Hungarians are an active race as a rule and enjoy the great outdoors, pursuing a variety of sports. Facilities, consequently, are excellent and visitors will find no shortage of opportunities to indulge in their favourite pastime or to try a new one. The country has lots of water so water sport opportunities are plentiful, as are places for fishing if you an avid angler. Horseback riding is popular, having earned itself a place in modern day Hungary from its importance to the country’s early settlers.
Cycling enthusiasts will find Hungary lends itself to the pursuit of their favourite activity with each part of the country offering varying terrain and cycling conditions. The northern region is hilly and there are inclines that will challenge even the most experienced rider. The Buda and Borzsony hills are a good place to head if you like things on the steep side. The Great Plain is predominantly flat although winds can make riding a good deal tougher. Transdanubia is perhaps the gentlest area and that most suited to novice and intermediate riders. Cycling is forbidden on both motorways and the national highways numbered zero to nine. Lights and reflectors are required by law and police do stop cyclists without them.
Golfers get to indulge their passion at a variety of courses located in different parts of the country. The Budapest Golf Park and Country Club is the place to head for if you are holidaying in the capital; the club sits just 20 miles from the city centre and offers an 18-hole course plus equipment for hire. Slightly farther out from Budapest is the Pannon Golf and Country Club at Alcsútdoboz, 25 miles west of the city. The club also offers 18 holes and equipment rental facilities. One of the best courses away from the capital is the Hencse National Golf and Country Club. Here visitors will find a 90-hectare facility with 18 holes set amid picturesque forests and lakes.
Historically, the country has had a close and long relationship with the equine species dating back to the time of the Magyars. Today, Hungary has a large number of riding schools and stables distributed the length of the country, providing good opportunities for riding enthusiasts to enjoy some time in the saddle. During high season, it’s sensible to book ahead as riding is a popular activity with the locals and you face potential disappointment if you simply turn up and hope for the best.
Canoeing and kayaking can be pursued on organised trips, which follow either the Danube or the Tisza River. Visitors interested in such trips should ask at local travel operators or tourist information offices. Lakes around the country, such as Lake Pecs at Orfu and Lake Tisza at Tokaj, are the perfect places to enjoy a spot of sailing, with vessels for hire and lessons available also. Lake Balaton is perhaps the most popular place for sailing activities with Kiliantelep and Balatonszemes among the best locations although Tihany, Siofok, Balatonfured, Balatonboglar and Fonyod are also worth checking out.