If you have a whole week for a family vacation, the Balaton Uplands is a great choice! Allow us to help you with the program planning.
While daily trips to the beach might satisfy the kids, I doubt parents can handle this for an entire week, especially not all day long. In our practice, we explore during the day and head to the beach in the afternoon or evening. Additionally, we change beaches. Don’t think that the water is deep on the northern shore; there are shallow children’s pools and playgrounds on every beach. Towards the end of the week, let the kids vote on which beach was the best, and you can visit that one again.
Everyone likes variety. You arrive by car, but rent bikes for 1-2 days. Another day, put on hiking boots and climb a lookout hill. Villages along Lake Balaton are connected by rail: it’s a good idea to take a train to Badacsony, have lunch or wine tasting, and take the train back in the evening. There is also a boat service from nearby Révfülöp. And there’s a ferry from Tihany to Szántód; you can even take your car. It might be boring on the southern shore, but ferrying can be a great experience. If you can get a family ticket, it’s also quite cheap.
Alternate between cultural and natural attractions! If one day you go to Tihany for the abbey museum and the church, then the next day, don’t insist on going to Balatonfüred with its old synagogue and art galleries, Jókai Museum; choose something more relaxed and nature-oriented. Maybe Salföld with the farm animals or climbing Hegyestű. Alternatively, Tapolca with the Spring Cave or Ajka with the Nomádia Event Park. The National Park provides a stamp on entry tickets, and with that, you can get a discount at the next location and also get ideas for natural attractions.
Don’t torture yourself with daily cooking! Just because you didn’t pay for an all-inclusive vacation and have the option to cook doesn’t mean you have to cook all the time. It’s worth emphasizing at the beginning of the vacation that this is a break for parents as well. There are excellent restaurants nearby; you can order breakfast, and pizza can be delivered to your house. Bottled baby food is not a devilish option either. At the same time, it’s reassuring to know that if the child craves semolina pudding in the morning, you can make it because there is a kitchen, and you are not dependent on hotel staff for your needs. (Not to mention nighttime milk warming.) It’s nice to switch roles: if, as a mother, you usually take care of the family’s food, let your husband do it during the vacation. Just don’t be jealous if, after a day of hiking, the kids declare your husband’s grilled pork slices the world’s most delicious food.
Always save something special for the last day, something your family members long for. It could be something you don’t usually allow. There is a go-kart track near Nemesvámos, a huge zoo in Veszprém, and adventure parks in several places (Zánka, Tihany). I messed this up once: we vacationed in the Balaton Uplands with young children, and on the first day, we visited the castle in Nagyvázsony. We didn’t think it would be a special experience, but we were wrong: at the entrance, they announced that the free rehearsal of the castle games, which were scheduled to start only the next day, would begin within 10 minutes. The kids were ecstatic. Horses, geese, Turks, and Hungarians clashed, belly dancers twisted their hips, and a real squall was thrown into the castle dungeon. We sweated all week, but we couldn’t surpass the experience, no matter what program we offered.
Plan carefully, but don’t stick too much to your plans! Have plans for both hot and rainy days (there are 3 interesting cities nearby), but let yourself be tempted if something better comes along. Is there an interesting performance advertised? Do the kids fancy go-karting? You don’t have to stick to the pre-planned schedule; after all, this is a vacation. Slow down to the pace of the kids and let yourself be convinced. Life is beautiful, especially in the Balaton Uplands.
It’s great to travel with children by organizing trips around a specific theme. It’s worth getting them interested in advance, reading a book, or watching a movie to spark their interest. Erika Bartos has written a Brúnó book about both the northern and southern shores of Lake Balaton. (For preschoolers.) The Matthias King tales are useful if we plan to go to Nagyvázsony, or the novel about Kinizsi Pál. But we can also show them Csöpi Ötvös if we know they can sit in Bujtor István’s lap on the Tagore Promenade in Balatonfüred. Let’s not forget about the highwaymen of the Balaton Uplands: our last highwayman, Savanyó Jóska, is buried in Tótvázsony. (Instead of flowers, a bottle of wine is customary to bring to his grave.) With teenagers, more ambitious goals can be set: for example, you can climb 7 lookout hills in a week if your accommodation is in Balatoncsicsó.
If you are disappointed now because you were expecting specific program ideas, click on the SIGHTS menu, where we present the more interesting places in the region in more detail. From there, you can also put together