Worth a Visit: Fülöpháza

The “Hungarian Desert” is a fascinating little place located on the outskirts of a tiny town in Hungary called Fülöpháza, a short distance from Kecskemét. The area was formed when lakes dried up many years ago, and what was left when water drained was a series of rolling hills and sand dunes, with only 2 large dunes remaining today. This particular area is quite windy, and for whatever reason, a great deal of sand has built up over time. I wish we had more time to spend there – next time we might bring a sled! – but it is worth stopping in even if you have less than an hour to explore.

According to “Uncle Google,” the dunes are accessible from a little road called Sashegy, just off the main road (Route 52). There is a small area to park in the grass and hike out to the dunes, but there was a gate blocking the road so we weren’t able to drive out as we expected. Maybe if you have a four wheeler or dune buggy it could work! Either way, we didn’t have time for a 45 minute hike through the park to find the dunes, so we got creative. We opted to check out a back way. The map showed a narrow road off Route 52 where we could park and walk to the dunes in under 10 minutes. The map coordinates for where we parked are here. Other people arrived later so we knew it was totally legit. Once parked, the trail is fairly well worn and obvious to get out to the big main dune, and there is one other large dune just up over the hill past it. We were so lucky to be the first people there after the rain that morning, as the sand was smooth with only our footprints. The kids had so much fun running around, sliding and rolling down the hill, and practicing their acrobatics with a soft landing surface. They all ended up completely covered in sand, but it was easy enough to brush off before jumping back in the car.

There are a lot of insects, animals, and vegetation to investigate, so keep an open mind and keep your eyes out for interesting beetles, lizards, and even frogs! We saw a deer leap out of the woods as we were walking on the trail to the dunes. Awesome!

It’s windy! Expect to squint a lot if you don’t want to get sandy eyeballs!

This sandy dune area is located inside a larger reserve where there are tons and tons of walking trails and places to explore. It is a great place to bring the dog to run around – but keep in mind there are no facilities, so plan accordingly! Definitely make sure you have a car that can handle a little bit of off-roading. There is no entrance fee (at least at either entrance we saw) but I can imagine on a perfect summer day it could get crowded, so hit up the dunes early in the day OR do as we did and find your way there just after a storm for nice, smoothed out dunes. The sand feels great on bare feet, but sand does get everywhere, so make sure to bring a towel and maybe some water to rinse off with when you, the pup, and/or the kiddos are done playing!

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