After a bumper summer in 2020, and with the winter shutdown, Balaton has been preparing for visitors by improving its beaches with new features. Here’s a selection of what to look out for as and when lockdown lifts.
According to the local press, 61 beaches in 28 Balaton locations
have received state support of between 10 and 30 million forints each. One condition
was that applicants had to install family-friendly features such nappy-changing
facilities and decent toilets. Easier access to the water and improvements to traffic
infrastructure were also requested.
In addition, free beaches cannot be made pay-for until the end of the three-year maintenance period. On the south shore, 13 municipalities have received support (including Balatonboglár, Balatonszárszó, Balatonföldvár, Zamárdi and Siófok), which has had the positive effect of making all beaches in Boglár free of charge.
The beach at this village on the north shore has 30 million forints to spend on improvements. A disabled toilet will be provided, two new wide sets of stairs will lead into the water, trees will be planted, outdoor showers and a digital display will be set up. Cabins will be modernised, a new access control system will be installed, free WiFi and windbreakers will be set up on this rapidly developing beach.
Balatonföldvár Western Beach
In recent years, the west beach at
Földvár has been thoroughly renovated thanks to 150 million forints’ worth of
EU funding. Within this remit, a ticket office (with access control system), a
first aid room, new toilets and changing rooms have been created, the green area
renewed, new promenades and playgrounds established, and benches, rubbish bins
and bicycle storage installed. Developments will now continue on the east beach:
new stairs and information boards will be installed, the toilets and indoor
changing rooms have been renovated, and a nappy-changing room created. This
will increase investment in both beaches to the tune of 60 million forints. Rumours
of the west beach closing to make room for a new harbour at Földvár have been
greatly exaggerated – in fact, the beach will be free, and the harbour builders
will create a new embankment.
The area next to Esterházy beach was bought for 820 million forints by the Balatonfüred municipality, who will landscape this 8,000-square-metre space to connect it with the stretch overseen by the Balatonfüred Fishing Association, and to Brázay beach. In recent years, it has hardly been possible to access the water at Füred for free. In February, the council announced that, in addition to landscaping and promenade construction, a dock and boat rental will be established, as well as outdoor gym facilities, a grass beach, a themed playground, swings and a custom-designed panoramic pier. They are also setting up a fish farm and a restaurant. The felled trees will be replaced, and the reeds will remain in place.
Gyenesdiás Lidó Beach
At the beginning of 2021, developments for Gyenesdiás were announced, such as the renovation of the Talabér watermill and improvements to hotels, restaurants, the Lőtér clubhouse – and, of course, the beaches. The entry system will be revamped at Diás play beach, with new ticketing and a safe. The lido will have more benches, shades, safes and a clock.
A sum of 290 million forints will be pumped into the infrastructure of Keszthely
city beach this year. The reception building at the back entrance will be
renovated with a ticket office, a first aid station, barrier-free toilets,
storage facilities and a gift shop. Alongside will be bicycle storage, a
waterfront pier and various attractions installed on the water. Nappy-changing,
a children’s playroom, new changing cabins and a beach library will also
feature. Toilets will be installed by the sports courts, and the solar panels
will be expanded. According to TV Keszthely, the other two local beaches in
Keszthely, Libás and Helikon, will also see minor improvements.
Örvényes Platán (Vadkacsa) Public Beach
One of the last free beaches on the north shore has been completely transformed, renovation over several stages since 2019 costing some 300 million forints. First, a new playground and a grassy children's area were created, and the sports court revamped. Later, two floating piers were purchased, increasing the surface area of access to the water, as the beach itself is lined with protected reeds. WiFi and a webcam are integral to this modernisation. In the largest initiative, costing 217 million forints, a new reception building with toilets, stores for produce and beach gear, an outlet for hot food and a medical room. A sun terrace was set up on the roof and a sauna added, as well as new parking spaces. The beach was also expanded towards the fishing jetty – fingers crossed for a May opening.
every year there is a new development at Szigliget beach, one of Balaton’s best
these days, with a sauna and ice rink in winter. Last year, the playground and
irrigation system were expanded, lawn mats were laid down, the stairs into the water
replaced and a lift system has been installed to help bathers of reduced
mobility. Nearby Szigliget Castle has
also been extensively renovated.