Cycle In a Network

T1 - Dráva Nature Trail Thematic Route

The following route is for bikers who love nature with the additional remark that it is worth organizing this tour along with a walking tour. The Management of the Duna-Dráva National Park has assigned two routes in the territory. The suggested starting point is Gyékényes. It is possible to get there by following the Crystal clear lake thematic route but hikers can arrive at Gyékényes by train from Nagykanizsa. The cycling and walking route covers altogether 14 kilometres so it is recommended for every age group.

1. (Gyékényes)-Zákány-Side of the railroad in Őrtilos tourking trail

The 10-kilometre-long route (+ the Lankóci forest 2 kilometres) passes by the railway stations in Gyékényes, Zákány and Őrtilos and well as the railway stop in Belezna. Hikers can get acquainted with the wildlife of the Illyrian hornbeam, oak and beech forests while taking delight in the panorama from Látóhegy and Szentmihályhegy.

It is worth starting this tour on foot on the eastern part of Gyékényes where the Lankóci forest can be found. The groves being formed on the floodplain next to the Dráva offer a unique experience to the visitor. It mainly consists of hardwood groves as well as hornbeam and English oak. The checkered lily, the spring snowflake, the summer snowflake, the thin spiked wood sedge and the Siberian iris can be categorised as strictly protected herbaceous plants that are typical in the area. The black stork nests in tranquil circumstances in the bog. The surroundings are the hunting area for a number of other water birds. It also means that a lot of reptile species live in the marsh. In autumn the deer also appear in the forest, which cross the River Dráva in the mating season. The survival of this outstanding natural treasure is due to the fact that the Lankóci forest and Gyékényes used to be border zone for almost 50 years where nobody was allowed to enter, except for locals and border guards. Since the mid-90s the Management of the Duna-Dráva National Park has controlled the area. There is no built tourking trail but because of the great number of botanical and natural rarities there is a crowd of nature photographers and biologists in the fields when certain species are blossoming.

The Gyékényes-Zákány-Őrtilos route can be completed by bike, too. The hilly surface of Zákány and Őrtilos covered with loam hosts plant species and ecological communities that are unique to Hungary. The Anemone trifolia, the Dentaria trifolia and the Doronicum austriacum live in the beech, hornbeam and oak forests as well as in alder and ash groves. These flowers cannot be found elsewhere in Hungary. It is one of the most valuable areas of the Duna-Dráva National Park. Protection is really urgent because the natural values located in the valleys surrounded by agricultural lots are endangered.

2. Dráva floodplain nature trail in Őrtilos

The nature trail is about 2 kilometres long. It takes approximately one hour to walk along it. The nature trail is connected to the network of the indicated tourist routes in Southern Zala. The starting point can be found near the campsite of rowing trips on the Dráva, at the railway station of Őrtilos. By walking the trail visitors can get acquainted with the natural values of the River Dráva and its floodplain. It is possible to visit the nature trail throughout the year and visitors can walk it alone but they can also ask for professional guidance from the Management of the Duna-Dráva National Park

Target group: every age group, beginner bikers, nature lovers, families, students.

The length of the route: 14-15 kilometres.

The estimated duration of the tour: 3-4 hours (including walking tour).

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