One of the world’s leading English-language travel sites, CNN, is predicting a bumper summer at Lake Balaton this year, with Hungarians flocking to reclaim their favourite getaway destination. The portal praises the well-kept beaches, art and music events, and the wine and gastronomic culture of the region.

The endless summers of Lake Balaton and the Hungarian communist Riviera is the title of the CNN article, which portrays not only the present day but past decades as well. In the Communist era, travel opportunities in Hungary and Central Europe were limited, which meant that Lake Balaton became a major gathering point in the region. Due to the pandemic, the lake has resurfaced as a main European destination.

“Lake Balaton means as much to Hungarians as the Riviera does to Westerners.”

The author also brings in colourful background about famous guests at the former Aliga Party resort and the German families torn apart by the Iron Curtain, who could only meet at Lake Balaton. Everyone has their own own special Balaton yet it remains cool and elegant, a point of reference for Hungarians of all ages.

The popularity of the lake has skyrocketed in recent years, adds the author, and also mentions the lively clubs in Siófok and the more sophisticated north shore. According to the article, many also come here for water sports and beautifully tidy beaches. In addition to art and music events, it is also worth visiting for the gastronomy: the author describes Balaton as the second most important wine and gastronomic region in the country.

The article also covers improvements. He mentions that the Hungarian government recently allocated $21 million (6.63 billion HUF) for the development of the lake and surroundings. In addition to Hévíz-Balaton Airport in Sármellék, new roads are being built and railway lines modernised.