tracks in the forest, later reach another dirt road after a quarter hour long walk. We turn onto it and leave the forest after a few minutes. We get to a wide, grassy field with small group of trees, our wheel tracks meander among them. There is a good panorama towards north from the top of a hunter’s highstand standing beside the road, later we reach a small asphalt road in the forest. We follow the asphalt strip, first on it, later in the forest on a parallel footpath, but after a few hundred steps we turn right into a valley.

The wheel tracks begin to climb on the bottom of the valley, later appears the path marked with blue ruin signs leading to the modest ruins of the small Castle of Csák (Path to the ruined Csáki castle). We reach the fields and clear-cuts of the plateau after a twenty minutes long climb. Our dirt road crosses them, turns back in the forest and descends slowly to the main road leading from Oroszlány to Csákvár. The marked route of the Blue Trail turns left here, but if we turn right, we get to the small Kőhányás settlement after a few steps (Kőhányáspuszta homestead, stamping place). We can find the stamp of the Blue Trail beyond the tourist hostel, in front of the Steinau Guesthouse near to the chapel on a wooden column.

The small chapel of Kőhányás village

The small chapel of Kőhányás village

This small village or rather bigger homestead was mentioned first time in 1753 in documents and 68 forest workers lived here in that time. The road is very old, first time the Roman Empire had a military road built here, but it was used through many centuries. It had got asphalt surface in 1925, the chapel was built in 1878.

We continue the hike along this main road towards north-west, and walk about 300-400 steps beside it. A dirt road branches out from this asphalt road, we turn right and walk along it. We cross a high voltage power line and reach the forest again. The route of the Blue Trail turn left in the junction of valleys and climb back onto the hills. Our dirt road meanders in the beech forest and after a while descends into the next valley. We get to a narrow asphalt road on the bottom of it (Road to Castle of Gesztes). The blue strip signs turn left here, but it is worth to start right on this road, because the painted blue ruin marks lead us to the Castle of Várgesztes!

The old Castle of Várgesztes

The old Castle of Várgesztes

The narrow asphalt strip crosses grassy, flowery meadows, passes resting places and after a hairpin bend begins to climb very hard in a hillside. After a five minutes long steep ascent we reach the ruined castle of Várgesztes. We don’t know exactly the date of its building, but probably it was built after the Tartar invasion in the middle of the 13th century. It changed owners many times in the Turkey times, but in 1652 the Hungarian troop occupied back and renovated its walls. Later the fort has lost its importance and the soldiers left it. The stones of the fort were used at the building of a monastery at Majkpuszta. The ruins of the castle were excavated in the 60s of the previous century and were partly renovated. A tourist hostel and a restaurant work among its walls, but recently they are closed because of a big renovation, so we can't visit the inside of the castle.

Behind the small artificial lake stands the Zsigmond Rock

Behind the small artificial lake stands the Zsigmond Rock

After visiting the castle we go back on the access road until the branching of hiker's paths and reach Várgesztes village following the blue strip signs. We can stamp into our Blue Trail booklet in the pub of the village (Várgesztes village, stamping place) (62 Arany János út Várgesztes). There is another stamp in the grocery of the settlement (35 Arany János út, Várgesztes). We hike along the main street of Várgesztes until the small artificial lake. We turn off from the street there, walk along the promenade on the cost of the rowing lake and reach the foot of the Zsigmond-kő Rock soon. We enter the forest and a very hard climb begins in the hillside. After a while we get to the branching of the short, but very steep path of the blue triangle signs (Path to the Zsigmond-kő Rock). If we follow it, we reach the rocky forehead of the Zsigmond-kő after a few minutes long very hard ascend. A beautiful panorama opens from this place onto the wide valley of Várgesztes village and the castle!

The panorama of Várgesztes village from the Zsigmond Rock

The panorama of Várgesztes village from the Zsigmond Rock

After Várgesztes we reach the northern side of the Vértes Mountains, the wide plateau already disappeared in this area, deep valleys cut into parts the mountains. As we get to the ridge of the hills, we begin to descend onto the next valley. We reach the resting house of the Mátyás-kút (Mátyás Spring) at the bottom of the valley beside a narrow asphalt road after a half an hour long walk from the branching of the blue triangle marks (Mátyás-kút Spring, resting place). Unfortunately the springs of the Vértes don’t work permanently in the last dry years, they give water only after longer rainy periods. After the spring we climb back onto the hills, but later get to this valley again.

