Lake Hévíz vs. Lake Balaton: 15 facts you should know!

Lake Hévíz and Lake Balaton are quite popular destinations in Hungary. Daily, more than ten thousand people spend their holidays in this beautiful region. However, we might raise the question: what do we know and what should we know about the two most iconic lakes of Hungary?

Lake Hévíz vs. Lake Balaton: 15 facts you should know!
  1. While Lake Balaton is the biggest freshwater lake in Central Europe, Lake Hévíz is the world’s biggest thermal lake that is also suitable for bathing. The source of Lake Balaton is a river called Zala, while Lake Hévíz has its source from a cave underneath the lake.
  2. The water of Lake Balaton flows through the Sió channel into the river Danube, however, the water of Lake Hévíz flows into the Gyöngyös stream, then to Small Balaton and ends up in Lake Balaton.
  3. The deepest point of Lake Balaton is about 11 metres in contrast to Lake Hévíz, where the source point is 38.5 metres deep.
  4. The surface of the water of Lake Balaton is 600 km2 whereas Lake Hévíz has only a 0.0475 km2 water surface. Due to the great water output of Lake Hévíz, the complete water of the lake is replaced in every 72 hours. Regarding Lake Balaton, this phenomenon takes almost two years.
  5. The temperature of Lake Balaton can be as high as 28°C on hot summer days; however, during cold winters the upper layers of the water can freeze. The ice can even grow 25 cm thick. On the other hand, the temperature of Lake Hévíz never goes below 23°C, not even in the winter. In the summer, the water of Lake Hévíz is about 35-36°C hot.
  6. We would be able to swim around Lake Hévíz in about half an hour if the buildings did not prevent us from doing so. Nonetheless, a week wouldn’t be enough to swim around Lake Balaton.
  7. Lake Balaton is full of both summertime and wintertime activities: you can rent a boat or a paddleboat, you can surf, sail and try out many extreme sports, while in the winter you can ice skate or slide if the ice is thick enough. In Lake Hévíz, you may only bath; however, you can do so every day of the year.
  8. The water of Lake Balaton is qualified as drinking water, whereas the water of Lake Hévíz is medicinal water also suitable for cures and many people drink it.
  9. In Lake Balaton, you can bath all day long, while, in Lake Hévíz, it is advisable to stay only thirty minutes at a time.
  10. We can even walk into Lake Balaton from the shores, while into Lake Hévíz we can descend into the water through stairs since the water is 2 metres deep around the shores as well.
  11. The typical flora of Lake Balaton is the reed which is mostly located around the shores. Lake Hévíz is famous for the beautiful water lilies that float around the whole Lake.
  12. Both lakes are rich in different species of fish.
  13. The mud of Lake Balaton is quite popular with kids who love playing with it on the beaches. On the other hand, the mud of Lake Hévíz is favoured by adults, who like to use the mud on their bodies due to its medical benefits.
  14. Lake Balaton as a touristic region is the second most popular region in Hungary after Budapest. At the same time, Hévíz, following Budapest, has the greatest number of guest nights in Hungary.
  15. Lake Balaton offers spectacular views whether you are watching it in the embrace of monadnocks, admiring it in a storm, or you are taking photos of the birds gathering along the crevasses or of the bellying sails. The crystal clear turquoise colour of Lake Hévíz, the blooming water lilies floating on it, the whirling mist above it, the reflection of the buildings at night, and to be aware that you are floating above 38.5 meters are a mystical feeling.

Both Lake Balaton and Lake Hévíz are national treasures, which have evolved over millions of years as they are today. They are not for us, but we enjoy all the good that they can give us. We have to save and protect them so that the future generations would be able to enjoy the unparalleled natural beauty they provide.

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