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sights & culture


Road trip: Sajkod, the secret beach sect


  • Kiss Ádám

18/06/2013 2.00am

Those who have been to Sajkod became passionate fans of it. To understand the fanaticism, you have to spend an afternoon exploring the camping site that lies far away from all means of dbo transport, the tiny famous tea house hidden deep in the forest and the lovely tour paths on the western side of Tihanyi Peninsula.

Sajkod is not your everyday place, more like a religious sect: most people avoid it, but there is a small group who are zealous about it, and go into raptures when talking about it. They love it so much, they don't mind coming here from Csopak or Balatonfüred to visit their sacred site.

Photo: Krisztina Bordács - We Love Balaton

Sajkod is situated on the western side of the Tihanyi Peninsula, but it belongs to Tihany which is on the opposite side. It is just right with thesect of Sajkod. Tihany is like the popular older brother, the pin up boy of the peninsula. So Tihany gets the fame, loads of fans, huge crowds, while the smart and modest little brother can preserve his own values, hidingbehind his sibling.

Photo: Krisztina Bordács

Standing on this tiny beach or sitting on the stairs in front of the toilet and staring at Balaton's waves you might get to understand some of the fanaticism of the Sajkod-sect. There is a huge bay in front of you, embraced by both the North and South Coast, while the jungle of Csúcs Hill towers over your back. The Xyladecor-brown beach buffets are nothing special, except ...this place feels like you are on an unraveled island in the ocean, accessiblle only to a chosen few. A skanky side road leads to Sajkod through an ordinary plain. If you are coming from the direction of Tihany on main road 71, probably you won't even notice it. Otherwise, you can only reach Sajkod by the Tihanyi-Peninsula's tour paths.

Photo: Krisztina Bordács - We Love Balaton

We recommend coming here by bike from Tihany. If you're fed up with "authentic Hungarian houses" and tourist buses appearing from out of nowhere then just get up and leave Tihany. First you'll find an awesome descent full of poplar trees and lavenders. Then you get to the main road and take a left to Aszófő's direction. You have to ride a few hundred meters, pass the apáti church and there you are, at the crossroads you were looking for. The road takes you to the beach among summer houses. The chances of buying property here are probably lower than becoming a member of the British Royal Family.  You can park your car at the beach for a fair price, but capitalism is not too wild in Sajkod: you always have to pay when you leave, but when we were there, the cashier closed before we left, so the parking lot was free for us. The road doesn't end at the beach though.

It runs between the hill and the water for at least 2 kilometers moe. There is another holy spot for the sect here: the Teázó az erdő mélyén (Teahouse Deep in the Woods). It is only open during weekends, but those Who Have Been There are crazy about it. The road ends here, so you could turn back, but you shouldn't, really. Just go and roam the trails in the forest that are marked with signs.

Photo: Krisztina Bordács - We Love Budapest

The yellow sign leads you to the port of Tihany. It is 3 kilometers long, it has steep parts, but it's not a breakneck tour, so you don't have to be Bear Grylls to complete it. The road runs along the edge of the hill; Balaton will appear on your right side from every now and then. The view and the pine trees will put you in a better Latin mood than a Shakira concert. The area is a natural reserve, so we wouldn't recommend dropping your cigarette stubs here. Instead of smoking, keep an eye on rare animals such as the Miller's water shrew, or in unlucky circumstances the wild boar.

You will find the ruins of the Újlaki church at the end of the trail. After the twists and turns in the hills you'll reach Club Tihany's giant building, which leads you to the ferry. Our beloved Tihany takes the helm again, and the members of the Sajkod-sect blend into the crowd of school groups and German tourists.

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