City guide

Naplás-tó and its vicinity

Photo : Németh László
Naplás-tó and its vicinity

Budapest is not famous for its green areas and sites to make excursions to, but there are definitely some possibilities for a getaway from the concrete jungle. Naplás-tó (Lake Naplás) and its vicinity is a perfect example, where you can even broaden your knowledge besides taking some rest.

Naplás-tó (officially called Szilas-pataki flood control reservoir) has always been quite an attraction for nature lovers. The lake itself together with the approximately 150 hectares of area directly around it is home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna. So if you come here, you won’t be greeted by a park of tended lawn, planted flowers, doves and crows but a slice of true nature.
The territory, that gained the status of protected area in 1997, is the natural habitat to a great number of protected species of plants, which turns the fields into an astonishing cascade of colors in spring. You’d better put on some more durable pair of shoes, if not rubber boots, because most of the area is swampy. If you arrive prepared, nothing can prevent you from observing the beauty of nature.
Apart from the vivid flowers that are about to sprout in the upcoming months and the trees of significant sizes the fauna also represents itself in great numbers. Make sure to look where you step to meet the special and quite uncommon insects on the ground. Also, raise your head to check out the eye-pleasing sight of butterflies, for example, the European Peacock. All day, but mostly after sunset you can hear the calling of the frogs from the direction of the watery areas. Should you be lucky enough, you might catch a glimpse of a European pond turtle.

The most important and most colorful dwellers are the birds, among which some are migratory, thus, they stay for only a short period in fall and spring. In these seasons you can encounter over 150 species of birds but the bird life is rich enough throughout the year. The long-eared owl, the creeper or the long-tailed Tit are all animals you’ll probably never see in downtown parks.
This otherwise serious allure is further intensified by the trail created by the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület) on 17 March. And what it means exactly? That you can walk down a more or less artificial path in the nature that’s lined with informative and interesting boards. Thanks to these the visitor won’t merely balance their spiritual being but improve mentally, as well. What you see is immediately accompanied by good-to-know facts so you won’t have to give a hazy answer to your inquisitive children.
On the day of opening there were more exciting programs to participate in: archery, fishing competition and pálinka sampling among others. Of course, don’t let it get you down if you couldn’t come because as part of the European Birdwatching Day (Európai Madármegfigyelő Napok) in October there are going to be similarly colorful programs to attend. And all through the year the lake and its vicinity provides a free of charge opportunity for recreation with the new trail complementing the natural allure.