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Hiking on Mediterranean trails of Tihany

· 24 reviews · Hiking Trail · Lake Balaton · open
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  • The Inner Lake, Tihany and Balaton
    / The Inner Lake, Tihany and Balaton
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / The Monks' Homes
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / Along the nature trail
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / Geyserite cones
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / Outskirts of Gödrös
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / The Outer Lake from the lookout tower with Balaton in the background
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / Looking to the west from the trail
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / The Bay of Sajkod, the last intact shoreline
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / The view from the lookout tower
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / The view to the west from the nature trail
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / Along the nature trail
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / The western side of the peninsula
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / Trying to spot Keszthely on the other side
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / The view from Szélmarta-sziklák (the lookout tower on the other side of Outer Lake)
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • /
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / The abbey and Tihany from Belső-tó (Inner Lake)
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / Looking to the west
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / The Bay of Füred
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
m 200 150 100 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Tihanyi Levendula Erdei Iskola
Although the noise of cicadas and the coniferous forest environment give a Mediterranean character to Lóczy nature trail, it does not wind near the blue sea but the green Lake Balaton. This hike presents the most exciting attractions of Tihany peninsula and offers one of the most extraordinary views in the country. 
open
moderate
Distance 13.3 km
5:00 h
493 m
479 m

Tihany Peninsula is like a landscape model: it features various landmarks but at a smaller scale. There is no volcano but there is a lake filling remains of a crater. There is no geyser but there are geyserite cones. There is no sea here and yet pine trees and cicadas imitate an environment typical of Mediterranean seaside. Of course, these analogies are here only to help imagine the atmosphere, however, hiking around Tihany peninsula will be a memorable experience on its own. 

As Hungary is poor in sizeable surfaces of water, hiking all day close to bodies of water is possible along our rivers mainly. But lakes (and seas) are different. The view over vast and open water is offered by the shoreline of Balaton, however, the flat terrain cannot please us with a bird’s eye view. That is why Lóczy trail guarantees a unique experience as it offers a view over Balaton from above and from close at the same time. 

As the area is quite a popular tourist destination, geological values and the unparalleled landscape deserves protection. This was the first landscape protection area is Hungary, today it belongs to the Balaton Uplands National Park. Anyway, it gained the European Diploma in 2003 demonstrating that it represents an exceptional conservational interest on the continent. Without this protection, probably the splendid view itself would lead to irretrievable loss of natural values as it understandably would greatly appeal to investors’ imagination. 

Lóczy Lajos walkway was the first nature trail in the country and it hardly could be at a better location. Not only because of the view but the information boards (or guides of the national park) make it a geological lexicon of the area. The distance is reasonable and shortcuts are possible (total distance: 17 km). 

Author’s recommendation

  • Qualified guides are available. They may be useful for groups. 
  • The trail only skirts the village. Take your time to explore it another day. 
  • In summers, beware that the trail is exposed to sunlight many times and access to water is limited. Consider rescheduling your visit but prepare with much drinking water. 
Profile picture of Áron Dömsödi
Author
Áron Dömsödi
Update: February 18, 2021
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
210 m
Lowest point
102 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

  • Vízhez nem jutunk a túra során, ezért - különösen nyáron - nagy mennyiséggel induljunk el!

Tips and hints

Start

Bus stop "Tihany, delta elágazás" (101 m)
Coordinates:
DD
46.926546, 17.862750
DMS
46°55'35.6"N 17°51'45.9"E
UTM
33T 717934 5200980
w3w 
///eggheads.blessings.strum

Destination

Bus stop "Tihany, hajóállomás" (ferry port)

