General information about the Balaton :

    The Balaton, also Hungarian sea mentioned, lies in west Hungary and is the largest lake of Central Europe and beside the new settler lake the only steppe lake.
    Altogether it is 79 km long and 13 km broad.
    The surface amounts to 594 km² and at it 12 km² more as with the Geneva lake or 60 km² more than with the Lake of Constance.
    In the centre it is constricted by the peninsula Tihany on 1,3 km broad.
    The average depth amounts to 3.25 m, the maximum depth 12.5 M.
    Thus the water in the summer on up to 28 degrees Celsius heats up.
    The south bank of the lake is flat, the north bank is delayed by the vineyards of the Badacsony and the spur of the Bakony.
    The Romans called the Balaton Pleso.
    The Hungarian name Balaton comes from the Slavonic “blatna”, which means as much as swampy march.
    Despite the little inviting name pull the beaches as well as the therapeutic baths and hot springs in the environment many bath tourists on.
    Therefore the Balaton is the most important tourism area of Hungary beside the capital Budapest.
    The cultivation of wine and fishing have in addition economic meaning.

    The Balaton lies in the range of the moderate continental climate and has thereby in the year on the average 2,000 sun hours.
    The warmest months are June, July and August; with average temperatures on the day around 28°C
    and at the night around 17°C.
    June is the sun-richest month with average ten sun hours per day.
    The months of lightest precipitation are August and September also on average six rain days.

    Flora and fauna :

    The Balaton and its environment accommodate many rare and protected planting and animal species.
    Often they are particularly warm-loving kinds. Some of it are to be represented here.

    Flora :
    At the slopes of the north bank exposed to the south e.g. grows
    Almond trees, in many gardens mature figs, and often pomegranate gleam by leaves.
    Fauna :
    To and around the Balaton 250 kinds of bird, 27 of them strictly protected species like forest ear owl, black stork, black woodpecker, cormorants, different herons and pelicans are to find.
    Insects :
    About 1,000 different kinds of insect are resident at the Balaton.
    The multiplicity at butterflies is particularly remarkable. The approximate number of kinds becomes estimated on 800.


    Nature protection - national park disk sea-upper country :
    The environment of the Balaton is rich at rare plants, animals and geological formations, which stand today under nature protection and were merged into the national park Balaton highland (Balaton Felvidéki Nemzeti park). The national park was created 1997. It covers an area of approx. 56,000 hectars and extends on the north bank of the peninsula Tihany up to the southwest bank to the moorland of the Kis Balaton (small Balaton). The landscape is very variously, e.g. by the Geysirkegel which can be found here, which originate still from the time of active volcanism. A characteristic, which admits the far over borders of Hungary is, are the stone seas of the potash basin. Beyond that the petrified remnants of the Pannoni sea are to be found in the national park. Further the national park accommodates the Keszthely mountains, in which rare plant types occur. The marsh area of the small Balaton is particularly characterised by a bird reservation and a buffalo reservation.

    Infrastructure :

    Traffic :

    The Balaton is traffic-technically very well opened for the tourism.
    The motorway M 7 leads today directly from Budapest to the Balaton.
    But 1861 were already built at the south bank a line, in order to connect Budapest with the sea port in Triest. 1909 were finally opened the northern line.
    Today each place at the Balaton with the course can be attained.
    In the criticism the security of the railroad overpasses stands again and again.
    Last in May 2003 it came to a heavy bus accident at one railroad without gates overpass in close proximity to Siófok, with which many German holiday-makers died.

    For cross connections off the clearing races the Hungarian remote penalty, for example Bakony Volan provide.
    Because of the western end of the Balaton the airport Balaton is in Sármellék, which is approached regularly from German airports. In close proximity to Siófok there is a further regional airport in Kiliti.

    Economics :

    Tourism :

    2004 was counted approximately one million tourist in the region around the Balaton, which approx. 4.3 million overnight accommodation generated and thus a large portion of the tourism of Hungary have.
    The portion of German guests of the total arising amounted to 21.3 per cent.
    If one looks at oneself only the foreign tourists, then the portion of the Germans is even with approx. 50 per cent.

