A rejuvenation of body and soul in the Pannonian spas on St Martin’s Way
Pilgrimage tour on Saint Martin’s Way by bicycle
- Duration: 5 days (4 nights)
- Date: at any time for groups or individuals
- Route: Szombathely–Sárvár–Celldömölk–Pannonhalma (Hungary)
- Cycling distance: 144 km (~48 km/day)
- Difficulty: 2/5 (easy)
- Price: from € 290
Short description of the pilgrimage
We set out from Szombathely, the native town of St Martin, to arrive at the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma, part of the World Heritage. It is Hungary’s earliest abbey dedicated to commemorating St Martin, where sky and earth, past and present unite. During the pilgrimage we will visit spas and shrines, so we can rejuvenate and refresh ourselves not only in the body, but in the soul as well.
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- A cycling pilgrimage going through the beautiful and peaceful landscape of Western Hungary arriving to the Mons Sacer, the holy hill of the Pannonhalma Benedictine Archabbey: a perfect occasion to retreat for some days stretching your body – and soul
- Szombathely: Birthplace of Saint Martin
- Baroque town and castle of Pápa
- Interesting tour guidance at 3 places:
Szombathely, Pápa, Pannonhalma
- Spa and Wellness Complex of Sárvár (member of the Association of Royal Spas of Europe)
- UNESCO World Heritage site: the millennium old Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its natural environment
- Pilgrim passport and certificate
- …all this in a small group of fellow pilgrims
- Lunch: Two-course meal (Restaurant Wagner)
- Dinner: Three-course meal (Restaurant Wagner)
Accommodation in Szombathely: Hotel Wagner****
A small, first class hotel in the very heart of Szombathely, only some meters from the main square.
- Buffet breakfast
- Lunch: Two-course meal (restaurant in Sárvár)
- Dinner: Buffet dinner (in the restaurant of the hotel)
Accommodation in Sárvár: Hotel Park Inn by Radisson
A great hotel next to the spa, with unlimited access during your stay. In the spa complex you can find a healing and a family bath, beach, sauna world, with several pools and wellness facilities.
- Buffet breakfast
- Lunch: Two-course meal (restaurant in Celldömölk)
- Dinner: Three-course meal (at the hotel)
Accommodation in Pápa: Hotel Villa Classica****
An interesting hotel with special style – the restaurant reveals the 1950’s America for example. Also has some saunas and a jacuzzi.
- Buffet breakfast
- Lunch: packed lunch on the way
- Dinner: Three-course meal (Abbey Restaurant Viator)
Accommodation in Pannonhalma: Pension Familia
A small, family run pension in the town, one kilometre far from the town centre and two from the Abbey. The quality of the pension is modest, its style is outdated, and two of the rooms only have one shared bathroom. Unfortunately you cannot find an accommodation of high quality in Pannonhalma this year.
- Lunch: Three-course meal (Abbey Restaurant Viator)
|Basic package: €290||All inclusive package: €920|
|Accommodation||Pensions and guest houses;
in double rooms (mainly) with bathroom
|High quality hotels;
in double rooms with bathroom
|Catering||Modest breakfast + warm dinner||Breakfast + warm or pre-packed lunch (depending on availabilty of a restaurant) + warm dinner|
|Guidance||At 4 places: Szombathely, Sárvár, Pápa, Pannonhalma||At 4 places: Szombathely, Sárvár, Pápa, Pannonhalma|
|Accompanying person||Hike leader cycling with the group all the day speaking English, German, French or Italian||Hike leader (see basic package)
+ pilgrim host, who arranges everything at the accommodations and meals before your arrival.
|Admission fees (museums, baths)||no||yes|
|Info pack & map||no||yes|
|Traveling to Szombathely and traveling from Pannonhalma||no||transfer from Budapest or Vienna airport|
The prices apply for a group of at least 10 persons.
Of course you can also mix the two packages. In this case please contact us, and we will calculate you the best price possible.
