Hungary is incredibly diverse, not only in its varying cultures influenced by Latin and Germanic languages, but in its wealth of fascinating landscapes. From the country's many lavender fields and vineyards to its mountains and the famous Danube River, Hungary is much more than just its capital city.
As the largest lake in Central Europe, Lake Balaton is in fact more of a sea than a lake, making it a preferred holiday destination amongst Hungarians. Situated only one hour from the country's capital, there is always an activity on offer here, from swimming, balneology and oenology to a selection of challenging hikes!
The lake has an impressive surface area of 600 square kilometers as well as low and a high tide, meaning it's a great place to practice your surfing!
Tihany's lavender fields
Overflowing with verdant hills, vineyard-covered mountains and miles of forest, Tihany peninsula juts out into Lake Balaton like a colorful beacon of vegetation! And on the northern shore of the peninsula sits the little village of the same name, surrounded by fields of purple lavender.
And not only are these fields breathtakingly beautiful, but they were originally home to a bird sanctuary, so keep your eyes peeled for any hiding amongst the plants. Depending on the season you'll be met with a range of different flowers and plants, whether it be deep purple lavender, red poppies or yellow pines.
Otherwise known as Kékfrankos, Blaufrankisch is a type of wine only found in Central and Eastern Europe. And here in Hungary you'll find an Austrian-Hungarian variety that uses a dark-skinned and late-ripening variety of grape in order to make a spectacular red wine.
Hungarians and Austrianshave been linked for many centuries now, and despite the fall of the Habsburg Empire, this wine is something these countries still have in common. In fact, Kékfrankos is Hungary's best known wine variety, and it remains popular in Austria too, so it'd be rude to leave without giving it a try!
The wild Danube River
From the mountains of Germany's Black Forest where this river starts, to its delta on Romania's Black Sea coast, the Danube is the second biggest river in Europe and it is particularly unique in that it flows from east to west.
But this is not always the case, when this river crosses Hungary, 160 kilometers from the Slovakian border. Here, the river's course begins to bend slightly to the north, blocked by the Gerecse Mountains. After, it flows through a narrow passage carved out by the country's Pilis and Börzsöny mountains.
The Pilis Mountains
The Pilis Mountains sit between the cities of Budapest and Eszergom in the Transdanubian Mountains. This magnificent array of peaks finds itself just north of the Buda Hills and south of Visegrád, and its highest peak stands tall at 756 metres!
When you reach the top not only will you be stunned by the natural beauty of this mountain range, but you'll be met with breathtaking views of the Danube. It's definitely worth the hike!