Balaton, the legendary lake
The highlights on the northern shore of Lake Balaton include romantic strolls along the pretty streets of Balatonfüred oozing 19th century charm and hiking to the top of Tihany for a breathtaking view of the lake in the lavender scented air. Just a few million years ago geysers spouted hot water into the air on the Tihany peninsula. Take a hike on the lunar landscape near the Inner Lake to see the evidence. Just a short ride from here to the west, between Balatonudvari and Örvényes, you'll find one of the most spectacular golf courses of Hungary, Royal Balaton Golf & Yacht Club.
The volcanic slopes further west along the shore are the perfect terrain for refreshing white wines. Badacsony is a perfect spot for hiking, but a local myth makes it even more worthwhile for couples. If you and your loved one sit on the Rose Stone with your backs to the lake (it's hard to turn away from the view, we know), legend has it you'll be married within a year. Now that deserves a toast, right? Explore the many wine cellars and their fabulous wines and mouth watering dishes until you find your favourite one. Behind the basalt mountain of Badacsony you can find the fairytale valley called the Káli Basin. Visit its lovely quiet villages and move on to the mineral waters at Kékkút, source of Theodora Quelle waters.
At the western peak of the lake, you won't only find the source of health in the largest natural medicinal thermal water lake in the world in Hévíz, but also one of the three largest baroque palaces of the country, the Festetics Palace in Keszthely. If you like great contrasts, after the grandeur and elegance of the palace, don't miss out on the area's tiny jungle, the Little Balaton. It's paradise for endangered plants and for birds, with tens of thousands arriving as if for an annual convention at migration time. Patient birdwatchers have counted 250 species, of which 100 nest here and 27 are protected.
The southern shores of Lake Balaton will lull you with their quiet charm. Small towns oozing character, living traditions of arts and crafts, spas and wineries,; exquisite castle hotels and the largest walnut plantation in Europe.. But your trip to Lake Balaton won't be complete without visiting the party capital of the area, Siófok. After chilling out on one of the many lidos or practicing your wakeboarding moves on the silky smooth water during the day, this small town caters for all your partying needs with club complexes and beachside pubs where dancing on the tables is the norm, and everything in between.