Hungary is the country of spas and medicinal waters. Hévíz, one of the world’s largest biologically active thermal lakes, which offers healing and recreation on a surface area of almost 50 hectares is living proof of that.
The 47,500 m2 Hévíz Lake is the largest warm-water lake in Europe, and one of Hungary’s most highly valued and protected natural assets. 2000 years ago, the ancient Romans already recognised and made use of the healing effects of its waters.
Construction of the present infrastructure began in 1795, when Count György Festetics commissioned engineers to chart the lake, and then had a spa building erected by the lakeside. Extension of the spa started in the second half of the 19th century, but really major improvements only got underway at the beginning of the 20th century: hotels were built, the lido was developed, and many private residences were also raised in the region.
The lake is fed by a number of springs from a depth of 38 metres, where the hot mineral-rich thermal waters mix with the cold karst waters. In the winter, the lake’s temperature is 23-25 °C, but in the summer it can reach 33-36 °C. The thermal water of the Hévíz Lake is rich in dissolved minerals and gases, including carbon dioxide, sulphur, calcium, magnesium and hydrogen carbonates. The peat mud at the bottom of the lake also has medicinal properties.
The special thermal water exerts therapeutic effects not only through bathing but by drinking it or inhaling its vapours, as well. The radon content has a pain-killing effect, the sulphur has excellent disinfecting and anti-inflammatory qualities. Alongside the spa, a hospital has also been built to utilise the unique effects of the lake. The medicinal water is primarily suitable for the treatment of locomotor disorders and for rehabilitation after injuries, while taken internally it can be used to treat stomach complaints and respiratory diseases.
Lake Balaton and its environs are rewarding photographic themes in every season: along with the lake itself, the surrounding landscapes are also astonishingly beautiful. The natural areas and the hidden wildlife around the lake are favoured themes for many photographers – and the autumn sunrise lends a spectacular splendour to the Balaton Uplands and Mount Badacsony, captured this time by Josef Jordan.
The Old Lake at Tata is Hungary’s oldest artificial lake, created before the Hungarian conquest by building a dam across the Átal-ér Stream. There is a comfortable footpath around the lake, but it is a popular destination not only with hikers but also with migratory birds. Tens of thousands of wild geese and ducks spend the autumn and the winter on the lake.
30 km from Budapest, Hungary, near the town of Vác and the village of Sződliget, there is a hidden treasure: a romantic little fishpond that is a veritable entrance to the world of fairy tales. The lake’s shore is composed of a series of tiny coves, with idyllic little lodges of reeds and wood hidden under the gigantic floodplain trees.
Lake Fertő is an increasingly popular destination for nature-lovers: it has a cycle path all around it, many exciting beauty spots, atmospheric small towns and inviting, beautiful landscapes. Although it lies partly in Hungary and partly in Austria, the open border means that the Fertő Region still forms a single unit.
The Sárvár Medicinal and Wellness Spa, completed in 2002, is the largest bath complex in Western Transdanubia. The spa offers thermal pools, giant slides, kiddie pools, a climbing wall and wellness services to entertain visitors looking for relaxation and recreation.
The small town of Makó in Hungary, famous for its excellent onions, has a veritable thermal bath complex in the town centre. On a plot of 12 thousand square metres, the complex offers 18 different pools, 8 kinds of saunas, a steam cabin as well as leisure, therapeutic and wellness services, offering visitors an unforgettable recreational experience.
Along the with its pools of thermal water for those seeking its therapeutic effects, the unique Miskolctapolca Cave Bath also offers visitors an opportunity to bathe in naturally formed cave passages and chambers.
The most famous sight of the town of Tapolca is hidden underground and may be explored in an extraordinary fashion. The Tapolca cave lake, unique in Hungary, is not famous for its spectacular stalactites and stalagmites, but the underground boating that it offers.
There is a special lake near Oroszlány, Hungary, by the foothills of the Vértes Mountain: meandering wooden piers and boardwalks lead to the small, red, blue and yellow cabins floating on the water. The Bokodi Lake is the artificial lake of the Vértes Power Station, but it offers a living
fairy-tale world for visitors.
Riverbanks with ancient trees, a diverse birdlife, branches arching over the water: amazing backwaters await nature lovers along the Tisza River outside the town of Mártély in Csongrád County.