Hortobagy is an 800 km² world-famous national park. It is a beautiful grassland that has been used by humans for grazing their domestic animals for many decades. By establishing the national park it was possible to preserve the most valuable animals and birds of Hungary.
Whenever Hungary is mentioned somewhere in the world, it is sure that Hortobagy is also referred to. According to a famous Hungarian poet this is a magical place where the sky and land flow into each other. The preserved park, known as Puszta was established in 1973 and famous for its extremely rich culture, history and folklore. It is a protected area which was elected among the World Heritage sites in 1999. Its fantastic landscape is a national treasure.
Well at first sight it looks like there is nothing here. Visitors are not able to see here mountains, hills, high buildings. This memorable sight is the largest continuous natural grassland in Europe. It is a protected area with outstanding landscape features, where people and nature live in harmony. It is a world-famous land where winters are bitter and summers are hot and the land has shimmering images. The mirage is a spectacular sight on hot summer days.
This flat land is simply decorated with thatched-roofed houses, isolated farms and countless sweep-poles. These ancient herdsmen’s buildings made of reed are very simple, but very practical.
There is a saying in Hungary that God created Hungarians to sit on the back of a horse. Yes indeed. They surely have a long tradition to justify the saying.
People usually visit Hortobagy to see the Hungarian horsemen and their fantastic show. For Hortobagy visitors, seeing a horse show is highly recommended. There are organized horse carriage tours for tourists. Tour guides take the visitors on a scenic drive to the Puszta where the landscape is covered with huge, isolated farms. This is the place where Magyar cowboys called the "csikos" greet tourists and demonstrate their exceptional riding skills during a very unique show. Hortobagyi shepherds wore a wide-rimmed hat. By their hat on the left-hand side they wore a feather, which designated their rank. Blue wrangler shirt and trousers recall the outfit of the first cavalry unit of the 1848-49 war of independence.
The entertainment starts with a horse parade, followed by all sorts of spectacular exercises. The horse riders make the horse sit and lay down and they drive five horses at once. And of course, tour guides are happy to introduce everyone to the history of the land.
Mata Stud's stallion barns are open to visitors during work hours. One of its most popular program is the country carriage ride in the puszta which allows visitors to observe the Nonius breed horses, the Hungarian grey cattle, the water buffalos, the Racka sheep, and the Mangalitsa swine in their natural habitat, and meet the csikos (herdsmen) and the gulyas (cattlemen). It is a fun event; tourists are encouraged to see it. See the pictures below!
Program times: April through October -- 10.00 AM, 12.00 noon, 2.00 PM, 4.00 PM
• Adults: 2,400 HUF/person
• Children (5-15 years): 1,200 HUF/person
• Children under 5 enter for free
Enjoy the video, discover Hungary!