Next to Budapest, Lake Balaton is the main coordinate of what the development of the Hungarian tourism means. Measuring 80 kilometers in length and featuring a shoreline of some 200 kilometers, Lake Balaton is the largest fresh water lake in Central Europe.

The region had the reputation of an important wine-growing center during the Roman age, whereas at present it is dotted with private vacation residences and tourist resorts, such as Balatonfured and Siofok (popular with tourists from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Hungary). At Lake Balaton, tourists can visit the bohemian towns of Tihany and Keszthely, as well as the peaceful resorts of Balatonvilagos and Boglarlelle, both ideal for a relaxing vacation on the lake shore.

Balaton, as said, is the largest lake in Central Europe, being visited each year by a large number of both national and foreign tourists. It is located less than 100 kilometers southwest from Budapest, the most straightforward manner of getting from Budapest to Lake Balaton being by road, since M7, one of the longest motorways in Budapest, springs from the capital of the country and delineates the east shore of the lake. The most important resorts at Lake Balaton are Siofok, Keszthely and Balatonfured. Siofok is also known as the 'Capital of Parties in Hungary', appealing to a large crowd of young people who, during the summer season, dance and explore the clubs and discos located in this resort. Keszthely is where the famed Festetics Palace is located, and Balatonfured is a historical spa resort, being home to the so-called Anna Ball, an annual event.

The summer season begins in June and ends in late August. The medium water temperature amounts to 25 degrees Celsius, which is a benefit for keen swimmers. Most of the beaches are covered with grass, pebbles or silt, the bottom of the lake being also covered with silt. Plenty of resorts and hotels at Lake Balaton have set up sandy beaches fitted with showers. Further tourist attractions refer to the possibility to practice sundry sports, parasailing, fishing, as well as to visiting the villages and the hills nearby the lake. One can also search out the vineyards on the north shore of the lake. On the south shore, the chief attraction refers to the sparkling nightlife yielded by the plethora of bars, clubs and discos located here. The Tihany peninsula is where a historical district is located, and the Badacsony area stands out as a famed volcanic mountain, a wine region and a tourist resort.

Despite the fact the tourist season at Lake Balaton overlaps the summer season, usual visitors of the region sustain the lake is worth visiting in winter too, when other opportunities arise. For instance, one can go ice fishing, in case the layer of ice is thick enough. In addition, people who come at Lake Balaton in winter can also skate or go sleighing. They can also go ice sailing.

The tourist area of Lake Balaton is serviced by Sarmellek International Airport. This airport is where planes taking off from the airports in Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Copenhagen, Zurich and London Stanstead land. The lake is also accessible by means of charter flights from Hamburg, Billund and Moscow.

The most significant resorts at Lake Balaton are: Badacsony, Balatonalmsdi, Balatonboglar, Balatonfured, Balatonlelle, Fonyod, Keszthely, Siofok, Tihany, Vonyarcvashegy.

Further details on Lake Balaton and on the accommodation solutions one can spot here, visit www.balaton.hu.

Lake Balaton, Hungary

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