So we reach the narrow asphalt strip again, but we don't turn onto the road! We follow the blue strip marks on a long meadow at the bottom of the valey, but the road begins to climb in the hillside. We reach the Szarvas-kút (Szarvas Spring) after a few minutes (Szarvas-kút Spring), unfortunately it is only a seasonal spring, similar to the Mátyás-kút. A new wooden shelter stands beside it in the hillside. The next climb begins at the Szarvas-kút until the ridge of the next hill, meanwhile we cross the asphalt road in the hillside. After a quarter hour long climb we get to the ridge and the slope begins immediately on the other side. It is a very exhausting section of our hike, hopefully we can walk continuously in the shady forest! When we reach the bottom of the next valley, we meet with the path of the green strip marks again, the two signs go together a few dozen steps, but the path of Blue Trail turns right and the climb begins again. If we get to the ridge of the next hill, we notice the branching path of the blue ruin signs leading on the ridge to the forgotten, ruined castle of Vitányvár (Path to the ruined Vitányvár Castle).

Abandoned walls in the forest: it is Vitányvár castle

Abandoned walls in the forest: it is Vitányvár castle

Similar to Várgesztes castle we don’t know exactly, when it was built, perhaps it happened after the Tartar invasion. The Turkey troops attacked and occupied it many times in the Middle Ages, and when the Hungarian army reoccupied it finally in 1597, they demolished the walls of the fort, so it lost its importance. Nobody have excavated its ruins, the abandoned walls stand in the forest at the end of the narrow ridge, only the path of the Blue Trail leads beside it.

When we leave the ruins, we continue our hike among the hills and valleys. After a half an hour we reach a narrow forest cultivating asphalt road and we begin the final descent from the Vértes. After a while we get to a junction of asphalt roads (former Körtvélyespuszta homestead, road junction), our route turns left here. After a few steps we leave the narrow asphalt strip and walk along wheel tracks. The dirt road passes the abandoned cemetery of the former Körtvélyespuszta homestead, later the path of the blue cross marks branches off from our way. After a while we reach the upper end of the Mária-szakadék (Mária Gorge).

Hiker team in the Mária Gorge

Hiker team in the Mária Gorge

Our path descends very steeply in the side of the gorge and after a rocky section we reach the lower end of it after a quarter hour. The tourist hostel of Csákányospuszta appears on the left hillside at the edge of the forest (Csákányospuszta tourist house). We continue our hike on the pebble access road of the tourist hostel, and reach that asphalt road again, what we have seen already at the former Körtvélyespuszta homestead. We turn onto this narrow asphalt strip, walk about 50 steps on it and choose the left side road at the next junction. This narrow road begins to climb in the side of the Nagy-Csákány Mountain, but after a while turns sharply left in the mountainside. The asphalt surface finishes here, we continue the hike on a well trodden dirt road. The blue strip marks choose the right side road in the next junction and we step in the forest again. Our dirt road meanders among the trees, finally it turns into southeastern direction and we hear already the noise of the cars going on the main road number 1.

When we leave the forest, we glance the hills of Gerecse

When we leave the forest, we glance the hills of Gerecse. We continue the hike in this region.

Our dirt road escorts the main road for a while, but after about 1000 steps it joins to a narrow asphalt strip. We reach the main road on it, cross the busy motorway, and continue the hike on the narrow road. This road reaches the first houses of Szárliget village after a 20 minutes long walk, its continuation is the Baross Gábor utca (Baross Gábor Street), which leads us to the pedestrian overpass above the railway station. We climb on the stairs, cross the rails and platforms and descend on the other side of the bridge. Here we are standing at the station building, the steel box of the Blue Trail's stamp is equipped on the wall of the building of the station, beside the door of the office (Szárliget village, railway station). If we finish the stamping procedure, we finish our hike through the Vértes Mountains, as well.









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