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Tour on the West Side of the Principal Valley (H4)

Trip type:GyalogosTrip type:20.00 kmRecommended age:14 From age 75 Up to ageFull route: Zalaszentbalázs, templom - Börzönce - Börzönce, hegyi kápolna - Hahót, Hahóti hegy - Hahót templom Alternative route:

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The 4-6 hour-long hiking program can be organized as a family program, or it is also a great opportunity for school trips.
During the tour, hikers can visit natural treasures along the west boundary of the Principal Valley and the architectural values of the route (mountain cellars, churches).
The tour includes the vinyeards in Börzönce and Hahót.
The hiking trail is moderately difficult, it starts with a steep ascent in Zalaszentbalázs right until Börzönce hill; after the start at a 432 m high elevation, you arrive with a 458 m descent to the finish line.
The tour can be completed in the opposite direction, from Hahót to Zalaszentbalázs.

1. Assumption of Mary church, Zalaszentbalázs

The church in Zalaszentbalázs is located in Pusztatető Street behind the mayor's office. The cars should be left in the parking lot in front of the mayor's office. The free-standing, single-naved Baroque church on the hilltop was built by Boldizsár Inkey in 1781. The steeple facing east can be clearly seen from the other side of the Principal valley, as well. Descend from the church towards the village center (yellow +) and head south. Having passed the school and the community center, turn west. One of the tour’s strenuous sections starts here, as the road leading to Börzönce continuously ascends.

2. Börzönce

After the long, ascending road leading to Börzönce, you arrive at a dead end settlement surrounded by hills. The most interesting sight of the settlement situated along the Kürtös creek is not in the settlement, but in the vineyard located west of the village. Continue your hike following the yellow + sign. Walking past the belfry next to the mayor's office, there is a strong grip testing the hiker.

3. Saint Laurence Chapel (Börzönce, vineyard)

Following the yellow + trail blaizing, from the lefthand side of the steep slope the view of the valley is spectacular.
Turn left at the intersection, in the direction of the signpost indicating ’hill chapel’ (yellow trail blazing).
It is one of the unique features of the southern Zala region that during the18th and 19th centuries, the large vineyard owners built little churches on their territories. The chapel was built in late baroque style in 1801 in the Börzönce vineyards. Masses are rarely held here. The key to the building can be requested based on previous appointment from the mayor's office of the settlement.
Hikers may rest briefly on the benches in the well-kept area surrounding the church, then they can set out for the cellars in Börzönce with renewed vigor.
Near the chapel there is a huge oak tree. The old tree with its 540cm girth is the largest oak tree in South Zala. An adult fits comfortably in its vast den.

4. Following the yellow trail blazing towards Hahót

After resting at the chapel, turn back to the intersection and continue the tour westward. At the first roadside cross, leave the highway and continue the hike on the stony, then on the dirt road on the northern foothills of the Börzönce hill (yellow trail blazing).
The vineyards will soon be replaced by a forest.
The yellow-marked path is soon crossed by a narrow paved road, called the Kürtösi Road, which leads down to the valley of the Kürtös creek.
The road meets the yellow trail blazed hiking trails again, on which you reach the junction of the yellow and the green trail blazings.
To continue the tour, follow the green trail blazing.

5. Hét gesztenye erdészház (Seven Chestnuts Forester’s Lodge)

Go ahead following the green trail eastward (to the right), then turn left at the first intersection. There is a well-established but unblazed forest road leading down to the Seven Chestnuts Forester’s Lodge.
Next to the house, you may want to take a little rest.

6. Hahóti vineyards (blue + and green trail blazing)

Descending left from the forester's lodge, you reach the blue + blazing. Here on the right hand side, the path is bordered by a small lake and a stream.
The blue + mark ends at a triple intersection. At this point careful orientation is needed to find the way leading to Hahót.
The road on the right leads northeastwards after a wild turn. Old maps indicated this road with yellow. Next to the road, a tree trunk can be seen, on which both trail blazings are indicated.
The green trail blazing, while passing the vineyards in Hahót, reaches road No. 74 on the northern part of the settlement.

7. Hahót church

Follow the green trail blazing in the settlement. The small side street joins the main street of the settlement, on which going right, you soon reach the destination, the church of Hahót.
The name of the village might ring a bell regarding the codex of Hahót from the 11th century. The second oldest, fully remaining Hungarian codex is believed to have been written during King Solomon’s reign for the Benedictine abbey in Hahót. It is the oldest known collection of invocations in Hungary, now preserved in the library of the Archbishop of Zagreb.
The settlement’s present church was built in the 18th century on the foundations of the Benedictine abbey church that was destroyed a long time ago. A tower was built to the Baroque-style building only in 1914, when the nave was renovated. The church is free to visit, but the keys have to be requested based on previous appointment. There is a historical reference on the wall facing north, where the tomb of the founder Arnold of Hahót can be found in a baroque frame. Next to the church stands Buzát of Hahót’s wooden statue who had died as a martyr during the Mongol invasion of Europe.

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Trip details

Trip type:GyalogosTrip type:20.00 kmRecommended age:14 From age 75 Up to ageFull route: Zalaszentbalázs, templom - Börzönce - Börzönce, hegyi kápolna - Hahót, Hahóti hegy - Hahót templom Alternative route:

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