North Great Plain

The Hortobágy National Park area offers you the experience of getting out into some big open space right here in the heart of Europe, with nothing else in sight but loads of cranes and other birds, plus the native horned grey cattle.

In the summer, the quivering hot air over the endless grassland creates funny illusions and mirages. This is where gulyás (aka goulash) was invented, by herdsmen who dumped all their food in one pot over a fire, added some paprika, and there it was. The Plain is not only about rural idyll though. There are cities too with all the mod cons, culture and fun. Debrecen, Hungary's second largest city, known as the Calvinist Rome, stands on the edge of the prairie with its gorgeous main square and huge university. For a culture fix, check out the centre of contemporary art with the largest exhibition hall in Central Europe, Modem. Although the Great Plain is the driest and sunniest part of the country, there are plenty of spa cities here where you can soak, splash, and heal. Why not start with the largest spa complex in Europe, in Hajdúszoboszló, where they know the secret of how to cure back pain?