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.
I have taken more dozen panoramic views along the more than 1100km long route of the National Blue Trail. They are collected in the chapter named Panoramic views, but I put links to the pictures in the text, as well. If you click on the links, the views will open in a new window.
If you click on the small pictures, they will open in bigger size.
We stamp in our Blue Trail booklets at the Bódvaszilas railway station and begin our hike trough the mild hills of Cserehát county. We turn onto the street of the railway station and walk along the asphalt strip until the main street of the village. It is the main road number 27, it connects the small settlements of the wide valley of Bódva River to each other (Bódvaszilas village, road to the railway station). We turn right in the junction and walk on the sidewalk towards the centre of the village. The marks of the Blue Trail will arrive from right after about 400 steps on a bystreet, we follow them on the main road until the next junction. There is a small, but well stocked supermarket here, this is the only place, where we can fill up our food and drink stocks for the next few days, because we will find only small groceries with limited stock and opening time in the next villages!
The marked route of the Blue Trail turns left in the junction, onto the narrower Ady Endre Street and we follow it until the last houses. The road crosses the railway line at an old barrier and we reach the branching of dirt roads at the other side of the rails. Our route turns left here, we walk about 300 steps parallel with the railway embankment and reach the right angle bend of the cart tracks. We follow the straight, grassy tracks across the cultivated fields and cross the Bódva River on an old stone bridge.
After the bridge the tracks bend right, beside the embankment of the river, we follow the stream a little while, but later the embankment turns right, and the cart tracks cross the fields. The Esztramos Hill with its demolished summit towers exactly in front of us. Later we reach and old, unused railway line, we cross a brook on its bridge and follow the rails, as they bend to the old, already crumbly, rusty ore loader of the former mine. The road passes by the abandoned houses of the former ore and limestone mines and reaches the small ticket office’s building of the Rákóczi Dripstone Cave (Entrance of Rákóczi-barlang Cave).
This cave was discovered still in the previous century, in 1964. Unfortunately the cave was closed, because it was accessible only through the adits of the former iron mine. Only speleologists could obtain permit to map the cave system, but the situation has changed in 1996. The mine was closed because of its uneconomic work, the area of the Esztramos Hill was attached to the National Park of Aggtelek. The stalactite cave is open for everybody since the millennium. Guided hikes start in the cave every day. If you have an hour free time during the hike, don’t miss visiting this cave!
If we continue our hike, we pass the old, abandoned office building of the former mine and walk along the pebble road leading at the foot of the Esztramos Hill. We reach the narrow access road of Bódvarákó village in a quarter hour. The marked path of the Blue Trail turns onto this road, and crosses the small village. Don’t forget, we have to stop on the main street of the village and stamp into our booklets! The box of the stamp is located on the metal fence of a family house beside the gate of the yard. Its address is 23 Szabadság Street (Bódvarákó village, stamping place).
After stamping we walk farther and after a big right bend of the asphalt road leave the settlement behind us. We walk about thousand steps until the first barn standing beside the road, and turn onto a path at the crumbly building. This footpath leads towards the close forest covered hillside and we reach the trees after a few minutes. The climb towards the summits begins suddenly and it is very hard! We climb about 250 metres until the first ridge, fortunately we can do it in the shad of the thick oak forest.
The strong upward slope disappears on the ridge, our trail runs in the same level among the waving hilltops. Later we meet with the marks, it goes together with our mark, but after a little while it runs out to a grassy clearing from the forest with the signs, which begin in the forking of the paths. If we follow the ruin marks, we will glimpse the remains of the Martonyi kolostorrom (Ruined Monastery of Martony) on the meadow. We can reach it with a short walk through the clearing (Ruins of the medieval Martonyi monastery).
The monastery was founded in 1341 by the Tekes clan and they gave it to the “Pálos” religion order (Ordo Sancti Pauli). Later it was the property of the Szalonnai family, they had the church built beside the monastery in 1411. Unfortunately the monastery was not able to avoid its fate: during the war against the Turks the monks left it and the buildings became deserted. The abandoned monastery was standing for long centuries in the forest, huge beech trees were grown among the walls, but they were cut down at the beginning of the restoration works. The maintenance works are going on continuously, but we can visit the ruins without any restriction.
If we walk back to the path of the Blue Trail, we will continue the hike among the forest covered hills of the Szalonnai Mountains. The marked trail waves mildly among the forest covered hilltops, it is a very comfortable section of our daily hike! But slowly we lose a big part of the elevation, which we collected by the hard climb after Bódvarákó village, finally we reach the narrow asphalt access road of Tornabarakony village after a two hours long walk (Asphalt road to Tornabarakony). We turn onto this worn, potholed road and reach Tornabarakony after a quarter an hour.
This small settlement has only one street, it is the continuation of the access road, we walk through the village on its slope and reach the Greek Catholic church close to the other end of the houses. This settlement became almost an uninhabited place at the end of the 20th century, the younger people moved to the nearby towns, only pensioners stayed in Tornabarakony, who slowly have left the living. But the settlement resurrected again, when urban people bought the abandoned houses and reconstructed them. The rural tourism was the solution: many guesthouses are working in the village, we can find here accommodation easily during the hike. The Blue Trail’s stamp is located in its box on the wooden post of the terrace of the vicarage beside the small church (Tornabarakony village, stamping place). There is no shop in the settlement, but the blue water taps on the street are working!
The narrow asphalt strip finishes at the last houses and we leave Tornabarakony on a well-trodden dirt road, which is the continuation of the main street of the settlement. This road passes by a small shrine and begins to climb on the side of the Barakonyi-hegy Hill. This low hill separates the two neighbour settlements: Tornabarakony and Rakacaszend from each other. We climb a while in the northern side of the hill and if we turn back at the outermost trees of a forest patch, we will see the wide panorama of the valley of Tornabarakony, and the ridges of the Aggtelek Hills appear in the far horizon.
The dirt road crosses the forest patch, while it climbs continuously, later we leave the woods and reach the highest point on the long ridge of the hill. It is worth stopping here and admires the panorama. We can see the long, forest covered ridge of Szalonnai-hegység, we crossed its ridge at the ruins of the old, ruined monastery. A TV relay tower stands on the highest peak of the long ridge. If we turn to north, the waving Cserehát county lies in front of us with its innumerable hills. The far Zempléni-hegység (Zemplén Mountains) appears on the far eastern horizon, we will continue the hike in that direction.
The dirt road leads in the vicinity of the long ridge of the hill, we pass by the mobile phone relay tower and begin to descend at the southern end of the ridge. Rakacaszend village appears in the next valley, we reach the first houses in ten minutes. The route of the Blue Trail crosses the settlement meanderingly, we follow the marks until the centre of Rakacaszend. There are two stamps in the small village: the first one is equipped onto the door of the grocery, its address is 42 Fő Street. We find the second one in the yard of a family house, its address is 7 Fő Street. Both houses stand in the vicinity of the centrum (Rakacaszend village, stamping place).
We leave Rakacaszend on the narrow Kopasz utca Street, and find the old, more than 800 years old Calvinist church at the end of the street. The small church was erected in the 12th century and it was extended in the 13th century. The building was the chapel of the owner family of the village. The Calvinist fold of the settlement had got the church in the 16th century, and they painted with white color the many hundred years old frescos on the walls. The 700 years old wall paintings were discovered only in 70s of the 20th century, when a lightning stroke the building and the plaster has fallen from the walls. Recently the frescos are partly renovated. Generally the small church is closed, but they open it on request. We can ask for the opening of the church at a nearby house, its address is 14 Kopasz utca.
The continuation of the Kopasz Street is a stony, rocky, meandering dirt road in the bushy hillside. We climb until the wide ridge of the hill. If we turn back after a few minutes, we will see Rakacaszend already deeply below us in the valley and a nice view opens from that place to the environs of the settlement. (Link to the panoramic view) The dirt road branches onto many directions on the top, these tracks meander among the bushes, try to keep the south-eastern direction among them! After a while our dirt road leaves the bushy area, it leads already in the forest and keeps its south-eastern heading. We reach the highest point of this hike after about a one hour long walk. It is the Kecske-pad Hill, the tallest peak of the Cserehát Hills (339 m).
We stand here on the ridge of the hill, a big, old clear-cut appears in front of us in the valley, the trees of the dense young forest are already taller than a man. We go straight forward in the junction of dirt roads and begin the descent on the former clear-cut. The road branches in two directions after about 200 steps, we have to follow the left side road. We cross the new forest and reach the old woods after a while. The marks arrive in a junction from left and the and signs go farther together. The road leaves the forest after a little while, it meanders among cultivated fields and forest patches, finally we glimpse Irota village in front of us in the valley.
