Prologue

Official Announcement of the Countrywide Blue Tour
Useful advices
Table of distances, elevation gains and estimated times
Detailed table of tour-sections
Table of by-pass roads along the CBT
Table of available hiker maps covering the CBT

Badges for the accomplishment of parts of the CBT


Dear Nature-friend,

We are pleased to welcome you in the populous family of the CBT hikers. You are not alone on your walks, because this booklet is your faithful helpmate (from which this webpage was translated) with all the data and the maps within it. The blue trail markers on tree trunks, columns and buildings and the booklet will faithfully accompany you (or lead you) on your way from the peak of Írott-kő to the village of Hollóháza, along this 1100 km long trail.

  

The newest booklet and a sample page from it

  

An older version of the booklet with a sample page

When you reach your next stamping-place along your journey, please stop for a moment and think about the group of voluntary activists who made and who take care of the trail, the trail markers and the stampers.

This movement helps us to discover the nature, the manmade creations, the history and to meet the people of Hungary within the frames of hiking.

Everyone can walk along the Blue for her/his own pleasure. However the Badge of the Countrywide Blue Tour is a sign of a notable and remarkable achievement in sports, and it is officially granted and registered. In order to have one, the following official rules and regulations shall be kept precisely. In this way, you will be able to apply for the Badge when the whole route is accomplished.

We wish you a lot of everlasting memories, pleasant experiences, sunny weather, power and health for your successful accomplishment in the forthcoming years.

Hungarian Nature-Friends' Association

I Cannot Know...

How others see this region, I cannot understand:
to me, this little country is menaced motherland
with flames around, the world of my childhood swaying far,
and I am grown from this land as tender branches are
from trees. And may my body sink into the soil in the end...

(Miklós Radnóti)

The Hiker Section of the Lokomotív Sport Club of Budapest announced the walk crossing the country on the "Blue" hiking path (or simply the "Blue") in 1952.

The Committee of the Hiker Section of the Railway Employee's Trade Union developed the movement on national level and published the first booklet with some details and sketches about the whole route within.

Later the organization and the control of the Countrywide Blue Tour was taken over by the Hungarian Nature-Friends' Association (because the huge number of hikers) in 1961, so the accomplishment become available through all the local Nature-Friends' Associations and individually also.

With the decision of the EWV (European Ramblers' Association) the Countrywide Blue Tour was integrated into the long distance trail network of the continent. So first the a Kőszeg-Budapest, than (since 1995) the Kőszeg-Sátoraljaújhely section of the Countrywide Blue Tour is part of the E4 long distance trail.

This booklet is a modernized and revised reprint of the previous edition of the "Itinerary and Confirmation Booklet of the Countrywide Blue Tour". The distance and elevation data is included with the permission of "turistautak.hu".

Acknowledgements: András Kolesár and Zoltán Tamás Petró!

Field-work: András Bozó, László Kammel and Vencel Pálmai

Editorial works: Vencel Pálmai

Publisher:

Magyar Természetbarát Szövetség (Hungarian Nature-Friends' Ass.)

1065 Budapest, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 31. II.3., Hungary

Mail: H-1396 Budapest, Pf. 483, Hungary

Tel.: (+36-1) 311-2467, (+36-1) 311-9289

Fax.: (+36-1) 353-1930

Internet: http://www.termeszetjaro.hu/

E-mail: mtszhir@enternet.hu


ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE COUNTRYWIDE BLUE TOUR

  1. The aim of the Countrywide Blue Tour (CBT): to give a chance to the hikers to do sports regularly as they walk on the route, and help them to get acquainted with the life and everyday work in different parts of our country and the advance of Hungary. To help and inspire the hikers to discover the natural beauties, the history, the geography, the hydrogeology and the various creations of different centuries.

  2. The coordinator of the Tour: the Hungarian Nature-Friends' Association (HNFA). In Hungarian: "Magyar Természetbarát Szövetség" (MTSZ)

  3. The route of the Tour: the 1128 km long "Countrywide Blue" (marked with a blue stripe between two white ones)  running through the points mentioned in the Official Booklet, from the peak of Írott-kő in the County of Vas to the village of Hollóháza in the County of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén.

  4. Checkpoints: marked with an icon of a stamper in the Booklet. Generally they are in settlements (in small shops, bars, offices, etc.), or at train or bus stops, but anyway the name of the exact place is always named in the Booklet in the framed boxes, within the stampings are have to be done for verification.

  5. Accomplishment of the Tour: you can accomplish the Tour on your own or in a group, from the age of 6, regardless of your nationality, in any direction, divided into any number of sections in any order, on foot or by ski (or combined). The duration and the date is not limited nor fixed.

  6. The validation of the accomplishment: the participant hiker must prove (without rebuke) the accomplishment of the route of the CBT and the crossing of all the checkpoints. Usually it is done with the stamping, and the dating of the proof at every checkpoint using the personal Booklet. The hiker must stamp at every checkpoint. If it is not possible, than any other local stamps with the name of the (closest) settlement displayed on it are going to be accepted. The hiker must stamp at the end and at the beginning of a hike. So if an official section is not accomplished in one day or on successive days without any interruptions, then the hiker should stamp twice (at the end of day one, and at the beginning of day two) into the framed box of the checkpoint where the section was interrupted, except if the checkpoint is at the end or at the beginning of an official section - because then there are two boxes, one for the end of the first, and one for the beginning of the second official section. If it is not possible to stamp at all, than photographs will also be accepted, as long as the hiker and the checkpoint are both recognizable on it. After the accomplishment of the whole route, the personal Booklet has to be handed over to the competent committee of the Nature-Friends' Association of Budapest, or the County where the hiker is registered at. Then the accomplishment will be checked and validated, and if it is everything OK, then the Badge will be handed over.

  7. The Badge of the Blue Tour: anyone who accomplishes the Blue Tour obtains the Blue Tour Badge of HNFA, which is free of charge for the members of the HNFA. Without the certificate of membership, the hiker has to pay the actual production cost of the badge. The Badge (that you can see on the cover of the Personal Booklet) is an irregular quadrangle with a trail (with a Blue trail marker on a post) going to the direction of the mountains, and in a red stripe below there is a subtitle saying "Országos Kék-túra MTSZ" (Countrywide Blue Tour HNFA). The Badge is handed over by the centre of the HNFA on a small ceremony - if it is possible. The HNFA keeps a record of the people who accomplished the CBT.

  8. You can accomplish the Blue Tour several times. In that case, the badges after the first have to be bought by the hiker.

  9. The Hungarian Nature-Friends' Association announced the Children's Blue Tour (ChBT or Gyermek Kéktúra - GYKT in Hungarian) with a reduced distance of 300 km for the children between 6 and 14. The ChBT has nine regions.

    Regions of the Children's Blue Tour (Hungarian names in brackets):

    1. Kőszeg - Kemeneshát

    2. The Highland of Balaton (Balaton-felvidék)

    3. Bakony

    4. Vértes - Gerecse

    5. The Mountains of Pilis and Buda (Pilis - Budai-hegység)

    6. Börzsöny - Cserhát

    7. Mátra

    8. The Mountains of Bükk and Aggtelek (Bükk - Aggteleki-hegység)

    9. The Mountains of Cserehát and Zemplén (Cserehát - Zempléni-hegység)

    A Regional Badge of the Children's Blue Tour can be obtained with the accomplishment of at least 50 km in a region. The Badge of the ChBT can be obtained, with the accomplishment of at least 300 km. In case there is a leader who organizes and leads the a group of at least 6 children, he or she can also obtain the badge (payment as described in point 7).

    Only one Badge can be obtained within a region.

    The distance accomplished within the ChBT can be included in the accomplishment of the CBT as well.

    The validation process is the same as it is in the case of the CBT.

  10. Other remarks: the route of the CBT can not be changed by the members or committees of the County's or Local Nature-Friends' Associations, or by any other hiker organizations! The suggestions (if there are any) on alternative routes should be forwarded to the HNFA.


USEFUL ADVICES

If there is a change in the route of the CBT during the accomplishment (and it is published in a new edition of the Personal Booklet), the hiker does not need to repeat the previously completed and validated sections on the new route, and stamp at the new checkpoints according to the new Booklet, because the earlier route was valid at the time of her/his walk. However it is not advised to start your next section on the old route, because it may cross private and prohibited areas, therefore there will not be any stamps at the old checkpoints.

You have to stamp only at particular places (village, railroad station, tourist hostel or forester's house, etc.), where the name of the checkpoint is prescribed in the corresponding box of your Personal Booklet. You do not need to stamp at those railroad stations or train stops, which are shown within brackets, only if they are the starting or ending points of your hike, because the distances between the route of the CBT and these buildings are bigger than 0.5 km. (However, much of the hikers use to stamp on those places, because there is a box for those in the Booklet - and so they have a "full" booklet at the and of their completion.)

