On The Road With BMW - Balaton-felvidék
MY DREAM COMING TRUE ...
I still have to pinch myself to believe that in the upcoming months I will be working with BMW Hungary. It's a dream come true for me as during this collaboration I can live for my two passions - traveling and photography - whilst promoting a brand with whom we share the same value: quality.
Enjoy the first destination of our road trip to one of my favorite regions of our country, Balaton-felvidék with one of the latest models of the BMW family, the new X2.
HOW TO GET THERE?
From Budapest it's about two hours by car to reach the villages of Balaton-felvidék.
As we are stuck in the office late on Fridays we always opt for M7 and then Route 8 and 77 to avoid the afternoon rush on Route 71 and also to enjoy the landscape near Várpalota and Veszprém. On the way there our favorite part is near Hajmáskér where we took a little detour this time to test our new travel partner.
WHERE TO STAY?
When I hear Balaton-felvidék the first village that pops into my mind is Köveskál.
Despite the fact that our family nest is located near the lake at Ábrahámhegy there isn't a weekend without a quick stop at Köveskál, at 'Kővirág' to be exact. Kata Zakar and her husband were pioneers of the new wave gastronomy and accommodation around the Lake. Even though many years have passed since they started to run their family business they still are.
In every village there is a Roman Catholic Church and Köveskál is no exception. After your lunch at Kővirág take a walk around the village and look for the tower of this white church which is another favorite of mine. If you are lucky enough it will be open so you can peek inside. What's special about this little church is that its garden is dotted with ancient almond trees. Take a blanket with you and have a nap in their shadow. #slowlife
If you are a first timer in Köveskál you should also try 'Mi a Kő Étterem' for lunch and 'Káli Art Inn' for the night.
WHERE TO EAT?
It's getting harder and harder to answer to my friends' questions where they should eat if they are heading to the Northern side of Balaton. Nowadays almost every month a new restaurant / bistro / café is about to open. I have my favorites but I always like to recommend something outside the box so that's when Balatoni Gasztrótérkép comes handy.
I always bless my friend, Judit Szauer for devoting her precious time to create this map for us that shows the best places to eat around the Lake. This summer they launched the map's mobile version as well so the millenial-Balaton lovers won't be left without restaurants to try.
I always tend to cling to my well-rehearsed routines. There is never a visit to Balatonfüred without a stop at 'Baricska Csárda'. As I mentioned before I'm a big fan of 'Kővirág'. If you want to relive the flavors of your Grandma's cooking, then 'Zománc Bisztrócska' and 'Szőllősi Kocsma' will be your favorite places. And if you just want to stop between two villages to refill your sugar storage, you should definitely order these dumplings at 'Neked Főztem'.
WHAT TO VISIT?
The best part of a weekend spent at Balaton is Sunday morning when it's market time at Káptalantóti. The market there is THE thing that everybody has to see when they are at the Northern side of Balaton.
As you are getting near you can see the lines of cars waiting for a non-existent parking place and mass of people rolling in from every direction. Conclusion: arrive before 10 AM or you will feel like suffering in IKEA on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
If you make it in time, look for Bea aka 'Búzalelke' who is one of the best bread artisans in the country. Gyula's booth at the back is also a compulsory stop if you look for some pieces of furniture into your weekend house. After you bought your ham, cheese and bio vegetables from the nearby farmers have a seat under the grape arbor of the Gilvesy booth and enjoy your morning coffee.
Another hidden attraction of Balaton-felvidék is the group of statues called the 'Emberi Komédia' in the middle of nowhere next to Kővágóörs and Lake Kornyi. You can approach it by car / bicycle or by foot via the Theodora natural trail starting from Kékkút.
Photos by Miklós Horváth & Me
Edited by Me
Thank you BMW Hungary for the ride.