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Hungary motorhome country guide
Hungary is a hidden European gem and the perfect place to relax stiff joints. Hungary is peppered with hot water springs and has hundreds of spa complexes many with campsites attached. Communist rulers embraced the spa culture so there are plenty of concrete structures and new money has enabled the development of state of the art wellness centres. Generally a visit to a spa is inexpensive and they are used as a social venue by the whole community who chat, play chess or have a beer in the warm water. A swim in Lake Balaton is a must do activity because it is the largest thermal lake in Europe and the second largest in the world. You access the water from a wonderful Victorian pier that sits over the thermal spring in the centre of the lake. You can swim inside the building, under it and out into the lake. Even in the depth of winter the water is as warm as a swimming pool, and conveniently there is a campsite adjacent.
Buy a copy of the Hungary Cycling Atlas, which is written in English, Hungarian and German as it contains tourist information about every town. Inside the guidebook there is a navigable road map that shows spas, campsites and cycle routes. This book is available from bookshops in Hungary and from Stanfords, www.stanfords.co.uk Tel: 020 78361321.
Campsites, Motorhome Stoppovers and Offsite-Parking in Hungary (free wild camping)
Hungarian campsites are generally good and many have thermal spas attached, often entry into the spa is included in the campsite fees. Contact the Hungarian tourist office and ask for the ‘Camping Map’ or pick one up at tourist offices in Hungary. Campsites are easy to find because they are marked on the map and the text provides information about facilities, opening dates and costs. There are no motorhome stopovers in Hungary and Offsite Parking is prohibited but don’t let this stop you visiting Hungary.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Hungary
Roads are reasonable and well signposted. Dipped headlights are compulsory during daylight hours. An electronic vignette is required for 70 per cent of the motorways in Hungary. This is a simple toll system that is bought and registered at fuel stations. Instead of a windscreen mounted toll sticker motorhomers or campervanners receive a coupon as proof of payment, which needs to be kept for one year after the expiry date. Motorway authorities check all vehicles electronically by verifying the vehicle registration number against the category of the toll paid and the validity of the e-vignette. Vignettes are available for 10 days, 1 month, or annually. In 2011 motorhomers weighing up to 3,500kg were classed as D1 and the toll charged was 2,750HUF per week (£9). Motorhomes weighing between 3,500kg and 7,500kg are classed as D2 and the toll charge was 7,750HUF (£25). Fines are high for motorists without at vignette or with the wrong vignette. Further information about the vignette and traffic restrictions in Hungary is available at www.motorway.hu LPG autogas is widely available at fuel stations across Hungary.