Fairytale castle and special hiking spots around Lake Balaton
If you want to vacation in a really special place, but still close to Lake Balaton, and not just hang out by the water, then you've come to the right place!
I will guide you to a fairytale castle, a special buffalo reserve and one of the largest stupas in Europe - the most interesting spots around Lake Balaton
The Batthyány Wellness Castle in Zalacsány
Let's start with the castle! I felt like a real princess here, the entrance to the castle and the fountain in front of it are really reminiscent of the past, it's like I've stepped into a fairy tale - and I haven't even said the best yet: we stayed here, because the building has been a hotel for some time !
The Batthyány Wellness Castle in Zalacsány is not only beautiful, but also has an exciting history, dating back to the 1430s, when the foundations of the castle were laid, and László Csány was born here in 1790, the second independent Hungarian government minister of transport and was the Minister of Posts. The building was owned by the Batthyány family in the mid-1800s. During the years of socialism, like many castles, the Batthyány castle also operated as a foster home, but was then renovated so that it can now welcome guests in its former glory.
It also includes a wellness department, outdoor pool, log sauna, mini golf course and a park with really old and beautiful trees. You can even spend a whole day here, without leaving the property, taking advantage of the hotel's facilities.
Of course, my favorite was the pool, you can enjoy a very sumptuous view while chilling or sunbathing by it, or swimming in the water, it's just great to see the castle from here.
My other favorite was the log sauna, with aromatherapy, which was full of hanging dried lavender and so you could warm up in the pleasant lavender scent. I haven't seen anything like this anywhere else, and I really enjoyed it.
Well, enough of lazing around, let's explore the area! Hévíz and Keszthely are nearby, but I have already been to these places during my previous visit to Balaton, so now I show you two other very special programs!
Kápolnapuszta Buffalo Reserve
I was really looking forward to finally visiting the Kápolnapuszta Buffalo Reserve, and I can say without exaggeration that it was simply sensational.
Among the places of interest in Hungary, it has become an absolute top hit for me, it is a great experience to see these wonderful animals in their natural environment, as they graze or just frolic.
Just imagine, the largest buffalo herd in our country that can be visited lives here. What's more, if we look carefully we can see groundhogs in addition to grazing buffaloes - it's very cute how they run around the field, looking at you and then they hide in their burrows.
My other favorite was the goat petting zoo, where there are very "well-behaved" goats, not as little intrusive aggressors as in some zoos! This is probably due to the fact that you can't feed them, only caress them. They look at visitors with interest and let us scratch them. In fact, there were even some baby goats there.
I have to mention one more interesting thing: we can also see a really special albino buffalo in the reserve! He is really one of its kind, but that didn't seem to particularly bother him in enjoying his life peacefully!
The dogs herding the buffaloes were also super cute, it was amazing to see that the two medium-sized dogs were not at all afraid of these huge animals, but barked loudly to herd them.
From this enthusiastic blog post, you can already conclude that I can only recommend the reserve - if you have the chance, definitely visit it!
Zalaszántó Peace Stupa
This place has been on my bucket list for a long time, but let's face it, it's not too close to Budapest, so I was always amazed of the pictures of the blindingly white stupa that evokes the atmosphere of Thailand.
You can get to the entrance via a forest path - there is no entrance fee, you can only leave a donation in the designated boxes if you wish.
The whole environment exudes peace, as the forest surrounds it. And the stupa is exactly as I imagined it to be. It was really blindingly white in the bright sunshine and the golden Buddha statue inside the top just sparkled.
The stupa symbolizes the Buddha's wisdom, spirit and compassion and love for all living beings, but it also symbolizes peace, happiness and enlightenment.
The Béle Stupa was built in 1992 and inaugurated the following year by the Dalai Lama himself.
There is also a meditation center here, the interior is beautiful, I almost felt like I was in Bangkok when I entered.
It is interesting that the stupa was renovated in 2007 due to weather conditions, which made it necessary to sanctifz it again.
All in all, this place is a real miracle, it really exudes peace and tranquility and makes it easier to break away from everyday life.
I hope I have inspired you to relax in Zalacsány and take a trip in this area!