In the southwest corner of Vas County you can find this wonderful land with forests and meadows where guardians were settled during the Hungarian conquest. Its name derives from these: Őrség (in English: Guard or Watch post).
Since 1st March 2002 the Őrség National Park Directoate has been supervising the preservation of natural, ethnographical, culture-historical values which can be found on this wonderful land. The Őrség National Park consists of the Őrség, Vend country, the unregulated valley of River Rába, the Inner-Őrség and the neighbourhood of Szentgyörgy Valley. All together it covers 44 townships, on about 44.000 acres, whereof 3086 acres are particularly protected. The whole territory of the national park is a Natura 2000 area under European Union-wide Protection.
This land is the westernmost part of our country, where hills and valleys engraved by brooks, deciduous forests and pinewoods, fresh and green meadows, marshlands preserving plants from the ice age, and crystal clean spring-heads and brooks vary. The silence and the fresh air, the cultural traditions and customs what are reserved in an unchanged way, the goods of the self-supportive peasant farming attract the visitors.
Due to the high annual precipitation this area is rich in springs and brooks. One of the most significant rivers of the territory is the Zala (Szala), which springs north from Szalafő and flows through the Őrség. The other one is the Kerka joining into River Mura. On the North border of the National Park mainly the River Rába flows which is rough water, uncontrolled river.
63% of the Őrség is covered by woods and forests, which is 3,5 times more than the nationwide average, in this way their nature protection, economic and landscape forming role is determinative.
The remains of the cold climate after the ice-age are the sphagnum moors and moor fields, in the Őrség and Vend-country can be found the most of these in the country. Due to the much residue and high precipitation this area is the richest in mushrooms nationwide. You can find the delicious bolete, yellow chanterelle and various species of russula. Beside the well-known mushroom species real specialities can be found as well, as the Hygrocybe and Hygrophorus fungus which is the peculiarity of the Alps.