Tihany, Hungary

By | December 15, 2022

The Tihany peninsula is located on the northern coast of Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe. This place, called the “Pearl of Balaton” by the locals, is well known as a quiet and peaceful lakeside resort just 140 km southwest of the Hungarian capital, Budapest. There are only a few settlements here, the largest of which bears the name of the island – the village of Tikhany. The entire peninsula is a protected area.

Tihany was formed during volcanic activity – for several centuries it was an island. Today Tikhany is a peninsula rising 200 m above the lake level, protruding into the lake for 5 km and dividing it into two unequal parts. Its area is only 12 sq. km. At the tip of the peninsula is the narrowest point of Balaton: only 1.5 km remains to the opposite coast.

How to get there

According to clothesbliss, the most convenient way to get to Tihany is through Budapest. The duration of the flight from Moscow is 2 hours 40 minutes. The cost is approximately 12.5 thousand rubles. The transfer from Budapest airport to the resort takes about 1.5 hours. The resorts of Lake Balaton are connected with the capital of Hungary by a modern two-lane motorway 115 km long, which in the Siofok region merges with the highway encircling the lake. By car, you can drive around Balaton in a day, stopping at the places you like.

In addition to the land highway, the peninsula can be reached by ferry, which will take you to the other side in just 10 minutes.

Weather in Tihany

Summer on the shores of Lake Balaton is long (from mid-May to late September) and sunny. The average water temperature in the lake during the swimming season is +21-22 °C, sometimes it warms up to +29 °C. The water in Balaton is clean, but opaque: there is a lot of plankton on the surface of the reservoir, due to which the color of the water is greenish, changing depending on the weather and time of day.

The winter here is quite mild, but the lake freezes almost every winter. From time to time, strong winds are observed on the lake, which pose a danger to small boats and sailing enthusiasts.

Tihany nature

The Tihany peninsula is famous for its unusually beautiful landscapes, outlandish plants and animals (endemic species of plants and animals that once inhabited the Tihany island have been preserved here), thanks to which it is completely a protected nature reserve.

The volcanic activity of the area gave rise to thermal mineral springs, which, in turn, created more than a hundred hills with geysers. The most beautiful geyser is called Aranyhaz (Golden House) – its slopes are covered with golden lichen. Also a favorite place for tourists to visit is a unique stone cone, formed due to the power of ancient geysers.

In the center of the peninsula there are two lakes – Kylshyo-to (Outer) and Belshyo-to (Inner). Their shores are covered with reeds and reeds, and the depth is no more than 2-3 m. The lakes are drainless, surrounded by cones of extinct geysers. Under the influence of solar heat, the water of the lake quickly and evenly warms up to the entire depth. A wide variety of birds live here – storks, herons, wild geese, ducks and others.

In early June, the peninsula is covered with a lilac fragrant carpet – vast lavender fields begin to bloom.

Sights in Tihany

The hallmark and central place of Tihany is the Benedictine abbey of St. Enyan, founded in 1055. Its buildings rise above the peninsula in such a way that it can be seen from almost any point. The modern baroque abbey church was built in 1754 over an old crypt left over from an 11th-century church. Then in 1890 the church was reconstructed. In the crypt of the cathedral there is the grave of the founder of the abbey, King Andras I (husband of Anastasia, daughter of the Kyiv prince Yaroslav the Wise), preserved in its original form, since it still remains a place of worship for many Hungarians. Of particular value are the carved altars of the interior decoration of the temple. Here, anyone can listen to a concert of organ music. From the alley leading from the entrance to the abbey, a magnificent view of the lake and surroundings opens up.

The very name of the peninsula and the village of the same name, according to legend, was obtained thanks to the Russian princess. When the Hungarian king Andras and his wife Anastasia (daughter of the Kyiv prince Yaroslav the Wise) arrived on the peninsula, the delighted guest threw up her hands and exclaimed: “Oh, what Tikhan!”. Since then, the name has not only been preserved, but is the best definition of the lifestyle and landscape of the peninsula.

If you go along the peninsula towards the village of Ervenies, you can visit an old water mill, and near the town of Balatonudvar you can see stunning heart-shaped gravestones carved in limestone.

In addition, in Tihany it is worth visiting the Ovar cave system, about which it is known that they were mastered by man in primitive times (presumably in the Iron Age).

And on the famous Echo Hill, it is difficult to resist shouting something: it is believed that the echo in this place will be able to repeat a quickly spoken sentence of 15 words quite clearly – this is facilitated by the wall of the ancient temple preserved here. Museum lovers will certainly appreciate the puppet museum and the open-air ethnographic museum of the peninsula.

Holidays in Tihany

For many, Tihany is primarily associated with family vacations. This quiet, cozy, picturesque place is perfect for a vacation with loved ones: the beauty and tranquility of nature will help you relax from working days and the bustle of a big city. Nature lovers will certainly be interested in visiting the Hortovedy and Tihany national parks, which are notable for their rich flora and fauna.

There are many hotels of various classes on the peninsula, for whose guests paid beaches are open for visiting free of charge. In addition, many hotels have places for children to relax: swimming pools, playgrounds. In Tihany there are very favorable conditions for swimming: the lake is shallow, the water warms up very well. It offers tourists magnificent sandy beaches, a ferry, a harbor with yachts. Tourists here can go rowing, sailing, walking, cycling along the shady alley leading along the shore of the lake.

There are a lot of fish in the lake, tourists can go fishing (upon obtaining a license). True, in order to preserve the fish population, the amount of catch is somewhat limited. In winter, guests of the resort can ride on the skating rink organized on the lake itself, or go skiing on the slopes of the surrounding hills.

In addition, various cultural events are regularly held on the peninsula: theater days, festivals of folk groups, art exhibitions. Hunters also have where to have fun.

Tihany, Hungary