A red train, the Golden Eagle Danube Express, chugs through a rural field in Hungary.
Holloko, Hungary city view.
Dinner set up on the Golden Eagle Danube Express.
Old city of Buda in Budapest.

Hungarian Fall Colors

Europe
8-day Escorted Tour
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Overview

The Highlights

  • Travel deep into Hungary, visiting ten cities and four national parks, with four nights on board the comfortable Golden Eagle Danube Express.
  • Three nights at the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest (or similar).
  • City tours of Budapest, Keszthely, Tapolca, Sopron, Holloko, Eger, Lillafured, Tokaj and Szeged.
  • Visits to Balaton Uplands National Park, Bukk National Park, Hortobagy National Park, and Opusztaszer National Heritage Park.
  • Private cruise on Tapolca’s Lake Cave.
  • Private wine-tasting tour in the Tokaj region, famous for its wine-making history.
  • Visit to the spectacular cave system at Aggtelek, the largest stalactite cave system in Europe.
  • Fully inclusive of meals, drinks, gratuities, touring, & transfers

The Tour

The Golden Eagle Danube Express journeys through beautiful autumnal landscapes and charming cities on the Hungarian Fall Colors adventure. Visit architectural masterpieces from the classic capital city of Budapest. This romantic exploration provides a fascinating insight into modern European culture and traditions.

Traverse some of the most scenic railway lines in the world on the Hungarian Fall Colors. The Golden Eagle Danube Express weaves its way from the Hungarian plain across a beautiful rolling landscape toward majestic mountain ranges and stunning valleys.  Enjoy an adventurous trip on a narrow-gauge railway from Lillafured through the majestic Bukk National Park, a hidden gem of Hungary.

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See Hungary’s largest protected area in Hortobagy National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its migration of cranes in autumn.  Explore the largest stalactite cave system in Europe at Aggtelek.  Visit Opusztaszer National Heritage Park and take in the famous cyclorama depicting the beginning of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin.  Venture to the Tokaj region and enjoy a private wine-tasting tour while learning about the region vast wine-making history.

Journey’s end is in Budapest.

While on the train, enjoy all-inclusive fine dining and five-star service.

When you’re not on the train itself, enjoy nights in some of Europe’s most prestigious hotels: Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace (or similar) in Budapest.

Countries Visited

  • Hungary

Itinerary

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Day 1: Budapest

On arrival in Budapest, transfer to the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace for a two-night stay. Enjoy a welcome reception dinner and meet fellow travelers in the elegant surrounds of this art nouveau landmark, with its panoramic views across the River Danube.

Day 2: Budapest

Budapest is actually two cities separated by the Danube. The old city of Buda and the imposing Royal Palace dominate the city with stunning views across the Danube to the commercial heart of Pest. The city tour includes a visit to the Royal Palace, St. Mathias Church and a panoramic view of the city from Gellert Hill, as well as the Citadel, the Opera House, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

The rest of the day is at leisure. Stroll along the banks of the Danube, visit the historic Great Market Hall with its endless variety of delicious foods and wines or head to one of the city’s famous thermal baths for a rejuvenating dip. Alternatively, relax at the hotel and indulge in the hotel’s luxurious spa.

Day 3: Keszthely & Tapolca

Following breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Budapest Nyugati station to enjoy a morning drinks reception in the impressive Royal Waiting Room before boarding the Golden Eagle Danube Express.

A brass band strikes up as the Golden Eagle Danube Express slowly draws into the adjacent platform. The uniformed train staff will then escort you to your cabin. Settle in as the train threads its way out of Nyugati station and through the Budapest suburbs to the Great Hungarian Plain and Lake Balaton. Lunch will be served as the train runs along the Lake’s South shore, a major Hungarian holiday resort area.

From Keszthely, make the short journey by train to nearby Tapolca for a walking tour followed by a visit to the town’s limestone cave system and the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful boating adventure on the crystal-clear waters of Tapolca’s Lake Cave.

Day 4: Sopron & Holloko

In the morning, enjoy a relaxed walking tour in the historic old town centre of Sopron, with the 13th century Fire Tower as its central landmark. Return to the train in time for lunch on board and spend an afternoon traveling through the autumnal landscapes of the Hungarian countryside.

Arrive in the afternoon to the World Heritage Site of Holloko, which is a traditional Hungarian ‘Paloc’ village of white-washed houses with verandas, wooden balustrades and hipped roofs. Enjoy a special dinner in the heart of the village with a taste of traditional Paloc flavours and cooking.

Day 5: Eger, Lillafured & Aggtelek

In the morning, visit Eger, a city full of legends. Enjoy a walking tour of the town best known for its castle, thermal baths, baroque buildings and the northern-most Ottoman minaret. Following the visit to Eger, take a delightful narrow-gauge train ride from Lillafured through the striking autumnal forests of the Bukk National Park, a Hungarian hidden treasure.

Complete the day with an exclusive visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site cave system at Aggtelek. It is the largest stalactite cave system in Europe, with more than 14 miles (23 km) of charted pathways.

Day 6: Hortobagy National Park & Tokaj

In the morning, enjoy an early visit to the Hortobagy National Park, a vast steppe in Eastern Hungary, where Hungarian native animals such as the grey cattle still live. An excursion in the area will familiarize you with traditional pastoral life and, if we are lucky, will reveal thousands of cranes that migrate through the area at this time of year.

In early afternoon arrive to the Tokaj region of Hungary for a private wine-tasting tour at one of the area’s famous cellars. Its wine-making history dates back thousands of years with its cellars and vineyards nestled at the foothills of the Zemplen Mountains.

Day 7: Opusztaszer National Park & Szeged

After breakfast on board, arrive to the Opusztaszer National Park where you have the opportunity to view the Feszty Panorama, an oil-painted panorama depicting the ‘Arrival of the Hungarians’. It details the beginning of the Hungarian Conquest of the Carpathian Basin in the year 896 and was completed in 1894 to commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of the event.

From here, travel by coach to nearby Szeged to have a sightseeing tour of the city, notable for its pretty squares and tree-lined boulevards. Enjoy a lunch of the region’s specialties in a traditional local restaurant.

In the evening, enjoy a special farewell gala dinner on board the Golden Eagle Danube Express before arriving back into Budapest and transfer to the Four Seasons Gresham Palace for overnight.

Day 8: Budapest

Following breakfast in the hotel, transfer to the airport for onward departures.

Why not extend your stay in Budapest to explore the Hungarian capital at your leisure? Contact us for hotel options, touring programs and rates.

Dates & Prices

2022 Dates

October 19 - 26

Prices are per person.

2023 Dates

October 18 - 25

Prices are per person.

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Included in the tour price:

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • A generous drinks allowance, including wine, with lunch and dinner
  • All gratuities
  • All off-train touring and entrance fees, with personal headsets to make it easy to hear your guide
  • Complimentary tea, coffee, and bottled drinking water are available in your cabin 24 hours a day
  • An on-board doctor, with medical facilities, is available should the need arise
  • Porterage of bags; your bags will be transferred between the hotels and the train