Hungary is known for its lowlands and excellent wine but there are also a few high mountain ranges. Hungarian highest peak Kékes is even more than 1000 m high! With exactly 1014 m, it can challenge you for a steep climb by bike and it also offers a ski resort for winter activities. This article will give you all information you need before your visit including practical information, a map and my personal experience.
Important information for visiting the highest point of Hungary – Kékes
Short description of the ascent: Short easy walk Essential equipment: Nothing special, it's a short walk Best time to visit: All year round Fees or restrictions: No Camping allowed: No Height of the peak: 1014 m Hiking distance: 212 m Time to ascend: 5 min Elevation climbed: 18 m Water availability on the mountain: Multiple small stalls and a hut on the peak Difficulty level: * (6 stars maximum) Personal rating of the mountain: ** (6 stars maximum) Beer on the peak: Soproni klasszikus (classic lager) ** (6 stars maximum)
Map of the short walk to Kékes
My story of reaching Kékes with personal tips
I climbed Kékes as a part of my project European Peaks during which I climbed the highest peak of every European country. I first planned to reach the peak by bike but I lost three extra days in High Tatras due to bad weather so I only had 24 hours to stay in Hungary. That’s why I decided the easiest possible way to the mountain Kékes and I rented a car. The mountain is situated only 100 km from Budapest so it was not a long trip. I arrived to the mountain very late at night and I didn’t book any accommodation so Kekés became the first mountain on my expedition where I slept in a car.
Sunrise at Kékes
The parking lot was situated only 200m from the actual peak so it wasn’t really difficult to wake up early to catch sunrise. Since there is a deep forest on the mountain there isn’t really a view so I wanted to visit the observation tower.
I had to wait a bit longer until the tower opened. That means I still could sleep 3 more hours. The sunrise is very early at 4:30 a.m. during summer. I was woken up by arriving cars. I found out quickly that the mountain is actually pretty popular among Hungarians. Around 9 am the parking lot was already full and the mountain became busy with small stalls and many curious tourists. I became a bit sad that I didn’t have more time for conquering the Hungarian highest peak because there were many cyclists coming to the top. That must have been a challenge!
My destination finally opened too so I could enjoy views over the Hungarian countryside. I became mostly interested by the view of many wine fields at the bottom of the mountains.
Try amazing Hungarian wineries in the Eger region
I still had half a day before my night train to Romania so I decided to visit some local winery. I quickly checked the best winery according to Google Maps and a place called Szöke Mátyás Pincészet seemed to be the most interesting one.
When I arrived there I actually learnt that I am in one of three most famous wine regions in the whole Hungary called Eger. I quickly became very sad that I visited this winery by car. Tasting without being able to drink wine is one of the saddest activities, especially after I found out that the winery I chose won the Hungarian national wine competition in many categories. This is definitely a good reason to come back!
My tips for the mountain Kékes:
- Come early to avoid crowds
- For a view visit the observation tower and check its opening times in advance.
- If you like biking, this is a perfect spot. There were many cyclists reaching the peak.
- If you decide coming here in winter you can go skiing! There is a lift going to the top.
- After visiting Kékes, visit one of the local wineries in the Eger region.