    Fishery :

    The fishery has over 2,000 years an old tradition at the Balaton, which different archaeological finds prove.
    Altogether 50 fish types in the Balaton live, from which approx. 15 kinds of professional fishers become imprisoned.

    Viticulture :

    The cultivation of wine has a long tradition, which is enough far over 2,000 years back at the Balaton - exactly the same as in completely Hungary -. In the 3. Century let extensive wine planting put on Marcus Aurelius pro bus.
    Later one made oneself earned in Keszthely around the wine breed.
    There 1797 were created by György Festetics the first European agricultural faculty.
    The Georgikon belongs in the meantime to the University of Veszprém.
    In 19. Century also the cultivation areas at the Balaton were met heavily of the phylloxera catastrophe.
    When consequence of it many vineyards at inhabitants of large towns became sold, which let there extensive mansions establish.

    In the north the two cultivation areas continue to be with Somló and Mór.
    The largest viticulture enterprise at the southern Balaton is Balaton boglari Borgazdasagi blank.
    After the buying up of the state enterprise by that German handle company here approx. 3500 hectares are managed.
    Mainly such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rheinriesling and Traminer are cultivated to white wine places.
    As red wine occasionally Pinot Noir, which is marketed as Balaton or Balaton Boglar.

    Navigation :

    The first ship fleet became by the family Festetics (from Keszthely) to End 18. Century at the Balaton based.
    Among other things they furnished 1777 a ferry connection between Tihany and Szántód, which was thereby the first ferry connection on the Balaton.
    However the person navigation was again stopped a little later, after the death of the count György Festetics.
    On initiative of the count Istvan Széchenyi became
    Beginning 19. Century the Balatoner steam shipping company based.
    In honours of the poet Károly Kisfaludy the first steam ship of the fleet on after it was designated.
    Beside the regular ferry connection became Sunday in the afternoon also starting from Balatonfüred trip travels on the Balaton offered.
    The navigation on the Balaton experienced a large upswing into the years of 1960 by the risen tourism, which is to due also to the development of the railway along the lake.
    Most places added themselves with the time a port, of where out one too
    Meeting travels or also only to passages to break open knows.
    Between the places Tihanyrév on the northwest bank (on the peninsula Tihany) and Szántód on the southeast bank operate a car ferry, which needs ten minutes for translating.

    Spare time and tourism :

    Fishing rod sport :

    How already described under economics/fishery, it indicates a large diversity of species
    Fish in the Balaton (among other things: carp, pike, catfish, pike-perch), which are fishable outside of the close time.
    Altogether 25 fish types live in the lake. Possibilities for fishing offer approximately around the Balaton distributed, Bars and charter boats. One can acquire fishing rod maps both in angler business and at camping sites.

    Yachting :

    The Balaton is the most important routistic area of the yachting in Hungary.
    For the sailing boats numerous well equipped ports and yacht club are available.
    Although the lake is on the average only 3 to 3.5 meters deeply, sees one
    Sail yachts with a length of up to 50 foot.
    Only few sail schools and landlord give to be lent with those sailing boats can.
    There is a dinghy rental business on the peninsula.
    One can likewise charter yachts at the lake.
    On the Balaton it is forbidden operating boats with combustion engine.
    The retracting and extending in and from the harbour facilities with engine are however permitted for sailing boats with auxiliary engine. Under a wind force of 1 Beaufort using of the engine is likewise permitted.

    Surfing :

    3-4 wind forces in the annual average make the Balaton the optimal surfing area.
    April, May, Septembers and Octobers are the wind-richest months in the “warmer " time.
    July and August are optimal the wind-weaker months and for beginners.
    There are only few surfing-schools and rental businesses those longer than 2 months opened.

    Bicycle tours :

    Since 1990 the bicycle tourism returned also at the Balaton.
    In many places cycle tracks are renewed and added new to the existing net around the lake.

    Bathe :

    Since for instance the end 18. Century developed that bath tourism at the Balaton from May untill the late autumn.
    For families and non swimmers is particularly the south bank suitably, there here the water of still 200-300 meters of the bank removes less than a meter deep is.
    The water is weakly alkaline.
    Because of the fine suspended matters contained in him and one would know mineral particle it also call strongly diluted mineral water.