VISIT HUNGARY : Hévíz – Swimming among water lilies

This is a spa town near Balaton, selected as one of top 15 tourist destinations in Europe in 2020, which attracts more than a million guests annually. If you want to prepare for the seaside, or if you want to take a break from sea adventures this summer, we suggest that you visit Hévíz.


The healing lake of the same name is the main reason why so many people choose Hévíz for their vacation. It is the largest biologically active, natural, thermal lake in the world, with an area of 4.4 hectares, surrounded by a 34-hectare forest. The water in the lake moves from left to right, as well as from the bottom up, which enables a kind of massage for bathers. The swimming season in Hévíz lasts 365 days a year, because the water temperature does not drop below 23°C even on the coldest days, while in summer it can reach 36-38°C. If you add to that the white water lilies, which are autochthonous to the lake, and the purple ones, which were brought from India, it is clear that swimming in Hévíz is a fairytale experience.

If you like an active holiday, Hévíz and its surroundings are an excellent choice for guests of all ages. Only 6 kilometers away is Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe. Swimming in the “Hungarian sea”, sailing, golf… the choice is up to you. The best way to get to know Lake Balaton is by bike, because thanks to the BalatonBike365 project, the lake is surrounded by 1,000 kilometers of well-maintained bike paths. There are 70 themed tours and 30 rest stops at your disposal, and a mobile application with a navigation system and a site with route planners will help you plan your day on four wheels.

After you have activated your body, it is time to “feed” your soul. Visit the Festetics Palace in Keszthely, an imposing neoclassical castle built at the beginning of the 19th century, which was the model for the National Museum and many other buildings in Hungary. Its park, surrounded by a lake, is the largest English garden in Hungary, and it is the size of New York’s Central Park, so you can spend wonderful hours here in the embrace of nature. The palace keeps a secret archive of Hungarian freemasonry and the exhibited authentic artifacts will take you through the beginnings of Hungarian freemasonry and its connections with the Festetics family.

The gastronomic and wine offer of Hévíz and its surroundings is widely known and will certainly meet your expectations, whether you are looking for a good restaurant or something more special. The nearby Badacsony is the pride of the Balaton wine region. Here, at the home of some of the biggest wineries of Hungary which is also called the “vineyard of giants”, a wine festival is held from July 14 to 30, so be sure to include it in your travel list. If you come to Hévíz a little later, don’t miss the Paloznak Jazzpiknic, which this year takes place from August 3 to 5.