Lake Balaton is alive and well in autumn. Here’s how to enjoy it to the fullest this season.

1. Find a guesthouse with a roaring fire

Many guesthouses at Lake Balaton stay open in autumn and the ones with fireplaces, such as Zsóka Fogadója in Szentantalfa, Fürjes Udvarház in Vászoly or Babérliget Guesthouse in Polány, are the best for relaxation after a long day spent hiking and drinking wine.

2. Take an active sporty break

Some hotels around Lake Balaton are either situated in an environment perfect for sport or they put an emphasis on an active lifestyle – look for these if you need any motivation to lead a healthier lifestyle.

3. Splash around at a pleasant spa

Relax and heal in the warm thermal waters at some of the best spas Lake Balaton has to offer, located in HévízZalakaros and Kehidakustány.

4. Savour champagne from its producer

Balaton might be rich in winemaking regions, but wine isn’t the only thing made from grapes here – more and more producers are venturing into producing champagne.

5. Sip heartwarming Olaszriesling

Olaszriesling is the most common variety of wine at Balaton. Amazing examples can be found around the various winemaking regions of the area, perfect for autumn evenings.

6. Taste the latest vintage on a wine terrace

This is the most beautiful time of year for wineries: enjoy a glass of the latest items on a wine terrace, with a view of Lake Balaton and the colourful leaves.

7. Taste the flavours of autumn

Autumn is a season when only the quality restaurants of Lake Balaton stay open. Visit Kistücsök on the south shore or Neked Főztem on the north, for a satisfying meal.

8. Enjoy the Indian summer on a terrace

The Indian summer is perfect for great hikes and relaxation on the terraces of autumn-opening restaurants, such as newbie Taberna Infinito on Szent György-hegy or the remodelled St Orban in Badacsony.

9. Eat quality Hungarian cuisine

Hungarian cuisine and autumn go together well. Visit Zománc in Vászoly or János Vendéglő in Siófok for traditional domestic dishes of excellent quality.

10. Spoil yourself with a tasty dessert

Some confectioneries stay open after summer, and they feel cosier now that the crowds are gone. Villa Gréta in Siófok on the south shore and Mónisüti in Gyenesdiás on the north are both perfect for sweet bites.

11. Sit by church ruins and ponder

The church ruins of Balaton will not only take you back in time, but they are also ideal places for contemplation. You can find them mostly on the north shore, at SalföldDörgicse and Somogyvár.

12. Visit exhibitions around the lake

There are plenty of permanent and temporary exhibitions around the lake to keep you busy even on a rainy day. Both Dubniczay Palace in Veszprém and Kogart in Tihany have exciting artwork on display this autumn.

13. Climb the solitary hills of Lake Balaton

The solitary hills of Lake Balaton, like Badacsony, GulácsCsobánc or Hegyesd, are all perfect for an autumnal hike. The view from the top will be a great reward for your efforts.

14. Scale the towers at Keszthelyi-hegység

Keszthelyi-hegység is rich in lookout towers, such as the ones in BalatongyörökVonyarcvashegy and Gyenesdiás. All have a wonderful view of the lake’s western basin.

15. Swim in Lake Balaton while you can

Adventurous souls brave the waves of Lake Balaton even in October. A swim in the cool waters will get the blood flowing, and the beaches are definitely not crowded at this time of the year.

16. Explore the marshes of the south shore

Although there are hills on the south shore as well, the most beautiful natural wonders are all the marshlands, such as Nagy-Berek and Kis-Balaton, which you can explore on foot and by boat.

17. Test yourself at an adventure park

Choose a more extreme form of hiking and visit one of Lake Balaton’s adventure parks to conquer the canopy layers of the region. Note that some close in winter.

18. Chill out at an indoor concert

Although most major towns at Balaton have indoor concert venues, Veszprém stands out thanks to the popular Hangvilla – keep an eye on their calendar to see what’s in store.

19. Find the best harvest festival at the lake

Autumn means harvest festivals and wine: one of the biggest takes place at Balatonfüred in the middle of October, but there are plenty of other seasonal food and wine celebrations to look out for.