Bicycling, Water Sports and Excursions
Water Sports, Bicycling and Bicycle Tours in Ráckeve
Excellent trails start from this city; they can be covered by hiking, bicycle tours or riding a horse.
If you decide to go on two wheels, first we recommend the ring trail around Ráckeve-Dömsöd, during which you can have a taste of the exciting sights of both banks of the river Danube, and relax on the ferry while you are crossing the river. The trail leading in front of the vacation homes at the Ráckeve riverbank leads very near the water. The sight of the landscape and the mass of water is really enthralling.
The reception desk of the Duna Relax & Event Hotel is happy to assist you with detailed trail suggestions for your bicycle tours.
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Bicycle and Walking Trail No. 1
Ráckeve – Szigetújfalu – Szigetszentmárton – Ráckeve
Length: 18 km (11 miles)
Level of Difficulty: medium, requiring skill during some parts of the journey
Description: a friendly trail recommended to families, beautiful environment and interesting flora and fauna
Turning on to the road to Silling, you can get to the intersection marked with a star on a road of meager traffic lined with trees.
Taking a left turn at that intersection, you will get to a dirt road leading to the embankment after about 3 km (1.9 miles). We only recommend this route – and biking on the embankment – to more adventurous cyclers or those with cross-country bikes.
Taking a right turn at the intersection, the trail leads to Szigetújfalu. Several sights await tourists here. The relatively plain exterior of 18th century St. Leonard’s Church hides a richly ornate Baroque interior. A point of special beauty is the pulpit decorated with the representation of the saints of the Dominican Order.
Roaming around the trail portion along the banks of the Big Arm of the Danube, marked with a broken line here, may be a colorful experience, crossing green and woody lands. A rest area awaits cyclers near the riverbank, where you can get sodas and refreshments. That is where the camping site of the Ödön Téry Tour Club can also be found.
Starting from the Church of Újfalu, an approximately 2 km (1.25 miles) long road leads to the ferry of Ercsi, which crosses every hour between Szigetújfalu and Ercsi.
You can get to Szigetszentmárton from Szigetújfalu in a short time. The village got its name from Saint Martin, the patron saint of the Baroque Catholic Church. You can see the reliefs of the naive-style artist Gáspár Brünner on the walls of the Brünner House (No. 37 Kossuth Lajos Street) right next to the Church, portraying some memorable scenes of Hungarian history.
You can take a dip in the Danube here, if you take a brief respite here, at the beach of Szigetszentmárton. The trail continues in front of the row of holiday homes, crossing between the houses for a while, then reaching the embankment. That road, about 7 km (4.4 miles), will directly take you back to Ráckeve.
Bicycle and Walking Trail No. 2
Ráckeve – Lórév – Makád – Szigetbecse – Ráckeve
Length: 19 km (11.8 miles)
Level of difficulty: easy, later a bit rocky, with negligible car traffic.
Description: It’s easy and pleasant until Lórév; we only recommend the later part to cross-country bikers, a trail surrounded by beautiful landscapes.
Start towards Lórév in the direction the traffic sign is directing you. Making 7 km (4.4 miles) on the pleasant road free of traffic, you will get to an ancient Serbian village. Here it is worth your while to view the altar wall and the iconostasis emanating a warm and familiar atmosphere of the 19th century Serbian church, built in a Louis seize style. Greek Orthodox homes will display St. Ivan’s Wreaths on their houses on St. Ivan’s Day (June 24). The Neo-Gothic memorial chapel of Ödön Zichy is found between the flood protection embankment and the bank of the Big Arm of the Danube; below, the great river billows on with its powerful stream.
Taking a right turn before the village, you can get to the Lórév ferry. Here you can get some refreshments at the buffet or have a picnic at the campground, but you can also take walks on the banks of the Danube river.
We recommend taking the trails leading to Szigetbecse or Makád from here. After 3 km (1.9 miles), your trail will join the public road between Makád and Szigetbecse; if you take a left, you will get to Szigetbecse then back to Ráckeve, while a right-hand turn will take you to Makád (see at the description of Trail No. 3).
