The place with the greatest historical significance on Lake Balaton is Tihany, a peninsula jutting 5km into the lake. Tihany village, perched on an 80m-high plateau along the peninsula’s eastern coast, is home to the celebrated Abbey Church and in the height of summer the church attracts so many people it’s hard to find space to breathe. Visit the church but then escape the madness by wandering around the tiny town filled with lovely thatched-roof houses.
The peninsula itself is a nature reserve of hills and marshy meadows with an isolated, almost wild feel to it. Two inland basins are fed by rain and ground water: the Inner Lake (Belső-tó) is almost in the centre of the peninsula and visible from the village, while the Outer Lake (Külső-tó) to the northwest has almost completely dried up and is now a tangle of reeds. Both basins attract considerable bird life.