If you ask a Budapest citizen, very few will have an idea about the biologically most diverse area of the city, even though it is easily accessible and is in superb condition. It is no other than the protected area of Ördög-orom, or The Devil’s Cliff.
The area received protection due to its geological values and the diversity of its flora. This protection is guaranteed by law and has been extended to further areas throughout the years, thus reaching a total of 17,4 hectares.
The protection originally covered the geological treasures as after the end of the stone extracting activities both dolomite and chalk surfaces have emerged. The dolomite ridge allows us to admire the panoramic view over the city and observe the surrounding hills and mountains as far as Gellért- and Sas-hills, while beside the ridge the steep sides are covered by oak forests and turfs over its rocks. As everything is covered by stones, rocks and dust on the trail, mountain biking is prohibited, so we can enjoy our walk in peace.
When arriving from the Eastern end of the ridge, the uphill is quite steep but manageable, as its highest point is only at 317 m. Thanks to this, most visitors hike in from the Western end and follow the signs along the trail. These signs explain the history and nature of the area, but are only in Hungarian unfortunately.
First let’s start with the unseen. The ridge hides a labyrinth which is extremely tricky with only a few meters visibility from its every point, in order to provide protection from shells in the Second World War. This complicated structure made the shelter dangerous for outside visitors so has been shut down and now can only be visited upon permission.
There is a reason why the Cliff is most popular during the spring and summer months: its unique and colorful flora blossoms and hikers can admire rare species not even leaving the designated trail. Real rarities surround us everywhere. After mild winters the area is in bloom even as early as in February, but we can also enjoy the purple flowerbeds by the trail in autumn months too.
For those interested in wildlife, hiking here can also offer wonderful encounters with animals. Thanks to being relatively tranquil without much human infrastructure nearby, several bird species choose to nest here, among them the black woodpecker (the biggest woodpecker in Hungary) or the crossbill. When I was hiking here, I saw lizards and butterflies in big numbers too. If you are lucky enough, you may even spot one of the sparrow hawks of the area during your hike. Squirrels, martens, wild boars and deer also are among the inhabitants.
The hike itself is not too difficult and thanks to its relative proximity to Normafa, it is easy to spend one-two hours in this beautiful forest, maybe even lighting a campfire at the designated place. You can also ask our guides to take you here, or combine the activity with our Top of Budapest Hike in the Buda Hills to get a full view on what Budapest can offer to those who seek beauty and are ready for its hidden treasures.
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