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The Lake with its 197 kms of shoreline to exploit, is almost 80 kms long, it's widest part is 14 kms and its deepest part is 11.5 meters. The southern shores of the lake are sandy and very shallow, ideal for families with young children, while the northern shore suddenly deepens, is perfect for swimming and for water sports. The Lake has a Mediterranean climate. The average depth is only 3 meters, it warms up quickly. In summer the water temperature is between 20-26 ºC, warmer in the morning and evening than the air.
Lake Balaton offers good beaches for sun lovers, many fine hotels, pensions, inns and restaurants. Nightlife is lively with many bars, discotheques and nightclubs.
The fans of water sports can find many possibilities for sail boating, windsurfing and rowing at Lake Balaton. It is not simply the opportunity for sports but there are ample tourist activities that can provide many weeks of summer recreational programs for singles and families. Two thousand sailboats are anchored in the lake's ports. Boats can be given complete marina service on land or water. Yacht-clubs on the shores serve the comfort of the sailors. Permission to use motorboats is restricted to preserve the peaceful, familiar character of the Balaton.
The anglers can practice their hobby too. The most characteristic fish species of the lake: the carp (an herbivorous fish), predatory fishes: the pike (one of most favored fish for angling), the catfish and the pike-perch. Its flesh is tasty with no fish bones. The pike-perch from the Lake Balaton above 1.5 kg is called "balatoni fogas", which is a special Hungaricum.
Closed fishing seasons:
Lake Balaton general ban: Apr. 20 - May 20.
Pike: March 1 - Apr. 3.
Pike-perch: March 1 - Apr. 28.
Carp, barbell, silure shorter than 80 cm: May 2 - June 15.
There may be difference of few days in dates.
There are pensions for anglers offering accommodation, a boat and angling guide if required.
Lake Balaton is surrounded by untouched areas, national parks and nature reserves. If you would like to change from the bustle of modern life, you can enjoy horse riding or excursions in a carriage.
Hungarian is said to be an equestrian nation. More than 50 equestrian inns, with their own stable, wait all horse fans, should they be sportsmen or hobby riders. In Hungary the best known riding style is the English one. Sometimes we can see the western style as well. Many of the riding centers welcome the children with ponies throughout the year.
The qualification and assessment of the facilities is marked by 1 to 5 horseshoes according to its type and standard.
In the towns there are modern sport establishments like swimming pools, tennis courts and bowling opportunities.
Hotels at Lake Balaton - Accommodation and hotel at Lake Balaton:
Medicinal waters at Lake Balaton:
Hévíz Thermal Lake and Health Spa:
It is the largest and best known medicinal bath in Hungary, located just 6 kms from the northern shore of the Balaton, with important tourism. The thermal lake with a surface of 47,500 m², covered with water lilies is the largest lake with peat bottom in the world. Daily 80 million liters of sulphurous, alkali hydrogen carbonate medicinal water with a mild radon content gushes to the surface so the water of the entire lake is replenished every 48 hours. The temperature of the rushing water is 36 ºC. During the summer the water of the lake is a constant 33-34 ºC, while in winter it never falls below 26 ºC.
The medicinal water has a special curative effect on the different kinds of rheumatic, locomotor, muscle and nervous system's disorders and gynaecological problems. The mud is excellent for the treatment of chronic degenerative locomotor disorders, post-trauma states, gout and Bechterew's disease.
The 36.5 ms deep lake and its environs with a park and an alder wood is a nature conservation area.
The number of the visitors of the lake bath is actually as high as 1,200 thousand a year. Dozens of hotels, pensions and private rooms cater to those looking for treatment or relaxation.
Thermal Hotel Aqua Heviz The hotel is the first "all-inclusive" spa and wellness hotel in Hévíz, next to the famous thermal lake.
Lotus Therme Hotel and Spa Heviz Within a few minutes walk from the largest thermal lake of Europe, in a unique environment, in a 17 acre green park can be found the one and only 5-star wellness and spa hotel of Heviz.
NaturMed Hotel Carbona Heviz The spa hotel is situated in the centre of Hevíz, in the heart of a 10,9 acre large park, about 500 meters from the biggest natural spa of Europe - Lake Heviz.
Hotel Amira Heviz - Amira Wellness Spa Heviz The 4-star Amira Boutique Hotel Heviz - Wellness and Spa, built in Moorish-Arabian style, is situated in the elegant brown-stone district of Heviz, only 800 m from the thermal lake and the city center.
Hotel Spa Heviz Hotel Spa Heviz ****, located in the immediate vicinity of the world-famous Thermal Lake of Heviz, awaits its guests with 54 air-conditioned rooms and apartments, a wide range of wellness services and an own restaurant.
Hotel Palace Heviz Towering above the centre of Heviz, situated in the imposing high street, about 200 metres from the lake of Heviz famous for its beauty and curative powers, the building of the hotel opens a stunning panorama of Heviz valley.
Hunguest Hotel Helios The renovated Hunguest Hotel Helios *** superior awaits its guests in the centre of Heviz, about 500 metres away from the world famous thermal lake of Heviz, in a 45 000 m² wellness park with two buildings.
Hunguest Hotel Panorama Hunguest Hotel Panorama ***, located directly next to the world-famous thermal lake of Heviz - about 150 metres away from it, awaits the guests wishing for regeneration and healing in a pleasant atmosphere.
Hotel Mirage Heviz he hotel is connected to the St. Andras Hospital via a heated passage, so the medical treatments of Hotel Mirage **** can be combined with the hospital's treatments.
The city is the oldest health and holiday resort at Lake Balaton. Its medicinal waters with a dissolved carbonic acid content of 1100-1400 mg per liter are well- known all around the world.
It's useful in drinking cure form ("Füred water") for easing gastroenterological complaints, and in bathing form for improving peripheral blood circulation and relieving pressure on the heart. Balatonfured is called the "Mecca" for sufferers of cardiovascular problems.
But the city is not only a spa, is also a bathing resort, where you can enjoy the waters of the Balaton and can take part in several programs.
Füred is the number one place of yachting in this region.
Wine Weeks start at the beginning of August, introducing the wines produced by local farmers and serve as a cultural festival too.
Hotel Marina Balatonfured The 3-star hotel is located in a spacious green park directly on the beach with beautiful view of Lake Balaton.
Hotel Annabella Balatonfured The 3 star hotel is located in Balatonfured, on the famous lakeside promenade beside of Lake Balaton, the "Hungarian Sea".
Silver Resort Wellness Hotel Balatonfured The wellness hotel is located in the centre of the lakeside area, next to Tagore Promenade and the port of Balatonfured.
Anna Grand Hotel Balatonfured The 4-star wellness hotel is located on the northern shore of Lake Balaton, in the heart of the historical district of Balatonfured.
Ipoly Residence Hotel Balatonfured The 120-year-old eclectic art relic building of the four-star hotel is located in a spectacular vicinity, about 50 meters from the shore of Lake Balaton.
Towns and villages around the Balaton:
The town is situated at the north-western corner of Balaton, one of the largest cities of Balaton shore. Currently it's one of the most popular places of the lake visited by lots of tourists, because of the closeness of Héviz.
The Festetics family, the owner of Keszthely in the 18th century, built a pompous castle in 1745 and replaced the centre of their domains here. This is the third largest castle in the country with 101 rooms. Helikon Castle Museum is inside the palace. The park of the palace is under protection.
Count György Festetics established the Georgikon in 1797. It was the first high-level agricultural institute of Europe.
Museums: Georgikon Manor Museum, Helikon Castle Museum, Balaton Museum (history of surrounding of Balaton, plants and animals of the lake, Roman and mediaeval stonework), Wine Museum
Programs: Helikon Feast (opening of summer season), Balaton Festival (theatre performances, pop music, folk dance), Wine Festival
Hotel Helikon Keszthely 3-star Hotel Helikon is a resort hotel directly on the shore of Lake Balaton, in a wonderful area.
