Wonders of Nature
Those wanting to delight themselves in the beauty of nature can choose from numerous hiking trails and popular trekking areas. They can mount the volcanic cones of the Balaton Highlands and lookout areas, gaining a breathtaking view of the Lake below that appears in many different colours depending on the time of day.
Nature has graced Lake Balaton with abundant beauty. The most picturesque areas belong to the Balaton-Highlands National Park. Professional tour guides are available to visitors by previous arrangement, and hikers may become acquainted with the botanical and geological distinctions of the region with the help of study trails and display areas.
The pearl of the Balaton is the Tihanyi Peninsula where a splendid world is unveiled before the visitor. Thanks to the special attributes of its landscape, its geological idiosyncrasies, its diverse flora and fauna and its invaluable trove of cultural and cultural history treasures, it was the first designated landscape protection area of the country.
Visitors in the Lóczy Cave discovered in 1894 on the side of the Tamás Hill of Balatonfüred will enjoy its cool air inside and can admire its pot-shapedn formations created by the dissolving effect of the lukewarm waters that were once springing up inside it.
The hilly vineyards of the Pécsely Basin, the century old cellars, the stonewalls and ruins of Zádor Castle plus the many old churches throughout the region evoke the atmosphere of ancient times. Travellers to this area will take home with them friendly images of villages ensconced in the hilly landscape, forests and orchards lining the highways, sprawling sheep pastures and oak forests covering hillsides.
The Sharp Needle Geological Exhibition Site of Monoszló reveals a splendid panorama before the visitor. The exhibition housed inside the building of the old basalt mine commemorates the tradition of stone mining and presents the geological structures and distinctive strata and minerals of the Balaton Highlands.
The tranquil atmosphere of the Káli Basin will enchant its visitors. The colorful alteration of the aspiring steeples of the churches, the wine cellar monuments, the vineyards, the almond orchards, the meadows, lakes and farmlands makes this region a one-of-a-kind feast for the eyes.
The Manor situated in the border of the tiny village of Salföld provides an opportunity to see indigenous Hungarian domestic animals and livestock, such as the racka sheep, buffalo, gray cattle, shepherd dogs and fowl.
The Kamon-kő study trail in Szigliget, the Geo-botanical study trail in Badacsony, and the Basalt Organs study trail on Szent György hill welcomes visitors eager to learn. The humid, cool air and the rowing boats in the Lake Cavern stretching under the city of Tapolca attract tens of thousands of visitors yearly.
We can enter the Csodabogyós Cave near Balatonederics, on the eastern periphery of the Keszthely hills. The cave, under special protection, is the seventh longest cave in Hungary and the third in Transdanubia. Visitors can choose to hike inside the cave on a basic or on an extreme hike; either one will mean a real experience for those seeking some adventure.
The Tapolca Basin with its impressive witness mountains and its moors and marshes represents unique treasures. The extensive surface of Lake Balaton, decorated with the basalt volcanoes on its shores, creates one of the most imposing visual landscapes of Europe.
Balaton Minor has been an environmental protection area since 1951. Some 232 bird species, among them the Hungarian symbol of the environment, the great blue heron, make their habitat in great numbers in this area. Most parts of the area are closed to visitors; however, some areas may be visited with a guide. The Búbos Vöcsök study trail around the Kányavári Islands may be browsed freely, which presents the bird species and the bat fauna of the region. The Buffalo Reservation of Kápolnapuszta is open all year around, introducing the ecology of the Balaton Minor through an interactive exhibition, and we can see up close the buffalo wallowing in the mud. The village museum in Vörs introduces the traditional folk architecture of the Balaton Minor area, together with the tools and equipment that were used for the traditional methods of fishing and the life of the pákász, who made their living by gathering in the marshes.
The magnificent world of the Balaton Highlands offers recreation, enjoyment and learning all year around for those who browse their trails carefully, with an open mind. Vacationing in the area, you should visit the recently renovated Kotsy watermill in Zalaszántó, which testifies to the life of millers with an exhibition displaying operational mill equipment. The watermill also has its own playground.