The Hortobagy National Park was established in 1973, and it covers about 80000 hectares. A significant part of the Park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Wetlands of international importance occupying about one third of the HNP area are protected by the Ramsar Convention. In 1999, the Hortobagy was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list as "an outstanding example of a cultural landscape shaped by a pastoral human society".
Within the National Park, there are three zones: admission to zone A (the natural zone) is strictly restricted and possible only for research purposes. Visiting Zone B (the managed zone) is only allowed with a guide and some temporal or spatial restrictions may apply. Zone C can be visited unaccompanied.
Fondest memory: For me, it's the ancient Hungarian domestic animals: the cute looking mangalica pigs, the beautiful horses, the unusual racka sheep with the smart sheepdogs (Hungarian "puli", "pumi" and "kuvasz"), and the imposing grey cattle.
If you are good with horses, you can rent one, but you must demonstrate your ability (test). The horses speak Hungarian (haha). If you are not good on horseback, there are buckboard tours to show you the way of life on the plains. You will see the horsemen doing some amazing riding, and see the animals they tend. Work the cantilevered wells. An excellent afternoon.
Fondest memory: Getting horses and heading off onto the Puszta. The horses are very spirited, and often only one or two steps from wild. I did not take my camera, so this picture is actually from Tihany, but you didn't need to see the Taj Mahal which isn't in Hortobàgy either!
Favorite thing: We spent many happy hours talking to the people of Hortobàgy. Hungarian is a must when talking to locals! It is a difficult language, but it really opens peopple up when you speak their language.