Located in the centre of western Hungary, Lake Balaton measures 77km in length and is 9km wide on average, making it the largest lake in Central Europe. With a surface area of around 600km2, its depth averages between 2m and 2.5m.
The lake's calm waters are quick to warm up in the summer months and have attracted bathers from all over Europe since the mid 19th century.
The varied shoreline is also a major draw: Some stretches are practically uninhabited, others are thick with vineyards, while some of the towns bear the hallmarks of the Hungarian monarchy and others have remained as small fishing villages.

The Lake Balaton in Hungary

The three capitals of Lake Balaton

Siófok – The birthplace of Emmerich Kalman, composer of the famous operetta “Csárdás Princess“, offers visitors tourist infrastructure of the highest quality, including new wellness hotels, pleasant promenades, varied cuisine and a vast array of excursion options.

Keszthely – The top attraction – apart from the waterfront – of this centre of western Balaton is the stately Festetics Castle, built in the first half of the 18th century. Having survived even WWII in good condition, the castle now houses a museum incorporating the baroque library. Visitors will also find an interesting exhibition of horse-drawn carriages in the former stables.

Balatonfüred – Valued not only for its beautiful location, but also as a source of carbonated water, Füred has been a popular spa town ever since the early 19th century. A sanatorium, therapeutic springs and the elegant villas of artists all hark back to a time of sophisticated bathing culture. The Mediterranean atmosphere of the harbour promenade and waterfront enjoys a special place in the hearts of Hungarian holidaymakers.

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Héviz in Hungary

Tourist highlights around Lake Balaton

Héviz – The water in Europe's largest thermal lake never drops below in 22°C even in winter. Hungary's second largest international airport is also nearby. Herend – The famous porcelain manufacturer was founded here in 1839. At the world expo in London in 1851, Queen Victoria was so impressed by the Herend porcelain that she immediately ordered a complete dining set. Ever since, the famous design featuring butterflies and flowers in green, gold and pink has been known as the “Victoria” design. The finest examples of the past 150 years are on display for visitors in the factory museum, where Herend craftsmen and women provide live demonstrations of their work.

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