The dirt road descends until the bottom of the wide valley, we turn right in the junction of dirt roads, cross the Vadász-patak Brook at the ford and get to the first barns of Irota soon. The continuation of the wide dirt road is the Petőfi Sándor Street, we walk on this road until the next junction. The houses and the garden of the Talentum Guesthouse stand on the left side, we can rest at the resting benches in the grassy garden and find easily accommodation in the houses. Besides the accommodation the guesthouse runs different workshop for the guests, for example weaving and ceramic workshops, and there is an opportunity to pitch our tents in the grassy garden (Irota village, Talentum guesthouse).
We turn left at the junction of the streets and leave the small settlement on the Kossuth Lajos Street. After the last houses the dirt road branches in many directions in the hillside, we have to follow the wheel tracks at the western side of the fenced new forest plantation. We escort the fence until its corner and turn together with it towards east. After a while we reach the end of the fenced area and continue the hike on the wide ridge of the hill. The broad Dió-völgy Valley lies on the right side, our dirt road runs in eastern direction and goes around the head of the valley. Later the road leaves the bushy, grassy hillside and reaches the forest. The direction of the dirt road changes slowly: first it turns to southeast, later it joins to a well-trodden dirt road, which runs to south.
We went around the head of the Dió-völgy Valley with this big bend, and we continue our hike on the wide ridge of the hills. The dirt road keeps its southern heading, we walk constantly in the shad of the oak forest and get to the next junction in a half an hour. The marked path of the Blue Trail turns left, the road leaves the ridge and after a little while we glimpse Felsővadász village from the outermost trees of the forest. The dirt road sinks continuously through the fields until the bottom of the wide valley, and joins to a well-trodden dirt road running in the bottom of the vale. We reach on this dusty road the first houses of the settlement. The continuation of the dirt road is the Petőfi Street, we walk on it until the next junction of streets. We turn left here, pass by the world war memorial (it stands on the left side in a small park among resting benches) and the park of the Rákóczi mansion on the right. The old chateau stands in a fenced garden, now an elementary school works among its walls. This small village, Felsővadász was the original, primeval property of the Rákóczi family. Prince Rákóczi Ferenc, the leader of the Hungarian independence war had worn it in his name, as a prefix. Generally the gate of the small park is open, visitors can take a small walk among the trees until the building of the mansion.
We turn right at the end of the road and pass by the small grocery of the settlement. We find the Blue Trail’s stamp here, it is equipped on the wall in the small shop (Felsővadász village, stamping place). We find another stamp in the tobacco shop, its address is 2 Ady Endre Street. Before we continue the hike, I would like to call your attention to the following: The next section of our hike seems to be very easy on the map, because the settlements will be close to each other and only low hills separate them. But only the sides of the hills are cultivated, the hilltops are covered with abandoned, neglected forest patches and bushy areas. It is very hard to find and follow the marked paths of the Blue Trail there! I do not recommend to walk in this region without a GPS, which contains the Hungarian hiker route net!
We leave Felsővadász on the Hunyadi Street, while we begin to climb onto the next hill. If we turn back on the upper edge of the wide cultivated fields, we will see a nice panorama towards the valley of Felsővadász and its environs. (Link to the panoramic view) The Blue Trail leads on well-trodden wheel tracks after the last houses of the settlement, a long but very narrow cultivated field lies beside the road. We follow the tracks along the field, later cross the forest belt and reach another plough field. The marks lead us on the wheel tracks at the southern edge of the field and after a while, at the corner of the field we step in the forest again.
The quality of the tracks gets worse, they are only hardly visible in the high undergrowth and disappear, when we leave the forest after a few hundred steps. We stand on the corner of a neglected, bushy area here, and glimpse the houses of the next settlement, Nyésta below us, in the valley. Try to cross this field, our target must be the tower of the church. When we reach the border of a dense scrub patch we must turn left towards north, and follow the edge of this bushy area, until we get to a dirt road in the valley. If we turn onto this road, we will reach the first houses of Nyésta after a few hundred steps (Nyésta village). According to the latest information there is no shop in the village!
We walk on the Fő utca Street until the first junction and turn left there. This street bends right after 50 steps, but we turn left here, and continue the hike on wheel tracks beginning at the outermost house of the village. The climb begins here on the grassy wheel tracks to the next hill first on the edge of the cultivated field, later we cross it and reach the forest. The wheel tracks lead a little while at the outermost trees and later, on the corner of the field we step into the forest. After about 500 steps our neglected tracks join to another rarely used track, we turn right here and reach the next abandoned, weedy, bushy area after a few steps.