Turn-by-turn directions

Itinerary 

  • From the ruined Apáti Church follow the Green T (ZT) markers into the woods. 
  • At a junction on a meadow take a steep but short (200 m) detour along the Yellow ▲(S▲) spur trail to the left to visit Őrtorony lookout tower. 
  • A long panoramic section follows (3.9 km) until you reach the first shady shelter. The Green T (ZT) trail takes a 90 degree turn here to the left.  
  • Among the geyserite cones the Green T (ZT) trail turns left. Follow the Yellow + (S+) straight ahead. It descends to the shore of Belső-tó (Inner Lake). 
  • At the lakeside, turn left (and leave the marked trail) to walk 300 metres along the fence to follow the Green T (ZT) trail again. 
  • Past the Inner Lake the trail traverses among holiday houses of Kis-Erdő-tető and leads to the lookout point at Szélmarta-sziklák (Weathered Rocks). 
  • Past the rock outcrop, descend to Kossuth Lajos Street. Cross the street and continue uphill. 
  • The view over the Bay of Füred disappears behind the bushes as the Green T (ZT) trail keeps descending. Past an S-bend you will arrive at the rock with the hermits’ caves (Barátlakások).  
  • Pass the caves and the trail begins a descent and soon arrives at the lakeside road. Turn right and after 800 metres you will arrive at the bus stop near the ferry port. 

Detailed description 

A view over silent volcanoes 

From the bus stop, the trail parallels the main road towards the western side of the peninsula. The small lavender field that you will pass is one of the first lavender plantations from the 1920s. At the ruined church, the only remains of the devastated and abandoned village of Apáti, the Green T (ZT) trail enters the woods and leads uphill on the slope of Apáti Hill. At a clearing the Yellow ▲ (S▲) spur trail on the left begins a short but steep ascent to Őrtorony lookout tower. 

It offers an incredible 360-degree view and the structure of the peninsula is presented from here like a model landscape with signature landmarks each demonstrating an episode of local geological history. When 7 million years ago basaltic lava broke through the thinned crust of the Carpathian Basin, volcanism of Balaton Uplands began right here, on the peninsula. Melted rock failed to reach the surface of the wetland but could vaporize the water content of the sediment, generating a huge explosion. Lithified debris formed tuff rings around the vents. One of them were detected in Outer Lake, another in Inner Lake and the third one south of Csúcs-hegy. After volcanism, these low-relief flat floored craters called maar fill up with water to form natural lakes. Maar may also refer not only this subtype of volcanoes but the lake itself too. Past 4 million years of vulcanism, the landscape calmed down, and tuff rings began to erode. This transformation was accompanied by intense thermal spring activity. The three separate basins that later merged by subsidence to form the lakebed of Balaton were formed around 20-25 thousand years ago. Water level varied by climate changes. There was a period when Tihany was an island. Landscape was fundamentally transformed by human activity. In the early 19th century canals were made and Outer Lake was drained to make meadows. Forests were limited to the edges of the peninsula and the highest peaks. Expanding tourism called for taking steps to preserve local natural values and in 1952, the first landscape protection area of the country was formed here. Today it belongs to the Balaton Uplands National Park, and boasts with the European Diploma as a location of exceptional conservational interest. 

Panoramic trail above Balaton 

Return to the nature trail and continue to the peak of Nyereg-hegy. The white rocks create a somewhat hot microclimate and habitat even in springtime. The view over the western basin of the lake begins to unfold here. The bay just next to the peninsula is rather peaceful as the shoreline is mostly intact, nearby villages are less frequented and boats are also rare. Actually, this is only spot around the lake to observe the western basin lengthwise with a view both over the northern and the southern side. Where the trail bifurcates the pathway to the right leads to a cave named after a famous outlaw of the area in the early 19th century (Sobri Jóska), who, anyway, may have never been there. 

The trail continues to be rolling with several spots to enjoy the view. Then you will descend to a paved road. After crossing the road, a lengthy ascent with fewer lookout points begins to the picnic spot on the top of Hálóeresztő-hegy. 

Exploring traits of thermal springs 

The trail stops to follow the shoreline and turns inside the peninsula. The white rock formations bordering the pathway are geyserite cones, several of which can be found on the southern tip of the peninsula. After volcanism ended in the area, the site of Balaton was a wetland. Water oozing to hot rock down below returned to the surface through cracks in the form of hot water solutions. This geological environment fed more than a hundred thermal springs (not to be confused with geysers). Their high silicic acid content contributed to the cementation of other rocks. When reaching the surface, geyserite and limestone were deposited from the water due to sudden temperature drop. Checking some of the cones from close you may even see their vents. The internal structure of some formations was opened up by mining before they gained a protected status. 

