Lakepedia.com – Hungary is a beautiful country, a popular tourist destination that attracts more than 10 million visitors every year. The stunning Budapest is of course the most famous of its destinations, but Hungary also has many beautiful lakes. Below are 5 of the most important lakes in Hungary, each with its own interesting particularities.
1. Lake Balaton
Lake Balaton needs little introduction. Located in the western part of Hungary, it is the largest lake in Central Europe, and one of the region’s most popular vacation destinations. It covers an area of 592 square kilometers, and has a maximum depth of 12 meters.
There are many resorts around the lake, the most important ones being Keszthely, Siófok, and Balatonfüred. Zamárdi, a resort on the lake’s southern shore, hosts Balaton Sound, an important electronic music festival held since 2007.
The lake is most popular among tourists from June to August, with an abundance of activities available. The warm water temperature during summer makes swimming and bathing very popular. Even though most beaches consist of grass, rocks, or sand from the bottom of the lake, many resorts offer artificial sandy beaches as well.
Other popular activities at the lake include fishing, sailing, and water sports. The region on the northern shore of the lake is also known for its historic character and as a major wine region. Even though the lake is most popular during the summer, it is also frequented during winter, when visitors skate, sledge, ice-sail, or go ice-fishing on the frozen waters of the lake.
2. Lake Fertő
Lake Fertő is also quite large, the largest salt lake in Europe, the third largest lake in Central Europe, and the westernmost of the great continental salt lakes of Eurasia. The lake is actually shared between Hungary and Austria, where it is known under the name of Neusiedler See. Lake Fertő covers an area of 315 square kilometers, with about 76% of the lake in Austria and 24% in Hungary. The lake’s maximum depth is just 1.8 meters.
The lake is an important resting place for migratory birds, because most of it is surrounded by reeds, which makes it ideal as a wildlife habitat. The reeds are harvested during winter, for both ecological and economic reasons. The region around the lake, particularly in Austria, draws significant numbers of tourists, who come here for sailing and windsurfing.
3. Lake Tisza
Lake Tisza is actually a reservoir (also known as Kisköre Reservoir), and quite a large one. Covering 127 square kilometers, it is located at the southeastern edge of Heves county. The dam that formed the lake, Tisza Dam, was built in 1973, but its filling was finished in the 1990s. The lake has a maximum depth of 17 meters.
After the reservoir was completed, it was designated an official tourism destination by the government. Consequently, tourist infrastructure has been developed on Lake Tisza, and vacationers started to visit it. Some people prefer it to Lake Balaton, which is considered more crowded and more expensive.
4. Lake Velence
Covering an area of 27 square kilometers, Lake Velence is the second largest natural lake located entirely in Hungary. It is located in Fejér county between Budapest and Székesfehérvár, at the foot of the Velence Mountains.
One third of the lake’s area is covered by reed, which makes the lake a natural reserve that shelters bird species unique in Europe. The sunny climate of the area and the shallow waters of the lake, which only reach an average depth of 1.6 meters, make Lake Velence one of the warmest lakes in Europe. The water temperature in the summer may be as high as 28 °C.
Lake Velence is also a popular tourist destinations in Hungary. The water of the lake is rich in sodium and magnesium, and it regenerates the fatigued body and eases rheumatoid symptoms. There are also a lot of beaches that await people who prefer active holidays.
5. Lake Fehér
Lake Fehér is located just north of the town of Szeged, and covers an area of 14 square kilometres. Its name derives from its color, Fehér meaning “white”. The lake is a part of the Kiskunság National Park, and is the largest saltwater lake located entirely in Hungary.
Lake Fehér is home to 280 bird species, and the area is an important stop for migrating European birds, which come here to rest and feed. In the migration season, one can see crowds of cranes, wild geese, and many more species on Lake Fehér. This makes Lake Fehér extremely important for wildlife and thus it is carefully protected.
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Copy editor: bm