Nagykanizsa (Csónakázó-tó – Boating lake)-Miklósfa-Őrtilos-Szentmihályhegy-Belezna-Liszó-Nagykanizsa
Seeing the confluence of the River Mura and the River Dráva is the most interesting part and also the main value of this tour. The route passes through some lovely villages of Zala County whereas on the way back the traveller goes through a less comfortable but really natural stretch of forest. The whole distance is 62 kilometres long. Due to the distance and the difficulty of the passage between Őrtilos and Belezna this route is suitable for experienced bikers.
The first recommended stop of the route starting from Nagykanizsa (Csónakázó-tó – Boating lake) can be found in the town. It is worth paying attention to the impressive Hall of the Savings Bank of Nagykanizsa built in 1870 at the corner of Csengery street. In front of the building the so-called Turul statue stands the surroundings of which serve as the preferred meeting place in the town. Heading to the south, with a short by-pass, it is possible to see the steam engine 424 that is on display next to the railway station. The Hungarian industry was especially proud of that type of locomotive. Anyway, the development of the railway in the 19th century meant one of the keys to the flourishing of Nagykanizsa.
Leaving the town the hiker gets through a part of the settlement called Miklósfa. Count Kristóf Festetics had the Roman Catholic church built in 1765. After a short by-pass, it is possible to visit the Botanic Garden of Miklósfa that is located on a 28-hectare area. The forest is made up mainly of pine trees. The oldest tree, which is 130 years old, can be found at the entrance. Not far from the entrance there is a resting place that is equipped with benches, tables and barbecue places.
The next stop is Őrtilos. This settlement is famous for its natural values located in its surroundings. On the one hand it is possible to see the confluence of the River Dráva and the River Mura. At the same time, a nature trail starts from here that helps visitors get to know the unique wildlife of the floodplain. From Szentmihályhegy (Szent Mihály Mountain) the traveller can enjoy a marvellous panorama. It is even possible to see the inland part of Croatia. The other famous sight of the mountain is the chapel built in the 18th century.
The first stop of the way back is Belezna. Count Ödön Zichy sen. had the Church of Virgin Mary built with the cooperation of the people of the village in the19th century. The tomb of the count is behind the sanctuary of the church. The place of the Zrínyi New Castle can be found on the edge of the village, on a high hill covered with forest. Miklós Zrínyi, the poet and military leader, as well as Ban of Croatia also built the castle himself, which was destroyed by the Turkish in 1664. An ancient type of wooden headstone, a so-called ‘kopjafa’ preserves the memory of this place. In the middle of the settlement the bell tower is a beautiful sight.
The cultural centre of the village was built in 1995 and has been an organic part of the village life since then. On the edge of the village a lake awaits the cyclists with fresh air and a park with a wetland where there is an opportunity to relax.