When the burghers of Budapest fancy a paddle and a fish supper they can be on the beach in less than an hour. More than 70 beaches, in fact, lapped by mild water and backed by forested volcanic mountains and fertile vineyards dotted with 200-year-old press houses.
Welcome to Balaton, the “Hungarian Sea”. At nearly 50 miles long it is the largest lake in central Europe.
The north shore is home to well-heeled resorts such as Balatonfüred and Balatonalmádi, while the gently-shelving south features family-friendly adventure parks, artificial sandy beaches, and the party resorts of Siófok and Zamárdi, the latter hosting the pulsing Balaton Sound music festival every July.