OverviewThe village of Tardos (formerly Tardosbánya) is surrounded by the Gerecse Mountains in Komárom-Esztergom County in Hungary. Bigger settlements nearby are Tatabánya (14 km), Tata (12 km), and Dunaalmás (15 km).
Quarrying was the defining industry of this village. The Romans already took a fancy to the Jurassic red limestone found here, that they called "red marble", and that they used to provide an elegant atmosphere reminding high-ranking officers and officials of home in this far away province. They even built a road leading to Lepavista (current-day Süttõ) to transport the stones to the Danube, that was later also used by the stonecutters of Matthias Corvinus. His Italian wife, Queen Beatrix had forty shiploads of red stone brought from Tardos to Buda and Visegrád for the decoration of the two palaces, and a lot of limestone was used abroad. Later, the architects of the baroque rediscovered the "Hungarian marble". Quarrying of the rock, coloured by iron oxide, still continues today in Tardos, while abandoned quarries are used by climbers, and visited by lovers of geology and stone collectors in their search for perfect ammonite fossils. Calcite, Romanèchite, and Todorokite can be found here.
The trails of the Countrywide Blue Tour (in Hungarian: Országos Kéktúra) and the Kinizsi 100 long distance hike lead over the Bánya (Quarry) Hill.
There is no drinking water on site - be sure to bring enough with you.
There is a nice fish and chips place in Malom-völgy (in the direction towards Süttõ) to end a nice day of climbing.
ClimbingThis popular climbing area contains lots of easy and moderate routes.
Height of rock: 8-24 m
Number of routes: 102
Distribution of routes:
The quarry consists of the following walls (from left to right):
Kis-fal (Small wall), 10-16 m
Bástya (Rampart), 10-12 m
Kristály-fal (Crystal wall), 12-14 m
Nagy-fal (Big wall), 24 m
Boulder-fal (Boulder wall), 12-16 m
Árnyas-fal (Shady wall), 8-12 m
Sáros-fal (Muddy wall), 8-10 m
Recommended reading: Magyarország sziklamászó kalauza / Climbing Guide of Hungary, available in most climbing stores. Here are two sample pages.
From Budapest: Budakeszi - Páty - Zsámbék - Szomor - Gyermely - Tarján or take motorway M1 to Tata - Agostyán.
From Tatabánya: Tata - Agostyán or Tarján - Vértestolna.
Park in front of a recently installed gate on the dirt road. Please do not drive through. Even if the parking area is full, don't park in the forest. The dirt road is used by large trucks, leave enough space for them. The quarry is a nice 15 minute walk away.
By public transport
You can get to Tatabánya by train from Budapest. Transfer to the long-distance bus station via local bus. You can get to Tardos on buses through Tarján, Tata or Süttõ.
From the bus stop in Tardos follow the main street (Rákóczi Ferenc utca) past the church. At the next fork in the road take the middle road (slightly to the left). Follow the asphalt road, then the dirt road all the way into the forest (~3 km). Go past the recently installed gate. Finally take the trail leading up the hill to the right (~150 m).
Some maps of the village. The quarry is in the top right corner.