The southern environs of Hungary embody the great natural beauty of the country as well as some of its best weather.
The towns of Kecskemet, Pecs and Szeged are the major metropolitan areas of Southern Hungary. Kecskemet, the 'district of the goat,' has more than 100,000 people but still boasts the feel of a hamlet with its wide open spaces, broad avenues and Art Nouveau buildings. The city's architecture is its signature. Pecs has a Mediterranean feel but nods to many other cultures given its place about 20 miles from Croatia, its early history of Roman rule, and its subsequent occupation by the Turks. It's home to the country's first university and first public library; it even shared the moniker 'European Capital of Culture' with Essen, Germany, and Istanbul, Turkey, in 2010.
The capital of the Great Plain in Csongrad County, Szeged is a strictly engineered city of almost 200,000 people that was rebuilt after a 19th-century flood destroyed the city. There's also Baja, which has evidence of man's presence in prehistoric times, and Villany, famous for its red wine.
Southern Hungary's landscape is typical of the 'Puszta' (steppe) with large rivers, dams, flood plains and other waterways. There are numerous opportunities to bird-watch, hike, raft, or otherwise take advantage of the natural bounty of the region.
The broad grasslands of Southern Hungary are perfect for the nature enthusiast, but the understated brilliance of the quaint towns and villages of the area are a secret delight.
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