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Lake Balaton is a Shitpile

“Oh, 200 km of cycle path? Round a lake? With frequent camp sites? Brilliant!” You say, as visions of flat fast cycling, uninterrupted by traffic, with beautiful lake views fill your head.

How wrong you are. Lake Balaton in Hungary is rubbish. In fact I’m so pissed off with Lake Balaton that I can only express my displeasure in bullet point format.

  • No view: “Let’s build a cycle path that for 90% of the time can’t see the lake” Nice one.
  • Roots: Crap placement/construction of the path and/or trees means that you’ll have the pleasure of a bumpy/dangerous ride for nearly the whole distance.
  • Crap signposting: So bad local people have put up their own signs because they are obviously sick of telling lost cycle tourists where to go.
  • Narrow: This path is inexplicably popular with local cycle touring weekenders in Hungary, (weird as they all have racks and panniers, yet this is the only place you see them in Hungary) but the path is only just wide enough for 2 bikes to pass… brilliant!
  • Not a path: A lot of the time the ‘path’ takes you on the road, (up pointless, uninteresting hills) anyway.
  • There is no escape:  The roads around the lake are all signed with “No cycling” so trying to get off the lake path is bloody hard.

The only upside is arguably the abundance of campsites, (these do have some nice lake views) but as with everything on Balaton there is a downside, many of them are crappy ‘family’ campsites and you need to search around for a nice peaceful one.

Lake View

Don't let this nice view fool you

Anyhow, rant over. The moral of the story, if you can at all avoid Lake Balaton on your journey, do, and if you can’t avoid it, expect the above.

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