The Travellers' Club - Holidays for discerning travellers Halnaker Park Cottage, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0QH
Telephone 01243 773597


1st - 10th October 2011

with Anthony Earl & Emesme Krisko

To book this tour, click here

COST: £1396, including flights to Budapest, transfers, accommodation with breakfast in comfortable 4 & 3* hotels, 4 dinners & 1 lunch with wine tasting, major entrance charges, guided visits.

EXTRAS: Single room £325, additional meals, optional visits to thermal baths or concerts, insurance.

Given its turbulent history and fractured ethnic composition, it is a small miracle that Hungary has survived. Indeed the turmoil, sheer bad luck and appearance of dynamic leaders justify the title of Sir Bryan Cartledge’s history: The Will to Survive. In our tour we shall find evidence of Croat, Transylvanian, Slavic, Turkish and German communities and note that one side of the country is predominantly Protestant, the other Roman Catholic and in both cases Islam has left its mark.
The rise of the Hapsburgs fostered the accumulation of wealth by the nobility, creating palaces & gardens of opulence and grandeur. The country enjoys a modulated patriotism, and present day Hungarians are proud of and not a little nostalgic for past success, notably under the Dual Monarchy, when Franz Josef was both Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, and his Empress enjoyed notable personal popularity.
Pecs is the country’s southern city, and Sarospatak, though little more than a village, is a key point in the intellectual history of Hungarian Protestantism and in links with present day Romania.

Saturday 1 October.  Depart Heathrow for Ferihegy airport, Budapest, and transfer by coach, a journey of about 2 hours, to Pecs: Palatinus Hotel (four star), a dignified town centre hotel in Secessionist grand manner, itself one of the monuments of the town. Pecs is a relaxing attractive city with evocative southern features. Dinner is included.
Sunday 2nd We take a walking tour of the town centre: Dom ter the ecclesiastical centre with cathedral and archbishop’s palace; the former mosque now the inner city parish church; the early Christian mausoleum; the Pasha Yakovali Hassan mosque;  gipsy museum and if time permits, the underground mining museum. Dinner is at your own choice (you may well wish to choose the hotel restaurant).

Monday 3rd We have a coach at our disposition and tour the surrounding countryside. Soundings will be taken of our travellers to decide the final route. Possibilities include the lakes and thermal villages in the Mecsek hills 15 km away, the German minority at Mecseknadasd, the Turkish traces left in Szigetvar, and the Ormansag National Park. Dinner in Pecs is at your choice.

Tuesday 4th We travel by coach, journey time four hours (but with a half way stop in the Hortobagy National Park in the Great Plain), to Sarospatak: Hotel Bodrog (three star). This charming small town in the Protestant area of the country, contains one of its most respected educational institutions: the Academy of which Comenius was headmaster. Dinner is included.

Wednesday 5th A stroll through the village take us to see the Academy, its school museum and its famous library. In the afternoon we shall visit the Rakoczi castle, with its Renaissance detail and its role in the history of Transylvania.  Dinner in the hotel is included.

Thursday 6th We take a coach tour of the Tokaj hills,  have a guided tour of the vineyard and cellars, and enjoy  a special lunch with wine tasting. The coach takes us through the countryside of sweeping broad hills. You may choose to have a light supper in the hotel in the evening.

Friday 7th Our coach now heads to Budapest, a journey of 4 hours, with a stop at the princely mansion of Gödöllö. Our hotel is the Erzebet (4*), conveniently located in the city. Dinner at the hotel. Note: musical opportunities are considerable, and the opera season is beginning. Anthony Earl will offer advice on tickets.

Saturday 8th A day to make or renew acquaintance with Hungary’s gracious capital, using public transport or walking. We spend the morning in Buda, in the National Museum, visiting the old houses, the ancient synagogue and the Lutheran church, not forgetting the famous Russwurm café and its pastries. After an early lunch, we take the coach to Holloko, a Paloc (Slavic )village which is now a World Heritage site. Dinner is at your choice, and the range of options is large.

Sunday 9th Travellers are advised on their own options, such are the possibilities in this city: some will not miss the Szepmuveszeti ( Fine Arts) Museum; others the Liszt and Kodaly museums. It may be possible to arrange a visit to the Orsaghaz (Parliament building). Excursions by train are quite feasible to Szentendre (the artists’ village), Aquincum (the Hungarian Pompeii) and to Esztergom (the ecclesiastical capital) Dinner this evening is provided.

Monday 10th Transfer to Ferihegy for flight to Heathrow