The north-eastern part of Hungary comprises a hilly area pertaining to the southern edge of the Carpathian Mountains. It includes three counties: Nógrád, Heves, and Borsod-Abaúj- Zemplén. The Mátra Hills exceeding a thousand metres, the Bükk plateau covered with forests, the cavernous Aggtelek karstland are all interesting tourist attractions to marvel at.
This region is also rich in popular art treasures.
The Northern Hills, extending 200 km long, form a group of nine completely different areas (Börzsöny, Nógrád Basin, Karancs, Medves, Mátra, Bükk Hills, Aggtelek karstland, Cserehát, Zemplén Hills).
Kékes (1015 m), the highest peak in the country, is located in Mátra.
The central part of Bükk is a contiguous cavernous plateau – the highest in Hungary. Its caves preserved world-famous preshistoric findings.
The caves of the Aggtelek karstland are famous all over the world. (Baradla, Béke, Szabadság, Kossuth, Vass Imre Caves.)
Due to its diversified flora, the Bükk Hills form a most interesting part of Hungary. Botanical rarities characteristic of the Carpathian Mountains and the Alps can also be found here.
The fauna of the Aggtelek area is interesting, with 262 species to have found a habitat.
This region is the homeland of Palóc and Matyó popular art. Palóc houses were built of wood. The inhabitants of the Palóc area were usually settled in a landstrip fashion. The conspicuous ethnic differences between the Palóc and the Matyó are observable in popular architecture as well. Rooms were furnished with simple hardwood furniture. Their ornaments include plant, decorative, and figurative elements. As a result of spinning and weaving spread among the Palóc, an entire weaving culture developed in this region. As regards linen weaving, the simple Palóc patterns of folkweaves were retained, with red, golden, blue, reddish-blue, and green colours against a white base. Mezõkövesd is the centre of the Matyó region.
Palóc folk costumes were characterized by a lot of short skirts, whereas the Matyó wore few long skirts. Decorated kerchiefs and head garments are essential accessories of Palóc costumes. Matyó costumes are special for their colourful embroideries. Palóc weddings were an interesting popular custom with interesting rhymes and colourful features.
The ring of hills starting with the Börzsöny and closing with the Zemplén Hills has a network of marked tour routes of several thousand kilometres, excellent for hiking in any season. Kékestetõ and Galyatetõ are most popular with winter sports fans: there is a 2400 m long ski slope and a ski-jump beside it. As regards watersports, the River Bodrog is most suitable for boating.
The Rivers Ipoly, Zagyva, Tarna, Hernád, Bodrog, and Tisza are excellent for angling. For anglers favouring still waters, the lakes to try are the ones at Rakaca (near the village of Szalonna), Mályi and Nyék, Hámor, and Csorba-telep near Miskolc. The fans of equestrian sports can have a look at the mountain herd at Csipkéskút – between Jávorkút and Bánkút – in the Bükk Hills and Lipizzan horses can be seen at Parádfürdõ, in the “Cifra Stables”.