If you ride your bike you'll get tried and thirsty - this is as basic as riding around the entire Balaton at least once each summer. In order to avoid meeting the man with the hammer, just keep your eye open for the pleasant and well-equipped rest areas around the Lake - there are in fact more and more of them. First off, we're going to show you four spots on the mildly slopy north shore. And these are places, mind you, that we visit even if our bottles are still full and our tyres have as much air as Micheal Phelps'lungs.
- Last year, we discussed the joys of riding around Lake Balaton
- This year, we visited a handful of rest areas
- Now we decided to pick our favourites from the north shore
- Because the north shore is more challenging than the south shore
- The list is definitely incomplete
- So we'd love to hear about your personal favourites in the comments
Pedalling in sweat along the seemingly endless Kővágóörsi út, your hallucinations about a cool garden where you can just "arrive" is quite understandable. To get home-cooked meals, cool beverages and a siesta room you can freely use for a great afternoon lie down, well, that just fits the picture perfectly. To be honest, everything here feels so right that you want to munch your morning kifli with Liptauer (indispensable for filling up on the energy for the day's ride) - but, unfortunately, you'll have to look for another shelter for the night. The place puts a repair kit, a pump and spare tyres at your disposal if you're in a bike emergency, You cannot rent a bike here, but the place is also devoid of language barriers, which in turn is a good thing. The KerékBár in Köveskál welcomes you in a peaceful and cyclist-friendly air with reasonably priced homemade bites on the side from June to September.
Guruljon az Élet - Not only for hippies
Between Balatonfüred and Csopak, right in the spot with the marvellous panorama on Kerekedi-öböl, you'll be welcomed with hammocks, an Asian clothes store, miniature lookout towers, tents and deckchairs. All this is accompanied by various kinds of positively good spritzers - hat tip for the elderberry fröccs -, syrups, fruit cocktails, fresh shakes and refreshing lemonades. If you are still contemplating to leave, try the fresh made pesto sandwich or the cheese-basil pizza first (the choice depends on the daily offer). They can help you with basic bike repairs, but in case of a more serious problem, you will probably still find someone among the people chilling here, who has the necessary expertise. You'Ll need it, because the 7 PM curfew is sacred at Guruljon az életben: you cannot hang around till dawn.
Káli-Kapocs - the ruin pub
Leave the Balaton Bike Ring towards Mindszentkálla, and a mere 500 metres of pedalling will take you to the best coffee of the neighbourhood, served in old-school espresso glass. The cappuccino will not disappoint either. The milk foam is creamy, the beans are 100% arabica by the Spanish Cofesa brand. If you ask for refreshments, they will recommend the locally produced fruit syrups, but if the alcoholic line is more your thing, the range of options is only wider. You can have a fröccs made of local wine, a bottle of beer of draught Soproni. Apart from the traditional snack line (salty sticks and seeds), on the weekends you can fill up on bread with cracklings, Liptauer or fat, but the place also serves bogrács-cooked meals at a friendly price. They don't have all-round bike repair service, but they can provide you with a pump and a puncture repair kit. Káli-Kapocs is only open on the weekends in the autumn. You can wash off the dirt of the road under the shower at the end of the garden, but this year there is no sleepover option just yet. The ruin pub that eloped from the capital to the Káli-medence plans to include camping and other accommodation options among its services next year.
Bringatanya - Ice-cream on the side of the road
Bringatanya in Gyenesdiás awaits you with a bike pump, a few basic repair tools, and artisan ice-cream that is equally fresh and delicious. Although this Somogy County ice cream parlour looks like the average confectionery, their thematic days (under pseudonyms, like Big Chocolate or Retro Ice-cream Weekend) might just take you by surprise. You can also get a taste of the ice-cream of Hungary, if you arrive on time. You won't find repair options here, but a nearby place will help you fix your bike or rent you another one. The locals will gladly point you in the right direction, but there are also signs to show the way. The Fish and Farmers' Market of Gyenesdiás is also close by, so if you want something substantial to eat, you can find more options than lángos and hamburgers.