Visit Hungary: Top 10 Lake Balaton Facts
Lake Balaton is made of freshwater and is located in Hungary. The size is 48 miles long by 8.7 miles wide making it Central Europe’s largest lake. The views from any part of the region are just spectacular.
One of the reasons why Lake Balaton is so vast is because it receives a large inflow of water from the Zala River. The only outflow is by way of Sio, a small channel.
It is one of the most popular places to visit in Hungary and every year, thousands of tourists flock here, having been created into a haven for the wealthy during the early 19th century.
Here are some more Lake Balaton facts, the top 10 most interesting:
1. During the late 1800s, terrible lice infestations destroyed most of the wealthy landowners crops and the founders Heviz and Balatonfured started building homes to recoup the loss of their vineyards. This is how the Lake Balaton resorts began to lose their value because of the lower priced homes.
2. By the early 1900s, Lake Balaton rentals for the summer months began to triple in sales, thus increasing the entire regions value and causing an upswing in the area.
3. Hungary travel information shows that between 1960 and 1970, middle-class outnumbered the so-called wealthy 10 to 1. Others, including those from East Germany frequented the area with West Germans creating a safe haven for those kept apart because of the Berlin Wall.
4. Because Lake Balaton is so large, it actually causes an effect on the amount of precipitation they receive annually. Although other parts of Hungary does receive their share of moisture, the areas surrounding the lake receive almost 5 times as much.
5. Grapevines flourish in this area because of the way the sun reflects the lake. The combination of the extra sunlight and volcanic rock mixed into the soil helps produce excellent wines.
6. There are 4 main wine regions along the lake. They include Balton-felvidek, Balatonfured-Csopak, Balatonboglar and Badascony. They each produce similar variations of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.
7. Each year, a 10-day art festival occurs on the lake. It is called Valley of Arts and originally started with just a few Hungarian artists. Today, thousands of international and local artists participate.
8. During winter months, the lake freezes over completely and averages approximately 8 inches in thickness. This slows the current of the water to about 5 feet for every second.
9. The mineral composition of this lake is very different from most of the other lakes located in Central Europe. It contains sulphate and carbonate, while the other have sodium, calcium and magnesium.
10. The beaches along the lake must go through an annual safety check prior to opening them for public use. They must past tests including child-friendliness and water quality.