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Der Plattensee in Ungarn, Bild: Daniel Pahmeier / shutterstock

Lake Balaton – pure relaxation

Nestled in the western Hungarian landscape, Lake Balaton is considered the second most popular travel destination in Hungary. The pleasant climate, a beautiful landscape, hot springs and numerous sights make every holiday at Lake Balaton an unforgettable experience. While beach resorts and hotels have sprung up in large numbers on the southern shore of the lake, the north side of the lake presents itself with charming towns and historically grown villages worth seeing.

Natural paradise of Lake Balaton

The varied landscape around Lake Balaton is beautiful. While the swamp zones and reed regions around Lake Balaton are a unique habitat for rare plant, reptile and bird species, the volcanic mountain landscape around the lake presents itself with extensive forests and geological features.

The Balaton Uplands National Park is one of the most fascinating nature reserves in Europe. Both the northern area of the Tihany peninsula and the Kis-Balaton bog are part of the national park area. The wetland of Kis Balaton is a well-known buffalo and bird reserve. Observing the buffalo and grey cattle herds in their natural habitat is one of the impressive experiences that nature lovers can have in the National Park at Lake Balaton.

If you want to explore the nature around Lake Balaton, you will benefit from an extensive network of hiking trails and nature trails. Especially in the national park area, there are numerous signposted routes that lead to the most beautiful natural areas in the region.

Lake Balaton holiday paradise

Lake Balaton, Lake Balaton in Hungary
Boat trip on Lake Balaton, Image: grafxart/ shutterstock

With an area of 600 km² and an average water depth of 3 m, Lake Balaton is a popular destination for families. Lake Balaton is characterized by its shallow water near the shore, so that children can also enjoy the cool water here without any worries. But Lake Balaton also offers ideal conditions for water sports enthusiasts, where you can surf, sail, dive and fish. The beautiful bathing meadows and sandy beaches around the lake invite you to sunbathe and relax and around Lake Balaton, tourists also benefit from a very good infrastructure. The region has a lot to offer, especially in terms of cuisine, and so it is worth visiting the restaurants at Lake Balaton. Here you can enjoy typical dishes such as goulash soup, paprikás csirke, lángos, bableves and much more. But also fantastic sausage specialties such as Debrecziner and Kolbász and sweet temptations such as Dobostorte, Esterházy cake and pancakes are part of the typical Hungarian cuisine.

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Cures at Lake Balaton

Hungary and especially the region around Lake Balaton is also an ideal destination to enjoy spa and wellness treatments. Over 1,000 hot springs can be found on Hungarian territory and even the Romans knew about the healing powers of Hungary’s hot springs.

Only a few kilometres west of Lake Balaton, the traditional spa town of Héviz inspires with Lake Hévis, which is a very special attraction as the largest natural thermal lake in the world. Idyllically surrounded by forest, the spa facilities of Héviz are among the most famous in Hungary. But there are also numerous health resorts along the shoreline of Lake Balaton, which are known for their wide range of spa and wellness facilities. The Tihany spa is particularly idyllic here, but the spas of Gyenesdias, Balatonfüred, Siofok, Balatonakali and many other health resorts also inspire with their direct waterfront location and their spa and wellness facilities.

The most beautiful towns and villages of Lake Balaton

A special highlight are the enchanting towns that can be found around Lake Balaton. Many of the cities are characterized by their city center that is worth seeing, a fantastic riverside location, historical sights and a wide range of cultural offerings. Especially on the northern shore of Lake Balaton, there are many charming towns worth seeing, so that exploration tours prove to be extremely worthwhile.

Balatonfüred – the romantic spa town

Balatonfüred is known as one of the most romantic cities in Central Europe. The spa town shines with a town centre that is characterised by buildings from the 18. and 19th century. A jetty also gives the city maritime flair. In addition, the spa and health resort is characterized by its attractive cultural life, so it is always worth taking a look at the current calendar of events.

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Tihany – the unique place on the Balaton Peninsula

Tihany, Lake Balaton
Tihany, Image: ZGPhotography / shutterstock

The town of Tihany offers a fantastic view of the lake and also shines with numerous listed buildings. The nearby Baroque monastery of Tihany Abbey is probably the most famous building in the city, as it is considered one of the most important historical monuments in Hungary. It is also worth visiting the ruins of the Újlak church. But in the end, it is the particularly cozy atmosphere of the place that inspires visitors.

Keszethely – the capital of Lake Balaton

The town of Keszethely has always occupied a very special position among the places around Lake Balaton. It is not only the largest city on the shores of the lake, but also historically the most interesting. Here you will find sights such as the enchanting castle complex of Feštetić. The list of listed residential buildings in the old town is long and the cityscape is correspondingly worth seeing. Keszethely is also ideal for an extensive shopping spree, because the lively pedestrian zone of the spa and spa town has a lot to offer. But in the end, it is the unique Mediterranean flair of the city that enchants visitors and invites them to linger in the numerous cafés and restaurants.

Siofók – the pearl on the south bank

The town of Siofók is one of the most famous and popular seaside resorts on Lake Balaton. Although the town is often referred to as the “Ballermann am Balaton”, Siofók looks back on a long history and is well worth seeing as a former royal free town. If you walk through the city attentively, you will find numerous sculptures worth seeing, dreamlike old villas, beautiful parks and, of course, the city’s famous water tower.


The most important questions about Lake Balaton

How deep is Lake Balaton?

The maximum depth of Lake Balaton is 12.5 meters. The average depth is 3.3 meters.

How big is Lake Balaton?

Lake Balaton is 77 kilometers long and has a total area of 592 km²

In which country is Lake Balaton located?

Lake Balaton is located in Hungary, about 100 kilometers from Budapest .

Why is Lake Balaton called Lake Balaton?

The name is probably due to the low water level. Even the Romans called the lake “
Lacus Pelso
“, the shallow water.