Hungary has three larger lakes. One of these is Lake Velence, a small cooling oasis, a breakout point for those living in and around Budapest. In the summer thousands of bath people, in the spring bikers, and in the winter skaters take over the lake.
Briefly about Lake Velence
This positively located lake is the third-largest natural lake in Hungary and one of the warmest in Europe (water temperatures can reach 26-28 degrees). Its water is rich in sodium and magnesium, so it is perfect for the refreshment of the tired body.
Its water supply is provided by the Emperor’s Water from Vértes and is supplied by six water sources from the Velence Mountains. There are also two artificial islands in the lake; the Cserepes Island and the Velence Island.
From a geological point of view, Lake Velence still counts as a child; it only took 12-15 thousand years to develop.
The lake has dried up at least every 100 years, over the past one and a half millennia, most recently happened not so long ago between 1863 and 1866. However, it has flooded several times, for example, one of the largest was in 1963.
Lake Velence is currently halfway through of natural life, so in a few millennia, it would expect a whitewash and recharge. However, as usual, man intervened in this natural process too, which made a drastic impact on the lake’s wildlife. The continuous dredging will not only make life harder for the plants and animals that live there, but it will also be difficult to dispose of the accumulated sludge in the future.
In the 1960s, the lake began to be regulated and rebuilt and, unfortunately, the conservation aspects of today are still not taken into account. Today, the lake has undergone a major transformation, creating a beach, a shopping mall and a holiday park on the former site of the former lake bed.
Everything you need to see at Lake Velence
On the shores of Lake Velence, visitors will find many opportunities. There are many beaches and hiking opportunities available almost any time of the year.
When it comes to summer and the waterfront, of course, the beach comes to our mind first, and there are some really must-see beaches on Lake Velence.
I would definitely start the list with the free beaches, where yet, we can enjoy a relaxed stay in order without paying the entrance fee. One of the most popular is the Velence Korzo, where a well-laid-out, almost seaside atmosphere awaits its visitors. That’s why, we have to be prepared for the crowd, so if we don’t arrive on time, we may find a place after a long hunt.
Gárdony is located in the area and offers many free beaches. One of the most popular is the beachfront of the Moonlight Promenade or, for example, the Pisztráng Street part. And if you are a fan of naturalness and enjoy bathing without clothes on, visit Gárdony’s hidden free beach, which, surprisingly, is called the Naturist.
For those who don’t have a lot of needs, and they just want to dip in the lake and relax – for free – I can recommend the Teen Beach on Agárd, or the Tópart Street coast.
However, if we would like to spend a little more on the beach, there are some great places in the area, which attract a token amount. The prices are not too high here, don’t be scared! The Sports Beach in Gárdony, for example, is a truly eco-friendly place with camping, water and beach sports opportunities.
If we are looking for a more fun, more demanding beach, which is not just about lying on the beach and soaking in the water, then the TóParty Event Beach in Gárdony is your place. From a trampoline to a Swedish massage, there are many activities to choose from. For money, of course. There are also several beaches in Agárd, where we can enjoy a little extended bathing worth 700-900 Ft. Like the Sunshine Beach or the pop beach equipped with a stage.
If you want to look at the lake and its surroundings in a slightly more athletic way, then you only have to jump on a cycle and hike around it. The distance is as short as 30 kilometers, free of ramps and we can rent bikes in Agárd and Gárdony, among others. Wonderful landscape, fresh air and if the weather permits, we can even dip in the lake. What else we need?
Numerous natural marvel awaits for the traveler, such as the Dinnyés-fertő, which is one of the treasures of the Danube-Ipoly National Park. This part was once part of Lake Velence and today is a habitat for birds. A truly romantic landscape, where we can authentically see the living space of wild geese and other animals.
As we go a little further into the Velence Mountains, we will be captivated by exciting sights, like the movable stones of Pákozd. These erosion-resistant granite blocks, as they stacked on top of each other, provide us with truly exciting sights. Anyway, the area can be cycled, if we don’t want to walk a lot.
The oldest parts of the Cziráky Castle hasbeen standing since the 15th century, but the family only took possession of it in the 1730s and expanded it afterward. The Baroque styled courtyard reached its present image in the 1800s. The building in Lovasberény was used in various ways, it had times when they used it as offices. The splendor of the building, the atmosphere of the era, is still felt by visitors.
Agárd’s name is associated with such a famous Hungarian writer as Géza Gárdonyi, to whom we also owe the Egri csillagok. Here is the writer’s birthplace, which is now a museum. We can view the major stations of his life, contemporary objects, and even we can view his diary.
When talking about Lake Velence and its surroundings, Sukoró is sometimes forgotten, although this part of the lake also promises a special trip. The settlement, which played an important role in the Middle Ages, intentionally retained its ancient character.
Typical thatched peasant houses are awaits for those who want to get a taste of the past. Of these beautiful, traditional houses, at least 20 are under the protection of monuments. Of course, the established beach can be used for bathing and water sports too.
For nature lovers, the Sukoró Arboretum is a must-see, with its 96 hectares of wonderful flora and fauna. Numerous lookout platforms can get in our way, from where the panorama is perfect. And if the visitor would like to hike, then the Gyapjaszsák movable stone, the Likas stone or the Angelika spring must not be missed. These can be reached by hiking trail.
If we want to admire beautiful buildings, then there is the Dabas-Fisherman’s Castle, which has been in poor condition for a long period, but today it is one of the most beautiful buildings in the area. It now functions as a visitor center and preserves the traditions of Lake Velence and its surroundings. This way we can get an insight into this part of the story.
For history enthusiasts, there is the village of Dinnyés, which is already part of Gárdony, where there are real programs for the preservation of traditions. In the castle park, you can see other replicas of real Hungarian buildings made of realistic materials.
Those who would like to see the picture in one piece, as far as it means Lake Velence and its surroundings, have a number of lookout points in the nearby mountains. For example, there is the Bence Hill tower, which has been built on the highest point, or the Lajos Sarvaicz memorial and lookout tower. These, combined with a good little hike, could be great fun for the whole family.
In total about Lake Velence
Lake Velence is a unique area that we shouldn’t really miss. There are few places close to the capital, that offer a variety of ways for people to get out of the city. All at once, it is a beautiful beach, hiking site, cultural monument and a haven for rare fauna and flora. And it is our duty to make sure that we look after it, so we can continue to enjoy the wonders and opportunities of Lake Velence.