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Lake Balaton Area

Lake BalatonBeautiful Lake Balaton, Central Europe's largest freshwater lake, some 60 miles southwest of Budapest, is Hungary's number one vacation resort and a major wine-producing region. Easily reached by car, bus or train, Balaton offers dozens of resort hotels for longer stays. The north shore of the lake is noted for its resorts, wineries and spas. Jutting into the lake, the Tihany Peninsula is one of Tihanythe country's most interesting national parks and site of a Benedictine abbey founded in 1055. In fact, the abbey's deed of foundation is the earliest written record of the Hungarian language.  
Among the must-see are the Open-Air Museum of Ethnography in Tihany and the Festetics Palace in Keszthely. Keszthely - Festetics Castle (18th-19th century)Villages with special appeal include the 12th century Dörgicse, Kővágóörs with its charming peasant cottages, and the resorts of Balatonrendes and Ábrahámhegy. A legendary view of the region is from the Rózsakő (Rose Stone) near Badacsony. 
Lake's water temperature is about 76F during the summer, which together with its shallow depth, make it an ideal family vacation spot.  
On the south shore you'll find a series of resort towns and villages: Buzsák, known for its unique folk art; Várhegy, a Turkish hill fortress near Fonyód, and Balatonboglár, one of Keszthely - Festetics Castle (18th-19th century)the oldest resort towns, dating back to 1211 with evidence of Roman occupation and Iron Age earthworks. 
BalatonLittle Balaton at the lake's south- west end is a nature conservation area, a shelter for many rare and protected bird species: white herons, spoonbills and cormorants. Another untouched natural region is the Káli basin. Here, most of the old peasant houses in villages such as Kapolcs and Monostorapáti have been purchased by artists concerned about traditional values, thus preserving them for posterity.

Read our article 'Come take the Waters', a spa itinerary in Budapest and along lake Balaton's north shore.