The oldest city of the Balaton region is Keszthely. Her several streets still preserve the atmosphere of the last century’s small cities. One of the richest aristocratic families, the Festetics used to live in Keszthely’s and their presence was a most determinant factor of the city’s development and culture.
Their magnificent Baroque castle, today a museum, is one of the most beautiful monuments in the Balaton region. Permanent exhibitions: Aristocratic way of life; Weapons of 1100 years; Trophies of four continents; Rarities, valuable old curiosities (jewellery of the Hun princes, Lehel’s Horn, gold findings of the Avar Age. Every summer concerts are held weekly in its park, gorgeous habls. Balaton Museum is also beautiful, its dioramas and displays show the lake’s origin, fauna and flora, archaeological findings, folklore and the history of its bathing life. The nave of the Roman Catholic Church is a medieval relic, its frescos considered to be among the Hungarian Gothics’s most valuable works of art.
The city’s regular events are the Balaton Festival in summer and the Balaton Autumn.
Other sights:

Folk Costume Puppet Museum (History of Folk Wear and Peasant Architecture) – Waxwork Museum – Shell Parliament
Being the largest puppets museum in Europe, it boasts almost half a thousand porcelain puppets all beautifully dressed up in the folk costumes of different regions of Hungary.

Marzipan Museum and Confectioner’s
The museum can be found in the close vicinity of the Festetics Mansion. The front part of the scenic building is taken up by a cosy confectioner’s shop, where visitors can have cakes, pastries, ice-cream and coffee specialities, and there is also a rich selection of quite extraordinary marzipan desserts.
The marzipan figures sold there are all individually hand-made.
Behind the confectioner’s shop in the twenty showcases there are about one hundred ornamental works made of marzipan. They include the coats-of-arms of the Festetics family, Keszthely town, the cake presented to Mr Árpád Göncz, the first president to be elected after the change of 1989, which was presented to him by the town, and other miscellaneous folk art and fairy tale motifs and figures.

Termal lake of Hévíz

Hévíz with its 4800 inhabitants is Hungary’s most important spa resort, 6km from Western-Balaton. The town’s success is based on the 4,44ha large lake , the world’s biggest warm-water lake surrounded by a 50ha big protective forest.

The water warmed up by the so-calledgeometric energy is in summer 30-35 Celsius and it does not go below 26celsius in winter. Because of the geographical situation the region has very few windy days. The average temperature is up to 11.2Celsius, the sunshine is given for 1940 hours yearly and the climate is very Mediterranean-like. 30% of the town inhabits parks and green places. Most of the visitors arrive here to have revitalization.

The thermal water is first and foremost used and suitable for locomotor diseases. The streets, squares and other places in town are well looked-after and nice to look at. The people living in Hévíz like real local patriots pay attention to order, cleanliness and high quality hospitality.

The safety and security in town is excellent. The town has a good and wide range of shopping net, the service here is of good quality and it totally suits to the style of town, as well. The medical tourism of Hévíz now looks back on a past of more than 200 years. There is a yearly estimation of more 100 thousands of visitors to Hévíz.

Káli Basin and Balaton Uplands National Park

Káli Basin and Balaton Uplands National Park

Right in the heart of Europe, close to the Lake Balaton, you´ll find the untouched area of the Kál basin with its fascinating beauty. Since 1984 this little paradise has been a nature reserve and therefore has not been harmed by the effects of modern times.
The Mediterranean climate which is unique to this part of Hungary encourages nature to spawn these picturesque and radiant expanses of beauty. The sun shines for over 2000 hours a year thus awakens a fauna and flora which can usually only be found in Tuscany or Provence Along the roads you find blooming lavender and rosemary, almond trees and the famous stones of this region. Due to the large number of small ponds and the Lake Balaton (which is only a few miles away) you can regularly encounter on your walks storks, pheasants, rabbits and deer.
This small region, which can be walked through in a day, contains hardly a dozen villages. Each one of them overwhelms with an archaic and untouched ambience. Since 864 a.d. a small Hungarian population has been living here and even today it contains only a 1000 people.
Here time seems to cease, hardly leaving any impression on people, nature or buildings. The style of the houses, which fit perfectly into the landscape is characterized by arcades, ornamental plasterwork and rooms often decorated with frescos.
Because of the various religious communities which live side by side in peace, you will find Roman-Catholic and Protestant churches as well as a classical synagogue.

Badacsony, Szentgyörgy hill

For hundreds of years poets, novelists and painters have been calling the Badacsony and its vicinity the most beautiful landscape in Hungary. One of the greatest achievements of the Hungarian nature conservation movement is that the basalt quarries opened here in 1903 have finally been closed down. The famous playwrighter Ferenc Herczeg made powerful efforts in the Upper House in the 1920s to have them closed. A press campaign was also launched, but the last quarries where only finally closed in 1964. Those on the Gulács and Tóti Hills were abandoned at the end of World War II and in the early 1950s.

The Szentgyörgy and Csobánc Hills are more fortunate: their basalt was not found suitable for building purposes, so there are only small wounds on their flanks. The basalt mountains of the area are not only unique and picturesque geological relics, they are also the habitat of many rare plants and animals. In addition to the natural values it is worth to mention the vineyards dating back to the Roman times, the architectural relics of the hills and villages: ruins of castles, churches, palaces, as well as the relics of popular architecture.
The monadnocks are peculiarly shaped results of the volcanic activity towards the end of the Pannonian Age. At the edges of the Csobánc, Szentgyörgy and Badacsony Hills, which from a distance resemble coffins, typical formations of solidifying basalt: the basalt columns can be seen.

