Lake Balaton is the largest lake in central Europe, located at 46°50′ north latitude and 17°45′ east longitude, about 90km from Budapest, Hungary. The Tihany Peninsula juts out from the north shore of the lake, almost splitting the lake in two. The Tihany Peninsula is the most beautiful place on Lake Balaton. You can see the whole lake from the top of the peninsula.
Lake Balaton is shallow and small in water volume. The lake is supplied and regulated by the Zala River and other rivers entering the lake on the north bank. The Zala River fills the lake with the largest amount of water, and then the water flows into the Danube through the Shio Canal at the eastern end.
Lake Balaton region has become a world-renowned vacation destination for its mesmerizing lake and mountains. There are many resort facilities such as hotels, sanatoriums, and villas by the beautiful lakeside. This post will introduce more interesting facts about Lake Balaton.
Lake Balaton Introduction
Lake Balaton in Hungary is a northeast-southwest trending lake formed by a fault. The lakebed formed at the end of the Pleistocene, less than 1 million years ago. At first, there was a series of 5 small lakes in the north-south direction. After the erosion of wind, rain, and ice, they gradually connected into a whole. To the south is fertile yellow soil. Because of the volcanic soil in the northwest, which is conducive to the cultivation of grapes, there are vast vineyards that are rich in famous wines. The tourism industry started to develop in the 1960s, and Siofok on the south bank and Balatonfüred on the north bank are now well-known tourist destinations. The north bank of Lake Balaton has mountains and green trees; the south bank is wide and flat, forming the longest lakeshore with shallow water and fine sand in Europe, which is a good natural bathing place.
Lake Balaton Size
- Lake Balaton, the largest lake in central Europe, has a surface area of 598 square km (231 square miles) and extends for 77 km(48 miles) along the southern foothills of the Bakony Mountains of Hungary. At its widest point, Lake Balaton measures about 14 km (9 miles) across.
- Its maximum depth is only 11 meters (37 feet), and the average depth is about 3.3 meters (11 feet).
- The lake has a long and fantasy shore of 235 km (146 miles).
|Max. length||77 km (48 mi)|
|Max. width||14 km (9 mi)|
|Surface area||598 sq km (231 sq mi)|
|Max. depth||11 m (37 ft)|
|Shoreline||235 km (146 mi)|
|Water volume||1.9 cubic kilometers (0.46 cubic miles)|
Climate And Hydrology
The region's climate is rather continental, with warm and sunny weather prevailing from May to October. In winter, Lake Balaton is covered with a thick sheet of ice of about 8 inches (20 cm). The weather over the lake is sometimes as unpredictable as the sea. Westerly winds from the Atlantic can cross the mountains and reach the lake, lowering temperatures and producing storms. Therefore, Lake Balaton is often called the "Hungarian Sea" by the locals.
In summer, thousands of tourists flock here to enjoy nature's sunshine and air. Lake Balaton contains a lot of mineral salts, which are of great benefit to human health. The lake water is clean and buoyant, making it especially suitable for swimming.
The Balaton Heights National Park is known as Little Balaton, and it was included in the International Register of Wild Waters in 1993. There are huge swamps here, inhabiting 230 species of birds. Visitors can see a world of colorful birds full of life. There is also a wildlife sanctuary on the Tihany Peninsula and another sanctuary in the vast reeds near Keszthely to protect the rare waterfowl there.
Lake Balaton has beautiful natural scenery and many famous ancient buildings. It is the most attractive tourist scenic area and health resort in Hungary. In the north and south of the lake are ancient Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque buildings; one of the most ornate buildings is the Parish Church of Schumeeg. The ancient town, Tihany, attracts travelers with its museums and biological stations. Surrounded by vineyards, volcanic mountains, and thermal spa resorts, Lake Balaton is a stunning body of water in western Hungary that attracts sun-seekers, music lovers, and watersports fans from all over the world every year.