Zalaszabar, Hungary

Rural Hungary is littered with little towns and villages that don’t seem to offer much by way of interest and entertainment until you venture off the road and do your research. Zalaszabar is a case in point.

We drove through Zalavár, home of the bale bunnies, and across the dyke and its fishermen and its ancient monastic ruins, before turning left and heading into Zalaszabar and then taking a right to make our way back into the hills.


Zalaszabar is part of the Zala wine route. As we climbed up the hills we passed lots of little vineyards and old cellars, some neglected, others in good nick. Wild rose bushes were all over the place. I found one little house for sale that I’d like, had it some grapevines that came with it, and I wasn’t on the verge of another renovation. I made note of the number if anyone is interested. According to the village website, back in the 1890s, Sabar wine was awarded a gold medal at the London Wine World Exhibition. We made note of a few we’d like to visit.


Near the end of the narrow road we’d travelled are two towers. Sadly, the place was littered with other people’s rubbish and the day was hazy so the view of the Balaton and Badacsony wasn’t great. Another note was made to come back on a clear day with some bin bags. Still, as we sat on a wall looking down over the valley, the change of view was lovely – just what I needed.



On our way back we detoured to have a look at Zobori adventure park which is set for a soft opening this weekend. I wish them well. A third note was made to come back for a go on the hullámvasút (rollercoaster). It’s quite the enterprise. I’d seen the signs but had never been curious enough to check it out.

There’s a fabulous full-sized wooden carving of St Rita, near the bus stop in the village. St Rita of Cascia was an Italian widow who became an Augustinian nun. She’s the patron saint of sterility, abuse victims, loneliness, marriage difficulties, parenthood, widows, the sick, bodily ills, and wounds. She’s also the patron saint of impossible dreams.  I’ve no idea how she found her way to this small Hungarian village, but there are stories online of her connections to Texas oil and baseball. Isn’t it amazing the reach these saints have? I doubt there’s a village in the country that doesn’t have a statue somewhere to someone and each has to have a story behind it.

But for all that, I still missed out on what the village is arguably most famous for: it’s home to the first public statue of the great football player Ferenc Puskás. Yet another note made.


Never miss a post

Sign up here to get an email whenever I post something new.

More Posts

Bázakerettye: the Dallas of Hungary and so much more

Rumour has it that how you spend the first day of a new year is how you’ll spend the rest of that same year. To

József Nádor Tér, Budapest

In the spring of 2016, József Nádor Tér made the news in Hungary. The square was being renovated in the name of urban planning. The

Csónakázó-tó, Nagykanizsa, Hungary

I was sure I’d seen all there was to see in Nagykanizsa and had dutifully written it up to share with others who might find

Keszthely, Hungary

The signpost welcoming visitors to Keszthely, one of the largest towns on Lake Balaton, says that it’s 775 years old. And indeed, it does have

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: