The Best Travel Guide to Lake Balaton
Section in Lake Balaton
Do & See
Lake Balaton is a real Hungarian treasure, offering a long shoreline dotted with family resorts on the southern side and welcoming vineyards to the north. With its green and silky water, the lake is Hungary’s favourite summer retreat. However, there is much more to do all year around than just lounge around at the lakeside. Each waterfront town has its own unique character, from the cultural centre of Keszthely at the western tip to the elegant spa resort of Balatonfüred. Situated a little over 120 kilometres southwest of Budapest, Lake Balaton stretches out diagonally from the capital as a kind of lumpy oblong for 77 kilometres. The most interesting statistic of the lake is its depth, or rather lack of it as the average depth is just 3.3 metres. Especially along the southeastern shore, you have to wade out a long, long way before the water comes up to your knees. For this reason, the lake is extremely popular with families with young children. Lake Balaton also offers a surprising range of entertainment possibilities. While Siófok on the southern coast attracts the young, party-loving disco crowd, it also offers all around family fun at the annual Coca Cola Beach House. The north bank around Balatonfüred is a little more sedate and populated with artist colonies. The craggy outcrops of Badacsony are covered with vineyards and the healing waters are good both for drinking (Kékkuti) and bathing (Hévíz).

Festetics Castle, Keszthely

The Festetics Castle was built by György Festetics in 1745 in Keszthely and it is one of the largest and most beautifully restored buildings in Hungary. Each of the 101 rooms has its original furniture. It gives place for various events. Example of baroque architecture, it is called Helikon Palace Museum, which is situated in the northwestern corner of Lake Balaton. It has been renovated recently, but during this time it is allowed to visit by the guests. The palace is a museum and also takes part in conference tourism. An arboretum is located nearby and gives you an unforgettable experience with its collection of large chestnut, black pine trees, and thousands of summer flowers and a fantastic fountain.
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Cycling around Lake Balaton

The bike road network around the Lake Balaton is more than 200 km long. The stage is easy, only the East and the North shore is hilly, the other side is flat. This bike tour is well recommend for every cyclist with average experience and perfect for families and seniors. You can plan your trip on this website: Round the lake bike races are more and more popular in Hungary. You can find a lot of alternative cycling paths wait for the tourists, for example in the west region. The number of the bicycle-friendly bistros and restaurants is rising around the Balaton, where you can have a fresh beverage or take a nap under the trees in the afternoon. You have an opportunity to rent a bike in many settlements.
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Great beaches

The beaches around the Lake open from May to the end of September. Many of the beaches provide water sports activities, such as kayaking, waterskiing, puddle boating or surfing. All of the beaches around Balaton have to observe certain requirements to ensure the safety of the people. Therefore before each season the water quality and all of the facilities are carefully sampled and checked. We have collected for you the greatest beaches around the lake: North shore: Balatonfüred Eszterházy beach Balatonfüred Kisfaludy beach Zánka: Erzsébet Tábor Zánka Községi strand Csopak strand Vonyarcvashegy: Lidó Strand Keszthely Helikon beach Alsóörs Strand Gyenesdiási Diási Játékstrandot Balatongyöröki Községi Strandot South Shore: Siófok : Nagystrand Balatonlelle Napfény beach (It includes experience baths) Fonyód: Bélatelepi beach Községi Strand (the longest sandy beach around the lake) Balatonszemesen: Berzsenyi úti szabad strand Balatonbogláron: Platán strand Balatonberény: Községi Strand (the most bike-friendly beach in 2015)
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Balaton Uplands National Park

The area of 56 997 hectares of the Balaton Uplands National Park mainly consists of these six landscape protection areas: Kis-Balaton, Keszthely Hills, Tapolca Basin, Káli Basin, Pécsely Basin and Tihany Peninsula. Among its regions Kis-Balaton is also protected by the international Ramsar Convention, serving the protection of wetland habitats. Tihany Peninsula – as a recognition of its outstanding geological values and the work of nature conservation in that region – was awarded of European Diploma in 2003. The Natura 2000 areas, covering partly the National Park and going beyond its area ensure the possibility of the conservation of habitats, plant and animal species which are of European importance. The initiative of Bakony–Balaton Geopark – the area of which covers partly the National Park – sets the aim of interpreting the geological, natural and cultural values and awakening the consciousness of their social significance. The Bakony–Balaton Geopark became member of the European Geoparks Network and the Global Geoparks Network – assisted by UNESCO in 2012.
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