If it is possible, you always have to use the official stamp of the HNFA or the circle stamp with a dater from the Hungarian State Railways Ltd (you can ask for it at the stations). If the stampers are lost or damaged, than any local stamp (from a company, an office, a shop, school, church, etc.) with the name of the settlement on it will be accepted. It is possible to ask for a dated stamp (cancellation stamp) at the Post Offices, but then the officer may ask you to buy one stamp into your Booklet.

There is a written agreement between the HNFA and the Hungarian State Railways Ltd and the pubs where official stempers are held, but please never ask for the stampers with a pretentious tone.

It is useful (and advised) to carry an ink pad with you along your hikes, because the inking of the official stampers can not be guaranteed.

There could be several cases, when buildings marked as tourist hostels ("turistaház" or "th." in Hungarian) in the Booklet are not hostels any more in reality, but they are restaurants, pensions or buildings under reconstruction. The reason for it is that these kinds of changes are very common, and there is no possibility to correct the Booklet immediately or permanently.

If unavoidable events (such as mining, forest works, a closed road, erosion by sudden rainfall, etc.) make impossible the accomplishment of the officially marked route, please immediately inform the Walking Committee of the Hungarian Nature-Friends' Association (by telling the exact place of it).

We also kindly ask you to tell us all your other problems in connection with the Tour. Feel free to write an e-mail to the Walking Committee of the HNFA about the possible shortcomings along the trail and your experiences about the route.

The elevation values are valid in the direction from Írott-kő to Hollóháza, with "+" numbers meaning the elevation gain in this direction, and the "-" numbers meaning the elevation loss. The time estimates were calculated assuming a normal walking speed of 4 km/h, and that every 10 m of elevation gain lengthens the time needed with 1 minute. But please keep in mind, that bad weather conditions (snow, ice, mist, fog, mud, wind, twilight, etc.), hard, steep terrain, heavy equipment and pack (food for several days, tent, etc.), children or beginners (or injured participants) can significantly lengthen your hiking time.

Below the Table of distances, elevation gains and estimated times, a separate table contains the same kind of data of the so called "by-pass roads" between the route of the CBT and some particular checkpoints and railway stations at the end or at the beginning of sections (if the distance is bigger than 0.2 km from the CBT).

1 km equals to 0.6214 mile and 1 m equals to 3.28 feet (for the "non SI people").

Everyone who has accomplished the CBT can buy a special "CBT Buttonhole-Badge" at the centre of HNFA, but only once!


TABLE OF DISTANCES, ELEVATION GAINS AND ESTIMATED TIMES:

  distance (km)   elev. gain (m)    loss (m)   time (h:m)
1. section:  Írott-kő - Sárvár 69.5 541 1265 18:11
2. section:  Sárvár - Sümeg 72.3 553 518 18:58
3. section:  Sümeg - Keszthely 43.8 792 835 12:11
4. section:  Keszthely - Tapolca 27.0 510 5097:35
5. section:  Tapolca - Badacsonytördemic 16.7 477 3944:57
6. section:  Badacsonytördemic - Nagyvázsony 45.4 1646 134014:02
7. section:  Nagyvázsony - Városlőd-Kislőd railyay station 24.1 603 5577:00
8. section:  Városlőd - Zirc 41.0 1128 104512:03
9. section:  Zirc - Bodajk, Csókakő railway station58.9 1338 157816:53
10. section:  Bodajk, Csókakő railway station - Szárliget 49.7 1322 123514:34
11. section:  Szárliget - Dorog 65.1 2000 209819:32
12. section:  Dorog - Piliscsaba railway station.18.6 504 4025:27
13. section:  Piliscsaba - Hűvösvölgy 20.9 541 5296:07
14. section:  Hűvösvölgy - Rozália Brickyard (Bécsi road) 14.2 496 6023:45
15. section:  Rozália Brickyard (Bécsi road) - Dobogókő 22.2 1058 4867:17
16. section:  Dobogókő - Visegrád, ferry24.2 611 12007:02
17. section:  Nagymaros - Nógrád 38.7 1571 146512:15
18. section:  Nógrád - Becske 60.2 1806 183918:02
19. section:  Becske - Mátraverebély 69.6 2047 208720:43
20. section:  Mátraverebély - Mátraháza 27.6 1303 7749:05
21. section:  Mátraháza - Sirok 21.6 854 14246:48
22. section:  Sirok - Szarvaskő 19.9 582 5125:55
23. section:  Szarvaskő - Putnok 57.3 2085 216417:44
24/a. section:  Putnok - Aggtelek 31.1 672 460 8:52
24/b. section:  Aggtelek - Bódvaszilas 31.4 943 11389:20
25. section:  Bódvaszilas - Boldogkőváralja 62.7 1190 119217:35
26. section:  Boldogkőváralja - Bányi Saddle 51.6 1580 1557 15:39
27. section:  Bányi Saddle - Hollóháza 42.9 1460 134513:08
Sum.: 1128.2 30213 30550

