Located in the southwestern part of Hungary, within the Danube and Drava floodland areas, Danube-Drava National Park is an ideal day trip from the lovely city of Pécs. It’s home to hundreds of protected plants and animals.
You can learn more about the national park and the lifestyle of people living in this region in the Ancient Drava Visitor Centre in the village of Szaporca. There are three interactive educational trails that teach you about the wildlife of River Drava and the traditional farming in the area. Guided hiking and canoeing tours are organized from time to time. You can also try out the scenic forest railway through Gemenc.
Nature trails of Gemenc
We explored the nature trails of Gemenc forest. It’s a wooded flood plain area – which means definitely nothing to climb here, just nice, easy, flat trails for long walks. But this also means no panorama at your feet. Danube-Drava National Park is significant as a unique natural habitat. It’s home to boar and herds of red deer that are rare to see in Hungary in the wild nowadays. It’s also home to protected bird species like white-tailed eagle or black stork. So it’s worth keeping your eyes open for bird-watching towers while hiking in the park.
We did the Malomtelelő, Bárányfok and Nyék Danube Backwater educational trails last spring. The wide paths are closed to motorised vehicles but open to cyclists and hikers. There’s also a fenced wildlife viewing area in case you don’t bump into deer and boar in the wild – which is highly possible if you stay on the trails.
Canoeing on the backwaters of the Danube
Another option to look for birds is renting a canoe or signing up for a guided canoe tour. You can get closer to birds if you’re on the water – that was an awesome experience for us at Lake Tisza in Hortobágy National Park. Unfortunately, we visited Duna-Drava too early in the year, canoe rentals were still closed. Your best chance to enjoy canoeing is from May to September.
Have you been to any of the national parks in Hungary? What did you like there?
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