EuroVelo 6 Blog: The Good, The Bad, and the Eurovelo 6 in Hungary

Exploring the Danube bike route through Hungary

If you’re wondering what what you’ll see along the EuroVelo 6 in Hungary, our EuroVelo 6 blog posts are here to help. We cycled almost the entire EuroVelo 6 route in Hungary, from Mohacs in the south, all the way to Slovakia in the north.

We kept a daily account of our experiences on our EuroVelo 6 blog, from Mohacs, then along the Danube to Baja and Budapest. From there, we headed north around the idyllic Danube bend, and right across the northern border with Slovakia.

Don’t miss our other posts about the EuroVelo 6:

Riding the Eurovelo 6 from Mohacs to Baja

Exploring charming Kalocsa and historic Paks

Creepy camping and the best bakery in Hungary

Into Budapest on the EuroVelo 6 →

Leaving Budapest along the EV6 →

Surviving a flood in northern Hungary →

This post is part of our 2-year, 22-country bike journey, in which we created a blog post for each day of our route. Head to our main cycle touring blog to learn more about cycle touring in Europe and Asia.

Read on to enjoy our…

EuroVelo 6 Blog: The Good, The Bad, and the Eurovelo 6 in Hungary

2146 km so far.

This morning as I was buying some fresh fruit and veggies from a produce store near the centre of Baja, Hungary Stephen was meeting some friendly Aussie bike tourists out in the square.

They are a few days into their 3-week trip from Budapest to Istanbul. It was hard to get our heads around the idea that you could get all the way to Istanbul in such a short time. It’s also good news for us, since we’re thinking of biking back south after we get to St. Petersburg, and we’d like to do it quickly, because winter is coming.

Campsite on The Danube, overlooking Kalocsa.

Campsite on The Danube, overlooking Kalocsa.

It was great to chat with them, compare notes (what maps do you use? how’s the EuroVelo 6 where you’ve been? how far do you go in a day? do you wear padded shorts?), and share our enthusiasm for seeing the world this way.

After getting stocked up on provisions, it was time to head back to the EuroVelo 6 – not before my order of “carrot cake muffin” at the coffee shop was translated into “decadent cupcake” by the waitress. Oh well, I was forced to eat it anyway.

Returning from the grocery store, Stephen went inside the coffee shop to make sure he got the carrot cake muffin he had wanted. “Czarrot Cake?,” the waitress asked. You can easily see why she’d mixed up my earlier request. I forgot the z, and “carrot cake” must mean “decadent strawberry icing cupcake” in Hungarian.

EuroVelo 6 Makeover

For the first 15 km of the EuroVelo 6 route out of Baja, which continues to follow the Danube levee, it was perfectly paved and pleasant.

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Tree in the poppy field near the EuroVelo 6 in Hungary.

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It’s a poppy sprite near Kalocsa in Hungary.

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More poppies along our EuroVelo 6 route.

Just after Stephen made some comment about the bad reports on the EuroVelo 6 in Hungary being wrong, we came to another “closed” sign. This time men were actually working to flatten the path, and there were trucks and tractors at the ready for paving. Clear evidence that this is a current work in progress, and not some half-finished abandoned “upgrade”.

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Clear evidence of paving to come on the EuroVelo 6.

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Another closed section of the EuroVelo 6. It’s sandier than it looks.

If you’re here in a few weeks, you’ll probably be able to ride right through on a newly paved bike route.

But today we had to find a way around.

According to Pocket Earth, our options were:

  1. Take the motorway, where bikes are banned, for 3 km until we could reach a smaller highway
  2. Chance a dirt road that may or may not be passable and may or may not lead back to an open section of the EuroVelo

We chose Option 2: Dirt Road, since it was early, relatively dry, and we had a short day planned. If it turned into Mud Road and we had to backtrack it wouldn’t be a big deal.

Avoiding the EuroVelo 6

The road was hard packed silty earth, a product of many vehicles driving across the flood plain. It was a bit bumpy, which on a fully loaded bike makes it impossible to be stealth, as you rattle and shake down the road. It must sound as though the local tin merchant is on his way.

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Another lookout tower. What are they for?

The only people to hear us were a family of Romani, who were sitting in the dirt track eating their lunch. Their tools for cultivating the fields were neatly laid out, one at the end of each row, as they sat and shared a meal. We felt a certain camaraderie with them, since we eat our lunch in similar circumstances every day. Of course, we also felt completely detached from them, since it’s impossible for us to imagine what their lives are like, and vice versa, I’d think.

I wonder what they must think of us as we rattle past the fields they know so intimately?

