Gentle slopes, proud dolomite cliffs, velvety wines with rich flavour, beautiful beaches with silky water, spas still keeping the warmth of long-extinct volcanoes and much more …
Keszthely, the cultural city with a population of about 20,000, is located only a few kilometres from Gyenesdiás. The name Festetics is inseparable from Keszthely. The Festetics palace is today the most famous sight of Keszthely and at the same time one of the most magnificent Baroque palaces in Hungary. The imposing interior exhibition offers insight into the former aristocratic way of life. In addition to carriages, trophies and model railways, the superb English park is also a feast for the eyes and invites to leisurely walks. In the Georgikon Museum, you get to know more about wine culture around Lake Balaton and life in the medieval ages. A fully-equipped blacksmith, a cooper workshop and an old Fowler steam engine can also be seen here.
In the Balaton Museum, you can learn interesting facts about Lake Balaton, its flora and fauna, the history of fishing and shipping, the bathing life and the surrounding archaeological excavations. A range of private collection invites you to a real cultural journey: eg. porcelain dolls dressed in folk costumes, toy rarities, historical heroes made of wax, beautiful Cadillac cars, marzipan figures, a parliament of snail shells, old radios and televisions etc. The Bathing Island with its characteristic building and its special turn-of-the-century flair lend classic elegance to the main beach of Keszthely. Pleasure boats, party and pirate ships ensure unforgettable experiences for adults and children, too.
The charming St. Michael Hill with the small white chapel on the top and the Kitaibel outlook tower are situated in Vonyarcvashegy. In Balatongyörök do not forget to visit the panorama point (Szépkilátó) on road 71, from here you have a great view. The Bélapi resting place is the southern gateway of the Keszthely hills. From here you can easily reach the Bél Mátyás viewing tower following the yellow sign or the Batsányi viewing tower following the red sign.
A lot of interesting places are just waiting to be discovered: the Africa Museum in Balatonederics, the castle and the famous Eszterházy wine cellar in Szigliget, the beautiful basalt organs on the St. Georg hill, and the unique sea cave (visitor centre) and the delightful mill pond in Tapolca.
Do not miss the Kis-Balaton area! It offers many attractions: on the east side of Kis-Balaton, you will find a wooden bridge leading to the Kányavári island where the Great Crested Grebe nature trail can be visited for free during the whole year. A little further south of Balatonmagyaród you will find the Buffalo Reserve. The Kis-Balaton House in Zalavár offers an interactive exhibition and a water playground. The former hunting lodge of the Festetics family is located on a forest-covered hill in Balatonszentgyörgy. From the bird observation huts at Balatonhídvég you can observe a unique bird paradise.
Discover the wonderful Tátika-Rezi region: the Stupa (the largest Buddhist sanctuary in Europe) is located in Zalaszántó. The nearby Kotsy watermill is also well worth a visit. Here you will find relics of the milling industry. The so-called basalt corridor of the Kovácsi hill is a nature reserve. On the top of Tátika hill, you can see the ruins of the Tátika castle. The Rezi castle built in the 14th century belonged to the border fortresses of the Balaton highlands. Sümeg with its unique, small-town Baroque atmosphere is definitely worth a visit. The castle situated on the top of the hill was built in the 13th century. Today the castle and its surroundings have many spectacular programmes, like Medieval jousting games in the battle arena at the foot of the hills.
The area is rich in thermal water and offers a variety of modern spas with wellness and leisure facilities. Hévíz is the largest natural thermal lake in Europe. The water temperature of the lake is 33-35 ° C in summer and it does not drop below 22 ° C in winter. Zalakaros and Kehidakustány are popular destinations for families looking for relaxation or healing.
More information about the region on www.west-balaton.hu.
8315 Gyenesdiás, Hunyadi u. 2.
Tel.: +36 83/511-790