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Noted artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser once said, “We are just guests in nature, so we have to behave accordingly”. Hungary is a haven for nature lovers with 10 national Parks, more than 15 nature reserves and more than 250 protected areas.

Lake Balaton – The Largest Freshwater Lake in Central-Europe

Lake Balaton is the largest freshwater lake in Central-Europe and covers almost 200 square miles at the foot of basalt cliffs of extinct volcanoes. The north, mountainous region is a popular wine region, and the flat southern shore is known for its beautiful resorts.Local wine makers claim that the taste of Balaton wine is due to its pristine climate. The lake has many shallow swimming areas as well as many restaurants in its surroundings. Moreover, Europe’s largest natural warm water lake in Héviz is next door to the Balaton. The same water is accessed by the pools of the Hotels by the lake. Sárvár, also renowned for its medicinal water, is just a few miles from here.

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The Thermal Spas – The Home of the Healing Waters

A visit to Hungary provides a unique combination of cultural experiences and medical, health or wellness treatments. An abundance of hot springs gushing out medicinal waters makes Hungary the Home of Miraculous Healing Waters. Thermal waters are recommended for a wide variety of conditions like stress, joint pain, gynaecological and skin complaints, kidney metabolic disorders and gastric complaints.

The key to Hungary’s thermal culture is its location on the Carpathian Basin. The earth’s crust is very thin here, allowing water to rise easily to the surface. Thus it is a land of more than 1,000 hot springs. The ancient Romans prized the healing effects of Hungarian thermal waters and developed the bathing culture in Hungary more than 2000 years ago. During the Turkish occupation in the 16th century, the Turks added their own beautiful Turkish Baths, some of which are still in use today.

Budapest is known as the ‘City of Baths’ as it remains the only capital city in the world, rich in thermal waters with healing qualities. Some Spas in Budapest are housed in beautiful old buildings in Classical or Turkish style dating back anything from 100 to 400 years. The largest spa complex is located in Hajdúszoboszló. Another natural wonder is Lake Hévíz, with an annual average water temperature of 25 °C (77 °F).

Tourists enjoy the sensation of swimming in a huge, warm lake, even on a cold wintry day. Hungarian spa hotels also offer cosmetic and beauty treatments of the highest quality, combining the benefits of healing thermal water and the latest treatment methods.Some of the other noteworthy springs are at Eger, Sárvár, Zalakaros and Szeged.

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Wine Districts

Due to the diverse climate and soils, Hungary produces a wide range of wines in 22 wine-growing regions. Out of these,Tokaj and the Sopron Regions are also World Heritage Sites. Tokaj, Villány & Szekszárd, Eger and the wine regions around Lake Balaton (Badacsony, Balatonfüred, Csopak) are most suitable for wine excursions. These regions are within easy reach of Budapest, offer excellent quality of wines and have a well-developed infrastructure. In addition, the wineries and cellars in several towns and villages are conveniently clustered together. If you are touring the Hungarian countryside, other wine regions such as Pannonhalma, Somló, Sopron and Neszmély are definitely worth a detour. Many of Hungary’s wine regions are within a few hours’ drive from Budapest.

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National Parks

Hungary has 10 national parks, 36 landscape-protected areas and 142 nature-conservation areas. Its different habitats include lowland plains, bogs and marshes, wetlands, pasture land, forests and grasslands. These landscapes are home to a number of native flora and fauna, and modern facilities such as visitor centres, exhibition sites and nature trails allow you to experience these.

Aggtelek National Park is located in the Aggtelek Karst region. It is popular for the largest stalactite cave near Baradla-Domica cave, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The whole cave is approximately 25kilometres long.The oldest rock formation can be found in the Jósvafő section. Hungarian Grey cattle can be seen at the National Park of Hortobágy, glimpsethe colourful birds of the Lake Tisza Bird Reservation, watch the buffalo at the Buffalo Reserve of Kápolnapuszta and climb the mountains of Pilis.

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