Family-time at the lake

Lake Balaton is the place that brings the whole family together and is often referred to as the Hungarian Sea. Build sand castles on the shore, brave giant slides, match your strength at a round of beach volleyball or pack the whole bunch into a paddleboat and head out onto the sparkling sea.

Balaton and its surroundings are a safe haven for families with kids of all ages. Nearly all the towns and villages by the water have their own beach offering not just bathing opportunities (the water deepens slowly, so it is a safe place to play) but all kinds of other excitement as wellsuch as renting a paddle boat in the shape of a swan, playing volleyball or basketball on a sandy court or checking out the slide-miracles. As the water is shallow at the shores, it heats up quite quickly making bathing an enjoyable experience for even the most tender – even more so, as it's very clean and silky water.

So which beaches are the best? The so-called Game-Beach of Gyenesdiás is certainly one of the most active with its playground, giant slide and mini-disco, as well as games and competitions organised by professional animators - which will keep the kids busy.. The sporty ones will find their spot at one of the many courtssuch as volleyball, streetball, soccer, petanque, table tennis on the beach, water poloand water basket, as well asvolleyball in the open water. Don't stop moving until you've tried everything out!

The City Beach of Keszthely offers all kinds of sporting opportunities as well, including handball and badminston, but it's most known for its Balaton-shaped heated swimming-pool. The little ones can go crazy in the bouncy castles and on the trampolines while you can experience your world being turned upside-down in a Zorbing Ball.

The largest beach of not only Lake Balaton but the whole of Hungary is  at Siófok. This beach brings together every generation with the smallest  enjoying the sandy beach to build sand castles, and the big ones testing their courage at the bungee jumping platform.

The Lido Beach of Vonyarcvashegy is another favourite of locals and tourists alike, and for good reason asthere is just so much to do. Perfect your surfing skills at the surf school, go for a round of water skiing, work your muscles at the fitness park, rent a boat or compete on the mini golf course.

The Esterházy Beach of Balatonfüred is one of the most elegant and the pearl of the beautifully renovated city centre. Lie back and enjoy the magnificent panorama of the Tihany peninsula and take a plunge in the heated pools with massaging and sparkling elements.

An ‘experience spa', an unbelievable slide parkand  the biggest wave pool of Hungary are all this just a stone throw from the lake. Perfect summer moments are waiting for you at Balatonfüred, at the Annagora Aquapark. Heated outdoor and indoor pools, children's pools, 12 giant slides and 3 children's slides are here to make kids and the ‘big kids'. Mom and dad will be kept busy too with several saunas, steam cabins, scent chambers and even an ice cave to help them relax.

At the Galerius Bath two slides await- the Anaconda and the Friday 13th slide. The 88 meter long slide can be used with a giant swimbelt – ask for a two-person belt to share the fun.

Of course there are  all kinds of excitement waiting outside the water as well – so don't miss the adventure parks of the area. Balatonfűzfő  is home to the Balatonbob Leisure Park. The bob park is open all year around, and you can boost the excitement by taking a night ride. The Sherpa Adventure Park, the paintball court, the climbing tower, the archery and the Swingy promise a lot of fun for  all the family.

Zánkaland Adventure Park invites kids on a journey following Robin Hood's footpath. Tour the (Sher-)woods hanging on ropes and sitting on horseback, sliding, swinging and climbing. If you're up for a dare, complete the course  at night with the mysterious and fearful sounds of the forest. There's a separate course for the grown ups, so mummy and daddy will surely have some fun too.

Panning, archery, pony riding and lasso throwing at the Balaton – why not? Head to the Westerpark of Nemesvita and let the kids be little cowboys and cowgirls for a day.

If you'd rather explore the area and admire the beauty of the surrounding nature, we'd advise you to go on a bike  trip – there are numerous cycle paths around the lake that are easy enough to be mastered by all the family.