The capital of the Northern shore, the town of Balatonfüred is the largest and one of the best-known resort towns around Lake Balaton. Its popularity is largely due to its proximity to the huge lake, and it being a great place for swimming and water sports of all kind. It is also known for its aerated mineral springs and its Mediterranean climate. Its attraction lies in the perfect combination of sport opportunities, therapeutic services and culture.
Out of the southern (shallow) and the northern (deeper, convenient for swimming and sailing) side of the lake Balaton, Balatonfüred the most ancient bath city of Balaton is found in the latter region. It is a small town with 13.500 inhabitants, and travellers can feel the harmonious blend of past and present as soon as they arrive. The white wings of sailboats, the Kisfaludy steamboat resting in the harbour, the Tagore promenade with swans floating by and of course the splendid Tihany peninsula with its ancient Abbey are all sights that delight the eye.
The sailing centre of Balaton is also located here, and the longest “Tour de lake” sailing competition of Europe, “The Blue Ribbon” (or Kékszalag as it is called in Hungarian) starts from Balatonfüred. When it comes to sports let us highlight that in September 2014 the Junior Open Water Swimming World Championships was held here, so was the 10km Open Water World Cup a year later, in 2015. The almost 200 km bicycle ride around the lake not only passes by the city, but it is one of its most pleasant stops.
An emblematic building of the city is the cardiac hospital, where – among others – Nobel Prize winner poet, Rabindranath Tagore regained his health. This could have been one reason why he fell in love with this beautiful city, which as a sign of its respect named its most charming walk after him. It is from this promenade, where spectators will be able to follow the open water swimming competitions of the FINA 2017 World Championships. The walkway, which has been recently renewed, extends imposingly by the waterside with trees offering shade over winding pathways.
Two outstanding end-of-summer, early autumn events of the Tagore promenade are connected to wine. The three-week long Balatonfüred Wine Festival has been held since 1932 during the month of August, where all major vineyards of the region are represented.
The town was inhabited already when the Romans conquered parts of Hungary. The town is infinitely rich in historical places. These were mostly renovated and restored. Although nowadays some serve very different functions from what they originally did, they are part of the city’s cultural life nonetheless. There are numerous villas and mansions in the town that have contributed to the special beauty of Balatonfüred and have made the town famous in all corners of the Earth. The old part of the town that used to be a village has numerous old houses that are national heritage sites.