Lake Balaton (Hungarian: [ˈbɒlɒton], German: Plattensee, Latin: Lacus Pelso, Serbo-Croatian: Blatno jezero, Slovak: Blatenské jazero, Slovene: Blatno jezero) is a freshwater lake in the Transdanubian region of Hungary. It is the largest lake in Central Europe, and one of the region's foremost tourist destinations. The Zala River provides the largest inflow of water to the lake, and the canalised Sió is the only outflow.
|Primary inflows||Zala River|
|Catchment area||5,174 km2 (1,998 sq mi)|
|Max. length||78 km (48 mi)|
|Max. width||14 km (8.7 mi)|
|Surface area||600 km2 (230 sq mi)|
|Average depth||3.3 m (11 ft)|
|Max. depth||12.2 m (40 ft)|
|Water volume||1.9 km3 (0.46 cu mi)|
|Residence time||2 years|
|Shore length1||235 km (146 mi)|
|Surface elevation||104.8 m (344 ft)|
|Settlements||Keszthely, Siófok, Balatonfüred (see list)|
|Designated||17 March 1989|
|1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.|
The mountainous region of the northern shore is known both for its historic character and as a major wine region, while the flat southern shore is known for its resort towns. Balatonfüred and Hévíz developed early as resorts for the wealthy, but it was not until the late 19th century when landowners, ruined by Phylloxera attacking their grape vines, began building summer homes to rent out to the burgeoning middle classes.