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Blooming of the Tisza in Hungary

Millions of mayflies emerge from the river, creating a spectacular fog. Don't miss this incredible nature phenomenon, which lasts for three-four days only

Blooming of the Tisza
Blooming of the Tisza
Blooming of the Tisza
Blooming of the Tisza

Every year in late spring or early summer Tisza River becomes the main attraction in the country. The area around Hortobágy National Park (Hortobágyi Nemzeti Park) is famous for its unique 'blooming' that actually has nothing to do with flowers. Millions of Palingenia longicauda, the largest mayflies in Europe, burst from the river to mate, which from some distance may seem like some kind of a blooming cloud.

Most of their lives, mayflies spend as larvae in large colonies on the riverbed. When they are mature, they suddenly emerge from the water. The time for reproduction is quite limited, only about three hours, after which they die. The Blooming of the Tisza usually lasts just for three to four days, during which the whole area around the river is covered in huge clouds of mayflies.

Practical info

When does the Tisza River event happen every year?

The Tisza River event, known as the Blooming of the Tisza, usually takes place in late spring or early summer. However, the exact timing is dependent on varying environmental factors. It is best seen around May to early June when mayflies emerge and create mesmerizing foggy conditions around the river region. Show more

What is the prime viewing spot for the Tisza River event?

Hortobágy National Park is the best spot to witness the Blooming of the Tisza's stunning views. It is the perfect location with several vantage points offering panoramic views of a swarm of mayflies. The river itself provides a closer view, and local experts take visitors to the right spots for a guided tour of this natural spectacle. Show more

How long does the Tisza River event usually take?

The Tisza River event typically lasts for about three to four days, and it is a beautiful yet short-lived moment. The skies turn hazy and the banks of the river are alive with millions of mayflies. It is advisable to visit in the late afternoon or evening and see the phenomenon at its peak. Unfortunately, the mayflies have a brief lifespan and tend to die off within a few hours after they mate. Show more

Is it permissible for tourists to swim in the Tisza River during the event?

Although tourists are allowed to swim in the Tisza River during the event, it is important to understand that they might encounter millions of mayflies, making it somewhat unpleasant. Wearing protective gear, including hats and goggles, is essential to avoid insects getting into the eyes or ears. It is not recommended to swim in the river when the event is at its peak. Show more

Apart from watching the Tisza River event, what other attractions are there at the Hortobágy National Park?

Hortobágy National Park offers more than just the Tisza River event. Visitors get to explore the area's unique cultural heritage, which features customs, traditions, and crafts that have been part of the region's legacy for centuries. Horseback riding tours of the park are available, and various exhibitions, including the shepherd shows featuring ancient herding techniques, are available. The Nine-holed Bridge is also an attraction showcasing the region's historical significance and is the largest stone bridge in the world. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin