13 reasons why the Lake Balaton is still an exciting destination
Szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu wrote why the lake is still one of the best choices.
- The lake area is beautiful because in a geographical sense, it’s quite varied: there’re 9 different landscapes.
Loess soil: from Balatonvilagos to Balatonfuzfo, which is dust deposed in the ice age. Thus arose the High Coast.
Red sandstone: the area between Balatonalmadi and Balatonfured, which was formed in the Permian era.
Limestone: it’s typical in the neighborhood of Balatonfured, it arose in Upper Triassic.
Volcanic basalt: it preserves the memory of the extinct, once active volcanoes, just like the hot springs.
Karst landscape: the dolomite and Sarmatian limestone determines the area from Aszofo to Zanka.
Basalt: it preserves the traces of volcanic activity from Zanka to Balatonederics.
Swampy, wet area: the world of Little Balaton.
Sandy area: it determines a large part of south coast, it is located from Balatonboglar to Balatonvilagos.
- It’s a shallow lake and warms up quickly
It’s not as cold as many of the European lakes. The average depth of the Lake Balaton is a few meters, its deepest point is the “Well”, which is under Tihany and it’s more than 12 meters. By comparison, the lowest point of the Lake Constance is 254 m, of the Lake Garda is 346 m and of the Lake Geneva is 310 m.
- You can choose from more than fifty beaches
Moreover, most of them are free. According to Balatontipp, the best ones were the Alsoors, Gyenesdias, Balatongyorok and Balatonfured beaches last year. This year, according to the Kek Hullam Zaszlo (Blue Wave Flag) Balaton beach rating system, the mostly family-friendly beach is the Esterhazy beach in Balatonfured, the most bike-friendly is the Balatonbereny village beach and the sportiest is the Vonyarcvashegy beach. The best free beach was Platan in Balatonboglar, while the Balatongyorok municipal beach got the reward for the beach achieving the most points.
- Balaton provides a breathtaking view even from above
Check out from plane or helicopter. If you want new experiences and want to know how the lake looks like from the air, participate in pleasure flights. You can start from Budapest as well, or from Heviz Airport, Sarmellek. From Hajmasker, you’re brought to a pleasure flight by helicopter.
- Special place for fishers and seafood lovers
There’re more than 40 species of fishes in the lake, of which the best is zander (or the young specimen, pike-perch). The flesh of catfish and carp are also among the popular food, just like bream fried in flour. Garda is a special kind, sentinels were watching during the fishing, who watched the movement of the school of fish. The other name “seen fish” came from here. There are some who love eel, even if it’s not native in Balaton.
- The surrounding area’s been populated for thousands of years
Therefore, museums are rich in archaeological finds. As early as from the New Stone Age we find evidences for the traces of human life: stack apartments, tools found in Lovas paint mines and the Sagvari farm. In the Copper Age, Bronze Age, people lived there. The Celts lived here in the Iron Age, they let the evidence of their stay in the near of Keszthely, Tatika. During the time of Emperor Augustus, the Balaton region was a Roman province, of this, the ruins of nearly 400 villas, buildings or whole settlements, tools, statues, plaques etc. remind in Balaca, Fenekpuszta, Sagvar.
After the Romans, during the Migration Period, Huns, Lombards, Ostrogoths, Avars appeared in West Hungary, then the area came under Frank, after that, under Slavic domination. Up until the arrival of the conquering Hungarian tribes.
- The ruin of one of the oldest castles of Hungary is on Tatika
You can find the ruins near Zalaszanto. Why is the castle exciting? The Also-Tatika castle was confiscated by order of King Bela IV from Tatika clan in 1248. The castle was erected on an escarpment of Varhegy. It was because one of the members of the clan, the violent Tade set fire to the village of the bishop of Veszprem. The bishop got the castle but he considered it not safe enough and built another. The bishop died here in 1262.
The fire accompanied the history of Tatika, as if Tade would have cursed it. In 1589, Turkish raiders looted and burned down, then in the 1700’s, it was in flames because of imperial troops, who were holding military exercises. The castle ruins are explored by now, it can be visited. The Ko kovon did a virtual reconstruction and they show what the original building looked like, according to them.
- The Balaton region is full with lookout towers
In Balatongyorok, you can see the Szigliget bay from Bece Hill (and the panorama is great from the Szigliget castle too). In Fonyod, a wooden lookout is waiting for you. In Balatonboglar there is the Sphere Lookout, in Siofok, there is the iconic water tower and Ferris wheel. You can also see a lookout in Balatonfoldvar. In Gyenesdias, you should jump to the Festetics lookout, and to the Jokai lookout in Balatonfured.
- You can find the masterpieces of folk architecture as well
The most famous is probably the Tihany village museum, but you can also find country houses, open-air museums in other settlements of Balaton.
- The area offers plenty of legendary, romantic places
Here is for example, the Owl Castle in Balatonszemes; it’s believed it’s the most romantic building of the town, literally. It has already stood during the Turkish occupation, it was erected in 1570. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in the 17th century. The current “castle” is thanked to the last owner of the plot, who was supporter of romanticism and build on the ruins of the old castle in this spirit.
- There are great cake shops, ice-cream parlors
Karpati is praised in Balatonfured, Florida ice-cream parlor in Balatonmariafurdo and Amaretto in Balatonalmadi.
- Music festivals one after another
Balaton Sound is one of the biggest summer events, attracting tens of thousands to Zamardi. There is Dunafured in Balatonfured and Utcazene (Street Music) Festival in Veszprem. Between July 24 and August 2, Kapolcs plays the main role with Valley of Arts. Between August 19 and 22, Strand Festival can tempt to you Zamardi, and the B my Lake.
- It’s beautiful still in cloudy weather
based on the article of szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu
translated by BA