Although its name’s meaning is a swamp in Hungarian, Lake Fertő or Neusiedler See, how the Austrians call it, is pleasantly warm and widely popular water to bathe in. During the summer, it warms up to 30 degrees Celsius, making it the second warmest lake in Central Europe. Only Lake Balaton, Hungary’s and Central Europe’s biggest lake overtakes it in this regard. Even though the very best of summer is awaiting you at Balaton, such as Balaton Sound music paradise and Siófok, the Hungarian Ibiza among others, Fertő also offers countless opportunities to have fun and live an active holiday at. Since I am assigned to represent my own country, I am firstly going to show you what to do at the Hungarian part of the lake, as Fertő is actually stretching on the territory of both Hungary and Austria. Later on, in another article, I’m about to show you further worthy spots nearby the lake, but already on the Austrian soil.
First and foremost, my common sense suggests me mentioning the facilities of bathing at the lake. I have to admit that the best-equipped beaches can be found in Austria, but we can still find several places on the Hungarian side too, where we can take off our clothes and dip into the greyish water. My absolute favourites are the so-called pile houses right next to the shore, that are built above the edge of the lake’s water. These offer us such accommodations, where we can have a slight idea of what being on holiday in an exotic place is like. But please turn a blind eye to me, if I’m a little biased...
The Esterházy dynasty once counted as one of the most influential families in historic Hungary, of whom summer and winter residences are still standing in spotless shapes – both in a relatively short distance from Fertő. While the winter and main residence of the Esterházy’s is lying on the Austrian soil, their old summer residence can be found and visited in Fertőd, Hungary. It has a reputation of the Hungarian Versailles, owing to its amazing magnificence, both externally and internally. The palace complex was constructed based on French patterns, during the dynasty’s heyday in the 18th century. Further curiosity - even Joseph Haydn spent a considerable amount of time here, owing to the fact that he was the chorus-master of Prince Miklós Esterházy.
The other biggest tourist attraction near to Fertő is being in the town of Fertőrákos, where a former stone quarry provides such a spectacle that even a cave theatre got built in there. It makes us recall the well-known Egyptian cave churches. The old quarry has a very rich history, where the practical mining ended in 1948, a few years after a forced labour camp was operating there during the World War II. Today, the huge cavities and tunnels of the quarry can be explored freely, to which at some points we have to climb some stairs though. The toughest ones are suggested to climb up to the edge of the quarry in order to get a wonderful view of the surroundings, including Fertő. To reach the lake’s pleasantly warm water, where we can take a refreshing bath, we have to take only five kilometres from here. Give it a try you guys!
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