Our dirt path choice paid off, and we got back on the EuroVelo after a few kilometre detour. In this section, the track had been scraped, but construction sand not laid down yet, so the road was bumpy, but hard packed and fairly easy going. We passed by a surveyor who was marking the trail for further improvement work.

Eureka, Paprika!

Seeing a pleasant-looking church off the trail at the village of Fajsz, we got off for lunch, which we made and ate on a bench in a little park. We do get some odd looks as we slice up our bread and put our sandwiches together. But we always end up with delicious lunches, so it’s worth seeming a little weird.

We also decided we’d had enough of the EuroVelo 6 for one day. It was bumpy and slow, but even when it’s fully paved, it won’t be ideal. The trail follows the levee, which is scenic, but it misses all the interesting little towns and villages you’d normally ride through.

Exploring Kalocsa and the Paprika Museum

If we’d stayed on the EV6, we’d never have seen all the roadside merchants selling long strings of paprika. We later discovered, at the Paprika Museum in Kalocsa, that the area between Fajsz and Kalocsa is the key paprika-growing region in Hungary.

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We’re going to carry a tin like this with us, full of paprika.

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Paprika mill in Kalocsa at the Paprika Museum.

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For crunching paprika.

Today was our earliest arrival anywhere so far. By 2:30 we were accommodated, showered, and out on the town.

After the Paprika Museum, we’d seen everything of interest in town (yes, it’s the seat of the ArchDuke or something, but we didn’t feel like touring the library or the church).

Everything around here is being fixed. This is the big tourist attraction in Kalocsa.

Everything around here is being fixed. This is the big tourist attraction in Kalocsa.

So we repaired to a pub, where they had a dark German beer on tap. Except they only had the tap, not the beer. Oh well, Edelweiss sufficed for Stephen, while I had my new go-to drink, Somersby Cider.

T-shirts with nonsensical English slogans are very big in Hungary.

T-shirts with nonsensical English slogans are very big in Hungary.

Later, we ate pizza at the restaurant downstairs from our hotel, and watched the Men’s National Handball Championship with a couple of locals. Fortunately, their team won, so everyone was in high spirits by the time we said goodnight.

EuroVelo 6 Route Details

The EuroVelo 6 is a 3653 km bike route that runs from the west coast of France, through 10 countries, all the way to the east coast of Bulgaria. The quality of the route varies greatly by country — depending on how much money the government has chosen to sink into cycle touring infrastructure.

We cycled the EuroVelo 6 in Hungary in 2013, and there were signs of vast improvements being made. If you’ve cycled it since then, give us a shout and let us know if it’s any better than we found it.

Check here for detailed route maps

EuroVelo 6 Camping

There is plenty of camping available along the EuroVelo 6 in Hungary. Some of it is absolutely gorgeous, like our campsite in Baja or this one in Kalocsa.

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Campsite on The Danube, overlooking Kalocsa.

Sometimes, they can be a little creepy, like the empty nudist campground we experienced just off the EuroVelo 6 in the middle of nowhere.

  Happy mindful adventures, Jane & Stephen

Hi, I’m Jane, founder and chief blogger on My Five Acres. I’ve lived in six countries and have camped, biked, trekked, kayaked, and explored in 50! At My Five Acres, our mission is to inspire you to live your most adventurous life and help you to travel more and more mindfully.

5 comments

  1. Pingback: Cycling Idea: Across Europe EV6 4000km – Pepper's World. Notes to myself.

  2. Comment by Diane

    Diane Reply May 23, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Once again. The last one disappeared. Was just thinking you should try the goulash which is where the parika goes. Perhaps a tofu Goulash? Budapest is great wish I was there.

    Diane

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane May 26, 2013 at 1:22 am

      We’d love to try goulash, but so far haven’t found any meat-free varieties. There’s a veggie restaurant in Budapest that does traditional Hungarian dishes, so we’re going to try to get there. If not, we’ll just have to learn to make it ourselves. In the meantime, we’ve been making paprika-flavoured Mexican food. Also tasty.

  3. Comment by Kimberly

    Kimberly Reply May 23, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Love the photo of the campsite next to the Danube – simply lovely. Also, thanks for the “winter coming” chuckle – we are GOT fans and appreciated the humor. Keep pedaling and blogging!

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane May 26, 2013 at 1:26 am

      Thanks. The Danube is gorgeous in areas, and kind of scummy in areas, but it is blissfully flat, which is the chief attraction for us. I’ve been spending many hours on the bike pondering all the possible directions GOT storyline could go in next. I love that even though it’s mostly men who are the ones playing for power, the women are really controlling EVERYTHING. Just like real life!

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