Sunday, 12 June 2016

Magic of Lake Balaton and Gluten-Free Options

Lake Balaton, without doubt, is the most popular summer destination in Hungary. It is a freshwater lake, and also the largest lake in Central Europe, popular among mostly Hungarian, Austrian and German people, as it's a nice budget destination. It's also an amazing wine region! 

The lake is "divided" into two - the northern and the southern half. Personally, I prefer the southern one: as the northern shore is fringed by mountains, you have a much more amazing view from here! There are also lovely villages and resort towns on the south shore.
The most visited resort towns must be Siófok and Balatonfüred, both very popular and busy during peak season,and especially popular among those in their 20s. Keszthely with its castle, Zamárdi with one of Hungary's largest electronic music festivals, Balaton Sound. Other popular destinations include two of my favourite places, a volcanic mountain called Badacsony, and the town of lavender, Tihany. 

Balaton means a lot to me. I've spent lots of time here, and all our family vacations usually take place around the lake. I absolutely love hopping on a train in Budapest, and spending hours travelling to our destination, but admiring the wonderful view of the lake at the same time. It's the excitment as we roll into the train station, the smell of summer, and all the happy faces around us. It's playing badminton on the street. It's wearing bikinis and flipflops all day long, and only wearing a cover up to the supermarket. It's eating  hamburgers, ice cream and cotton candy. It's barbecue parties and playing cards at night, good laughs. It's the neighbour saying "Guten Morgen!" when you have brekfast on the porch. It's the sound of train whistles during the day.

Oragnizing a holiday by the lake can be tricky in case you are gluten intolerant. Luckily, those suffering from some kind of food intolerance have more and more options to choose from each year, but unfortunately, they are difficult to stumble upon. To help you with that, below, I'm sharing a list of all the places (that I know of) that offer gluten-free options, including hotels, restaurants and cafés. 
It's good to know that small corner shops don't always sell glutenfree food, so in case you plan to cook for yourself most of the time, I'd recommend staying at bigger towns, or at least their neighbouring towns.
You can find TESCO in Balatonfüred, Keszthely, Balatonboglár, Balatonföldvár and Siófok; they sell a good variety of gluten-free food. ALDI is also a good option, though, they mainly focus on bread and some pastries. ALDIs are located in Balatonalmádi, Balatonfüred, Balatonlelle, Keszthely, Siófok, Szántód. 

Apart from all these supermarkets, you can buy food for intolerants at drugstores such as DM Drogerie Markt and Rossmann.

To see more photos of the region,

click here.

Balatonfüred is easily the centre of culture in the Balaton region, with tons of events held each summer. There's a lot to see and do, and of course, taste. The town has excellent views and perfect for nature lovers, as well as a little district called SunCity, full of bars and clubs, and during the day you can walk around the place for free. Füred also has a water park, and the beaches are very popular as well.

Places that offer gluten-free options:
Borcsa Restaurant
Óvárosi Művészkávéház
Csirke-Csülök Vendéglő
Ham&Ham Burgerbár
Hotel Füred
Hotel Marina
Icecream at
 Korzó Fagyizó
Cakes at Karolina Kávéház
Pastries at Füred Pékség

I've already written a lot about Tihany, as it's one of my favourite towns around the lake. Here you can read my post.

Places that offer gluten-free options:

Echo Restaurant
Icecream at Levendula Fagyizó
Icecream at Bodza Fagylaltozó

Icecream at Péntek Cukrászda

Hungary has a rich history, and therefore a number of wonderful palaces. One of the most beautiful Hungarian palaces must be the one named after Festetics in Keszthely. One can easily spend long hours admiring the place and all its museums, but even just walking around its park is wonderful.
The best spa of Hungary, Hévíz (with tons of gluten-free options), is also easily accessible from Keszthely.

Places that offer gluten-free options:

Tompos Restaurant
Icecream at the entrance of the park


Siófok is the most popular resort town of Balaton, with hundreds of things to see and do. I've already written about Siófok here. It's very busy during the night, as there are hundreds of clubs and bars in the centre. During the day, it's full of tourists admiring the attractions of the city, lots of people on the beach, building sand castles or surfing.

Places that offer gluten-free options:
Villa Gréta


My favourite southern destination of all! I'm in love with its lovely streets, the beaches and the hill with the viewpoint. I've already written about Balatonboglár

Other gluten-free options around the lake:

Balatonalmádi - Ramada Aurora Hotel
Balatonalmádi - icecream at Amaretto Fagyizó
Balatonfenyves - Gomba Café&Restaurant
Balatonfűzfő - icecream at Tutti-Frutti Fagyizó
Balatonlelle - Nádfedeles Halsütöde
Balatonszemes - Szinbád Hotel
Csopak - Andi Grillkert
Révfülöp - Gomba Étterem
Vonyarcvashegy - Hotel Zenit
Zamárdi - Hotel Wellamarin
Zamárdi - Mauro Étterem

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