Hotel Kristaly Keszthely The three-star Kristaly Hotel Keszthely, situated at the shore of Lake Balaton in the centre of Keszthely, awaits its guests with 40 elegant rooms, pampering wellness services and a restaurant.
Wellness Hotel Kakadu Keszthely The family atmosphere Wellness Hotel KAKADU ***superior - renewed in 2009 - is located in Keszthely, only 350 m from Lake Balaton.
The city is the longest settlement of the Balaton with its shore of 17 kms. The centre of young people, with busting night life and heavy traffic, the number of its inhabitants is quintupled in summer.
Museums: Museum of Imre Kálmán (established in the house where the king of operetta was born, piano, scores, personal belonging of the composer), Mineral Museum (minerals of the Carpathian Basin)
Programs: Whitsuntide Feast Opening (a ball, election of the Beauty of Balaton), Golden Shell International Folklore Festival, concerts on open-air stages and at the large beach for pop music fans
Sports events: Hungarian Jumping Derby (three-day international riding competition), Balaton Marathon and Super Marathon (running competitions), Swimming Contest through the Balaton
Premium Hotel Panorama Siofok The four-star hotel is situated on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, in Siofok on the Aranypart (Golden Beach).
Wellness Hotel Vertes Siofok The 4-star thermal and wellness hotel lies on the nicest and most romantic street of Siófok with sycamore trees.
Wellness Hotel Azur Siofok The 4-star hotel is the largest wellness and conference hotel of the Balaton region open all year round. The wellness hotel is situated in the heart of Siofok, directly on the shores of Lake Balaton with its own sandy beach.
Best Western Janus Atrium Hotel Siofok The 4-star Best western Janus Atrium Hotel is a small, centrally located Boutique-Hotel in a family atmosphere in Siofok on the shore of Lake Balaton.
CE Plaza Hotel Siofok The four-star wellness hotel CE Plaza Hotel, reopened in Siofok in 2012, awaits its guests with 92 rooms and apartments.
Hotel Lido Siofok The 3-star hotel is located in the most beautiful promenade of Siofok, directly on the shore of Lake Balaton.
Hotel Korona Siofok The 3-star hotel is situated close to the centre of Siofok, in a quiet environment, the beach and the yacht port are within walking distance to the hotel.
Hotel Club Siofok - Hotel Hungaria Hotel Club Siofok is located in the most beautiful promenade of Siofok, directly on the shore of Lake Balaton.
Hote Club Siofok - Hotel Europa Hotel Club Siofok is located in the most beautiful promenade of Siofok, directly on the shore of Lake Balaton.
Hotel Residence Siofok Conference & Wellness Hotel Residence **** Siofok is situated only 100 meters away from the shore of Lake Balaton, in the garden suburb of Siofok.
The city is one of the most well-kept resorts of the lake shore with its parks and gardens. Europe Prize was given to the city in 1994 for its achievements on the fields of establishing parks, maintaining tidiness and order.
Kőröshegy, famous as a riding centre, has been almost completely built together with the city.
The port of Balatonföldvár is a popular yachting centre.
Programs: Földvár Festival (opening the summer season), Földvár Days (classical music concerts), Balaton Folklore Festival (international folk dance groups), Hungarian-Bavarian Festival (performances of Hungarian and Bavarian groups).
The ancient village is lying on the southern shore of the Balaton. Long free beach and full service are provided for families with small children.
Nice tourist routes run to Balatonendréd and Szántód, where can be seen the Cultural Centre of Szántódpuszta.
Szántódpuszta is a protected group of buildings (a chapel of the 19th century, a mansion, a village inn, servants' quarters and farm-buildings) which has become a tourist centre with exhibitions, hotels, restaurants and a riding school.
Museum: Country House (a characteristic Balaton house with a verandah, the furniture shows the lifestyle of a wealthy peasant)
The volcanic-origin peninsula is the largest of Balaton. It's covered with a variety of rare flora and fauna. The whole territory is a nature conservation area.
