I’m wrapping up my winery tours in Hungary, with more to come later on Lake Balaton and Villany, but first a few pics and bits of info on Eger.
As I always tell people, it pays to get out of the big capital cities, especially in Europe, if you want to get more for your money. It also gets you away from the huge sightseeing crowds as well. Witness Eger, where I only saw two tour buses all day. I saw that many every five minutes in Budapest. Prices dropped in half at the restaurants and you can get around most of the town on foot, making it much easier on your sanity and your wallet.
Not to mention it’s a great place to visit. This is an old city dating back some 900 years at least, with a castle, very old churches, and Turkish mosques since turned into churches. It’s nice for a stroll, for whiling away time in cafes, and just enjoying the architecture.
This is also one of Hungary’s main wine regions and some of the best stuff I tasted in a week of great wine came from this area. There are some talented winemakers really pushing Hungary to a new level, as well as dozens more that are happy to sell you simple wine on the cheap. For that, go to the Valley of the Beautiful Women on the edge of town, where you can go from cellar by only taking a few steps. After enough stops, all the women will start looking beautiful indeed.
The one standout in The Valley is the cellar of award-winning winemaker Sike Tamás. Head there if you’re really into good wine. Or, every week on Thursday, you can pay 5,000 florint (about $28) and go to six quality wineries on a tram, tasting different varieties at each one. For more on the options, see the Eger Wine Trail Society site. They’ll take care of everything if you want to put the planning in their hands.