OKT-14 / Hűvösvölgy – Rozália téglagyár

After a few months in lockdown, in a 38sqm apartment, Nóri and I were definitely ready for some countryside, trails and fresh air! We decided to get started on the rather substantial project that is the Országos Kéktúra, or National Blue Trail. It meanders across Hungary for 1168km, split into 27 sections of various distance, and we will be starting with section 14: OKT-14 / Hűvösvölgy – Rozália téglagyár.

There were two main reasons for this being our opening section. Firstly, at just over 14km, it is the shortest section of the the whole trail and an easy introduction to get our legs working again! Secondly it’s one of, if not the, easiest sections to reach by public transport from central Budapest, making it a straightforward day trip without really requiring much planning or equipment.

Start: Hűvösvölgy 

The start of OKT-14 is at Hűvösvölgy , or Cool Valley. As you can see this is very easily reachable by public transport, being the last stop of both the 56A and 61 trams along with several bus routes passing through. It is strongly encouraged to use public transport to get to and from the section points and it really couldn’t be easier in this case.

There is an OKT stamp location at the Gyermekvasút (Children’s railway) station, at the top of the stairs by the tram stop. There are two stamps located along the railway platform. The railway itself is a slightly strange concept, being entirely operated by children (except the drivers). It runs for 11km with 7 stations to Széchenyi-hegy, and was fully completed in 1950.

Stamp: Hármashatár-hegy

As you can see, I was very excited to get started on the trail and reach one of the first “landmarks” on this section, Oroszlán-sziklá (Lion rock). The journey to the first stamp at Hármashatár-hegy is around 8km and starts off with a some rolling hills before climbing up to the Árpád kilátó, where the first photo was taken of the view back to central Budapest.

A little further along is the Fenyőgyöngye Vendéglő restaurant, which is a convenient place to stop for a coffee or a lunch, depending on how relaxed your schedule is. After this, the proper climb up to Hármashatár-hegy begins! It was a cloudy and overcast day so it got a little chilly at the top, but the view was very nice! It was surprising to me how close we still were to Budapest, as it felt like a totally different world out in the trails. Yet, there was Margit-sziget, Gellért-hegy and everything in between.

Stamp: Virágos-nyereg

It’s only another 2km to the next stamp at Virágos-nyereg, although there are some slightly steep downhill parts to navigate. Although there had been days of storms and heavy rain before we set off, fortunately the previous 24 hours had been pretty much dry and the trails were in good condition and not muddy or slippery.

A friendly local cat was on hand to help with stamping the trailbook, and seemed convinced that I was doing something wrong

Finish: Rozália téglagyár

A final 4km brought us to the end of section 14 at Rozália téglagyár. The final part was gently downhill and felt quite fast and easy, so at the end it felt like a nice introduction to the trail and not a huge effort. It has definitely made me appreciate what Hungary has to offer in terms of the great outdoors, and I can’t wait to check off more sections of the trails and get stuck into some multi-day trips!

Returning to Budapest was almost as easy as the outbound journey. Less than half a kilometre from the final stamp location was a bus stop for the 218 to Vörösvári út where we switched to the 41 tram back to the city.

OKT-14 / Hűvösvölgy – Rozália téglagyár

Distance: 14.3km
Ascent: 525m
Descent: 625m
Stamps: 3
Time: 05:00
Pace: 21min/km
Weather: 20°C, Overcast

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