The Kazan Straits is a wonder and splendour in every sense. I had the great pleasure of exploring the area for three and a half very full days this summer. All I had beforehand were picturesque impressions from various chronicles and very limited tourist information. But my greatest asset pre-arrival was a promising hotel that indeed provided all I needed to set me up, so regardless of all else I took my leave by overnight train from Budapest to Orșova, the “Kazan Capital” in south-western Romania, which overlooks not only these rare and significant peaks but also the majestic and equally grand River Danube.

Batumi plays a winning hand

The World Travel Awards are called the “Oscars” of tourism, the industry's most prestigious accolades, and to host the annual ceremony rewarding the very best of the best is a much-desired honour. Next year the distinction will fall to Batumi, thus recognising the Georgian ...

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“Welcome to the Hotel Kazan-fornian”

Mai Danube Pensiunea awaits your arrival… at any time of year

If you want great adventure and something entirely different, make your way to the Kazan Straits. This is either a 500-kilometre overland trek from Budapest or a 700-kilometre ride on the equally splendid River Danube until end stop Orșova, the Kazan capital, in Romania.

Searching for the original Dracula

Should you be in Romania and have an interest in Dracula but wish to avoid the tourism boom of Transylvania with its overly spooky Castle Bran and the flutter of its obvious vampire clichés, especially when at the souvenir shops, there is an alternative ...

Beyond the obvious in Montenegro

Bluest of water, greenest of terrain in land of the “black mountain”

Hungarans love their “inland sea”, and rightly so, but for the real thing – for the tang of salt air and a limitless blue, blue horizon to further excite the senses – there is a world beyond Balaton and it’s necessary to press on ...

Hunguest Hotel Sun Resort, Herceg Novi, Montenegro

A Hungarian welcome in splendid Montenegro

Sensibly, hotels like to promote themselves as a “home away from home” to attract guests. And the Hunguest Hotel Sun Resort in Montenegro has something of a head start when it comes to enticing Hungarians visiting this scenically outstanding country. As a property owned ...

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A symbolic impression of Ukraine's second city in suburban Pest

Little Kharkiv tucked away in Thököly Road

A place I was fortunate to travel to this year between pandemic lockdowns was Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city in the east of the country. And it's interesting that since my return to Budapest there have been certain moments back home when things suddenly spring ...

Tower top matches famous Hollywood film

A touch of “Vertigo” at Polish church

With all respect to the Polska Parafia Personalna w Budapeszcie, which translates as the Polish Personal Parish in Budapest, whenever in line of sight of this Kőbánya landmark it is the tower top that gives the surreal but impulsive take I always have here ...

Szolnok with an unexpected Estonian twist

A tale of two Tallinns

This wintery, restricted-action January I yearned for a day out. It did not matter where. In haste, I took the first train out of the city and went to Szolnok. I had no real aim in mind other than to be the mere tourist ...

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Travel writers organisation returns to the road

Promoting tourism in post-plague times

It was a case of “worth the wait” when the Croatian sector of the Fédération Internationale des Jounalistes et Ecrivains du Tourisme (FIJET, World Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers) held its annual Marco Polo awards ceremony in Zagreb on December 9, having had ...

Szolnok with an unexpected Estonian twist

A tale of two Tallinns

This wintery, restricted-action January I yearned for a day out. It did not matter where. In haste, I took the first train out of the city and went to Szolnok. I had no real aim in mind other than to be the mere tourist ...

A symbolic impression of Ukraine's second city in suburban Pest

Little Kharkiv tucked away in Thököly Road

A place I was fortunate to travel to this year between pandemic lockdowns was Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city in the east of the country. And it's interesting that since my return to Budapest there have been certain moments back home when things suddenly spring ...