Search HU
This article was updated more than a year ago and may contain outdated information.


Balaton is open – here are 5 reasons why

With the arrival of spring, the Nyitott Balaton event series is just around the corner, kicking off on May 1 to prove over the upcoming two weeks that Balaton is just as fun in the springtime as during the height of summer. Why should you choose to visit Balaton in May? The region awaits with ginger syrup ice cream, wine dinners, Tour de Balaton, Dürer’s engravings, and even a pálinka picnic.

1. Ice Cream of Balaton 2016

The winner of the Ice Cream of Balaton title will be revealed after the first weekend of May. Among the competing creations, you can find one that’ll apparently emulate the properties of Balaton’s terrain, and others incorporating such surprising flavors as Hubertus liqueur, pumpkin, and ginger syrup. Just like in the past two years, the recipe of the winning ice cream will be made public, so visitors will be able to sample the ice cream of Balaton at several confectioneries around the lake.

2. Wonderful wine snack platters and more

Outside the summer season everything is closed at Lake Balaton – this view was discredited a long time ago. Lots of catering businesses have been experimenting with staying open all year, and there are even more establishments that open their gates as early as April and May.

At the recent muster of South Balaton wines, the Chardonnay of Balatonlelle-based Pócz Winery was chosen as the best in its category, but that’s only one of the reasons why you should visit this pleasant venue. During the Nyitott Balaton event series, the cellar will offer classic wine snack platters and other kinds of delicious grub (ham, salami, fresh vegetables from the garden, cheese platter with pumpkin seed cream and Liptauer).

The list of other special events (like the 1st Barista Championship of Balaton or the elderberry-themed dishes of star chef Viktor Segal) is available on the website of Nyitott Balaton.

3. Balaton in a glass, aka wines and pálinkas in the spring

We have two more events to recommend for gastro fans: on May 14 the Badacsony-based wine dinner series BorBarangolás will take place at Szegedy Róza House, while on Pentecost weekend Tihany will turn into a pálinka capital, with Visszhang-domb hosting the Pentecost Pálinka and Hungarikum Festival for the sixth time.

The wine dinner will not only feature duck liver cocktail with ginger and walnut, and chicken breast stuffed with cheese and asparagus, served with Kéknyelű sauce, mushroom rice, and butter-steamed vegetables, but also the love poems of Hungarian poet Sándor Kisfaludy.

4. Riding around Balaton

Balaton has athletic visitors covered with a handful of exciting adventures: if you feel like you could tackle a bike trip around the entire lake, you can sign up for McDonald’s BringaMania Tour de Balaton, taking place on May 14. The tour, which is definitely not a race, will feature five distances.

Those who cannot make it to the tour can still hop in the saddle to conquer the lake: you can rent bicycles 50% off at the venues listed on the Nyitott Balaton website.

Pick the annual Mandula Long-Distance Hike, held in and around Alsóörs, if you want to travel at a more leisurely pace. Participants completing any of the routes, ranging from 6 to 20 kilometers, have a nice big bowl of bean goulash to look forward to after crossing the finish line. Scheduled for May 7, the hike will have an exemplary new feature this year: an event package designed for hikers living with disabilities.

5. Culture for rent 

If after the wines, pálinkas, and hikes you still need more recommendations, we’re ready to help you out. During the Nyitott Balaton event series, visitors to Keszthely’s Cadillac Museum will get a 10% discount on their tickets. The exhibition tells the story of the brand from the 1920s through the present, and what’s even cooler is that the cars owned by one of Hungary’s most dedicated veteran car collectors are available for rent.

At Vaszary Villa in Balatonfüred, culture buffs can get more intimately acquainted with the engravings of famous visionary Albrecht Dürer. On loan from the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, the artworks can easily cause delirium, hallucinations, and even fainting, also known as the symptoms of Stendhal Syndrome.

Related content


New harbour for Balatonfüred with ferry season in full swing


A blue ribbon day at Balatonfüred, with the unveiling of a new harbour, Kékszalag, capable of accommodating some 140 sailing boats.


Boats to sail between Balatonakali and Balatonszemes – with free service for locals


Get on board for the new boat service between Balatonakali and Balatonszemes this summer – running from Friday to Sunday.


Giro d’Italia cycle race roadshow rolls by Balaton


Think pink! The Giro d’Italia cycle race and its road show will be running through Badacsony, Tihany and Balatonfüred this Sunday afternoon, 8 May.


Richie Hawtin and Sven Väth confirmed for B my Lake stage at Balaton Sound


Catch big-name international DJs at Balaton Sound this year, which is merging with B my Lake this summer between 29 June and 2 July.