The old, already neglected fruit and grape gardens of the next village lie here, but nobody cultivate them already. We have to walk on the weedy wheel tracks on the edge of the forest and turn left after about hundred steps. There are no tracks or paths here, we have to fight in the high undergrowth towards east until the next forest belt. It is not wide, but very dense, we must find that path, which crosses this narrow jungle! After the trees, at the upper edge of the cultivated fields we glimpse the next village, Abaújszolnok in the valley. We don’t cross the field here, walk about 200 steps on the edge of the forest until wheel tracks, which crosses the field and keeps the direction towards the outermost houses of the settlement.
We reach the first houses after a little while and find the box of the Blue Trail’s stamp on the garden’s gate of the second one (Abaújszolnok village, stamping place). After stamping we continue the hike. The National Blue Trail doesn’t visit the centre of the village, it crosses only the main street of the settlement close to the border and begins to climb in the side of the next hill. There is a small grocery near to the other end of the settlement, but is not a well stocked one, it keeps only the most important foods and drinks. We will find bigger shops on the route of the Blue Trail only in the next settlement, in Baktakék.
We leave Abaújszolnok at the cemetery and reach the big, cultivated fields again. The grassy wheel tracks run at the border of a plough area, later cross a forest belt and reach another field. The tracks run on the edge of this area, finally they reach the forest. We walk a bigger distance among the trees and reach the junction of dirt roads in twenty minutes. The marked path of the Blue Trail turns left here and begins to descend from the back of the wide hill, but if we continue the hike straight, we will reach a lookout tower after a few hundred steps.
The tower stands in the forest, if we climb the wooden stairs, we can admire the panorama opening from the top level of the tower towards the next village, Baktakék. The settlement lies in a wide valley, and the ridge of the Zemplén Mountains appears in the far horizon. It is still far from us, but we will reach it on the next hiking day! After a few minutes long rest we can walk back to the route of the blue strip marks.
The descent begins at the junction of dirt roads and finishes at a narrow, much worn asphalt strip leading towards Baktakék in the valley. We turn onto this road and walk about thousand steps towards southeast. The houses of the village are visible already at the end of the road, when we turn left following the marks and climb a little hillock on wheel tracks. A rusty water tower stands among trees on the hill, it belongs to an agricultural centre. The wheel tracks pass by the farm, reach the forest patch and joins to the narrow asphalt access road of the farm. We walk on this road until the border of Baktakék and reach the asphalt road leading among the villages.
The blue strip marks lead us farther on the road, it becomes the street of the settlement at the first houses. The route of the Blue Trail leaves it after 200 steps, but if we want to stamp in the booklets, we have to continue the walk until the common building of the pub and shop of the village (Baktakék village, road to the stamping place). The box of the stamp is equipped on the wall of the pub beside the bar and we can buy food and drinks in the well-stocked grocery. Its address is 27 Rákóczi Street and it is about 300 steps detour from the route of the Blue Trail.
After stamping and shopping we walk back to the junction of streets, turn right here and begin the climb onto the next hill. We walk a few hundred steps on this asphalt strip and turn right again before the Greek Catholic church of the settlement. The blue strip marks leave this road after about 200 steps and lead us on a narrow path beside the cemetery of the settlement, later we reach the cultivated fields again. We turn onto grassy wheel tracks, they run among fenced fruit tree plantations, while our route ascends mildly, but continuously.
At the end of the fenced gardens we reach the plough land and turn left onto a dirt road leading on the border of the field. Our heading is east, we walk until the end of this road where it joins to a narrow asphalt strip. We follow this road until the road leading among the villages. The marked route of the Blue Trail turns onto this road, and we follow it for a little while. The Blue Trail leads straight farther on wheel tracks in the forest at the big right bend of the road, and reach the next ridge in a few minutes. We cross the asphalt road leading on the ridge and begin to descend in the other hillside. We walk already among the vineyards and wine cellars of Fancsal village, later we reach the main street of the settlement. It is the same asphalt road, which led us on the other side of the hill and we met with it on the ridge, we only cut off its hairpin bends.
There are two Blue Trail’s stamps in Fancsal, the first is located in its metal box on a fence beside the street, its address is 54 Fő Street and we find the second one in a pub exactly on the other side of the road at the corner of a junction (Fancsal village, stamping place). We can rest a few minutes in the pub before we continue our hike along a National Blue Trail. There is a good grocery at the other side of the crossing, we can buy the food and drink of the next hours there.
