For fabulous panoramic views from different points around Lake Balaton, scale any of these six public staircases.
Szent György Hill Basalt Organs Study Trail
These romantic and shaded steps have a calming effect as you climb them – it would be the perfect setting for a fantasy movie. The staircase is pleasantly cool even in the summer heat, especially near the so-called ice cave, from where cold air blows even on the hottest days.
The route is part of the four-kilometre long, circular Szent György-hegy Basalt Organs Study Trail, starting from the old mine at Raposka. You can admire the 30- 40-metre tall basalt features on the way up, and the beautiful view from the top. There are other sights along the way as well, such as the Polish Chapel or the Lionhead fountain – as well as many wineries.
Found on the hillside at Badacsony, the Bujdosók Lépcsője is a challenge with its 464 steps. The uphill trail leading there should get you prepared. The staircase, built from rough basalt cubes in 1936, starts from the tourist lodging at Rodostó. After heading straight up, it turns right at a rest stop named after a famous anti-Habsburg kuruc rebel.
The path is also part of the National Blue Trail which continues to the right via the steps, while to the left, three metres away, you can find the lesser-known basalt features of Badacsony, just as spectacular as those at Szent György-hegy. Once you reach the top, you'll discover that the view has been worth all the effort.
Even though this place is in the heart of the popular Káli-medence, you won’t find crowds as you set off for this challenging staircase from Rákóczi utca. According to local legends, there are as many steps as many days in the year. Once you conquer the 120-metre difference in elevation and you reach the summit, you will be rewarded with a gorgeous view. Be careful on the way down, as some of the steps are slippery with moss.
This isn’t a staircase in the traditional sense as at Kőszikla Ridge you have to climb ladders – but it is a beautiful route. The moderately difficult, six-kilometre-long trail is about an hour from Keszthely by car.
This study trail that can be accessed from Nagybakónak and definitely requires hiking boots. If there’s mud, it’s best to leave it for another day. The climb can be completed fairly quickly, but it’s much more rewarding to take it slowly and admire the formations of the sandstone cliff. Climbing the ladders is the most exciting part of the 250-metre-long ridge, but the trail leads to other interesting destinations as well, such as Csibiti Lake and Esperanto Springs.
Haláp is the youngest solitary hill of Lake Balaton, and the one with the most harm done by mining. Its three-kilometre-long study trail was opened in the spring of 2019, offering two levels of difficulty.
The basalt cone of the hill might be missing, but this loss comes with the reward of many interesting geological phenomena. The hill was once similar to Badacsony and Szent György-hegy, set at a height of 358 metres. Now, due to extensive mining, it’s only 291 metres high. Steep stairs lead to what's left of the summit, but it’s a gentle climb, with a 360-degree view awaiting at the top. You can see Káli-medence, Tapolcai-medence and even Somló from here.
Csigalépcső spiral staircase at Balatonföldvár
Although it’s not as winding as a real spiral staircase, you definitely have to take a few turns to get to the top. Where the stairs start at the end of Kemping utca was seriously damaged after the collapse of the loess wall, but all was fully renovated by 2015. Now it’s completely safe thanks to 22 anchoring points, 47 micropiles and a 7.5-ton iron structure. On the way up, you can admire the view over the top of the Balatonföldvár History of Sailing Visitor Centre or stroll beneath the plane trees of Kvassay sétány on the way down.