On a short distance trekking route of Badacsony geology and botany you can study the wonderful basalt formations, the former mine walls, the moments of ancient geological events. The Badacsony mountain was created by repeated volcanic eruptions in the Tertiary geologic period, on the end of the Pliocene, before 3 million years.
The nearly 4 km long hiking trail returning into itself may be visited individually, English and Hungarian guidebook introducing the natural history of the area is available.
It is accessible from the Kisfaludy-house on the southern side of Badacsony hill. Path supplied with bilingual distinctive boards gives knowledge on the volcanic mountains geology, botany, zoology and outlines its landscape usage manners.
On request guidance is available for visitors
If you get thirsty you can study and taste the best known wines of the Badacsony region. Hungary may be predominantly a Catholic nation but at Balaton it is Bacchus who is the true deity. Though the wine can be found on more than fifty places in the Holy Bible too.
Two million guests arrive in Badacsony every year to sample the delights of Szurkebarat (Grey Monk), Keknyelu, Olaszrizling, Rizlingszilvani, or Ottonel Muscat. When you want to pick the region's best wine, the local reply is: "Whatever we are drinking at the moment."
The wines are fruity and mellow, with a hint of hungarian spice. The secret apparently lies in the combination of volcanic rock, sub-Mediterranean climate and sunlight reflected from the water's surface.
You should visit Badacsony at the end of July to experience its inimitable "wine days", when the specialities of Hungarian gastronomy are celebrated alongside 10,000 years of wine-making. If you have no time in July then alternatively, go in mid-September during the wine harvest to witness the colourful display of folk-dancing, flag-throwing, wine-tasting and ox-roasting.
And without eating, how would the wine be absorbed?
Do not worry, you can find a lot of restaurants and wine-cellars on the south slope of the basalt hill. You can get much more than stews and plonk. The game roaming the Balaton countryside includes wild boar, stag, hare and fallow deer, and all appear on restaurant menus - as does the lake's unique pike-perch ("fogas").
But the place provides also fine desserts from the folk foods, such as the fried dough ("lángos"), the savoury scones ("pogácsa"), the pancake, the fruity strudels which turned into the guests' constant favourites.
Update: Gerard Depardieu would buy 4-5 hectare lands at Balaton according to AFP .
If you may think that the whole Balaton is a big swimming-pool, then I should tell you, it is not. You may only bath where it is allowed! Many beaches and free beaches await you, the former ones with entrance tickets, the latter ones free of charge.
The southern shore for families with children, since this shore is shallower, and the northern part for lonely adventurers with deeper waters! Here on the southern shore you will find a beautiful 50 miles long beach, an uninterrupted line of large and small resorts teeming with life, a paradise for fans of sun and water.
The particular benefit for children is the very gradual incline meaning that in most places children of even the youngest ages can walk out for 100 m or more before they get out of their depth. The average temperature of the water is 26-30C.
Entrance fee vary depending from the service available, an avarage is 300 - 400 HUF/day.
The summer season at Lake Balaton lasts from the second half of May to the first half of September.
Tihany's other sights the Tihany fairy stone (goat hooves). Effectively this is a residue of a mussel, which lived in the Pannon sea - Congeria ungula caprae. For a long time Balatons water level was much higher than today and then rolled many fairy stones, in front of the foot of the hill it built a sandbank. In this old Pleistocene age sandbank the children are searching the fairy stones.
The story of the formation of the fairy stone has been written in a fairy tale of J. Garay. The fairy stones – according to the story– are the residues of the golden-haired goat flock confounded into Balaton in order to punish a princess for her pride.
The echo was one of Tihany's best-known phenomenon. Effectively it exists since the middle of the XVIII. century, when the present abbey recovered. The words shouted out from the echo hill are repulsing under 2 seconds from the abbey's north side wich is more than 300 metres far. The strength of the echo decreased because of the strengthened foliage of the trees, wich were planted between the hill and the church, but because of the tourism entailing noise in the summer months as well. Novadays a restaurant is working on top of the echo hill.
Lake Balaton is Hungary's most popular holiday spot.
After the velvet curtain came down, many people from eastern europe invested in holiday homes here, it's not hard to see why
After the 2nd world war apparently a few Ilyushin-11 wrecks jave been dredged from the lake according to our guide.
On the lake front in the town, there is a beautiful church that was being restored when we were there, form what we could see, I would definatly go back for a visit
Only 20km far from Balaton you can find Sümeg (It is called as Gate of Balaton). It was a center of Catholicism in the 18th century and some particularly distinguished church buildings were built here. The fortress on the Castle Hill is one of the largest and best preserved castles in Hungary.
Szigliget has a unique atmosphere with its houses creeping up the hillside and its green gardens. The old village consists of thatched rural houses. There is a stunning panorama from the ruins of the 13th-century Szigliget Fortress on Castle Hill. The Esterházy Palace is now a house for writers. There are more than 150 types of pine trees in its well-kept park.
It is worthwhile to tour the strange basalt formations of Badacsony. The panorama is amazing from the porch of the Baroque Kisfaludy House, or from Ranolder Cross. The excellent wine of the Pauline monks called 'Grey Monk' [Szürkebarát] is pressed here. The Badacsony Regional Protection Area consists of wonderful volcanic hills, such as Gulács, Csobánc, Mount St. George.
The twin-towered church of the Tihany peninsula is distinctly visible far and wide. The peninsula, inhabited almost a thousand years, is of volcanic origin, and has a profusion of rare plants and animals. The crypt of King András I, founded in 1055, survived the turbulent past and still stands in its original form. The present church was built over the crypt in the 18th century in Baroque style and has many precious wood carvings. In the Museum of the Benedictine Abbey, you can find an exhibition about ancient times. There are frequent organ concerts in the abbey church in summertime.
Annagora aquapark just opened in Balatonfured! They are open 9-19. They will be open from 21-02 am till 20th of August!
Prices: till 3yrs: FREE
Children (till 140 cm): 2500 HUF
Adult: 4000 HUF
Location: 122 km from Budapest, 500 meters from the Balaton coast.
I think You've seen a lot of pictures about Lake Balaton. Maybe, You have heard a lot of rumours about it, or You've been here in summer and have grown rich with some good/bad experiences. But I'm sure, You didn't see it in winter, when it's covered by ice and You can walk on it. Just take a look at these pictures!
Badacsony, on the northern coast of the Lake is one of the nicest areas around. It's mountain looks flat and long, but in fact it's round!
Badacsony happens to be the main wine growing area around the lake, so you can also do some winetasting here.
And of course you still ahve the Lake as well! :)
The sorroundings of the Lake, mostly on the northern shore (Balaton-felvidék, "Balaton uplands") offer lots of great opportunities for hiking. The Kali-Medence (Kali bassin) for instance is one of the nicest areas to do that.
If you happen to be on the south sore of the lake, it's a good idea to sit out to the lakeside and watch the sun go down. With the aroma of summer and the water and with all the colour it can present, it's just a feeling not to miss :)