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Countless experiences await you at the 50-year-old Lake Tisza!

Lake TiszaDebrecen and surroundings

Lake Tisza, Hungary’s second largest lake, awaits this summer with magical natural features, charming beaches and a host of activities. The lake, created on 16 May 1973 as the reservoir of Kisköre, actually celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, so let’s celebrate together!

Half a century may not seem like a long time for a natural feature, but for the man-made Lake Tisza, it is a number to celebrate. Over the last 50 years the lake has evolved an ecosystem that has become a refuge for countless species of animals and a place where humans can find peace as well. The Kisköre dam was created primarily to irrigate agricultural land in the region. Construction on the Kisköre dam began in October 1967. The work was carried out by the National Water Engineering Company, based on plans drawn up by VIZITERV engineers. The damming process was initially planned in three stages. The first and second stages were successfully completed, but the third eventually never came to fruition. 

This unique water paradise is now an attractive destination all year round, but it truly bursts into life during summer. The best thing about this artificial reservoir is that its shores offer something for everyone. If you want to relax can enjoy the beaches, but if you’re more sporty you can explore it on two wheels or by boat. Food lovers will not be disappointed either, as the kitchens of the local restaurants and fish bars prepare the finest fish dishes. Let’s see what Lake Tisza has to offer visitors. 

Take a bike trip around the lake

The shorter section of the cycle route around Lake Tisza is only 70 kilometres long, while the longer section is 95 kilometres long. It’s a great way to get the whole family on the bike. One of the cycle path’s advantages is that the route leads along the top of the dam, away from traffic, so even small children can enjoy it. It’s a good idea to allow a whole day for the trip, as there are great beaches in Sarud, Tiszafüred and Abádszalók and other places. If you don’t have your own bike, you can rent one (or an electric bike) in most of the towns and villages around the lake. 

Lake Tisza is home to many species of animal

Diverse wildlife emerged along soon after the lake was created. Visit the Lake Tisza Ecocentre in Poroszló where you can observe the fish of the region up close in Europe’s largest freshwater aquarium. 

Don’t miss the Lake Tisza Bird Reserve, part of Hortobágy National Park, either. Its internationally recognised, highly protected section is only accessible by boat. A trip to this location is an unforgettable experience, as you can encounter bird species such as the spoonbill, little egret, grey heron and cormorant. There are several study trails to explore along the small islands of the lake, such as the Pákász (hunter-gatherer) and Tiszavirág (mayfly) trails in Tiszaörvény. If you still haven’t had your fill, visit the Kisköre hydroelectric power station, which can be toured in groups by appointment. The Kisköre fish ladder, the largest ecological corridor in Central Europe is near the power plant. 

Rocking on the water

You can rent a canoe or boat at most beaches, so hop in and paddle through the maze of reeds. The three extraordinary lookout points on the lake, which blend into the tranquil landscape, are only accessible by boat. The Bölömbika (great bittern) Lookout is easily reached from the beach in Sarud with a leisurely 30-minute boat ride. The Fattyúszerkő (whiskered tern) Lookout is worth a visit for the rare species of bird the lookout tower was named after. The lake’s third water lookout point at Szilas-fok is also named after a bird: the common tern.

The finest fish bars

Good news for lovers of fish dishes: there are excellent fish bars around Lake Tisza, where you can enjoy a selection of local fish. In addition to classic fried fish, fish cracklings and fish burgers are also worth a try, and you won’t be disappointed by the fish soup either. The water caltrop is a real specialty of the region too. This aquatic plant tastes similar to a chestnut. The most exciting way it is used is in special dessert made from it by a local chocolatier.