Lake Balaton

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,[3] 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.

Lake Balaton
Lake Balaton
Lake Balaton
Location of Lake Balaton within Hungary
Coordinates46°51′00″N 17°43′12″E
TypeRift lake
Primary inflowsZala River
Primary outflowsSió
Catchment area5,174 km2 (1,998 sq mi)[1]
Basin countriesHungary
Max. length78 km (48 mi)
Max. width14 km (8.7 mi)
Surface area600 km2 (230 sq mi)
Average depth3.3 m (11 ft)
Max. depth12.2 m (40 ft)
Water volume1.9 km3 (0.46 cu mi)
Residence time2 years
Shore length1235 km (146 mi)
Surface elevation104.8 m (344 ft)
SettlementsKeszthely, Siófok, Balatonfüred (see list)
Designated17 March 1989
Reference no.421[2]
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.[4]