Arrival – from all directions
The journey from Kosice Airport to the train station takes about 20 minutes. International trains run from Kosice to Hungary at least twice a day. These are ideal for tourists who would also like to visit Budapest or Miskolc, the capital of Borsod county. With a train change at the border, visitors can also travel the Hidasnémeti-Szerencs line, which passes through several towns of the wine region.
The quickest option is to rent a car and take Road E71, and then change to Road 39 at Encs. (The Slovakian highway section is a toll road. In Hungary, a motorway will be built in a few years.) The common border crossing point is Tornyosnémeti, but tourists can also head east and cross the border between Skeresovo and Hollóháza. This route offers many spectacular sights.
Cyclists can reach Mád by taking the EuroVelo 11 route. The road running through the Hegyköz area offers a safe option and a beautiful panorama as it leads to Sátoraljaújhely, the northeastern corner of the wine region. From here, a route along the Bodrog river to Tokaj offers a chance to discover nearby towns and villages. And there is always the option to go by foot. Marked by rose symbols, the Saint Elizabeth pilgrimage route between Sárospatak and Kosice touches several towns of the wine area.
Arriving in Debrecen, there are five Intercity trains a day providing a comfortable journey to Tokaj and Szerencs. We can also take the bus, which travels from Debrecen through Tokaj to Sátoraljaújhely on Road 37. Going by car, we can take the highway or smaller public roads, according to our needs. Some roads avoid toll roads and leave out driving through bigger cities. Good news for cyclists is that by the end of 2016, the construction of the bicycle route between Nyíregyháza and Tokaj will be completed. The only main road section of the route will be the one between Debrecen and Nyíregyháza.
Taking the bus or train from Budapest, we can reach Hegyalja directly. Those who wish to bring bicycles may choose other routes with a single train change. When planning smaller bicycle tours, it is good to keep in mind that there are several bicycle rental points in the wine region.
In terms of flights, the airport service or the Zemplén Tourist Travel Office can provide information about the details of the journey.
Another transport alternative is the river Bodrog. For fans of rowing, the river offers spectacular tours all across the Zemplén region, from Sárospatak (or even from Slovakia) to Tokaj. Several harbors and resting places can be found along the banks of the river, offering a chance to discover the inner wine region.
For those who already arrived
There are hourly trains from Szerencs to Sátoraljaújhely. Every two hours, trains run linking Szerencs to Abaújszántó from early morning to late night. However, it can be difficult to travel to villages that do not have a train station. Especially if we are on a single center tour, after which we need to get back to our accommodation.
In these cases, renting a bike can be useful. The main rental spot is the Tokaj Tourinform Office. Bicycles are also available to rent in Szerencs, Tarcal, Tállya, Rátka and Sátoraljaújhely. Another important point for tourists: in some mountain areas, there is no mobile phone or GPS network coverage. Therefore, a paper map is highly recommended for anyone planning to leave the main routes. Before going on a forest tour, always ask advice from a tour leader.
An unconventional but pleasant and practical mode of transportation is the Wine Bus, a new service in Hegyalja. The tour needs a minimum of two participants to start. It visits usually three wineries, providing a comprehensive overview of the region’s wine culture. Optionally, the bus can travel to small family farms, great estates, vineyards and cellars. Wine-tasting is available at all stations. The tour can be personalized by appointment in the Tokaj Tourinform office.
Canoe rental spots are available in Bodrogkisfalud and Tokaj. A cruise ship can also be found in Tokaj but it only does tourist rounds. There are not too many taxis in Tokaj, Sátoraljaújhely and Sárospatak, so it is recommended to look up their phone numbers before the journey.
Wineries also offer various means of transport – horses, carriages or off-road vehicles – to carry their guests to the vineyards. The Percze Experience Center provides a wide range of sports equipment. Mountain bikes, e-bikes, segways, Polaris Ranger EV cars, John Deere Gator diesel cars, e-quads, Flame Rider dune buggies, catamaran rubber boats, tour kayaks and canoes are all available for tourists.
The Zemplén Adventure Park has some alternative means of transport as well. First, a chair-lift takes us to the top of the Magas Mountain. From there, we can get to the Szár Mountain by a sliding track or a cabin cableway. The adventure park offers several other extreme-sports activities. In the area, an excellent nature trail and a couple of Zemplén’s several hiking routes provide a great experience for nature-lovers and fans of active tourism. The horse ranches of Vajdácska, Sárospatak and Bekecs await visitors with cross-country and carriage riding opportunities.