Conventions

Balaton for Families - 1 day



How long it takes?
1 day
Best vehicle choice for this plan:
car
public transport
bicycle
This region is famous for:
Baths, Spas  and Beaches
Museums and exhibitions
Natural values
Balaton
Families
Day 1
Festetics Palace

The Baroque-style building in the centre of Keszthely is one of the most beautiful palaces in the country. Construction began in the 18th century, with the palace reaching its current size by the 1880s. Its colourful park is the most significant feat of landscaping in Central Europe, so be sure to take a walk either before or after visiting the inside of the building. The Helikon Palace Museum is an exhibition that gives visitors a picture of what life was like for aristocrats and the luxurious life of the Festetics family. The palace is home to the only intact aristocratic private library remaining in Hungary, which escaped the ravages of World War II in an astonishing turn of events worthy of the silver screen. Certain scenes of the movie Kincsem were also filmed in the palace.

Tapolca Lake Cave Visitor Centre

The Lake Cave was discovered in 1903 and since then it has been revealed that it is only a short section of a long cave system that sprawls beneath the town. Visitors to the centre first learn about caves in and around Tapolca in an interactive exhibition, and can then ride boats for 180 metres under the ground in crystal-clear water. You do not need strong muscles to row, as it can be steered by hand in most places as you go through the narrow passages. You can also take a short walk in the dry halls of the limestone cave. When you get to the surface, you should visit the nearby Malom Lake, which has a Mediterranean atmosphere to it.

Szigliget Castle

You have to climb a steep slope to get to one of the most beautiful castles in the Balaton Uplands, but the panorama from the top will certainly repay the effort. The 750-year-old fortress resisted all attempts at invasion by the Ottoman army, but was burnt down due to lightning and then destroyed by the Habsburgs. The renovation of the castle was completed in 2020: the stone wall is now taller and has more interactive elements, an exhibition and a covered space as well. The exhibitions are open all year round and show what the daily life of a medieval castle was like, from the smithy through the prison tower and the armoury.

During your visit

Wine
The Somló Juhfark (literally ‘Sheep’s Tail’) is one of the oldest Hungarian grape varieties. A ‘fiery’ wine with a strong acidic bite, it got its name from the volcanic hill called Somló, which is located 50 km from Lake Balaton, as well as the distinctive shape of its grape clusters. It takes about three to four years for the wine to peak and for its acids to lose their roughness. It is also called the ‘wine of wedding nights’: it is said that drinking it increases the chance of conceiving a boy.
Gastronomy
Catfish paprikash, which is traditionally made from wels catfish, is listed on the menus of restaurants around Lake Balaton as a specialty. It is a dish you really must taste while you are at the lake. The boneless fish is traditionally served with noodles with sheep’s cottage cheese, sour cream and bacon (cottage cheese noodles) and fried, diced bacon, accompanied by full-bodied white wines.

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