If you’re planning to have a biking tour around Lake Balaton you should definitely keep reading; hvg.hu collected the most important advises for those who are brave enough to take a trip around the lake by bicycle.
The whole tour around Lake Balaton usually takes two or three days, says Jonatán, who prefers to take a longer tour so there’s enough time to take a look around, and enjoy the view. Viktória also prefers the a three day trip, and she always follows the same schedule: depart at dawn, have an exact distance in your mind that can be done by early afternoon, and have some time for swimming in the lake and time to relax.
Although it’s better to have a fixed schedule or route, booking a hotel room or apartment in advance is not necessary. There are countless lodgings around the lake, and everyone can find the one that is the most affordable for them. If you decide not to take a fixed route or don’t have anything specific in mind, you should still take a look at the biking routes around the Lake, so you won’t end up having to take a dirt road for long kilometres, without any stopping points.
There’s a perfect route for those who wouldn’t want to spend two or three days biking, but would rather have a short tour. Éva and her husband take the same route every year: they park their car at the roundabout in Karattya, go in the direction of Kenese until they reach Tihany, and then they cross the lake by taking the ferry. It’s only 90 km, doable in four or five hours. This route is perfect for those who are not professional bikers.
Before taking any of the routes, it’s important to have a professional check the bikes, and fix any problems; it wouldn’t be so good to realize in the middle of the tour that there’s a loose screw in the front wheel. It’s also important to have extra equipment, such as a small biking kit, a mini pump etc.
If you would save yourself the trouble of taking your bike to Lake Balaton, or wouldn’t want to bother with taking it to a professional, there’s always the opportunity to rent a bike online. Although MÁV (Hungarian State Railways) offers special cabins for the bikes on some routes, several problems might arise; it’s possible, for instance, to sell more bike tickets than the number of vacant places.
Taking care of yourselves is just as important as taking care of your bikes. Your body needs to adapt to the biking tour as well, and many make the mistake of not having the proper food and drink in their backpacks. Plain water is not enough; the best is, if you take some sports beverages, or something with a minimal amount of sugar.
During the tour it’s better to have small sandwiches, but it’s okay to have a bigger meal at one of the checkpoints at the end of the day. Because bikers have to carry everything, it’s unnecessary to have extra food, when it’s easier to buy some on the way. Don’t forget to have clothes that are suitable for a biking tour, and always pack a light raincoat.
Many people criticized the quality of the routes, and many complained that there are no proper biking lanes: they have to cross every little village, and it’s not the best family programme. Because the routes go through every little town and village, there’s a minimal amount of traffic as well, which makes it harder for parents and guardians to bike in front of, or besides their children.
Never forget to eat and drink regularly, and it’s essential to know your boundaries: never take on more than you can handle. It’s best if you have a fixed schedule, and know where the nearest stopping point is to take a rest.
A biking tour around Lake Balaton is not for those who would like to have a race and be the fastest, because the routes often go through little settlements, which makes it harder to go fast. This tour is rather for those who’d like to enjoy the view, wouldn’t mind stopping for a festival or for a quick swim in the lake, and just want to take some time off in nature.
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