Lake Balaton

Hungary's number one summer retreat, Lake Balaton offers 170 kilometres of shoreline dotted with family resorts on the southern shore and welcoming vineyards to the north. Every summer, thousands of Hungarians flock to the silky smooth green water, but there is much more of interest to see and do than just laze around on the beach.

The shapely volcanic hills on the north shore are famous for both their refreshing white wines and their breathtaking views. The plethora of hillside restaurants and pretty spots to enjoy a chilled glass of wine make it ideal for a mixture of exploration and relaxation.

Of the many unusually contoured mountains, the tabletop Badacsony is the most eye-catching. A visit to the Tihany peninsula, containing Hungary's oldest national park and the picturesque Abbey Church is also essential. 


The flatter southern shore is more renowned for its hedonist summer capital Siófok. Its large beaches and shallow water are ideal for paddling, ball games, food, drink and watersports. Each waterfront settlement has its own unique character, from the bustling student town of Keszthely on the western tip to the elegant spa resort of Balatonfüred on the north shore.

If you acts in Keszthely, it is essential to visit Festetics castle what is one of the largest and most properly renovated castle in Hungary.

Festetics Castle, Keszthely

In addition to traditional beach activities, the curative thermal lake at Hévíz is warm enough in any weather, and the beautiful surrounding countryside lends itself to horseriding tours.

Little Balaton to the west of Keszthely is one of Europe's top wetland nature reserves and a favourite spot for birdwatchers. In preserving the area's natural beauty it is an important factor that the Little Balaton has been a strictly guarded landscape protection area and, along with the Keszthely Hills, belongs to the Upper Balaton National Park.

Thermal lake, Heviz

Recommended route by bus:
1. Budapest - Herend - Tihany - Balatonfured - Budapest
2. Budapest - Keszthely - Heviz - Zalakaros - Little Balaton - Budapest

Lake Balaton, Wine regions, Wellnes & Spa, National Parks in pictures.

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