Hungary Today’s new, recurring series ‘Summer in Hungary’ takes a look at some of the best places to enjoy the summer weather and spend your holidays. We will collect some of the most beautiful and fun Instagram pictures, from a relaxing weekend at the beaches of Lake Balaton and Velence, the Balaton Cross Swimming and the Kékszalag Regatta, to rooftop bars, confectioneries, and wild parties at the best Hungarian music festivals. This week, the Kékszalag regatta is held at Lake Balaton; thus, we are traveling to the starting point of Europe’s oldest lake circumnavigation competition, Balatonfüred.
Balatonfüred is a magnificent old town on the northern shore of Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in Europe, located in western Hungary. Füred, as the locals call it, is the third largest town around the lake, after the party town of Siófok on the southern shore, and the elegant, urban-like Keszthely, at the tip of the western end of the lake. Balatonfüred’s baroque elegance and traditional old-town feel keep it from becoming too commercialized. Its beautiful promenades, tree-lined avenues, excellent lakeside services, and stunning views of the Tihany peninsula make this town the leading destination point around the lake.
Yesterday, hundreds of sailors took to the waves of Lake Balaton at Balatonfüred to test themselves on one of the most popular sailing regattas of Europe, the Kékszalag (Blue Ribbon). This year, 561 sailboats took part in the competition to be the fastest around Lake Balaton. András Holczhauser, Secretary General of the Hungarian Sailing Association (MVSZ), said that the sailors compete in thirty ship classes in the race. Among the participants, eleven crews completely consist of foreigners – there are six female navigators and there is a female-only team as well.
The Kékszalag is the oldest lake circumnavigation competition of Europe, with the first race held back in 1934, originally once every two years (except in 1944 and 1946 because of the Second World War), and yearly since 2001. Since its start, the sailing course has remained more or less the same: the start and finish lines are situated at Balatonfüred and sailors complete an approximately 150 km long course around the lake. After the start at 9 am on Thursday in Balatonfüred, the sailors have 48 hours to complete the journey back to the city.