sights & culture

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Ten hidden Balaton treasures to explore this autumn

Writers

  • Molnár Zoltán

9/27/2018 1:22 PM

Cosier in autumn, Lake Balaton hides tranquil sights well worth discovering.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Noszlopy Gáspár Lookout Tower

1/10

8247 Hidegkút, Recsek-hegy

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Named after a hero of the Hungarian Revolution of 1849-49, this structure towers 400 metres above the landscape, providing a view from Várpalota to Fonyód. Nearby Hidegkút is a lovely village, so it’s worth to take a walk through its streets before heading to the lookout tower.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Gulács

2/10

8284 Nemesgulács, Gulács

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Tapolcai-medence is rich in solitary hillocks such as Tóti-hegy, Csobánc, Hegyesd, Haláp or Gulács. The hike up to the top is adventurous and  you can easily get lost, but once you are at the top, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view.

Photo: Alexandra Heim - We Love Balaton

Historic Cistercian Library

3/10

8420 Zirc, Rákóczi tér 1.

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Zirc itself is the perfect destination for a day trip, with an abbey, a church, a garden of ruins and an arboretum, not to mention abbey beer. Then there’s the library, with 65,000 volumes, including 70 incunabula and 300 antique documents.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Kőszikla-szurdok

4/10

8821 Nagybakónak, Kőszikla-szurdok (Kicikla)

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This ridge has a unique flora and an exciting hiking trail about an hour’s drive away from Keszthely. You’ll have to climb ladders along the way, but stay away if there’s been any rain because it can become very dangerous.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Parish Church of Sümeg

5/10

8330 Sümeg, Bíró Márton utca 3.

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Sümeg Parish Church has been termed the Hungarian Sistine Chapel. Baroque frescos by Franz Anton Maulbertsch cover the entire interior of a building that was finished during the reign of Maria Theresa. You can admire the paintings individually here.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Rezi Castle and Study Trail

6/10

8373 Rezi, Meleg-hegy

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Although Rezi Castle was of no military importance, local nobles always held it in high esteem. Built in the 1200s, the fortress had lost its function by the 1600s. It’s been a ruin ever since. Sitting on a 427-metre-high cliff, Rezi Castle has been open to visitors since its renovation at the turn of the new millennium.

Photo: Alexandra Heim - We Love Balaton

Ruins of Szent András Church

7/10

8295 Taliándörögd, Béke utca

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Slap in the middle of nowhere, the ruins of this Árpád-era church will take you back 1,000 years. It’s best to visit on overcast, moody days: standing amid the old rocks really feels like being in a time warp.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Szent László Monastery ruins – Somogyvár

8/10

Somogyvár is a historically important location. King Szent László founded the Saint Giles Monastery here, which is now named after the monarch himself. The settlement used to be a religious, administrative and intellectual centre of the region. Today, a visitor centre awaits sightseers at the ruins.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Fekete-hegy

9/10

8274 Köveskál, Fekete-hegy

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Fekete-hegy is located near Köveskál: from there you can follow a trail marked with a yellow triangle to reach the hill. At the top, a lookout tower provides a fine view of the Káli Basin. The lakes on the hill are natural wonders. It’s still a mystery how these were formed. It’s best to come on rainy days because that’s when they are at their most beautiful.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Töreki Lakes Study Trail

10/10

8600 Siófok, Töreki utca

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This hidden study trail near Siófok is unbelievably green. The chain of lakes is a natural paradise of endless silence and tranquillity. The study trail goes along the lakes and there’s even a small lookout tower to climb.

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