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Balaton for Seniors - 5 days



How long it takes?
5 days
Best vehicle choice for this plan:
bus
public transport
car
This region is famous for:
Castles, Forts, Palaces
Culture and monuments
Religious sites
Natural values
Balaton
Seniors
Day 1
Historical walks, museums, arboretum and thermal bath: five days is enough to get to know Lake Balaton and its surroundings in at a leisurely pace.
Church and Museum of the Benedictine Abbey of Tihany

Start your trip to Lake Balaton with a visit to the abbey, which was founded almost 1,000 years ago, and is the world-famous symbol of the Tihany Peninsula. The famous wall paintings of the monastery founded by (Saint) Andrew I of Hungary were painted by Lajos Deák-Ébner, Károly Lotz and Bertalan Székely, while the beautiful wooden statues and the wooden altars were made by Sebestyén Stulhoff. The founding king was buried in the undercroft, making this the only Hungarian royal burial place from the era of the Árpád Dynasty that is still intact.

Walk around Tihany

If you stand at the lookout point next to the abbey, you have a beautiful view of the Belső-tó and the south shore. From here, take a few minutes’ walk to visit the Potter’s House and the Open-air Ethnographic Museum, which showcase typical folk architectural elements and tools and equipment used by traditional craftsmen. It only takes 15 minutes to reach Belső-tó and the Lavender House, where you can learn more about how the Tihany Peninsula was formed and about lavender growing.

A walk in Balatonfüred

Your visit to the centre of the town will take you back in time, with its Classicist buildings from the Reform Era, beautiful parks and cobblestoned streets. You can practically see actress Lujza Blaha or writer Mór Jókai walking around the town. After you have visited the Vaszary Villa, the Anna Grand Hotel and the Round Church, why not take a stroll on the Tagore Promenade and allow the many statues and plaques to tell you the history of the town. Lake Balaton’s best-known promenade is named after the famed Indian poet and Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. Many celebrities have followed the example of planting trees here set by the great artist. The shaded promenade is also called the main street of Lake Balaton, and is full of cafés, restaurants and ice-cream shops.

 

Day 2
Festetics Palace

Start your second day in Keszthely with the discovery of one of the most beautiful palaces in Hungary. Construction of the Baroque-style castle began in the 18th century, reaching its current size by the 1880s. The colourful park is the most important example of landscaping in Central Europe, while 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 castle.

 

Walk around Hévíz

The pleasantly warm thermal water of Lake Hévíz is unique and it has a well-earned reputation for aiding those suffering from rheumatic and musculoskeletal ailments. The promenade starting at the end of the pedestrianised street was named after Dr Vilmos Schulhof, a former doctor at the baths, and is flanked by sycamore trees and Lake Hévíz on one side and the beautiful buildings of the Szent András Rheumatism Hospital, which have stood here since the 1870s, on the other. As you walk around the lake, the road back to the entrance to the baths takes you by the Festetics Bath House and through a park where trees protect you from the hot sun.

Day 3
Walk around Veszprém

The Castle District in Veszprém towers above the medieval, crooked little streets of the town, with a profusion of museums, palaces, galleries and churches, from the Fire Tower to the north peak of the castle, where the statues of Saint Stephen and Blessed Gisela watch over the town. Visit the Dubniczay Palace, the Saint Michael Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Gisela Chapel, but make sure you also have time for the Salesianum, located in the recently renovated Bíró-Giczey House, which was built in the 18th century. It is definitely worth a visit for its halls decorated with Baroque wall paintings, a liturgical exhibition and a violin maker’s demonstration workshop.

 

Herend Porcelain Manufactory

Visitors to the almost 200-year-old manufactory are given a glimpse into how porcelain is made, starting with the making of the gypsum moulds through forming and casting up to artistic decoration. This is where you will find the world’s largest collection of Herend artefacts; then make sure you visit the permanent and temporary exhibitions of the Museum of Porcelain Art. Visitors can even try making porcelain in the Visitor Centre workshop.

 

Day 4
Folly Arboretum and Winery

The first special trees and plants in the arboretum in Badacsonyörs were planted by Dr Gyula Folly on his family estate. Today, a fourth generation of gardeners tend to the hundreds of established cedars and cypresses, whose huge canopies provide visitors with cool shade even in summer; the panoramic view is also beautiful. After a walk in the garden, go and taste local fruit syrups and wines. Winemaking, just like the nurturing of the arboretum, has been a tradition passed down from generation to generation in the Folly family.

 

Tapolca Lake Cave Visitor Centre

The Lake Cave discovered in 1903 is merely a short section of the sprawling cave system under the town. After visiting the interactive exhibition about the caves, you can then paddle a boat on a 180-metre-long section of the lake 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.

 

Day 5
Gránit Thermal Bath

The recently renovated bath in Zalakaros has a 25,000 m2 area of water and offers a number of wellness and healing services. Families will enjoy a great day in the slide park and the fun and wave pools in the thermal bath, while those who come here primarily to heal and relax will find what they’re looking for in the quiet thermal water pools and rest areas of the Healing Centre. The thermal bath is ideal for all generations: while grandparents enjoy the peace and quiet in the Healing Centre, the little ones can go wild in the fun pools in the two-storey Kids’ World.

 

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.

Move around like a hungarian