What would you do if you had only one day at Lake Balaton? There are many things to see and admire at Lake Balaton, so it is difficult to pack them all in one day. If I were you, I would cram a little culture, a little gastronomy and of course, a fun activity into the day. Here’s my recommendation, just read on. 🙂
Tihany and its Abbey – the culture
Tihany is a village on the northern shore of Lake Balaton on the Tihany Peninsula. This marvelous peninsula is jutting 5km into the lake and divides it into two. The village is filled with lovely thatched-roof houses and is a settlement with a remarkable history, where the traditions are still alive and the values of the past times are carefully protected. It’s the pearl of the Hungarian sea, as we, Hungarians, call Lake Balaton.
Tihany village is the home of the celebrated Benedictine Abbey, which was founded in 1055 AD by András (Andrew) I, who is buried in the crypt which survived the turbulent past and still stands in its original form. The present church was built over the crypt in Baroque style in 1754 and has many precious wood carvings. In the Museum of the Benedictine Abbey, you can find an exhibition about ancient times and temporary exhibitions as well. There are frequent organ concerts in the abbey church in summertime. The still functioning abbey attracts many tourists in the summer season due to its historical and artistic significance. And last but not least, it has the best view of Lake Balaton. You can impress your Instagram fans with a photo taken here. 🙂
‘Pick Your Own’ lavender harvest – the fun
We have our very own Provence in Tihany. Such amazing scenery and atmosphere make these lavender fields one of the summer must-sees here. Lavender has always played an important part in the history of the village, and the tradition of cultivating and processing the purple plant lives on in today’s Lavender Festival. It’s one of the biggest open-air festivals in Tihany. The festival hosts a craft fair and various family-friendly activities, including the lavender harvest.
The ‘Pick Your Own’ lavender harvest is the most spectacular part of the Lavender Festival held in June each year. Anyone can take part in this fun activity regardless of age, all you need to pay for is the harvest bags which are available on the spot. Lavender is famous for its versatile usage. The flowers you pick can be used as home decor or blended with teas, used in cooking, in fragrances, or as essential oils. So why not join the harvest on the lavender plantation and take your hand-picked lavender home.
Wine tasting at Figula – the gastronomy
After the tiring lavender harvest splash into the cool water of the lake. Then take the ferry to Balatonfüred and attend a wine tasting at Figula Winery in the evening. This family-run winery was founded in 1993. They preserve the traditions by using state-of-the-art technology. In order to produce the highest quality, the entire production process is monitored and supervised by the family. This personal approach has been recognized on a number of domestic and international competitions.
I can recommend this winery for white wine lovers, because Figula family produces 80% of white grape varieties and only the remaining 20% wine is made of red grape. At Figula Winery you can sample Italian Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat Lunel, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and late harvest wines. My favorite wine at the tasting was ‘7Hectare’ of the white ones and ‘Blue Balaton 2013’ of the red ones which is a coupage of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Believe me, it is worth the try. But advance booking is required for a wine tasting.
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