E3 leads mostly on the track of the Great Plain Blue Trail in Hungary. Hiking on Blue Trails gives great opportunities for hikers, lone explorers, families, and nature-lovers to visit and discover new places and experience the world around us. The charm of hiking on Blue Trails is in recognizing the natural and cultural values of the country, but also in developing self-knowledge. If we set off alone, we get more time to pay attention inward, and if we go in company, we can acquire great community experience.
This Blue Trail has wonderful unique values of National Parks and Landscape Protection Areas. Its beauty has inspired many literary, musical and fine art works. The endless lowlands with wheat and sunflower fields waving in the light, summer breeze is the typical scene of this landscape. Hikers can experience the richness of authentic folk culture which is still existing and vivid today.
Sátoraljaújhely, at the Slovakian border (town: Slovenské Nové Mesto), coordinates: 48.400390, 21.666864.
Start here on Street Rákóczi marked with a red horizontal stripe
until you reach Street Vasvári Pál. Turn left on it and go along on this unmarked road for a few hundred meters. When you arrive to Street Árpád, you are on the Great Plain Blue Trail route, which is marked with a blue horizontal stripe.
This Blue Trails drives you through most parts of the E3 path in Hungary.
Ártánd, at the Romanian border (town: Borș), coordinates: 47.119538, 21.788002.
Leave the Great Plain Blue Trail route with its blue mark behind you after Nagykereki. At the end of the town, turn left on the secondary road (road number 4808) and go to Biharkeresztes (this takes about 9 km). On the main street (Street Kossuth) turn left and follow this unmarked road through Street Rákóczi. Cycling marks can be seen along this ca. 5 km route. Leave Ártánd and you arrive at the border to Romania.
Which cities and towns does the E-path pass through
Sátoraljaújhely – Alsóberecki – Felsőberecki – Karos – Karcsa – Pácin – Cigánd – Tiszakanyár – Rétközberencs – Kisvárda – Anarcs – Gyulaháza – Nyírkarász – Rohod – Kántorjánosi – Nyírderzs – Nyírbátor – Nyírbogát – Nyírlugos – Nyíracsád – Létavértes – Pocsaj – Kismarja – Nagykereki – Bedő – Biharkeresztes – Ártánd.
Most of them are small villages, the largest city is Sátoraljaújhely, and the E3 path goes close to Debrecen, the second largest city in Hungary. This list may change with the track of the Great Plain Blue Trail. For actual track check links below.
Total length of the E3 path in Hungary is 290 km. Please note, that the length can be varied, always look for the actual track on the links below.
Ground path of the E-path
The longest part of the path (275 km) goes on the Great Plain Blue Trail. At the beginning 1 km, and at the end 14 km is unmarked or has other sign.
The route has very different surfaces: asphalt is typical in towns, outside settlements dirt road is dominant (frequently going on small dams parallel to rivers and streams), but due to the geography of the Nyírség, sandy roads are at present on the northeastern parts of the Great Hungarian Plain.
Hungarian Hikers’ Association (Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség, short name MTSZ in Hungarian). MTSZ is responsible for the 3 long-distance Blue Trails in Hungary, while has received the right to keep a record of the standard waymarked-system in forestlands in Hungary. Therefore, Great Plain Blue Trail is officially managed by the association, but short sections with unmarked tracks along the E3 path (typically near borders) can be varying with road network. These are the official pages, they are available only in Hungarian:
Official page of the Hungarian Hikers’ Association (MTSZ)
Official page of Great Plain Blue Trail (managed by MTSZ)
Further information about Blue Trails (managed by MTSZ)
Booklet of the Great Plain Blue Trail is available which covers the longest part of the E3 in Hungary (only in Hungarian). Its data are updated in every year.
Official track of the Great Plain Blue Trail: AK-09 to AK-13 covers this E-path.
You can download GPX files (only track, only stamping locations, or both) and details of stamping locations in English in pdf format). The 3 Blue Trails together add up the National Blue Circle, which you can check here.
While travelling through the E3 path follow these in Hungary:
There is a specific, color- and shape-based standard waymark-system in Hungary managed by MTSZ and local organizations.
Great Plain Blue Trail has its own signpost system which you can see when you hike on a Blue Trail in Hungary. Yellow and blue signposts give you details about your location and sights along the route.
Another specialty is stamping locations along the Blue Trails. The Great Plain Blue Trail is a hiking movement with its ca. 870 km length. You can achieve it by following the track and collecting the unique stamps in the field into a booklet (it includes maps of the track and stamping places, you can order it from here, it is available only in Hungarian).
Crossing other E-paths
E4 path goes along with this one on the Great Plain Blue Trail for 275 km long (from Sátoraljaújhely to Nagykereki).
Since you travel through the countryside in rural areas, you pass a lot of tiny villages and towns. There is limited chance to book an accommodation online, but you can always find some on the spot; local people are very friendly and welcoming.
There are little shops and local groceries in every town. Besides, these are close to churches and pubs, meaning the center of the town.
Official page of local transportation (bus and train).
Keep in mind that these are small towns and buses are rare in periods of the year, so planning the trips in advance is recommended.
You don’t need any specific gear for this route. This section of the E3 path in Hungary crosses the Great Hungarian Plain, so the terrain is extremely flat (mostly 100-120 m.a.s.l.).
For weather forecast, other pages can be reliable, the official Hungarian site is here.