Lake Balaton was mentioned related to where Joe Biden spent his honeymoon. As being Hungarian, always fills my heart with joy and pride when someone mentions my home country or when I can read some nice reviews from other travelers about their experiences in Hungary. Not to mention if they decide to visit Lake Balaton as well, besides the obvious choice of Budapest. The Lake where actually I grew up and spent my first 18 years, the Lake that is definitely one of the most amazing spots of entire Europe.

Balatonvilágos

And today my beloved lake was mentioned, not just randomly by a travel blog, but related to the next president of the United States of America, Joe Biden.

Tom Lantos Hungarian politician began his political career in (that time) Senator Biden’s Washington office. They are like-minded people, and it was always crucial for both of them to enforce human rights and liberal democracy. Tom Lantos was the one on whose advice Biden decided to spend his honeymoon after his second marriage near Lake Balaton.

“Tom Lantos organized everything and to Biden’s surprise he announced that he and his wife Annette would accompany the newlyweds. And indeed they went. All four of them. Biden later recalled that Lantos presented Hungary as if he were the CEO of a tourist agency. The best fish can be found in Hungary. Lake Balaton is the nicest lake in the whole world. The bridges across the Danube are the most spectacular in the universe. The world’s most famous scientists, actors, mathematicians, composers, and poets were all Hungarians. Not only Biden but scores of American delegations went to Hungary since and they all heard the same accolades from him.” (Source: Hungarian Spectrum)

So why is it so interesting to visit Lake Balaton?

Lake Balaton is a freshwater lake in the Transdanubian region of Hungary. It is the largest lake in Central Europe, and one of the region’s foremost tourist destinations. The Zala River provides the largest inflow of water to the lake, and the canalized Sió is the only outflow. The mountainous region of the northern shore is known both for its historic character and as a major wine region, while the flat southern shore is known for its resort towns. Balatonfüred and Hévíz developed early as resorts for the wealthy, but it was not until the late 19th century when landowners began building summer homes to rent out to the burgeoning middle classes.

Balatongyörök – Becehegy (Hill of Bece)

The lake’s surface freezes during winters. The microclimate around Lake Balaton has also made the region ideal for viticulture. The Mediterranean-like climate, combined with the soil (containing volcanic rock), has made the region notable for its production of wines since the Roman period two thousand years ago.

The colors of Balaton in winter

What to do near Lake Balaton?

  • The major resorts around the lake are Keszthely, the capital of the lake, and SiófokBalatonfüredZamárdi – another resort town on the southern shore, has been the site of Balaton Sound, a notable electronic music festival since 2007.
  • Balatonkenese is famous for hosting numerous traditional gastronomic events.
  • Siófok is known for attracting young people to it because of its large discos, clubs, and summer festivals.
  • Balatonfüred is a historical bathing town that is also being famous for hosting the annual Anna Ball.
  • Keszthely – besides being the capital of Lake Balaton – is the site of the beautiful Festetics Palace. It was built in Baroque style, and the building now houses the Helikon Palace Museum. The palace’s construction, started by Kristóf Festetics in 1745, lasted more than a century. During this time, the palace, built at first on the foundations of a ruined castle, was tripled in size in two subsequent building campaigns, most recently in the 1880s, to designs by Viktor Rumpelmayer, living in Vienna. When Rumpelmayer died in 1885, the work was carried to completion by architects Gusztáv Haas and Miksa Paschkisch. 

The peak tourist season extends from June until the end of August. The average water temperature during the summer is 25 °C, which makes bathing and swimming popular on the lake. Most of the beaches consist of either grass, rocks, or the silty sand that also makes up most of the bottom of the lake. Many resorts have artificial sandy beaches and all beaches have step access to the water. Other tourist attractions include sailing, fishing, and other water sports, as well as visiting the countryside and hills, wineries on the north coast, and nightlife on the south shore. The Tihany Peninsula is a breathtakingly beautiful and historical area.

Badacsony is a volcanic mountain and wine-growing region as well as a lakeside resort. The lake is almost completely surrounded by separated bike lanes to facilitate bicycle tourism. Although the peak season at the lake is the summer, Balaton is also frequented during the winter, when visitors go ice-fishing or even skate, sledge, or ice-sail on the lake if it freezes over, or visiting the thermal lake of Hévíz.

How to get there?

Lake Balaton, captured from a plane

And once again: Congratulations Mr. President! 👏 Hope to see you again soon in Hungary!

Dear Traveller, hope you liked the latest article from Besides the Obvious! If you would not like to miss any of our travel stories, destination ideas, vacation plans, holiday inspirations, do not forget to subscribe here!

