Lake Balaton and the Kali Basin


Cultural Sites & Activities

Lake Balaton and its surroundings are undoubtedly extraordinarily special in terms of both natural and cultural values. There are few landscapes in Hungary where you can find the romance of the region combined with memories of the past. The cones of extinct volcanoes, the hillsides that produce exquisite wines, the vistas overlooking forests, the rustling reeds, and the undulating Lake Balaton all characterize the area.

Hegyestű Mountain

Located just 3 km from Liszkay Mansion, the Hegyestű Geological Show is one of Hungary’s most impressive and popular excursion destinations. Standing guard at the entrance of the Káli Basin, Hegyestű rises 337 meters between Zánka and Monoszló. While the former quarry has demolished the northern half of the mountain, which displayed a regular cone shape from Lake Balaton, the remaining mining wall, towering almost 50 meters high, offers a glimpse into the approximate interior of a basalt volcano that was active 8 million years ago. The lava frozen within the volcano’s crater formed polygonal, vertical columns due to cooling, making this sight not only unique in Hungary but also a rarity in Europe.

This sight is unique in Hungary and it is very rarely found in Europe. The very top of the hills gives a most fantastic view of the entire Kali basin and Lake Balaton.

From the summit of the Pointed Basalt Cone, visitors can behold a magnificent panoramic view, offering a glimpse of the characteristic landscapes of the Balaton Uplands. With the aid of a panoramic map, one can identify the mountains encircling the Káli Basin, ranging from Fonyódi Hill in the south to Badacsony, Gulács, Keszthely Mountains, Csobánc, Fekete Hill, Boncsos roof, and even the distant Tátika to the west.

Within the premises of the former basalt mine, an exhibition showcases the geological structure and natural treasures of the Balaton Uplands National Park area, along with the historical remnants of basalt mining. Additionally, visitors can embark on a geological journey through time with the help of an outdoor stone park featuring typical rocks from Transdanubia.

Sailing Excursions

We can help you to set up a sailing excursion or even in hiring a catamaran able to handle a group of up to 18 people

But one thing is sure; the team at Liszkay Estate is determined to help in working out any other ideas you may have as to how to pass the time the right way. When we say farewell to each other we, at Liszkay’s want you to depart with long-lasting, good memories.

Boating & Hunting

Enjoy the serenity of Lake Balaton with just a small fisher’s boat or arrange hunting outing on a 4,200ha hunting grounds. 

Horseback Riding - Salföld Major (10 km)

Salföld is situated in the heart of the Balaton Uplands National Park, at the gateway to the Káli Basin opening towards Lake Balaton, with significant geological, botanical, and folk architectural landmarks. In 1997, the Salföld Major was established on the village’s outskirts, showcasing a working farm and native Hungarian livestock breeds such as Racka sheep, Mangalica pigs, Hungarian Grey cattle, water buffaloes, poultry, shepherd dogs like Puli, Pumi, and Mudi, as well as horses.

The Major’s continuously renewing herb and medicinal plant garden offers aromatic experiences to visitors, allowing them to familiarize themselves with medicinal herbs, the effects of “miracle plants,” and their uses. The machinery exhibition displays traditional agricultural tools.

The Major serves as the information and ecotourism center of the Káli Basin National Park. It provides opportunities for exploring the natural treasures of the Káli Basin on foot, by bicycle, horseback, or even horse-drawn carriage, and discovering its natural wonders such as the “stone seas” or the 13th-century ruins of the Pauline monastery hidden in the forest south of Salföld village.


Lake Balaton is especially a bike friendly environment. 

Tavasbarlang - Tapolca

Situated in Tapolca (approximately 20 km away), it stands as the sole cave in the country traversable by boats, offering a unique experience, while Lake Malom, surrounded by constructed attractions, adds to its allure. Formed 12 million years ago, the Tapolca Spring Cave was unearthed in 1903 during well drilling. Its limestone structure comprises layers cemented from sediment deposited in the former Sarmatian Sea. The intermingling of cold and warm karst waters over time dissolved cavities and passages within the limestone, resulting in the formation of the Tapolca Spring Cave over a span of a hundred thousand years, now part of a 10 km cave system beneath the city.

