Between the Danube’s main channel and the Moson-arm lies the Szigetköz, a watery flatland with scattered villages that is noted for fishing and wildfowl. Szigetköz is the largest island of Hungary and is actually moorland, partly drained and recovered through canalization. It is called the “Gift of the Danube” with good reason as it was formed by the alluvial deposits of the river. A wide array of flora and fauna awaits lovers of nature. The area is rich in game, thus promising hunters a good chance of bagging roe deer, red deer and wild boar.
Split into many branches, the Danube has built a multitude of islands in the upper third of the Szigetköz. Settlements were built out on the larger islands bordered by astonishing floodplain forests and Danube branches.
Water tour enthusiasts are welcome to cruise along the Danube branches which are aligned with gallery forests and diverse landscapes promising an unforgettable experience for those arriving by kayak or canoe. In addition to the Danube branches, the numerous quarry lakes make the Szigetköz a true fishing paradise. The jaunting car rides are also very popular as well as riding excursions to the island organized by the riding schools of the area. At Dunakiliti, a 9-hole golf course awaits golf fans. The road passing through Szigetköz, furthermore, is part of the international cycle route running along the Danube, yet the dikes and low-traffic side-roads are also suitable for cycling. Bike and canoe rental facilities are available in several villages of the region. It is also worth checking the seasonal programmes which range from tasting sessions to fishing contests.
The settlements of Szigetköz are abound with interesting sights.
On account of the vicinity of the Danube, the village of Ásványráró has frequently fallen victim to floods. Thus, often isolated from the outside world, people of the village engaged in ancient and long forgotten professions typical for the Szigetköz area, such as gold washing. A Calvary erected in the Baroque style by count Lázár Apponyi in 1738 can be found just outside the settlement. Next to the calvary stands an ancient black poplar the age of which is estimated at 100 years. Ásványráró is also known for its Catholic church which boasts a XIVth century baptistery. The village is the paradise of anglers.
The Ráró-Vadaskert woods and the lower backwaters of Bokrosi stream lie between Ásványráró and Hédervár villages. This is a place where rare indigenous species can still be found, unlikely to the woods of the surrounding hills. The once wide arms of the Danube now shrunk to streams host a rich avifauna.
Hédervár used to be the property of the Héderváry family. The gem of the village is their palace with three corner towers and a beautiful English garden. The palace now hosts a hotel. Built in the XVth century, the Chapel of Our Lady served as the burial place of the Héderváry family. During the 17th century the chapel was extended by a Loreto chapel. 14m high and 1.7m in diameter, the English oak tree standing in its courtyard is believed to be the tree of Prince Árpád (1100 years old!), yet scientist estimate its age at 700 years “only”.
The main tourist attraction of Lipót is the spa and aqua park supplied by a thermal spring with a water temperature of 64 ºC and brought to the surface from a depth of 2200meters. In the vicinity of the spa, there is a riverside camping in a beautiful setting. The line of horse chestnut trees along the road to Darnózseli is a protected natural value.
Featuring frescoes painted by disciples of Maulbertsch, a large baroque church rises above two gabled baroque peasant houses in the centre of Halászi. The amusement park and beach at the bank of Moson Danube offers great opportunities for unwinding and boat riding.
Vámosszabadi is a fishing paradise as there is a splendid fishing lake in the middle of the village; a perfect place for recreation. North to the village, close to the Big-Danube lies Vörösrét, a marshland where several protected plant species can be found, such as the Siberian iris, the broadleaf helleborine which is a terrestrial orchid, the marsh gentian or the summer snowflake. Plenty of birds appear on the meadows like the black stork and the grey heron but the western marsh harrier, the European buzzard and the white stork also nest here. Another fishing paradise can be found at Vidra Csárda, where in an area of 10 hectares there are two fishing lakes in the marshlands dotted with groups of trees.
The village of Gönyű is a popular stop for boat excursions and canoe trips.
Premonstratensian Provostship, St. James church between Árpás and Mórichida
This unique XIIIth century church was built in the Romanesque style with a single nave and a straight apse and two towers oriented to the West. Today it operates as a parish church.