This one-week boating holiday itinerary takes you on a discovery of the world-famous Tokaj vineyards as you cruise on both the Tisza and Bodrog rivers. Your canal boat crew will love the preserved natural landscapes, nature walks and swimming in the rivers.
Located in the heart of Tokaj in north-eastern Hungary, our boating holidays base is located at the meeting point of the rivers Tisza and Bodrog. This privileged position allows you to navigate your self-drive canal boat (no previous experience or licence needed!) in the heart of a famous wine region. At the foot of the Zemplén mountains, you will discover a protected natural area in landscapes of ancient volcanoes covered with forests.
Tokaj: at the heart of famous Hungarian vineyards
In Tokaj, the meeting point of the rivers Tisza and Bodrog creates a unique microclimate which is credited as the reason behind the unique flavour of Tokaj's world-famous wines. At the inescapable winery of Rákóczi there are thousands of oak barrels of this iconic, white wine ageing in the humid atmosphere of galleries that are dug into the volcanic rock. Why not visit before embarking on your boating holiday – stocking up with sweet Tokaji Aszú for the rest of your journey! Also, to find out more about what Louis XIV called "the wine of kings and the king of wines" take time to discover the Tokaj museum.
Bodrogkeresztúr: watch migrating birds from the deck of your canal boat
A boating holiday along the Bodrog River sees you and your crew settled among vineyards, meadows and marshes in the heart of the Tokaj-Bodrogzug protected area, home to many migratory birds. From the deck of your canal boat (no license needed!) scour the banks looking for eagles, corncrakes and storks. The village also hosts several Tokaj wine cellars.
Sárospatak: an unrivalled view of Rakóczi Palace from your canal boat
Continuing your navigation on the Bodrog River leads to the Vörös torony (Red Tower), a former medieval dungeon that stands imposingly on the shore and that dates back to the fifteenth century. Although you’ll get an excellent view of it as you approach by the water, we still recommend a visit to the Rakóczi Palace, rebuilt from the sixteenth century and displaying excellent Renaissance architecture. Other must-sees are the reformed college (Református Kollégium), the great Gothic church of Vártemplom and for crews with children the swimming baths of Végardó Fürdo.
Sátoraljaújhely: navigate to the border of Slovakia
Your canal boat holiday on the Bodrog River will take you to Sátoraljaújhely on the border with Slovakia. If there are thrill-seekers amongst your crew then head to the country park of Zemplén Kalandpark. Here you’ll find the longest summer bobsleigh track and the longest chairlift in Hungary but also a ski resort, a zip line and much more!
Szabolcs: a peaceful village on the banks of the Tisza
As you stroll through the small village of Szabolcs and discover the 11th century church you may notice a number of strange mounds. These mark the site of an old castle, whose footprint you’ll start to picture as you explore.
Tiszabercel: the ‘flowering’ of the Tisza
If your boating holiday on the Tisza falls in the spring, you may be lucky enough to see what is a truly unique experience - the "bloom of the Tisza" at Tiszabercel. Each year in late spring, millions of ephemera (dragonfly-like insects) fly over the river, mate and die. This exceptional phenomenon lasts only three to four days.
Dombrád: a city where it’s all about the water
Life in Dombrád is all about its connection with the River Tisza. Carp, roach, pike, perch, catfish, and mullet are all found in the fish-rich waters of the river which of course attracts fishing enthusiasts. Moor your self-drive canal boat for a relaxing break and a swim from Dombrád’s beautiful sandy beach.
Tiszalök: enjoy an impressive nature walk alongside the Tisza River
As you arrive in Tiszalök onboard your self-drive canal boat the imposing and impressive hydroelectric power station that sits on the Tisza River confronts you. There is also a long wooden footbridge and trail – moor up and set off on foot to enjoy the tranquillity of the beautiful surrounding wetlands.
Holiday reviews from Tokaj
Wines and vines everywhere!
A boating holiday discovering the region of Tokaj-Bodrogzug was a great way to truly immerse ourselves in the local culture. We loved visiting the vineyards and wineries at each of the stop-off points on our route and even improvised on our pre-researched programme of places to visit after talking to other boaters we met during our canal boat holiday!
Alain and Anouk, Toul (54)