332:24

Detailed table of the tour sections


TABLE OF BY-PASS ROADS ALONG THE CBT:

    distance (km)    elev. gain (m)   time (min)
at the 1. section:  Kőszeg railway station - CBT 1.710 26
 Ölbő-Alsószeleste railway station - CBT 0.8 1013
at the 2. section:  Ötvös railway station - CBT 1.1- 16
at the 3. section:  Keszthely railway station - CBT 1.2- 18
at the 4. section:  Tapolca railway station - CBT 0.8- 12
at the 8. section:  CBT - Németbánya 0.3- 5
at the 9. section:  CBT - Bakonynána0.5 -8
 CBT - Jásd 0.420 8
at the 10. section:  CBT - Mindszentpuszta 0.2- 3
 CBT - Castle of Gesztes0.5 3010
at the 14-15. section:  Bécsi road, bus n. 18. - Rozália Brickyard, CBT 0.5- 8
at the 18. section:  CBT - Magyarkút, Irma-spring0.3- 5
 CBT - Becske-alsó railway station1.2 -18
at the 21. section:  CBT - Kékestető, Sanatorium0.3 -5
at the 23. section:  CBT - Telekessy Shelter 0.2 205
at the 24/b. section:
 CBT - Bódvaszilas railway station0.5- 7
at the 27. section:  Sátoraljaújhely railway station - Bányi Saddle 5.4 277108
Sum.: 15.9 367

275


TABLE OF AVAILABLE HIKER MAPS COVERING THE CBT:

Hungarian title English title Scale Publisher
Kőszegi-hegység Mountains of Kőszeg 1:25000 Kőszeg Tourist
Kőszegi-hegység és környékeMts. of Kőszeg and its environment 1:4000013
Kemeneshát - Marcal-medence  Kemeneshát and the Basin of Marcal 1:50000    MTSZ
Zalai-dombság (Kelet)  The Hills of Zala (Eastern part)1:50000MTSZ
Keszthelyi-hegység Mountains of Keszthely 1:4000034
Balaton  Lake Balaton 1:40000 41
Bakony északi rész  Mountains of Bakony - Northern part 1:40000 2
Bakony déli rész Mountains of Bakony - Southern part 1:40000 3
Keleti-Bakony The Eastern Bakony 1:40000 TÁJOLÓ 98 Bt.
Vértes  Vértes Mountains 1:40000 20
Gerecse  Gerecse Mountains 1:40000 1
Pilis és a Visegrádi-hegység  Pilis Mts. and the Mts. of Visegrád 1:40000 16
Budai-hegység és a Pilis Mountains of Buda and the Pilis Mts. 1:30000 Térkép-Center
Budai-hegység  Mountains of Buda 1:40000 6
Börzsöny  Börzsöny Mountains 1:40000 5
Börzsöny Börzsöny Mountains 1:30000 Térkép-Center
Gödöllői-dombság  The Hills of Gödöllő 1:50000 MTSZ
Cserhát  Cserhát Mountains 1:60000 8
Mátra  Mátra Mountains 1:40000 14
A Mátra és a Mátraalja Mátra Mountains and the Mátraalja 1:30000 Térkép-Faragó Bt.
Bükk északi rész  Bükk Mountains (Northern part) 1:40000 29
Bükk déli rész  Bükk Mountains (Southern part) 1:40000 30
Bükk szabadidő és turistatérképe The Freetime activity map of Bükk   Z-Press
Aggteleki karszt és környéke  The Karst of Aggtelek and its env. 1:40000 1
Cserehát  The Hills of Cserehát 1:50000 Csereháti Településszöv.
Zempléni-hegység északi rész Mountains of Zemplén (Northern part)1:40000 22

Nowadays the whole route of the Countrywide Blue Tour is well covered with maps. There is also a very useful and informative CBT Atlas (in two volumes, with all the maps included), with detailed description of the route, the geography, the flora and fauna and also with the history of the regions. It is available only in Hungarian, but it is a "must have" if you would like to accomplish the route without buying more than twenty folded maps... So it is very practical. The Hungarian titles and the ISBN numbers are the following: Volume I. - Az Országos Kéktúra Írott-kőtől Budapest-Hűvösvölgyig (ISBN 963 352 535 7 CM) | Volume 2. - Az Országos Kéktúra Budapest-Hűvösvölgytől Hollóházáig (ISBN 963 352 536 5 CM).

