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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.

balaton

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.

balaton

Wizz Air to fly out of Hévíz-Balaton airport from June

Off the radar for many years, Hévíz-Balaton at Sármellék is now back in the frame with the news that Hungarian budget carrier Wizz Air will be using the airport for Dortmund flights from this June.

balaton

From gathering storms to brilliant violin makers – our favorite photos from 2017

We have memories from all across Lake Balaton, but most of the time a picture can say the most: photographs of the violin maker from Veszprém, the winemaker with the most beautiful view of the south shore, or the hidden lavender field are all like that. We rounded up our best photographs from 2017.

Visiting the maestro

We went to see violin maker Elemér Sümegi, the maestro in breeches and with a very Beethoven-like hair, last summer. According to our photographer, talking to him makes you want to create instruments. We could (and did) listen to the master who works at Veszprém’s Salesianum for hours, and the details of his workshop are so captivating that we could barely stop taking photographs.

The calm before the storm at Szent György-hegy

We just managed to get away from the impending storm when we saw Mennyország ("Heaven"), the house of chiropractor Péter Szemeti, as we were hiking around Szent György-hegy (Szent György Hill): the dark clouds first gathered above Szigliget, then stretched over to Badacsony, Gulács, and then Tóti-hegy (Tóti Hill) right in front of our eyes. Fortunately, we managed to steer clear of the thunderstorm, but we still captured its gathering.

Where Thomas Mann and bees meet

Last August we went to see Zoltán Tóth, who studied liberal arts and then turned to honey, at his apiary in Bábonymegyer. The story of Zoltán, who sells honey at Zamárdi and Siófok, is this: after taking a detour at one of Hungary’s prominent liberal arts training, he went back to the house that his father built. “This occupation gives me independence, and what’s more important: it gives free time,” he told us between an ironic comment and a literary reference to Thomas Mann.

Ready, set, go!

The 2017 World Aquatics Championships were held in, among other locations, Balatonfüred from July 14 to 30 – the town hosted the open water races. The tracks were in the bay in front of Tagore Promenade where we managed to capture the start of the men’s 5 kilometers competition, in which Marc-Antoine Olivier won the first place.

The eeriest corner of Balaton

The whole of Szent György-hegy is a wonder, so no surprise that we paid a lot of attention to it in 2017. We can’t decide if there’s some inexplicable energy at work here or we just believe it because we heard it so many times, but one thing is for sure: there’s no place more peculiar and haunted than Ify Chapel. We’ve been there multiple times and our photographer said that “we have to move there, that’s it.”

A Balaton-pub in 2017

We discovered many new spots in 2017 and we can see that slowly but surely the region keeps renewing itself. The long-abandoned small pub of Balatonszőlős is almost a metaphor for this process: Attila Tálos with his local wines and Katika, with the stuffed paprika she makes in the kitchen, is a pair who resurrected Szőlősi Kocsma, a place that is now popular among the bankers of Budapest and the local handymen alike.

“The most beautiful view of the south shore”

We visited the family winery of József Pócz when we were at Balatonlelle’s Kishegy. According to József, the south shore’s most beautiful view is from the terrace of his self-designed headquarters. We could list a few other places that would claim the same title, but we have to admit that seeing the fog-covered landscape, the terrace would really have great odds in such a competition.

Lavenders in bloom at a hidden spot

The lavender field of Szent Balázs-hegy in Balatoncsicsó was created by IT expert Tamás Laszip: he wanted to save the strip of land in his backyard from getting built in or left unused. He learned how the French grow and look after lavender, he got the most beautiful plants, he built an irrigation system, and he ended up with a gorgeous plantations where guest were also able to pick their own lavender for the first time last year.

Balaton-gastronomy reborn

We found great restaurants in 2017, but since our best photos of meals and our favorite courses would fill an entire article, we decided to pick one of our favorites – which was taken at Csopak’s Márga Bistro, a place that was included on Magyar Konyha’s (a Hungarian culinary magazine) top 10 restaurants of Lake Balaton. As we see it, the traditional Balaton-selection keeps expanding with more and more restaurants that use local ingredients and modern technologies – and there’s also an ever-growing demand for these kinds of places.

The subtle charm of the hill without a lookout tower

We conquered the 364 meters high hill called Tóti-hegy this past spring: the seemingly invitingly sloping hillside made us realize that only the part before the top is easy to climb. Even though the hill has no resting spots, the silhouette of the former quarry and the abandoned cellars along the hike will make up for the hardships – just like the 360-degree view from the top.

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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.

nightlife

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.

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B my Lake festival to run at same time and place as Balaton Sound

There's an electroclash of music festivals at Balaton this year, as B my Lake and Balaton Sound now combine at the Zamárdi site from late June. Full line-up details expected soon!

balaton

The widow of the nation – Mrs Sándor Petőfi, the wife and muse who inspired Hungary’s hero of 1848

The woman behind the legend, Sándor Petőfi's wife, Júlia Szendrey, was as revolutionary as her husband, independent, talented and a published author in her own right. Yet her story is barely told...

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