Little Balaton is located in the southwestern part of Hungary. The larger part of the almost 150-square-kilometer landscape area, rich in natural and cultural value, is nationally protected and is the habitat of important flora and fauna, particularly a sizable bird population. Its best-known dwellers are herons, as well as the heraldic bird of environmental protection, the egret, but many other protected bird species also live there.
Little Balaton has been a part of the Upper Balaton National Park since 1997 and is open to the public only with professional guides. Guides are not required for individuals who want to explore Kányavári Island, the Buffalo Reserve in Kápolnapuszta, or the Folk House in Vörs. You can watch wallowing buffaloes, grazing grey cattle, and enjoy petting household pets in another area.
Amazing wildlife, exciting experiences: the Hortobágy Plain
When you hear the name Hortobágy, think of the Puszta, the endless horizon, and a landscape of sweep-pole wells, herds, and flocks. You’ll see all this when you visit, and there are also great family activities to help you discover the ecosystem of the surrounding area.
The wild horses in the wildlife park, the horse show of Mátai Stud’s horse herders, an unforgettable horse-drawn carriage ride with herds of grey cattle, and the virtuoso stunts of the horse herders await. Don’t miss Hortobágy Equestrian Days in summer, which have been around for half a century.
The Hortobágy Plain is an ideal resting place for cranes. In October, you’ll be amazed to see thousands of these huge, majestic birds flying in orderly rows across the skies above the Puszta. It’s an experience like no other.
Boating in Mystical Underground Passages: Tapolca Lake Cave
Did you know that the Tapolca Lake Cave is unique because there is no other place in the world that offers such an extensive cave system under a settlement that can be navigated by boat? While visiting Hungary, take the opportunity to see for yourself why the lake cave is such a popular destination. You won’t just be passive observers here: you’ll have to row the boat yourself, and in the narrower passages, you’ll even have to use your hands to push yourselves forward. The section of the lake cave that’s navigable by boat is 180 meters long, and lake water is a pleasant temperature all year round: around 18°-20° Celsius (65°-68° Fahrenheit), with an average depth of 40 centimeters (about 16 inches). To row your boat in natural, eerily lit cave passages carved out by water in an underwater lake is an experience you will certainly never forget as long as you live.