Dublin Bucket List – Guinness and Good Times

Dublin, a city steeped in history and rich in culture, offers a plethora of experiences that beckon both the intrepid traveler and the curious explorer. Nestled along the banks of the River Liffey, this vibrant capital of Ireland exudes a unique charm…

Sardinia Bucket List – Top 10 Unforgettable Places

Beyond the shores, Sardinia’s interior reveals a tapestry of ancient traditions, including the unique Nuragic civilization that left behind mysterious stone structures scattered across the island. Whether you seek relaxation on the sun-kissed beaches, exploration of historical marvels, or indulgence in the…

New Jewish Cemetery of Prague & The Grave of Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka’s grave is located in the New Jewish Cemetery (Nový židovský hřbitov) in Prague. The New Jewish Cemetery is situated in the district of Žižkov. Kafka, one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, died in 1924, and his…

Where to eat Ramen in Prague?

Ramen is Japanese noodles with a broth originally from China. Their name comes from the word la mien, which is the name of a specific type of wheat noodle that is made from finely ground flour and alkaline water. The noodles should be springy…

12 responses to “Where Joe Biden spent his honeymoon – Lake Balaton”

  1. usfman – South Florida – I accomplished a rewarding career as a teacher and professor for 28 years.No more daily lesson plans now frees my curious mind to experience life on my own terms now.
    usfman

    My Hungarian grandfather loved to fish and swim in the ocean near his home in Florida. Now I see why. A beautiful place like Lake Balaton probably inspired in Hungary as a boy.

    I also want to say how sad that most of what I’ve read about Hungary in the U.S. has to do with the Communist takeover and rule after 1956. I’m seeing another perspective here.

  2. Pécs – A European tour. Part IV. – Besides the Obvious

    […] from Keszthely, in the western extreme of Lake Balaton. Read here our article about Keszthely and our article about Balaton. It was almost three hours driving and before arriving was worth to make a stopover in Pécs, since […]

  3. Tátika Castle – Zalaszántó – Besides the Obvious

    […] the north-west of Lake Balaton, in the Keszthely Mountains, stands the Tátika Castle on the top of a 413-meter-wide bazat hill. […]

  4. Győr in one day – The Baroque Hungarian city – Besides the Obvious

    […] Lake Balaton: Enjoy the most visited lake in Hungary and discover why is the favorite of many tourist and who a very important character spent his honeymoon there! […]

  5. Visit Tapolca, the authentic unspoiled Hungarian vibe

    […] Lake Balaton: Swim, rent a water bike, enjoy a lángos on the beach, sunbathe or just admire the beauty of this natural gem. Ah! discover here why even Joe Biden spent his honeymoon at Lake Balaton.  […]

  6. Szigligeti Vár – The Balaton Castle – Besides the Obvious

    […] Szigligeti Vár, the Balaton Castle, as many locals and tourists call it, is an impressive medieval fortress with awesome lake views. Actually, it is the only castle of its type visitable on the shore of Lake Balaton.  Click here for more information about Lake Balaton and discover one of its most hidden secrets! […]

  7. Hungary’s pride: Lake Hévíz – Besides the Obvious

    […] the picturesque town, that is also known as the capital of Balaton region. Click here for our recommendations for Lake Balaton and for […]

  8. El orgullo de Hungría: el lago Hévíz – Besides the Obvious

    […] El lago se encuentra en el condado de Zala, en Hungría, a unos 8 kilómetros (5 millas) de Keszthely, la pintoresca ciudad, también conocida como la capital de la región del Balaton. Clica para más información sobre Keszthely o sobre el Lago Balatón. […]

  9. Keszthely – A European tour. Part III. – Besides the Obvious

    […] is famous because of the lake. Discover here that even Joe Biden decided to spend his honeymoon on Balaton. The town has nice beaches (strand in Hungarian), which are very popular among Hungarian tourists […]

  10. Tihany – A European tour. Part II. – Besides the Obvious

    […] P.S. By the way, did you know that U.S. President Joe Biden spent his honeymoon on Lake Balaton in the 70s? If not, you must click here! […]

  11. annaczuczor – Traveler 🗺
    annaczuczor

    Yes, indeed, we cannot wait either once the borders are open again!

  12. Stuart Forster – United Kingdom – Stuart Forster is an award-winning blogger. I enjoy writing about destinations, food and drink, and activities.
    Stuart Forster

    I look forward to being able to travel in Europe. The area around Lake Balaton looks beautiful.

Leave a ReplyCancel reply

Exit mobile version