One of the oldest countries in Europe, Hungary was born when Arpad unified the Magyar tribes in a Covenant of Blood and led them into the Carpathian Basin in 896 converted to Christianity by St. Stephen in the year 1000. Since then, its eventful history has included Mongol raids, a flourishing Renaissance, and occupation by the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires. Explore the vestiges of this rich mixture of traditional Hungarian and foreign influences in Budapest’s Turkish baths and Baroque architecture or in the amazing art of Pecs, from its early Christian necropolis to its multiple churches. Bask in Budapest’s Baroque and Art Nouveau splendour on the romantic banks of the Danube; visit the nearby palace of Gödöllö—home to the Emperor Franz Josef I—or Buda castle; or taste the delicious, paprika-infused cuisine, famous for its goulash and sausages. Provincial Hungary is no less beautiful. It is dominated in the East by the Hortobagy steppe, where horsemen herd cattle and sheep as they have for thousands of years, and in the West by lovely forests and vineyards surrounding the crystalline waters if Balaton Lake. For a truly unique experience, visit the thermal lake of Héviz. From magnificent Budapest to the lovely countryside, exotic Hungary’s beauty will enchant you.