Fancsal village lies in a valley, we descend from the pub until the bottom of the valley, cross the small Fancsali-patak Brook there and begin the next climb in the hillside. This one will be the last hill on our route in the Cserehát county. We leave the village at the Catholic church and continue the hike on a well-trodden dirt road beside a forest strip at the border of the cultivated fields. We reach another forest strip on the long ridge of the hill, the marked route leaves the dirt road here and we continue the hike on a path among the trees. We walk about 500 steps on the footpath and get to the corner of next field.
A beautiful panorama opens in front us, we can see the cultivated fields of the wide valley of Hernád River and the peaks of the long western ridge of the Zemplén Mountains standing in the distance. It is worth to stop here and admire the panorama! If the weather is clean enough, we can see even the far Castle of Boldogkő exactly in eastern direction in front of the mountains! The distance is more than eleven kilometres until the castle, but we will visit it on the next hiking day! (Link to the panoramic view)
We descend from the hill at the border of the plough field and through the grassy hillside, finally our wheel tracks join to a well-trodden dirt road leading to the next village at the foot of the hill. We will reach the first houses of Abaújdevecser village in ten minutes on this road. The marked route of the Blue Trail goes on the long and straight main road of the settlement and we turn left at the end of this street at the fence of the park of the mansion. We climb a small hill, turn right at the next junction and reach the busy main road number 3 in a quarter an hour (Crossing of main road no. 3).
There is a pedestrian crossing there, we cross the main road and continue the walk towards the close Encs town on the combined cycling-pedestrian road beside the access road of the town. The sidewalk bass by the car park of a supermarket – this shop is the most suitable one to fill up our food and drink stocks for the next days – and continue the hike on long and straight main road of the settlement. We reach the railway crossing after twenty minutes – the railway station stands on the right side of the road (Encs town, railway crossing).
We cross the rails – it is the main railway line between Budapest and the Slovakian Kosice town - and continue the walk on the sidewalk. A small bystreet leads to the building of the railway station, if we would like to finish the hike here. It is the most suitable place to interrupt the long hike, because a lot of trains stop here, even the Intercity trains, which can carry you fast back to Budapest!
We get to the border of Encs in a quarter an hour, the sidewalk finishes here, but a cycling lane begins on the right side of the road. We reach the next village, Gibárt on this narrow asphalt strip. We will glimpse the arc of the concrete bridge leading above the Hernád River after a right bend of the road. The Blue Trail crosses the river on this bridge, but we have to stamp first into our booklet at the gate of the nearby water power plant! The power plant is accessible on the narrow asphalt road named Petőfi Sándor, the box of the stamp is equipped on the gate of the yard (Gibárt village, road to the power plant).
This power plant is among the oldest ones in Hungary, it was built between 1901 and 1903. It has been working continuously since its inauguration, the rated power of the two old turbines is round 500 kW, but the amount of the produced energy depends on the water yield of the river. Now the power plant is standing because its renovation work, it will get new turbines, so its efficiency will be higher, the amount of the produced electricity will reach the 5.75 GWh in a year. According to the promise of the owner the old turbines will be exhibited on the yard of the power plant.
After stamping we cross the river on the bridge and climb the next hill on the meandering asphalt road. We leave Gibárt village at the cemetery on a dirt road brunching out from the asphalt road. This long dirt road leads on the back of the long hill between the river and the already close mountains, while we have almost permanent panorama towards the nearby, forest covered ridge of the Zemplén Mountains. We glimpse the Castle of Boldogkő at the feet of the mountains, we are approaching it as walk on the dirt road. The long road passes by pastures, cultivated fields and fenced fruit plantations, and reaches the next village, Hernádcéce in an hour.
The first house of the settlement is an abandoned building on the left side of the road, the box of the stamp is equipped on its wall (Hernádcéce village, stamping place). The Blue Trail doesn’t visit the centre of the village, it turns right at the first crossing, and leave the village soon. The dirt road crosses the plough fields, while it climbs the wide ridge of the long hill. Now our heading is east and we can see the Castle of Boldogkő exactly in front us! (Link to the panoramic view) The road descends on the other side of the hill, the small building of the railway stop of Boldogkőváralja village appears in the next valley. The road turns left at the rails, but we have to cross them, because the box of the Blue Trail’s stamp is on the doorpost of the small building beside the platform. We finish our long hike through the hills of Cserehát with this stamping. The mountains of Zemplén with wonderful castles and panoramas are waiting for us behind the small building of the railway stops! (Boldogkőváralja railway stop)
Attention! This is only a rarely used railway wing line, there are only two trains on a day in both direction! If we want to interrupt the hike, do it rather in Encs town, and not here!
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