Arriving in the village of Szigetbecse, turning off Makádi Street, you can get to the Snowflake (Tőzike) Educational Trail, completed in 2007, via Petőfi Street. The half-a-mile (800 m) long educational trail features 5 explanation boards showing the protected values of the flora and fauna living near the backwater of Szigetbecse. After walking, you can take a nap in the camping area on the bank of the backwater, before cycling back to Ráckeve
Variations for explorers:
The routes marked with broken lines (–) can be difficult to cross, cycling is recommended only with cross-country bikes; they can be approached by getting off the Lórév trail and lead to the embankment. The dusty dirt road then changes into a romantic but rather shaky route on top of the embankment.
Bicycle and Walking Trail No. 3
Ráckeve – Makád Forest Park – Makád Aranypart – Tass Floodgate – Makád – Szigetbecse – Ráckeve
Length: approximately 26 km (16 miles)
Level of Difficulty: easy with a cycle, with meager traffic.
Description: a trail full of interesting sights, with opportunities to take a dip or ride a horse, parallel to the embankment, or on top of it.
Starting from Ráckeve towards Szigetbecse, veer off to the row of vacation homes parallel to the road on the left-hand side. Going on that road, you will get to the Becse beach after about 3 km (1.9 miles). You can find a nicely ordered area suitable for picnics or camping with a tent on the left side of the beach. Cycling farther along the row of holiday homes, you will see Királyrét (King’s Meadow) and the horse-riding school. The Forest Park of Makád is located 10.5 km (6.5 miles) from Ráckeve, with a built shelter and a campfire site, together with opportunities to angle and take excursions.
From that place on, the road continues on top of the embankment, all the way up to the floodgate of Tass, promising interesting views. You can see built fish lakes on the roadside, as well as the Golden Coast (Aranypart) of Makád. Before you would reach the floodgate, it is worth your while to take a left on a small dirt road to include Rózsa Island in your romantic exploration. Walking farther along the floodgate, in about 200 meters you can view the site where the two arms of the Danube join. We recommend taking the trail back from the Tass floodgate in the following way:
Take a left from the embankment – before reaching the Forest Park – towards Makád. The most valuable treasure of the Protestant Church built in Louis seize style upon medieval foundations is a cup for the Lord’s Supper from 1621 A.D. The bust of Lajos Kossuth can be viewed on the square in front of that church. A memorial plaque is mounted on the side of the church to commemorate the local heroes who died in World War 1. Numerous homes with arcade fronts and thatched roofs recall the earlier folk style of building.
Another 4 km (2.5 mile) stretch of the road will take you to Szigetbecse. That is where the Memorial Museum can be found for André Kertész, where the pictures the world-famous photographer donated to Szigetbecse can be viewed.
Bicycle and Walking Trail No. 4
Ráckeve – Makád Forest Park – Somlyó Island – Dömsöd – Dömsöd Row of Holiday Homes – Tass Floodgate – Makád – Szigetbecse – Ráckeve
Length: 30 km (18.6 miles)
Level of Difficulty: an easy, pleasant trail along the bank of the Danube.
Description: It is a beautiful and rich trail, full of sights of valuable content, which can be easy to do on a bicycle, and may suit those who prefer longer tours. Cycling along the entire trail may be an exciting day program for the entire family.
Advancing on the road leading to Dömsöd, after doing 5 km (3.1 miles), you can go on cycling on the bank of the river Danube. The backwater of the Dead Danube Dömsöd presents especially nice views. Although the trail leads all the way up to the Tass floodgate, it is worthwhile to make a detour to Dömsöd, which presents many interesting sights to see.
That is the village that has the Memorial Museum of Sándor Petőfi, recalling the summer the famous poet spent here in 1846. Near the island formerly called Boatman (Hajós), there is a memorial under an extremely old oak tree and wooden sculptures portraying the poet’s family. Another jewel of the village is the Protestant Church built in a Louis seize style.
During that part of the trail, you can relax and bathe on the beach in a civilized environment – on the part called Somlyó Island in the area belonging to Somlyó Motel. Here you can find a restaurant and a built beach, and borrow sports equipment at the Kayak Stead (Kajak-tanya).
