Top 5 Places in Hungary to Relax by the Water
Hungary is a country known for its thermal waters and spa resorts. This nation, located in the Pannonian Basin, ranks among the top five countries in the European Union in terms of the number of thermal healing springs. Every year, thousands of tourists come here to truly relax and unwind in the incredible thermal lakes, picturesque rivers, and lakes.
Lake Balaton, often referred to as the "Hungarian Sea," is the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe and has been a favorite vacation spot for Hungarians since the 19th century. This natural wonder is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, making it a paradise for summer vacations. The lake's shoreline stretches for 197 kilometers, so you can find numerous charming towns and resorts along its banks. One such town is Siofok, often called the "party capital" of Hungary. It comes to life at night with vibrant nightlife during the summer months and is extremely popular among the youth.
Moreover, on the Tihany Peninsula in the northern part of Lake Balaton, on a high hill with a breathtaking view, stands a monument made of white stone. This monument features sculptures of Hungarian King Andras I and his wife Anastasia, the daughter of Grand Prince of Kyiv Yaroslav the Wise. According to legend, the name "Balaton" is derived from the Ukrainian word "boloto," meaning "swamp," which is how the Kyiv princess baptized the lake in 1083.
Lake Heviz is a natural thermal lake located near the town of Heviz. It is considered the largest biologically active thermal lake in Europe and has been known for its healing properties since the time of the Roman Empire. The water temperature in the lake remains comfortable throughout the year, thanks to a continuous flow of freshwater from its source. The warm, mineral-rich waters make it a must-visit destination for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. In addition, Lake Heviz offers visitors access to wellness centers and spa salons where tourists can enjoy massages or simply relax in open-air pools surrounded by lush greenery.
The Danube River is considered the lifeline of Hungary and several other European countries. It has played a crucial role for centuries, serving as a trade route and a source of freshwater. This majestic river flows through Budapest, dividing the city into two halves: Buda and Pest, and offers numerous landmarks along its banks. You can stroll across the iconic Chain Bridge, visit Buda Castle, or embark on an unforgettable river cruise to admire the city's landmarks, which are especially enchanting in the evening light.
The meandering Tisza River flows across the entire territory of Hungary, creating a unique ecosystem known as the Tisa Lakes. This area is a paradise for those who enjoy a tranquil and cozy nature retreat. Popular activities around Lake Tisa include kayaking, bird watching, and exploring untouched wetlands with local guides. The Tisa River and its surroundings are home to various bird species, including the famous Eurasian coot. Additionally, it serves as a vital stopover for migratory birds, making it an internationally significant nature conservation area.
Lake Velence is often referred to as Hungary's warmest lake due to its shallow waters, which heat up quickly under the blazing sun. It is considered a hidden gem of the country and is located just a few minutes' drive from the capital, Budapest. In this area, you can find peaceful beaches for family relaxation and also try various water sports. Charming towns like Agard and Velence, situated near Lake Velence, offer picturesque waterfronts and restaurants right on the lake's shore.