There is no place like Lake Balaton, but in the height of summer the crowded beaches can get a bit overwhelming. If you love the charm of natural lakes, but don’t want to spend 20 minutes queuing for a lángos, or if you’re just looking for something new, travelo.hu has collected some lakes and lakeside destinations to check out in the Hungarian countryside.
The main attraction, the Lake Rukkel Waterpark is situated in Dunavarsány, 30 km outside Budapest. Besides swimming, you can also try wakeboarding or water skiing on the lake, and there are many slides as well.
The area is great if you want to spend a day out in nature, but there is also much to see on a longer holiday. Near Lake Rukkel is the ominously named Moby Dick Fishing Lake, and a small way off the Danube Branch of Ráckeve, a significant branch of the River Danube which runs around the Csepel Island. Fishing is allowed here as well, but cycling is also a great programme, as the scenery is gorgeous.
While we’re at the Danube Branch of Ráckeve, the Domariba Island needs to be mentioned. Nature photographers’ paradise, the northern part of the island is a designated nature reserve where many water birds, such as the great crested grebe, several species of herons, the Savi’s warbler, and the great reed warbler can be found.
Lake Fertő, on the Hungary-Austria border, has many things that make us recommend it. Firstly, its water is medicinal, and its salt content is 33 times as high as Lake Balaton’s.
Secondly, if there is one place where you should bring you bike, it’s Lake Fertő. There are either separate cycling tracks or designated bike lanes on the roads all the way around the lake. According to utazom.com, the whole distance is 130 km, which can be shortened to 68 km if you take the ferry across the lake at Mörbisch-Illmitz on the Austrian side.
There are also many rare animal species around the lake that can be observed in their natural habitat. The area is part of the Fertő-Hanság National Park.
There is no official public beach, but there is a beach open in Fertőrákos, where you can also rent a boat or a surfboard, there is surfing training, beach volleyball and beach football courts, a playground for kids, and opportunities for pleasure boating on the lake.
Lake Tisza, formerly known as the Kisköre Reservoir is the second largest lake and the largest artificial lake in Hungary, located 150 km from Budapest in the eastern part of the country. It’s a great choice both for lovers of water sports and people who simply like swimming.
There are public beaches in Tiszafüred, Poroszló, Kistöre, and Tiszanána, ports in Abádszalók and Poroszló, and anglers can use the beach in Sarud. There is also a thermal bath in Tiszafüred if the weather turns bad.
The surrounding area is also abundant in wildlife, which can be discovered at the Ecocentre in Poroszló, as well as on a variety of tours from pleasure boating to amphibious vehicles which traverse the most hidden nooks of the lake.
Lakes of Orfű
Orfű in Baranya county is perhaps most known for the Fishing on Orfű music festival, or for its proximity to Pécs, but it is worth venturing south in any season as the country is wondrously peaceful.
The Lakes of Orfű are made of three adjoined artificial lakes: Lake Orfű, or as it is known in the local vernacular, the “small lake”; Lake Pécs, or the “big lake”; and Lake Herman Ottó, named after a Hungarian zoologist and pioneer in natural history research for no apparent reason.
If you come here for swimming, Lake Orfű has a great beach with slides and obstacle courses that kids will love. There are also many hiking trails around the area, as well as horse riding opportunities, and all lakes are excellent for fishing.
Abaliget in the vicinity is also worth a visit. There are two lakes there, one with a small beach, the other primarily for fishing, but the main attraction is the stalactite cave, the biggest known cave in the Mecsek mountain range, and the only stalactite cave in the Southern Transdanubian region. Bring a jumper if you’re going, it gets quite cold in there.
Copy editor: bm
Source: travelo.hu, utazom.hu