If you want to return on another road, and not yet wandered around the Golden Coast (Aranypart) of Makád and the Forest Park, you can push your cycle to the other side of the river on the Tass Floodgate. Ráckeve can be approached via the route across Makád and Szigetbecse, with a whole variety of sights and interesting views around.
Explore Ráckeve and its environs riding on the gentle wavelets of the Little Danube, get into a boat and let yourself be overcome by the beauty of the landscape. If you are taking a holiday at the banks of a river, it is unimaginable that you would not be tempted to get on the water and row, especially at this beautiful site, where it is not only that the beautiful landscape entices you to a pleasant water excursions, but also safety, since here the Danube is locked on both ends with floodgates, therefore it has no drift or twist.
A light canoe tour is an unforgettable experience on the river, we provide canoes for that.
The elderly may also want to simply strike out to make a rowing tour around Angel Island (Angyal-sziget) of fairytale-beauty, using our excursion boat Zsófia which can take 12 passengers.
We recommend your using our event boat Klára which can transport 40 people for special events and family occasions.
The Water Sports Games event is annually organized in Ráckeve, with various branches of sports competing according to their levels or preparation and strength in a jolly, almost festival-like mood.
It is an excellent occasion for those who would prefer not to move onto the waters and would rather watch from the bank all those sports and fun activities granted by the river. Joining the fan crowds of the dragon boat races, you can be a part of the grand parade.
A Walk on the Danube Rows of Pereg
The Hotel – Kovács J. Promenade – Old Fisherman Street (Vén halász u.) – The Danube Rows of Pereg (Peregi Dunasor) – Balabán Street – Sail Street (Vitorla utca).
Distance: 8 km (5 miles)
Level of Difficulty: easy.
Route: Duna Relax & Event Hotel – Kovács J. Promenade – Old Fisherman Street (Vén halász u.) – The Danube Row of Pereg (Peregi Dunasor) – Balabán Street – Sail Street (Vitorla utca).
Back: along the same route.
Walk to the other side from the bridgehead towards the city. A breathtaking view will greet you whether you are looking at the north side or the south one. You can see No Man’s Island (Senki-sziget) and behind it, the Island of Round Reefs (Kerekzátony-sziget). Angel’s Island (Angyali-sziget) extends right in the middle of the river on your left-hand side. Far away, in sunny weather, at times of good visibility, you can see the outline of the Buda Mountains; when the air is especially clear, you can even make out the outlines of the Statue of Liberty (Szabadság-szobor).
Turning left from the bridge, walking on the promenade will provide you with a marvelous view of the buildings on the opposing bank. The first one is the City Picture Gallery (Városi Képtár); not far from that, the windows of a small white building watch the water like eyes. That is the house where the painter László Patay was living and creating his art. Your gaze slides towards Kelemen László Park – the boat harbor -; then the building complex of Ady Endre Secondary School will appear. You can walk on the promenade as far as the corner of Balabán Peninsula, though you cannot access the Peninsula as it is closed to the public. The Peninsula was named after Anton von Balabán, the Chief Estate Hunter of the area in the early 1800’s.
You leave the Promenade via Old Fisherman’s street (Vénhalász utca) to the Danube Row of Pereg (Peregi Dunasor) and arrive at the Balabán Street via the highway. You can walk down to the riverbank across the small bridge arching over the channel. The dead-end street on your left also merits exploration. Mill Bay (Malom-öböl) can be seen across the water, together with the sports complex of the Kayak-Canoe Division of Honvéd Sports Club. When you reach the bee-line of the Secondary School complex, you must turn back due to the road block. Walking on the dirt road of Balabán Street up to Sail Street (Vitorla Utca) and turning back there will take you back to the starting point of your tour via the same route you took on the way here.
Only those with an adventurous spirit should walk on farther than Sail Street (Vitorla utca). A narrow path densely overgrown by trees, prickly bushes and tall undergrowth leads you all the way to the south end of Angel Island (Angyal-sziget) on this segment of the trail. This romantic path ends up in the courtyard of a house, and no other path leads back than where we came from originally. Answering the challenge of obstacles there, is however richly compensated by the views of natural beauty and the sight of waterfowl rising up to fly from the reeds. Walking through this path on the way there and back takes altogether 1 km (0.6 miles), and it adds about 30 minutes extra to your complete tour time.