Introduction

Folksy blue and red painted flowers enliven the walls of a church in Csaroda, a kerchief-clad grandmother sits by the fence in Tákos selling her needlework, and row after row of boat-shaped wooden grave markers stand sentinel in Szatmárcseke. The pleasures of Hungary's northeast are simple and rural. Regular flooding of the Tisza and Szamos Rivers cut Bereg off from the rest of Hungary, and isolation discouraged development and preserved traditional ways of life.

Bring your sense of adventure; the simple life is not always so simple. Each small village has only one sight, and the woman who keeps the church key may not be home. It might be best to base yourself in the region’s only sizeable town, Vásárosnamény. And remember that having your own transport is key, as a negligible number of buses connect the villages.