You can buy these maps in map-shops and in all the larger bookstores. The table was updated in May, 2007. The maps with a number in the Publisher column are published by Cartographia Kft.

There is also a free and daily updated, very detailed map of Hungary (with hiking trails and elevation contours) for GPS devices, which you can download from turistautak.hu.


BADGES FOR THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF PARTS OF THE CBT:

Beside the Blue Tour Badge of HNFA, there are three other badges that you can apply for after the accomplishment of specified sections of the Countrywide Blue Tour. These so called "Hikers' Movements for Badges" are organized by the Nature-Friends' Association of the County of Csongrád, the NFA of the County of Heves and by the NFA of the County of Veszprém. You can find their official regulations and some practical information in the paragraphs below (the Hungarian names are also shown in the titles).

Hikers' Movement for a Badge - The CBT from Dorog to Nográd - "A Dorogtól Nógrádig jelvényszerző túramozgalom": Terms and conditions: to be able to apply for the Badge of the Movement, the Hiker have to be a member of the HNFA and the Hiker have to accomplish the Countrywide Blue Tour's sections between Dorog and Nógrád (so she/he has to collect all the stamps at the checkpoints of these sections). Application procedure: the Hiker have to send a copy of the relevant pages (page 7 - personal information, and pages from 38 to 48 - the stamps from the checkpoints) from her/his Personal Booklet to the mail address of the County's NFA (Csongrád Megyei Természetbarát Szövetség - Tábor u. 7/b., Szeged, 6722, Hungary). They will send the Badge within 2 or 3 weeks, and ask the Hiker to pay the actual production cost and the postage of the Badge using a so called "pink cheque". For more information, please make a phone call to the NFA of the County of Nógrád. Please call them within office hours (4:30 PM - 6:30 PM on Wednesday) and use +36-62-548096.

Hikers' Movement for a Badge - The CBT Across the Mátra and the Bükk Mountains - "A Mátra-Bükk útjain jelvényszerző túramozgalom": Terms and conditions: to be able to apply for the Badge of the Movement, the Hiker have to  accomplish the Countrywide Blue Tour's sections between Mátraverebély and Putnok (so she/he has to collect all the stamps at the checkpoints of these sections). The application procedure: the Hiker have to present personally the relevant pages (page 7 - personal information, and pages from 56 to 63 - the stamps from the checkpoints) of her/his Personal Booklet at the NFA of the County of Heves (Heves Megyei Természetbarát Szövetségnél - Dobó tér 6/a, Eger, 3300, Hungary). You can find the street number 6/a on the Eszperantó promenade between Dobó square and Lajos Kossuth street. There is a multi-storey building with an "APEH" inscription at the entrance. The NFA is on the 3rd floor, please ask for István Franczia. For more information, please call +36-36-312888 (within office hours - between 2 PM and 5 PM on Thursday). They will ask you to pay the production cost also. [Source of information: the editors of okt.rulz.hu]

Hikers' Movement for a Badge - The CBT in the County of Veszprém - "A Veszprém Megyei Kéktúra jelvényszerző túramozgalom": Terms and conditions: to be able to apply for the Badge of the Movement, the Hiker have to be a member of the HNFA and the Hiker have to accomplish the Countrywide Blue Tour's sections between Sümeg and Bodajk (so she/he has to collect all the stamps at the checkpoints of these sections). The application procedure: the Hiker have to send a copy of the relevant pages (page 7 - personal information, and pages from 18 to 31 - the stamps from the checkpoints) from her/his Personal Booklet to the mail address of the County's NFA (Veszprém Megyei Természetbarát Szövetség - Wartha Vince u. 3., Veszprém, 8201, Hungary). The NFA will send the Badge within 2 or 3 weeks, and ask the Hiker to pay the actual production cost and the postage of the Badge (they will send the "bill" also with the Badge). For more information, please phone Éva Mag (leader of the NFA of the County of Veszprém). There are two phone numbers: within office hours (after 2:30 PM on Tuesday) use +36-70-2525697, otherwise please call their central number: +36-88-426211.

This page is based on The Official Personal Booklet (edition 2007) and personal experiences.

Attention! This page is NOT an official translation (and there is no official translation at all)!