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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.

active

New lookout tower offers panoramas of Balaton on four levels

Climb the four levels of the new lookout tower outside Balatonberény for views of monadnocks, Szigliget Castle and even the Tihany peninsula on a clear day.

active

150 years of ice sailing on Lake Balaton

Some winters, the ice on Lake Balaton is thick enough for adapted sailboats to race across the surface. The first attempt took place 150 years ago – we look back at this heroic sporting tradition.

Active nature

6 best active things to do at Lake Balaton this summer

For a while there it wasn’t certain that there would be a summer at Lake Balaton, but Hungary’s great getaway has gradually reopened since May. True, a little differently, a little slower and keeping its distance, but you can still enjoy a walk in the woods or an individual sport on the water. Here are six great tips!

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Watch sunrise from a monadnock

You have to get up very, very early in the summer (or stay up until dawn) to catch the first rays of the sun from the top of a solitary hill, but it’s worth it. Once you experience the orange-red half-light over the lake, you will make sure to factor it into every Balaton trip. Any monadnock would do – flip through here for details.

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Explore beech forest

Hiking in the shade of the forest is a great idea for summer – and Balaton is surrounded by beech woods. Vászoly behind Balatonudvari rises to an altitude of about 180 metres, the dolomite bedrock of the Balaton Uplands characterised by oak and karst bush, and the beech woods are 600-800 metres high. In the adjoining Pécselyi-medence, beeches cover the steep, north-western slopes with a cooler microclimate, with rest and drinks stops dotted around.

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Break out the picnic blanket

Although restaurants around Balaton are open by now, eating in the great outdoors is great thing to do in summer. There are plenty of backgrounds to choose from, from the high bank of Kenese to the slopes of a monadnock and the hills of Káli-medence, but you will also find tables and beautiful clearings in many locations.

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Take up an individual sport

Although coronavirus restrictions have been relaxed, the rule of keeping social distancing still apply. If you want to actively relax, hiking, SUP paddling, kayaking, running, cycling, tennis and outdoor gyms are still great exercise options.

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Tour Kis-Balaton by bike

Gentle roads, birdsong and convenient beaches underscore any bike trip around Kis-Balaton, the little lake just south-west of Keszthely. Bike rental is available from the Kis-Balaton Ház in Zalavár. You can choose the long route or the short one – westerly Hídvégi-tó suits the easier one. Between Zalavár and Balatonmagyaród, the bike path runs along the lake shore, and from here you can meander on side roads in Zalakaros, Zalakomár, Zalaszabar and Zalavár. The bigger route also goes around Lake Fenéki, then you have to go from Zalavar to Sármellék, from here to Fenékpuszta on the main road 76, then by bike to Balatonszentgyörgy. Finally, traverse roads light with traffic to Balatonmagyaród, to rejoin the small circle. There’s a Hungarian-only bike map here.

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Watch sunset from church ruins

In the forests around Lake Balaton, alongside villages, and on the edges of fields, the ruins of many medieval churches have survived for posterity. Visiting them at sunset is like being part of a fantasy. The best examples include Dörgicse, the abandoned tower of Somogyvámos and the ruins of Töttöskál Church in Szentbékkálla.

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

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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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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.

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