Within the inn building of the cave, an exhibition unveils the mesmerizing realm of karst landscapes. Ten unique halls showcase the enchanting wonders of mysterious caves, guiding visitors through underground exploration paths with the aid of spatial photos and films. Karst water, an extraordinary artist of nature, sculpts captivating formations from limestone, enriching the cave’s allure.

Zanka Herbal Valley & Beach

The shores of Lake Balaton in Zánka are easily accessible, located approximately 6 km from the Mansion. With its central location, the settlement offers easy access to a beach with crystal-clear water and quality amenities, making it an ideal destination for leisurely pursuits. In spring, visitors can enjoy the town’s picturesque natural surroundings, hiking and cycling trails, while summer offers unforgettable swimming experiences, sports activities, and excursions. In autumn, the slopes of Zánka are adorned with boutique vineyards, and the village hosts events celebrating the harvest. A prominent landmark of the village is the Reformed Church, one of the oldest churches in the Balaton Uplands, with construction dating back to the 12th century.

Adjacent to the church, in March 2015, The Herbal Valley unveiled its doors on a sprawling 7,000 square meters, offering an opportunity to explore over 500 plant species. Visitors can delve into both the folkloric and scientific significance of these plants. The water garden, relaxation lawn, and sensory garden enhance the experience, while the tea room invites guests to savor special herbal teas and syrups.

Lily garden producer market (15 km)

One of Hungary’s best-known rural eco-markets, the Lily Garden organic market, is open on Sundays in Káptalantóti. The aim of this producer market is to revive the traditional marketing practices of bygone days, where one could purchase items ranging from old iron to homemade milk and even a washbasin, all while indulging in delicious tasting snacks. As we stroll past antiques, soaps, clothes, cheeses, and vegetables, we are suddenly tempted by offerings of brandy and wild onion bread nearby. It’s worth exploring the market multiple times, sampling various similar products, as it’s easy to lose track among the array of mangalica products, farm-fresh eggs, pastries, and locally-made syrups. Additionally, the market serves as a community hub where locals gather, discuss their needs, share bread, cheese, and brandy samples, before heading home around two in the afternoon.

Szentbékkálla and the stone sea (10 km)

Szentbékkálla is a charming settlement nestled in the Balaton Uplands, often hailed as the jewel of the Káli Basin, boasting a population of around two hundred residents. Its idyllic location not only offers breathtaking panoramas and natural wonders but also provides a degree of climate protection, with approximately 2,000 hours of sunshine per year. The surrounding area features wooded hillsides, with only the southern part open, while much of it is adorned with marshlands. The village itself, picturesque and lively, gently ascends the south-facing hillside, embraced by forested mountains that enclose the Káli Basin in the Balaton Uplands. From the vantage point of the church, one can behold the zigzagging streets of the village below, with tiled and thatched rooftops dotting the landscape, leading the eye all the way to Lake Balaton.

Vineyards grace the slopes beneath the forest, comprising not vast plantations but rather small family estates meticulously tended with love and expertise, yielding distinctive white wines characteristic of the region. Enjoyable strolls beckon from cellar to cellar, where hosts readily offer a taste of their wares, fostering convivial conversations. By March, the hillsides burst into a riot of white and pink floral splendor as almond trees bloom amidst the vineyards. Almonds, an ancient fruit of the region, like wine, reflect the terroir, their delightful flavor enhanced by the volcanic soil and ample sunlight. The largest almond plantation, boasting nearly 2,000 trees, flourishes just above the village.

A notable feature of Szentbékkálla is the Stone Sea, situated along a ley line associated with St. George, reputed to possess healing properties, adding to the mystique of this enchanting locale.

The whitewashed, plaster-decorated houses of the village epitomize the centuries-old traditions of local architecture, serving not merely as relics in an open-air or stagnant museum but as a vibrant community thriving in its ancestral home, boasting a demographic skewed towards youth rather than the elderly. It’s a village where visitors too find solace and comfort, enveloped in its timeless charm.

Folly Arboretum – Badacsonytomaj

Established in the early 1900s by a doctor from Pécs, the arboretum was primarily dedicated to collecting plants resilient to the climate of Lake Balaton. For several years, he sourced plants from nurseries in Western Europe and transported water from Lake Balaton on a donkey. Initially spanning 0.4 hectares, the garden has since expanded to 5 hectares. Among the oldest specimens, aged 90-100 years, are various cedar, cypress, Syrian juniper, sabin pine, giant pine, and even coastal mammoth pine species.

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