The most beautiful examples are the Stone Gate of Badacsony and the basalt organs of the Szentgyörgy Hill. At the slopes of Badacsony, huge rock-glaciers and block fields are to be found, where the large-leaf linden and the mahaleb cherry forest can just establish themselves. The picturesque cones of the Gulács, Tóti and Vár Hills resemble sugar loafs.
Several botanical rarities live in the extreme climatic and geological conditions of the basalt mountains. On the rocks and in the forests of the basalt hills several rare birds nest: raven, red footed falcon, rock bird etc. In the reeds below the Szigliget Hill the protected greylag goose breeds.
The ruins of the forts of Csobánc and Szigliget, the lavishly rich Tarányi Cellar from 1780, the Lengyel Chapel (1760), the Szigliget Castle and manor, the cellar of Flórián Szabó at Rókarántó of Szigliget, richly ornamented in popular style, the chapels on the vineyard hills (Csobánc, Kisapáti, Badacsonylábdi), the nicely carved crucifixes at the crossroads, the ruins of churches (Csobáncszegi, Sziglitet-Avasi, Káptalantóti-Sabar Mountain), the dignified manor of Róza Szegedy on the Badacsony, are all precious relics of Hungarian architecture and history.


The Szigliget peninsula, 4km (212miles) beyond Badacsonytördemic, was (like Tihany) originally surrounded by water. Anyone visiting the village of Szigliget cannot fail to be captivated by its picturesque center and the beautiful thatched cottages which are now listed buildings. Fortunately, it is as yet unspoiled by tourists.

The most impressive building on the village square (Fö tér) is the former Eszterházy Palace, a Classical 19th-century edifice surrounded by parkland, which now provides working accommodation for Hungarian writers. Of the 13th-century church of All Saints (Avasi templom) on the former ferry mooring in the east of the peninsula only the Romanesque basalt tower still stands; this is being converted from a square to an octagonal design.

The climb up the 280m (920ft) high castle mound is worthwhile just for the magnificent view. At the top can be seen the remains of the 13th-century castle which at times was owned by the king and was razed to the ground by imperial troops in the early 18th-century.

Kis-Balaton wetland habitat

The Kis-Balaton, as a huge wetland habitat is unique in the whole of Europe, which is why it has always been recorded by international nature conservation. Its wonderful world of birds was already famous in the last century; and has survived despite the draining of the marsh started in 1922. It is therefore not surprising that when Hungary joined the Ramsar Convention in 1979, the Kis-Balaton was included in the list of “Wetlands of International Importance as Waterfowl Habitat”.

As a result of the reconstruction of the wetlands in the mid 1980s, waterfowl were able to return to formerly deserted habitats. The areas of favourable foraging and nesting conditions have increased by flooding of the Kis-Balaton Water Reservoir. Birds occupied the new places surprisingly fast. Even in the first year tens of thousands of migrating birds arrived to have a rest or to spend the winter here. In addition to 250 species of birds identified so far, we can find several other rare animals and plants here.

It is worth to mention the Northern vole, dogfish, pond loach and some rare species of dragonflies among them. Kányavári Island, near Balatonmagyaród, is open to the public, and two watch towers have been built here. With good field glasses and with some luck, visitors may have a good view into the teeming world of the wetlands.


Tihany this marvellous penisula, reaching deep into the lake, Divides it into two parts. Tihany is not only the gem of the “Hungarian Sea”, but also a rare jewel of the region, of Hungary, of Europe itself. The terrain of theigneous penisula is dotted with limestone cones created by geysers. Thanksto its specilal mikcroclimate and two lakes without outlets several rare species of flora and fauna can be found on the penisula, therefor in 1952, first in Hungary, it was proclaimed a nature reserve.

It is not only the beauty of the scenery, but also the magic atmosphere and historic monuments of the village that make Tihany a tourist target. It was Andrew I who deceded the future fate and development of the village by choosing it as his burial place in 1055 and by founding a Benedictine monastery here. The abbey church is as it has been over the centuries, the centre of the village’s cultural and spiritual life. The thatched houses encricling the church evoke the atmosphere of the last centuries.
The skanzen shows the life of the fishing and farming population of the nearly 1000-year old village. Beyond the old houses glitters the wather of Belső-tó (inner lake). And furhter Beyond is the most beatiful of all the geyser cones.

The 13th century church in Ujlak reminds thr visitors of the old village, whereas the spectacular hotels and restautants in the nearby resort areas remind them of modern Tihany.

Herend porcelain manufactory

Herend is the centre of artistic porcelain production in Hungary. Until quite recently only a select few could explore the mystery of the creation of these wonderful examples of masterful craftsmanship. Today this is an opportunity open to everyone. Herend has been running a visitor centre – home of the creation of porcelain items – offering, if requested, a full day’s programme to porcelain enthusiasts. Porcelanium offers high-class entertainment to its visitors. With the help of video films, pot-throwers and professional painters there are demonstrations to show how the porcelain paste will turn into a glossy porcelain item.

Guides show visitors round to see the “magicians’ tricks” behind the scenes. It is all there for you to discover – the world’s biggest collection of Herend pieces, hosted by the Porcelain Museum and the largest selection of purchasable products in the Victoria Brand Shop – both to be found in Herend. The Apicius Restaurant and Café is a nice way to relax following a lesson of craftsmanship in the manufacturing of porcelain and the first impressions of glossy, shining porcelain items.

Here the unique ambiance of intimacy and service out of “Herend sets” might as well be the highlight of the day. So join us for a special tour!

Herend is a place offering special as well as traditional programmes and unconventional opportunities of entertainment for all seasons of the year, expecting art fans, porcelain buffs and everyone else interested in what it has to offer.