The Mecsek region has been a tourist attraction for a long time and has now been given the opportunity to show both its classical and modern sides, through the new Greenway.
Members of the Mecsek Greenway Association meticulously identified the local values, products, services, events, traditions and gastronomy of the villages on the western and eastern flanks of the Mecsek hills and concocted a recipe for tourism with an entirely new approach.
Regional developments along the Greenway are not “festival-focused”. Quiet events are organised with the intention of attracting only a small number of tourists at any one time which are environmentally friendly, sustainable and available in all seasons and at all times. Everyone involved is committed to developing the local community, to popularising traditional, seasonal local products that are free of chemicals and preservatives, and to the gathering and usage of plants and mushrooms of the forest, field and garden in an environmentally friendly way. They also wish to pass on this knowledge, to raise awareness of medicinal foods and healthy eating, as well as to promote a gentle, green and ecological form of sustainable tourism that supports, rather than exploits local communities.
Rural tourism has a long-standing tradition in the region. Qualified service providers with the “sunflower” National Certification Mark, eco-houses, services and restaurants, village/small producer guest tables, various themed routes (e.g. the Pécs–Mecsek Wine Route and the Honey Route) and accommodation with an ecotourism rating – together with the NGOs bringing them together – contribute to high standard tourism in the wonderful natural setting of the nature conservation areas of the Danube-Drava National Park. Locally grown organic produce can be purchased in local markets and is regularly used in catering, for example at the “Eco-bait” buffet meals and wild plant dinners.
Gastro-cultural events, services and experiences are offered in the region all year round.
One of the main attractions in the area is wild garlic, and in several places there are activities focused on collecting this plant in spring. When exploring the Mecsek Greenway, visitors can learn about the region’s edible wild plants on field exercises, mushrooming courses, outings and hikes. Afterwards, they can prepare these during team-building events and cooking classes focusing on medicinal ingredients.
Festivals celebrating local gastronomy (such as the Marrow or Bacon Festivals at Orfű, the Purslane Picnic in Cserkút, Foods of our Grandmothers, the “Butter Doughnuts” class excursion, “stone soup” in Kővágószőlős or the Roma Gastro Autumn and Roman banquets) as well as village open days and May Day celebrations all provide opportunities to cook together and demonstrate culinary skills in competitions, where all are warmly welcome to come and try the tastes of the Mecsek hills!
“A PINCH OF HUNGARY” WINNING DESTINATION, 2015
The local community of the Mecsek Greenway is constantly evolving, respects old traditions, grows and produces local products, and uses them both in catering and in the homes in the area. The Mecsek Greenway Association also offers special events that are good for the soul, enticing visitors to “Behold the scene, a vast sheet of green,” to quote the rock band Kispál és a borz, to which the Mecsek Greenway Association adds a table spread with miracles, the Mecsek’s gastronomic footprint.
FINALISTS IN 2015
Cégénydányád Municipality, Hortobágyi Nonprofit Kft, Mecsek Greenway Association, Nagykörű Municipality, Vásárosnamény Municipality