The Countrywide Blue Tour is a part of the Hungarian section of the European Long
Distance Walking Route E4. The route starts atop the Irottk? Mountain (884 m) on the
Austrian-Hungarian border then cuts across Hungary eventually ending 1’128 km
later at the village of Hollóháza by the Hungarian-Slovakian boundary. The name of
the kektura (Blue Tour) is a reference to the marking of the path itself: it is a
horizontal blue stripe between two white stripes.
During its course the Blue Tour visits arguably the most beautiful natural and man-
made sights of Hungary, e.g. more than a dozen forts and castles, lookout towers,
three World Heritage Sites of Hungary (the panorama of Budapest from the hills, the
old village of Hollók? and the Stalactite Cave of Aggtelek), Lake Balaton, the Danube
Bend, and the spent volcanoes of the Basin of Tapolca, etc.
According to the latest survey conducted in 2007 utilizing the Global Positioning
System its total length was measured to be 1128.2 km and the total elevation
change (climb) was found to be 30’213 metres in a Western-Eastern direction over
the whole route.
The Countrywide Blue Tour (simply Blue Tour, or Tour) was the first long distance
walking route not only in Hungary but in the whole Europe. Its path was signed first
time in year 1938, its length was 910 km in that time. A lot of Hungarian hikers began he completion of the Tour after the World War II., so the Nature Rambler Section of the Lokomotív Sport Club of Budapest announced the countrywide walk on the “blue” hiking path in 1952.
The Nature Rambler Section’s Committee of Railway Employee’s Union developed
this issue on national level in 1953, and published the first brochure, which showed
the whole route in map sketches.
Later the organising and controlling of the Countrywide Blue Tour movement was
taken over by the Hungarian Rambler’s Association “Friends of Nature” (MTSZ) in
But the Blue Tour was known only among the hikers until the beginning of the ’80s,
when the Hungarian TV broadcast a series about the route of the Tour. The
organiser and editor of this series was Pál Rockenbauer, that time he worked in the
editorial office named “Natura” of the Hungarian TV. Pál Rockenbauer organised a small team and they completed the Countrywide Blue our during 76 days in eastern-western direction. They carried everything (cameras, ilms, other equipment, etc.) in their backpacks and had done the whole work without ny external help.
Their work was very successful, the series drew the people’s attention to the
Countrywide Blue Tour. Everybody got to know the Tour in Hungary and many people egan the completion of it. A lot of hikers have the series on video or DVD at home.
Pál Rockenbauer died in year 1987 during a tour on the paths of the Blue Tour close
to village Katalinpuszta at the foot of the Naszály Mountain. A wooden headboard
column cherishes his memory on that place beside the path of the Countrywide Blue
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