The most splendid view over the Inner Lake is offered by the geyserite cones. The Green T (ZT) trial slaloms among several strange boulders. The most famous is the rock of Aranyház (Golden House) named after yellowish lichen that grow on its surface. It is especially spectacular in autumn. The view over inner parts of Tihany is amazing from its top, but does not compare to that of Hármashegyi geyserite cone (further down along Yellow + (S+)). It boasts a picturesque vista over the dark blue surface of Inner Lake, the village of Tihany, and the turquoise green Balaton. Follow the Yellow + (S+) markers to descend to Inner Lake. Turn left on the shore to return to the Green T (ZT) trail. 

Back to the shore 

After rounding Inner Lake, the trail leads uphill again to Szélmarta-sziklák (Weathered Rocks) on the top of Kis-erdő-tető. These rock formations were also formed in basaltic volcanism. As a result of tectonic shifts, they got tilted and softer layers of the rock composition have been abraded by wind-transport. In the meantime, freezing water in the cracks also shaped the soft tuff. This is a perfect spot to take a rest before the last rolling section of the hike. 

The trail descends again to cross the paved road leading to the village. Then an ascent begins to reach the peaks along the eastern shoreline. The view unfolds towards the Bay of Füred, Balatonfüred and Csopak. A short loop will take you to the outer edge of the hills and the last section of the hike begins. 

The slope of Óvár-hegy hides an attraction that excites many visitors coming to Tihany. The caves of Barátlakások (Monks’ Homes) could be formed in the basaltic rock as it is soft enough to carve due to its structural composition. Monks moved here in the 11th century. Some of the caves were buried by rockslides but the rest were renovated and secured. The only spring of the peninsula (Ciprián-forrás) is nearby, which also could support their life here. 

An atmospheric pathway leads to the paved lakeside road. Walk 100 meters on the other side to reach the ferry port with the bust stop. 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

  • Get off the coach (from/to Balatonfüred) at "Tihany, delta elágazás".
  • Get on the coach at "Tihany, hajóállomás" to Balatonfüredre or Veszprém.

Getting there

  • From bus stop "Tihany, delta elágazás" head west along Lepke Street. At a lavender field continue along Road 71 and hike 1 km to reach the ruined Ápáti Church.
  • The hike ends at bus stop "Tihany hajóállomás" (ferry port).

Parking

  • Free parking at the corner of Road 71 and the access road to Tihany („Őrtorony parkoló"). Entry from the access road.

Coordinates

DD
46.926546, 17.862750
DMS
46°55'35.6"N 17°51'45.9"E
UTM
33T 717934 5200980
w3w 
///eggheads.blessings.strum
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

  • Balaton-felvidék turistakalauz

Author’s map recommendations

  • Balaton-felvidék turistatérkép
  • Balaton turistatérkép

Book recommendations for this region:

Show more

Equipment

  • Basic gear: hiking boots, seasonable wear, drinking water, food.  
  • Use Természetjáró app. to navigate.  

Questions and answers

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Rating

4.8
(24)
Kata Patcai
April 26, 2021 · Community
Csodálatos Tihany 🦎📌 🏞️
Photo: Kata Patcai, Közösség
Norbert Zsalakó
April 24, 2021 · Community
2021. április 24., szombat 22:48:45
Photo: Norbert Zsalakó, Közösség
2021. április 24., szombat 22:50:00
Photo: Norbert Zsalakó, Közösség
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Photos from others

Csodálatos Tihany 🦎📌 🏞️
2021. április 24., szombat 22:48:45
2021. április 24., szombat 22:50:00
+ 76

Status
open
Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
13.3 km
Duration
5:00 h
Ascent
493 m
Descent
479 m
Public-transport-friendly Circular route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Botanical highlights Insider tip Linear route Healthy climate

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