Tihany is rich in historical values as well. The Benedictine Abbey which was founded in 1055 by King Andrew I. is the symbol of the peninsula. The hall crypt of three naves of Roman style remained in good state. Here lies King Andrew I. died in 1060. The Document of Foundation prepared in Latin language includes lots of Hungarian words. It's the most appreciated memory of the Hungarian language.
Visitors can cross the Lake by car ferry at the peninsula.
Museums: Benedictine Abbey Museum, Open-air Ethnographical Museum, Potter's House (in the Old Village), Puppet Museum
Programs: Tihany Musical Month, Tihany Vintage Days
Hotel Club Tihany The four-star Club Tihany - hotel and holiday centre with bungalows - is situated on the top of the Tihany-peninsula directly on the shore of Lake Balaton.
Club Tihany Bungalows The four-star Club Tihany is situated on the top of the Tihany-peninsula that was declared to be a national park in 1952.
Echo Residence Luxury Apartment Hotel Tihany The 4-star luxury apartment hotel is located at the southern top of Tihany Peninsula, just above Lake Balaton, on the top of Kopasz Hill surrounded by a 10 000 m² ancient green park.
The extinct volcano with its basalt organs is visited by two millions of tourists each year. The hill is famous for its vineyards located on the rich sedimentary ground.
The hill is a part of the Balaton Highlands National Park. Educational path goes around the hill. The interesting sights are indicated by tablets. The surrounding hills (St. György, Gulács, Csobánc…) and the Folly Botanic Garden are worth visiting too.
Museums: Róza Szegedy House (a 200 year old wine-press house with Literary Memorial Museum), József Egry Memorial Museum (in the house of the famed painter of the Balaton)
Programs: Badacsony Feast and Folk Art Fair, Badacsony Wine Week, Badacsony Vintage
Hotel in Badacsony:
Hotel Bonvino Badacsony The Wellness, Active and Wine Hotel Bonvino is located in Badacsonytomaj, only 300 ms from the shore of Lake Balaton, on the territory of Balaton Uplands National Park of Hungary.
Other hotels and pensions at Lake Balaton:
Hotel Ramada Resort Balatonalmadi The 4-star Ramada Hotel & Resort is located on the northern shore of Lake Balaton, in Balatonalmadi. The spectacular view of Lake Balaton is guaranteed in each room of the hotel.
Hotel Marina-Port Balatonkenese The brand new 4-star wellness and resort hotel, Hotel Marina-Port, is located directly on the shore of Lake Balaton, in Balatonkenese. Hotel Marina-Port is equipped with boats for groups. For individual guests the waterside hotel recommends sailing.
Ket Korona Wellness Hotel Balatonszarszo Ket Korona (Two Crowns) Conference and Wellness Hotel is located on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, in one of the most popular resort areas of the lake, in Balatonszarszo.
Club Aliga Balatonvilagos Club Aliga is a big holiday complex at the south-eastern shore of Lake Balaton with hotels and villas of different categories.
Zenit Hotel Balaton Vonyarcvashegy Zenit Hotel Balaton**** is located in Vonyarcvashegy, on the northern shore of Lake Balaton, only 5 kms from Keszthely and 9 kms from Heviz.
Hotel Damona Zalakaros Hunguest Hotel Damona **** Spa and Wellness Hotel, located near the famous Zalakaros Thermal Bath awaits its guests with 308 elegant rooms.
BL Bavaria Yacht Club Balatonlelle BL Bavaria Yachtclub offers its guests 31 fully equipped apartments, a sandy beach on a 30 000 m² area, underground parking places and a yacht port in Balatonlelle, directly on the shore of Lake Balaton.
Hotel at Lake Velencei:
Vital Hotel Nautis Gardony The newest hotel resort in Gardony at Lake Velencei, VITAL HOTEL NAUTIS, has been built right in the neighbourhood of Gardony port and beach.