a VirtualTourist member from Kuala Lumpur
I have a week of accommodation at Keszthely first week of december. I know that Lake Balaton is practically closed but is there any activities that we can do around Balaton or day trip from Balaton( excluding Budapest since we have another week in Budapest itself)? We like nature/scenery.
you can easily find enough activity for a week even in winter. The beach and the buffets are close of course, but I don't think you would go for icecream in december. You can make excursions in the hills north from the lake: if you find them covered with snow, it will be breathtaking, but there are a lot of geological sites, those you can see any season. In Badacsony you can find winecellars, too.
Also Tihany is worth to visit: there's an old monastery, and you can walk around on the peninsula.
Hévíz is just next to Keszthely, with a tiny, but natural thermal lake, open all year: heviz.hu/en/lake-heviz/openi...
Other spas you can find in Zalakaros, Marcali or Kehidakustány.
A bit farer from the lake you find the medieval castles of Sümeg, Nagyvázsony.
Less "natural" activities can be a visit to the city of Veszprém, and the porcelaine manufactury of Herend ( herend.com/en/visiting-heren... )
Have a good time in Hungary! :)
Oh that sounds so reassuring! That certainly will tie us up for the week And I hope the castle opens in december too.
Thanks for the input
It worth to mention that Keszthely has its own castle which worth a visit: http://helikonkastely.hu/ (no English pages yet :(
You should also check with Hotel Helikon prior your visit if they are open or not for winter (some winters they do). Their swimming pool, sauna and fitness room can be visited with a walk-in ticket: hotelhelikon.hu/hu/Arak--Akc... (one time ticket is "napi jegy", but they do speak English at the reception, only walk-in price page is not available in English on their website.) If they are open you don't need to drive for a swim or excercise. Beside that there is a food/flee market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Ask your host where it is as it is moved to a temporary location due to renovation of city center where normally has the market place. Also you should walk around the city. It is a nice one and with no crowd it is even nicer. Some nice restaurant, cofe and pastry shop is open all year around which serves citizens, not tourists. So even Keszthely can keep you busy for 2-3 days for sure.
I won't repeat what Syringa already mentioned, they are all good options. Nevertheless if you decide to visit Veszprem (recommended ;) (http://www.veszpreminfo.hu/en/sights/) you should take a stop on the way at Balatonfured (balatonfured.info.hu/en/page... which is also a charming small town next to the lake with nicely renovated buildings from the past century. If you feel cold during your walk in this city you can take a coffee or a cake at the Anna café of the Grand Hotel (annagrandhotel.hu/en/annacaf... We just loved them when we visited it. :) Another nice option on the way is the ruins of a small fortifications in Szigliget (http://g.co/maps/ahz7w)
Talking about nature tours you should visit "Small Balaton" which is Nature Park with bird and buffalo reserves bfnp.hu/english/pages/tours_...
Since it is not open in winters it is just a matter of curiosity that you can even find a small Africa Museum in a small village close to Keszthely: afrikamuzeum.hu/afrikamuzeum... (you can take a virtual visit at least, if you wish :)
I hope you will have a pleasent visit to Hungary.
Unfortunately the festetics castle is closed in winter but we may walk the castle ground. We will take yr other recommendations as well and we look forward to our visit