The western region of Hungary, with its rolling hills and beautiful vistas, offers a variety of options for the traveler looking for off-the-beaten-path experiences.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Every summer, Lake Balaton, Europe’s largest freshwater lake, attracts thousands of vacationers. The southern shore is the more developed, with sandy beaches and a wide choice of tourist accommodations. One of the most popular destinations on Balaton’s northern shore is the spa town of Balatonfüred, whose mineral springs have been used for curative purposes since Roman times. From here, you can visit the Tihany Peninsula, which became Hungary’s first national park in 1957, and boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the area. At the far northwestern tip of the lake, the university town of Keszthely has three beaches, as well as a number of other attractions, including the Balaton Museum, which covers the history and the natural history of the region.
Pécs is a town in the southern part of Hungary with a Mediterranean atmosphere, colors, and shapes. It owes its irresistible charm to the inseparably intertwined imprint of historical eras and cultures. The town was also selected to be the European Capital of Culture in 2010. Boasting a World Heritage Site, Pécs is right at the northern limit of one of Hungary’s best wine regions, welcoming travelers with open cellars, fiery wines, and amicable wine producers.
The Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs built by the Ancient Romans in the 4th century is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (link to the world heritage site entry), and the northernmost mosque still standing in Europe serves as a memento of the 150-year Ottoman rule of Hungary in the city’s main square. Discover the narrow, winding streets and beautiful squares downtown, familiarise yourself with the internationally-renowned artists of the ‘museum street’, including the oeuvres of the Pécs-born father of op-art Victor Vasarely or the solitary giant of Hungarian painting Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka, in the museums named after them.
The brightest jewel of the town is the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter where the unique legacy of the founding family of the famous porcelain manufacturer lives on with new content. Besides the street of artisanal stores, coffee-houses, restaurants, contemporary exhibition spaces, and atmospheric promenades, the Quarter is also home to one-of-a-kind sights, such as the Gyugyi Collection presenting the Golden Age of the Zsolnay Factory or the mysterious Zsolnay Mausoleum.