Many popular summer excursion destinations are by the water, be it a sunny seaside, a cool lake or a beautiful, winding river. Hungary has no sea shores to offer, but hikers can visit many amazing natural watercourses – one of them is the Ilona Valley waterfall in the Mátra Mountain.
The site of Hungary’s tallest natural waterfall in the Ilona Valley is located only a few kilometres off the town of Parádfürdő in the Mátra Mountain: the waters of the Ilona Stream fall from the top of a
ten-metre vertical cliff.
Among vertical waterfalls, the only taller one in Hungary is the 20-metre man-made waterfall built in conjunction with the Hotel Palota at Lillafüred. The waterfall can be accessed along a 6.5 kilometre nature trail that starts from the east end of Parádfürdő, which features information about the interesting geological landforms of the Eastern Mátra.
Before setting off on the trail, it’s worth stopping at the Rákóczi Tree by the former Károlyi Castle: legend has it that Francis II Rákóczi had himself tied his horse to that tree once. The Saint Stephen
draw-well is another exciting spot along the pleasant trail leading to the waterfall, and visitors can taste the slightly carbonated and somewhat peculiar-tasting water from the well.
But the main attraction of the trail is the fairy-tale scene of the Ilona Valley waterfall: there is room for a picnic in the shade of the rock walls, and the more daring can also climb to the top of the waterfall.
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.
The Hungarian Museum of Science, Technology and Transport has digitized and published a unique collection of Balaton photos on its website. The material primarily documents the lakeside works and the construction of harbours that took place between the two world wars, and the social conditions of the labourers who worked by the lake.
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.
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.