We will be waiting our guests at the railway station in the previously agreed times, and then take them to their accommodation. After lunch we will introduce them to the city of Szombathely. With the help of our tour guide we will discover the city centre (Main square, Cathedral, Bishop’s Palace,) and the architectural heritage of the Roman Age (Iseum, Járdányi Paulovics Archeological Park). Through the course of the afternoon we will try the bicycles: together we will cycle along the St Martin Historic Pathway, which ends in the St Martin Church built on the alleged site of his birth.
Distance: 31 km | feature of the trip: flat
Our pilgrimage begins! We journey along the St Martin Church we got to know the previous day, where we can ask for his sacred blessings on our pilgrimage and our lives. Soon we leave Szombathely and, till noon, arrive at the day’s destination, Sárvár, where we are going to be provided with lunch. Afterwards we are guided through the Nádasdy Castle, then we find physical rejuvenation for our pilgrimage and lives in the waters spurting from 2000 metres below in the spa and wellness complex belonging to the association of Royal Spas of Europe.
This society only admits towns into its members, whose royal connection can be traced back and which maintain a spa and hotel of a very high standard.
Distance: 62 km | Feature of the path: hilly without major slopes
While leaving Sárvár, we cross the river Rába. Via less busy carriageways, hills and woods we arrive at Celldömölk, the Hungarian Mariazell, where pilgrims have received miracles at the devotional statue brought from Mariazell, Austria, for centuries. Time permitting we will have a look at the cross section of an extinct volcano on Ság Hill situated at the border of Celldömölk.
In the afternoon, we will arrive in Pápa, which is one of the Hungarian cities boasting a number of baroque monuments, also home to a newly built thermal spa. We have the opportunity to choose from: bathing in the thermal spa or being guided on a sightseeing tour (Eszterházy castle, Main square, Big Church, Museum of Blue dying).
Distance: 51 km | feature of the path: hilly with occasional slopes
On the last day of our journey we reach our final destination, the Benedictine Pannonhalma Archabbey named after St Martin, however, this day seems to be the hardest of all. First we will do 12 kilometres on a moderately busy carriageway, then we will cycle on less busy smaller roads, through tiny villages in the mountains. After covering 38 kilometres we will have to defeat a longer (4 km), steep section, then having passed the ridge we can roll into Ravazd village, where we stop at the church dedicated to St Martin. From here on the scenery of the abbey will accompany us, whose foundations we will shortly reach. As a last challenge we will conquer Várhegy (Castle Hill), which the abbey itself stands upon, looking down on nearby lands.
Before arriving in our accommodation, we will have a chance to see a wooden chapel in the forest with its special atmosphere and sleek design. In 2011 the building won the Média Architectual Award, considered the Oscar of Architecture in Hungary.
We will be hosted in the town of Pannonhalma lying underneath the abbey. We have our farewell dinner in a restaurant, where we complete the pilgrimage with cheerful celebration.
This day is dedicated to the sights of the Pannonhalma Benedictine Abbey, part of the UNESCO World Heritage. We will look around in the Saint Martin Basilica, which was renovated in 2010, the crypt holding the Saint Relic, the cloister, and the library. Before lunch time we will have a walk in the botanic garden. We say goodbye to each other and perhaps, in the moments of farewell, we will have realized that our pilgrimage continues…
After lunch, and our guests will be taken to the rail stations of Pannonhalma or Győr by car according to individual needs.
as far as I can remember, I have always liked to ride a bicycle. My longest tour until now was also a cycling pilgrimage: from Budapest to Rome, more than 1000 km.
Cycling on Saint Martin’s Way is a unique experience: we will roll on almost deserted rural roads through small, untouched villages. Europe as it once was.
During the ride we will have plenty of opportunity to retire and connect our inner world with the calm and vast landscape surrounding us. Thus we will cover our way not only from Szombathely to the Benedictine fathers of Pannonhalma but also from ourselves to the infinite, finding answers to long-standing questions and the voice of our Creator.
See you in Szombathely!
Our professional partner
Hungarian Council of the Saint Martin of Tours European Cultural Route
Via Sancti Martini