The lake of lovers

Up for some romance? Take your sweetheart on a journey around Lake Balaton. Tour the hills and enjoy the view while sipping a glass of fine Hungarian wine, sunbathe at the shore or relax in soothing thermal water. Love blossoms at this lake…

Explore the fabulous castles and palaces of the lakeside – it's going to be a royal experience.The regally restoredBaroque Festetics Palace at Keszthely is a sight fit for a king. It will take you a while to see all 101 rooms, plus the newly opened Hunting Museum with 500 trophies and exhibits on wildlife and weapons. Enchant your sweetheart and take her (or him) on a candlelit tour through the palace.

Want to feel like you're on top of the world? No problem?Just climb the stairs (or take the panorama-elevator) of the 100 year-old water tower of Siófok and enjoy the view  - the tower has a height of 45 metres and offers the majestic panorama of the Tihany Peninsula and the lovely hills of Badacsony across the lake. The tower has just been renovated and awaits visitors in its old glory.Enjoy a coffee at the Szentkirályi Café, and make sure to try the Oxygen bar as well.

If we would have to choose the most romantic city around Lake Balaton, it would be Tihany. A large part of its appeal is its amazing positionlocated on the Tihany Peninsula with natural lush surroundings.. The landscape was formed by volcanic forces millions of years ago and their traces can be seen today.: Ancient calderas are  home to the two lakes on the peninsula, while hundreds of geysers remind visitors of old times. But it's not all about geology here – the peninsula  is home to innumerable rare species of plants and animals as well – so put on your boots and head out into nature to spot them. The town itself is great  for a romantic stroll as well. Head uphill to the Benedictine Abbey (founded in 1055 by Andrew I. who is  buried in the crypt) and take a moment to enjoy the amazing view onto the lake. The church itself was rebuilt in Baroque style in 1754 and functions until today. How about enjoying a classical concert here? You might also wonder why this town smells like lavender. Well, Tihany is surrounded by lavender fields glowing in all shades of purple, and there are heaps of shops offering all kinds of great -smelling objects to take home with you.

Nothing's more romantic than heading out onto the glittering lake on a boat, holding hands with your love and enjoying the soft wind on your skin. Rent a sailboat and slide quietly on the water, or just take the ferry and feed the friendly seagulls flying along.

Badacsony just by Lake Balaton is one of the top wine regions of Hungary – the perfect spot to clink glasses with your loved one. For a truly noble experience, head to the former wine cellar of the Counts of the family Eszterházy. Taste some really fine wines and check out the tools of the wine makers from  past centuries. In autumn everything revolves around grapes and wines in this region. Don't miss the Harvest Festival of Badacsony in the beginning of September and enjoy some great music with  your wine as well.

Hungary is all about hot springs and thermal waters – and Lake Balaton is no exception. Recharge your batteries at one of the many thermal baths and spas around the lake. To experience true Roman luxury, head to the Galerius Bath of Siófok, and lounge lazily about like those hedonists of yore. The smooth waters will ease any joint or muscle pain and do wonders for your supple skin at the same time. Perhaps steam or sauna better suits your need for heat? A whole sauna world awaits you on the upper floor.

Another option for those who'd like to heal while chilling is the mud pack offered in Hévíz. The bottom of the Lake of Hévíz is covered by a 1-7 meter thick medicinal mud, left behind by the Pannon Sea tens of thousands of years ago. The mineral composition and the radioactivity of the mud make it  a remedy of all those suffering from rheumatics and gynecological problems. The lake is a fave spot of bathers all around the year as well – when it gets cold the lake is covered by  soft steam, thus keeping a comfortable temperature.

In wine there is not only truth, but also wellness, the inventors of so-called vinotherapy say.  Head to the wellness centers of Balatonfüred, Hévíz or Zalakaros and choose between a wine-bath, a grape-seed mask or a grape-skin massage.