Bringamánia, guided tours, Happy Hour, Jókai and Ganxsta Zolee. These are all part of the spring Nyitott Balaton starting on 1 May. We, at We Love Balaton are eager to see which ice cream will win the title Balaton's ice cream this year. A month from now, the Balaton will be wide open.
The Nyitott Balaton event series promoted by the Balaton Tourism Association in May and October 2014 confuted the premise "there's nothing happening by Lake Balaton in the spring/autumn" in a spectacular manner. The success of the initiative was unquestionable, even in the autumn, when it was raining hard.
Hundreds of events simultaneously, all around Lake Balaton, discounts by restaurants and accommodations - Nyitott Balaton sticks to the proven recipe in 2015 as well. Between 1 and 11 May, the Nyitott Balaton - Balatoni tavasz újratöltve! (Open Balaton - Balaton spring reloaded!) event series returns with children's programs, organized hikes and cycling tours, music and culture. Navigate the multitude of programs on nyitottbalaton.hu: there you can find everything. We picked a few events as appetizers.
Ice cream of Balaton 2015
The Ice cream of Balaton competition was an instant success in 2014. The ice cream shops of Lake Balaton could enter their own ice creations to the competition, where a jury chose Balaton's ice cream of the year - this, in 2014, was a champagne wonder by Balatonmáriafürdő's Florida ice cream parlour. This year, not only the jury, but the public can also vote for their favourite, and We Love Balaton will soon introduce the contestants.
Pancakes and Pinot gris
On 2 May, there will be a pancake festival in Balatongyörök, while the almond cookie contest returns to Alsóörs. In Balatonszárszó, stew chefs will clash. By 1 May, numerous Balaton restaurants, bistros and csárdas will be open already: we rounded up the active restaurants here. Wine fans should head to Badacsony for the Wine Triathlon and the Pinot gris tour. The affiliated restaurants offer a Happy Hour discount in the frame of Nyitott Balaton 2015.
Guided tours: on feet and by bike
Touring by the Balaton is one of the best spring activities, especially if you have an experienced guide, who'll help you spot the local ruins and the exciting species of flora and fauna, which you would not notice otherwise. Nyitott Balaton also offers you a range of guided tours by foot or bike. In Balatonkenese, you can tour the Tátorján study trail on 8 May; in Alsóörs, you can enjoy a performance hike among the blossoming almond trees; and you can also check out a range of tours by the Balaton-felvidéki National Park, focusing on various points of interest from the Tapolca Cave Lake to the world of the Kis-Balaton.
Ganxsta Zolee and the Kultkikötő
Zoltán Zana, a.k.a. rapper Ganxsta Zolee has been talking his talk for 20 years, which he'll celebrate in Balatonszárszó on 2 May. This is, however, not the only culture program within the frame of Nyitott Balaton. Balatonfüred is again not to be missed, on account of the Jókai Days, and the Cocteau and Capa exhibitions at the Vaszary Villa, for instance. One of the most popular summer culture program of Balaton, the Kultkikötő (Cultural Haven) turns 10 this year. Although the season only begins on 10 June, there will be a Kultkikötő picnic on 9 and 10 May in Balatonföldvár. In Keszthely, visit the Balaton Museum where culture will be paired with wine and desserts, plus you can also enjoy a family event titled 'Italy and the sunny side of Balaton' on 9 May.
Bike- and boatmania
Balatonföldvár definitely pulls its weight again: on 2 May, the largest bike adventure of Lake Balaton, the Bringamánia Tour de Balaton will start from here. Anyone can join (even with small kids), the emphasis is not on competing. There are several distances to choose from: you can circle around the lake or do a 6-km loop. In 2014, the promenade of Balatonföldvár was brimming with cyclists. This year, the city will host the 16th Balaton Boat Exhibition at the same time, to satisfy those, who are more interested in the freshest sailboat models and eletric yachts than cycling.
Nyitott Balaton is a program by the Balaton Tourism Association. We Love Balaton is an official media partner of the event.