Things to see in Lake Balaton
Lake Balaton Attractions
Lake Balaton is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Hungary and the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe. The south banks are full of modern beach resorts for those who desire nothing more than fun in the sun and a rollicking nightlife.
The northern banks still boast some picturesque old villages and historical sites, as well as some great wineries. Although the lake is less sandy and not as good for swimming as in the north, the scenery is arguably more beautiful.
When it comes to the south, things to see and do in Lake Balaton revolve mainly around water sports and partying. Apart from the popular beach resorts, the southern edges of the lake include the Golden and Silver Shore beaches (Aranypart and Ezüstpart).
Breaking away from beach life, tourists can take a walk down either the Beszédes or Petõfi promenades. The Lutheran Church in Oulu Park is also a notable attraction. A quick excursion to the nearby town of Zamárdi and a visit to the town's Ethnographic Museum are also worth the time.
The oldest and most popular spa resort on the scenic northern banks is Balantonfüred, which has an easy-going sophistication and relaxed atmosphere. Jutting out into the lake and almost joining the northern and southern shores is the Tihany Peninsula, which has an old Benedictine Abbey in the quaint town and is surrounded by a nature reserve that many consider to be the most beautiful place on the lake.
To the west and marking the end of the northern shore is the interesting town of Keszthely with its Baroque Festetics Palace. Close to Keszthely, just removed from the banks of Lake Balaton, is Europe's largest thermal lake, Heviz, which is also a very popular attraction in the area and offers spa treatments as well as swimming in the steam-shrouded lake.
With over 120 miles (200km) of cycle tracks around the villages and shores of Lake Balaton, cycling is a popular way to get around. Visitors to Balaton between May and September can make use of the Balaton ferry to cross between the lake's southern and northern shores (Tihany and Szántód), while excursion boats cruise between a number of ports along the shores of the lake. Local buses are also available and it is possible to drive between different towns surrounding the lake.
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