In Hungary, New Year’s Day is all about luck, fortune, health, wealth, and happiness for the year ahead. So where better for a New Year’s break? Raise a glass of fine Hungarian bubbly on the viewing terrace of a splendid fairytale locale, which boasts incredible panoramic views of the city. We’ll continue to enjoy 2018 in style, at a special New Year’s Day concert at the exquisite Palace of the Arts.
Hungary may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of fine wine, but it is a mistake to overlook the country’s grapes. From big-bodied Villány reds to flinty Somló whites and sweet golden Tokaj, there’s something to suit every palate. Gastronomy doesn’t stop at goulash here either — Budapest is a fine food capital and we sample some of the best local and European food on offer.
The beautiful city is dominated by the mighty Danube River. Its long and complex history can be felt everywhere you turn. We enjoy the river in full during a cruise, sailing past the Turkish bathhouses and art nouveau architecture that line the riverbanks.
When midnight finally arrives on December 31st, why not celebrate like the locals? There will be plenty of opportunities to join in with the renditions of the national anthem that fill the air as the clock strikes twelve. An education in wine and a New Year’s party in the finest Arblaster & Clarke tradition.
We escape the Christmas hubbub at home while travelling from London to Budapest. Our tasting tour begins this evening — after checking into our hotel, we make our way to the aptly named Tasting Table. Hungary is home to numerous grapes and unique wine regions — this is the perfect opportunity to get to know them.
Our first full day takes us to the picturesque little town of Tokaj, where sweet wines have been produced since the 15th century. Here, we find that Erzsébet Winery’s ancient cellars have quite the pedigree, having once belonged to the wine merchant of a Russian Tsar. We enjoy a regal visit here today, tasting taste six wonderful wines paired perfectly with a delicious cheese plate.
We enjoy all the comforts of home during lunch at our next stop — Hudácskó Winery. Their wines will taste all the better served alongside a traditional, home-cooked feast for lunch today. We return to Budapest where you are free for an independent dinner this evening, or you can join the Wine Guide at a restaurant of their choice.
The last day of 2017 begins in Etyek — known as the Hungarian Napa Valley. Pinot Noir is grown here, in addition to native grapes. The Hernyák family invite us into their estate’s cellar for a tasting, and we continue to their open kitchen for lunch, looking out on their vineyards as we dine.
Take some time to relax at our hotel before tonight’s festivities… it’s sure to be a night to remember at the Fisherman’s Bastion. The historic Halászbástya restaurant, with its amazing panoramic viewing terrace, will host us as we celebrate the New Year. After a delicious dinner, we can look out upon the city. We linger over our meal until the time comes to toast the New Year with songs, fireworks, and a greeting of ‘boldog új évet mindenkinek!’.
After last night’s celebrations, we enjoy a slow start — greeting 2018 during a relaxed guided tour of Budapest. Immerse yourself in art nouveau splendour, and stop by historic grand cafés, ornate baths and festive markets. We’ll stop at a local restaurant for an early dinner before tonight’s entertainment.
The Palace of the Arts New Year’s Concert is an unmissable event on the city’s social calendar. Welcome in the new year with Haydn’s grandiose masterpiece The Creation, a celebration of the world’s diversity and the wonder of life in all its glory. Each year, celebrated artists stand at the conductor’s podium, directing an outstanding ensemble of celebrated musicians…
Our tour is coming to an end, but not before we have made our way down the mighty Danube. The Danube’s banks are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with extraordinary architecture lining both sides. There is nothing better than seeing it up close during a relaxed river cruise — with a glass of fine Hungarian sparkling wine in hand!
We enjoy a final lunch at a local restaurant before returning to the airport for our flights home.
Wine Guide to be confirmed - we are still putting the finishing touches to some of our 2017 tours. Rest assured that you will be joined by one of the UK's leading Wine Guides on this magnificent tour.
We spend the four nights of our tour in a 4* hotel located in central Budapest – what better way to get right to the heart of the holiday spirit? Amid the art nouveau architecture and wealth of historic monuments, it’s easy to feel at home in this ‘Little Paris of Middle Europe’.
We enjoy a home-cooked feast at Hudácskó Winery, a cheese and wine tasting session at Erzsébet, and a New Year’s Eve dinner at the celebrated Halászbástya – a truly memorable experience. You might even find a new favourite treat among the cafés and festive markets of beautiful Budapest.
Though Hungary is best known for its sweet Tokaji wines, it also boasts fiery whites. Our tour includes Etyek, just south of Budapest, where the cooler climate gives rise to fresh, fragrant whites. Perhaps your most memorable glass will be aboard our morning river cruise on the Danube…