Lake Balaton is the most popular lake in the country, but not the only one. Hungary has many beautiful lakes, so if you are getting tired of Balaton, or just want a change of scenery, here is a selection you could check out, listed by magyarorszagom.hu.
Lake Palatinus is the biggest lake of the Dorog Basin, in Esztergom. It is a rectangle shaped man-made quarry lake with a narrow bay at its Southeast corner. Since it is one of the clearest lakes in Hungary, it is definitely worth visiting. It is a great spot to go swimming, fishing or even scuba diving!
The lake is not fed by rivers or streams, only by groundwater channels. The Kenyérmezői stream drains it.
The Northern side of the lake has a sandy beach, where you can lay sunbathing or play beach volleyball. It is also a nice spot for swimming. The Southern part is filled with fishing lodges. You can rent boats, pedal boats, or try the water slides.
Water temperature is around 19 °C; max depth is 10 metres. Although the lake was made artificially by excavating sand in the 50s, today it has its own unique ecosystem.
A diving museum was opened in 2006, which is also worth a visit. And as an interesting tidbit: there is shipwreck here under the water. The ship was built in 1615, and it was sunk here in 2009 in order to conserve it.
Lake Deseda, just north of Kaposvár, is Hungary’s longest lake. It was created by intentionally damming the river in 1974.
The beach is very popular in the summer, while there are skating rinks set up during the winter. The area is surrounded by forests with many hiking and biking trails. The beach closest to Toponár is where younger people go to have fun, swim and play on the beach. The part around Magyaregres and Somogyaszaló is more about nature, peace and quiet.
There are bike paths around the area, so if you are up for a nice workout, you can circle around the lake by bike. The lookout tower on the western side gives an amazing view of the lake and the forest. If the weather is good, an electric boat is there to take you on a trip.
North of Road 67 there is an arboretum on the peninsula, where the admission is free since 2001. There is also a visitor centre and an adventure park with hiking trails, playgrounds for the kids, and a promenade beneath the trees that is certainly a must-see.
Old lake (Hungarian Öreg-tó) is situated in the middle of the town of Tata, and it is the country’s oldest fish pond. Adjoining the South-east quarter of the lake is a wooded area. It is fed by the Által-brook from the south-east, which then leaves it in a Northerly direction through the town until it eventually reaches the Danube.
Many lakes have been used as fish ponds in Hungary, just like this one from the 1700s until 1965. After that, it became a national reserve in 1977, and the Ramsar Convention protects it since 1989. Hunting is not allowed since 1993.
The town of Tata and their twin town Alkmaar started cleaning the lake in 2006, which was an important, although costly project. The lake is a unique habitat with rare fishes and birds. The lookout tower built in 1999 is the perfect place to watch migratory birds.
The lake is used for fish farming, but you can see boats and kayaks on it during the summer months. Surfing and sailing are also possible, while during the winter, ice skating is popular. Whether you like to walk, run, bike or go swimming, lake Öreg should be among your places to visit in the coming months.
Lake Bánk is a tiny lake in Nógrád county, average depth is around 4 metres, and it is a favourite among local fishers. The water’s temperature is similar to that of the Balaton’s, so it is also a great spot for swimming. On the Southern side of the lake, there is an adventure park with climbing walls, but you can also play tennis, badminton, basketball and chess.
The beach by the Tó-hotel is free in the evenings, but there is an entrance fee during the day.
Lake Szelid is a lake in Bács-Kiskun county. It is the fifth biggest lake in the country.
An unusual salt lake formed from an old branch of the Danube, Lake Szelid can be found 4 km southeast from Dunapataj. The lake, with a maximum width of 200 m and length of 4 km is only three meters deep on average. Thus warms quickly in the summer, sometimes reaching 28 degrees Celsius. Apart from the therapeutic effects of the medicinal salts, the lake is also used for relaxation and fishing. There is a campsite nearby and a sandy beach on the southern side.
Visit some of these wonderful lakes in Hungary if you want to spend a few days on a beach, swimming, sunbathing, fishing or trying some of the more adventurous options. If you are more interested in the scenery and maybe the legends and myths behind some of our lakes, read our earlier article about Fairy-tale-like legends behind beloved Hungarian lakes.
Featured image: facebook.com/Palatinus-tó