Excursions near Keszthely

Excursions, trips and sights near Keszthely

Lake Balaton Minor (Kis-Balaton or “Small Balaton”)

Kis-Balaton lies on the southwest shore of Lake Balaton, rich in natural and cultural values. A significant part of the landscape is a natural reserve. The estuary of the Zala River, which is always marshy and the water level fluctuates significantly. It provides ideal living conditions for many water fowls and bog fish.

The area lost its water-filtering function due to past river regulations and drainage, so the water quality of Lake Balaton started to deteriorate. Experts have realized that the Lake Balaton Minor has an important function, so from the 1970s the rehabilitation of the swampy area began.

Programs and sights at Lake Balaton Minor (Kis-Balaton)

  • Exhibition house in Zalavár about the natural and ethnographical values of Lake Balaton Minor, with a small playground for children
  • Fenyvespuszta manor: horse riding, petting zoo for children, carriage ride to Kis-Balaton
  • “Csillagvár” hunting lodge and museum in Balatonszentgyörgy: medieval fair show, traditional hunting equipment and methods, castle tournaments, restaurant
  • Vörs Country House: exhibition on how the local peasants and children lived in Somogy County
  • Vörs Betlehem
  • Buffalo Reserve in Kápolnapuszta
  • Memorial of St Cyril and Methodius in Zalavár, memorial on the early Christianity on the territory of Hungary
  • Excursions to the István Fekete’s Memorial and to the Matula Hut
  • Professional guided water bird watching at Lake Balaton Minor

Keszthely Mountains

The Keszthely Mountains are one of the most accessible areas of the country’s tourist trails, which also serves as a demonstration site of the Balaton Uplands National Park and offers four educational hiking trails.

Attractions and tourist spots in the Keszthely Mountains and the settlements nearby:

  • “Nagymező” in Gyenesdiás and the Festetics Lookout Tower: ideal and popular tourist spot in the forest
  • Berzsenyi Lookout Tower
  • Balatonederics “Csodabogyós” Cave: visitors can participate in an exciting cave tour
  • Africa Museum (zoo) in Balatonederics
  • Kotsy Watermill and Buddhist Stupa in Zalaszántó
  • Ruins of Rezi Castle and Tátika Castle
  • Balatongyöröki “Szépkilátó”, Batsányi Lookout Tower, Mátyás Bél Lookout Tower
  • “Pele apó” nature trail for educational purpose
  • Büdöskút resting place, Pad-kő Lookout Tower
  • Saint Michael’s Hill and Chapel in Vonyarcvashegy

Castle of Sümeg

Sümeg is a bit further away from the Keszthely Mountains, but it is only half an hour away from Keszthely, so the well-reconstructed Sümeg Castle is worth visiting.

In the castle a historical adventure park, regular castle tournaments, exhibitions, horse-riding games and wine tasting in the local inn and other programs are waiting for those who are receptive to historical traditions and experience.

 

Tapolca Basin

The Tapolca Basin is one of the most beautiful parts of Hungary with interesting volcanic formations.

The mountains of the region are the St George Hill, Badacsony and Szigliget. Each of them is an exciting excursion destination, as well as the viticulture of the Balaton Uplands and wineyards here.

Tapolca is 30 km from Keszthely. Albeit it is not a waterfront town, the charming small town still offers lots of attraction.

Attractions of Tapolca:

  • The Mill-pond (Malom-tó) a romantic pond close to the town centre
  • The Tapolca Lake Cave: most of the limestone cave is under water, so visitors can boat around in the canve which is a unique and romantic experience
  • Saint Anthony Wine Museum
  • Military Park: exhibition of military equipment and vehicle

Káli Basin

The Káli Basin is part of the Balaton Uplands National Park, a geologically diverse landscape.

Attractions and trips in Káli Basin:

  • Káptalantóti: “Liliomkert” market of handmade products with plenty of fresh, fine, quality food and local specialities
  • Salföld manor: horse-riding, native Hungarian animals, horse sledge
  • Hegyestű: otdoor geological exhibition, basalt columns, outdoor collection of stones
  • Szentbékálla Stone Field
  • Salföld: ruins of the medieval Pauline monastery
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