Racka sheep Hortobagy National Park, Hungary

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Great Plain

Like the outback for Australians or the Wild West for Americans, the Nagyalföld (Great Plain) – also known as the puszta – holds a romantic appeal for Hungarians. Many of these notions come as much from the collective imagination as they do from history, but there’s no arguing the spellbinding potential of big-sky country. The Hortobágy region is where the myth of the lonely pásztor (shepherd), the wayside csárda (inn) and Gypsy violinists – kept alive in literature and art – was born. The horse and herding show at Hortobágy National Park recreates this pastoral tradition, while Bugac is one of the best places in Hungary to learn about life on the plain. The Great Plain is also home to cities of graceful architecture and history. Szeged is a centre of art and culture, Kecskemét is full of art nouveau gems and Debrecen is the 'Calvinist Rome’.


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