McDaniel College Budapest 

Tour of Western Hungary
This is the itinerary offered by Prof. Janos Szirmai, Art History professor, and tour guide leader.

Day 1

We will drive by bus along the M7 motorway to the historic city of Székesfehérvár.

Székesfehérvár Székesfehérvár
walk of the historic down town
Ruins of the first coronation church
After about an hour's drive we will stop in front of a gate and then will walk into the historic site of the first Hungarian coronation cathedral. We will visit not only the remains of the cathedral (11th-15th century) but in the red brick building in the background we will see a Roman sarcophagus recarved during the early Middle Ages and said to be the coffin of our first king, Saint Stefan or Stephen I.

All roads are leading to Rome: remains of a Roman settlement

After a short walk in the historic downtown area, visiting among sites a Gothic chapel, we will return to the bus and leave to drive to the exciting site of a Roman settlement, Gorsium.

We will visit the excavated center of the settlement including the Villa of the Governor, the Forum and a building with remnants of wall paintings.

Leaving this site a short time later we will arrive at Lake Balaton, the "Hungarian Sea" and will cross it by ferry at the Tihany peninsula.

Tihany peninsula Tihany peninsula
Tihany peninsula
The tomb of the founding king and a letter: first written Hungarian words are located in the lower church one of the earliest Christian churches of Hungary (11th century)
the Abbey Church on the peninsula
We will walk down the streets lined with old, stone-houses in the fisherman' s village, wonder at the panorama of the lake and visit the Abbey founded in early Medieval times and the early Romanesque lower church with the tomb of King András I, founder of the church and the abbey in the 11th century.

Overnight we will stay at the oldest resort on the Lake, Balatonfüred. We will have rooms in at a nice guest house looking out on the lake and will have our dinner on the promenade of the town.

Day 2

Driving through the vineyards of the upper Balaton region our first stop will be Nagyvázsony to visit the medieval castle of the fabulous Pál Kinizsi.

A real Medieval fortification A real Medieval fortification
A real Medieval fortification
We will continue our trip driving through the Bakony hills towards the city of Tapolca. We will walk around the Inner Lake with its old mill and go down into the famous cave, where you may also have a boat trip on the lake in the cave.

A nice inner pond with a traditional mill and a cave A nice inner pond with a traditional mill and a cave
Our next, important duty is to find a good place to eat and taste the famous wines - like Gray Monk, Italian Risling - of the region. Usually, we also look for a place with a fantastic view of the lake.

The vine region on the lake The vine region on the lake
Our final stop on Day 2 is the biggest city of the Western-Balaton region: Keszthely. Here we will stay at Beta Hotel Phoenix, a hotel right on the lake

the city still shows the influence of the activity of the Festetics family These noblemen created a fantastic French type Chateau (we shall spend the night in it!)
It become a scientific center
Festetics library
Day 3

After having had a hearty breakfast, we will leave for the Festetics Palace, an 18-19th century French Chateau. It has been saved and restored and refurbished to show the lifestyle of the high nobility of Austro-Hungarian times.

On the way back to Budapest we will stop at Sümeg to visit the 18th century Catholic church with lovely Baroque frescos and to see the medieval castle on the Castle Hill.

A real Medieval castle + some Baroque frescos in the church A real Medieval castle + some Baroque frescos in the church
Another exciting stop will be at the headquarters of the world famous porcelain manufacturer Herend, where we can visit the museum in the old factory building (built in 1826), and the workshop, where items are still hand painted.

A real The Porcelain! The Porcelain!
Herend – The Porcelain!