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Guided tours in the footsteps of cranes

With the onset of autumn, the cranes have arrived in the Hortobágy. The most attractive natural event of the season is the crane migration. The crane is the symbol of the Hortobágy National Park and one of our natural treasures. From the second half of September to the beginning of November, the Hortobágy National Park Directorate organizes tours to see the daily movement of tens of thousands of cranes, which is linked to the dusk.

Following the cranes on four wheels

Watching cranes migrating to their roosting sites in the national park.

Arrival by private car in the car park of the HNP Visitor Centre (Hortobágy, Petőfi tér 9), free parking and washing facilities are provided in the car park next to the building half an hour before the tour starts. After arrival, you can pay for the tour at the Tourinform Hortobágy office in the Hortobágy Csárda (walking distance between the two buildings is about 200 meters). Afterwards, there will be a short briefing in the parking lot of the HNP Visitor Center, and after the briefing, the departure will be convoy-like. Guests will follow the guide’s car in convoy to the field in their own car (a normal car is sufficient), where they will wait for the cranes flying in in the evening. The field location of the tour depends on the overnight stop of the cranes, which is up to 20-30 km from the village of Hortobágy.

Expected finish: sunset, return home in own vehicle.
Price: 3000 HUF/adult, 2300 HUF/child (3-18 years), 8000 HUF/family (2 adults, 3 children)
Dates, registration: https://www.hnp.hu/hu/szervezeti-egyseg/turizmus/1814/vezetett-turak-a-darvak-nyomaban

Watching cranes individually

If there is no more space on the above tours, but you would like to see cranes – even on a weekday – there is a small chance of seeing them individually throughout the “crane” season at the following locations:

  • Between Balmazújváros and Tiszacsege on a 3 km artificial road-stone
    You can park on the dirt road next to the road (at the site of the old lookout tower), but you are not allowed to enter the wilderness! Around sunset, there is a chance of seeing cranes.
  • South of Balmazújváros, towards Hajdúszoboszló, after passing the end of town sign, but even standing in the built-up ambush on the right before the bridge over the Eastern Main Canal, you have a good chance of seeing cranes in the early afternoon and around sunset.
  • Along the stretch of Highway 33 between Szalkahalom and the Visitor’s Fishing Pond, there are several places where cranes can be seen in the wilderness while signposting or gathering for an evening rest.
  • On the stretch of road between Nagyhegyes and Elep, cranes can also be observed during the day, with a high probability of being seen chirping on the tarmac or in the wilderness.
  • Lake Kondás, the furthest lake of the Hortobágy fish trail, located 5 km from the trailhead. Here you can see the cranes on your own either at sunset or sunrise. To visit the trail, you need to buy a ticket, which can be purchased online at hnp.jegy.hu or at the Tourinform Hortobágy office (Tuesday-Sunday 9.00 – 15.45). You can get to the trailhead (free car park of the Halászbárka Halastavi Inn) by car, then you have to walk the distance. In rainy weather, hiking boots or rubber boots are recommended.

General information for amateur and professional photographers:

  • Photography is only possible from the embankments of the lakes or from the towers of the management and the viewing buildings. It is not possible to enter the dismantled northern embankment of Kondás Lake. No tents or mobile blinds of any kind are allowed.
  • The use of flashlights or other artificial light for photography or transport is prohibited.

Further information:
Tourinform Hortobágy
Tel.: +36 52/589-000 • +36 52/369-140 (9.00-15.45 except Monday)
E-mail: info@hnp.hu