The thermal bath in the Hungarian spa of Hévíz was built on the largest natural thermal lake in the world. Its water temperature never falls below 22°C, which means that its relaxing and healing effects can be enjoyed all year round.
The spa town of Hévíz owes its fame to the thermal lake of over 4 hectares, which is considered the largest and most healing lake in the whole of Europe and the largest natural thermal lake in the world. Together with the other thermal baths - of which Hungary has the most in Europe - Hévíz is one of our top 10 sights of Hungary.
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What is the best way to get to Hévíz?
Hévíz is located in the west of Hungary in the province of Zala about 5km northwest of Lake Balaton (Plattensee). The best way to get to Bad Heviz is by car, coming from the west always in the direction of Lake Balaton. From Vienna there is also a spa bus that goes to Hévíz via some other spas in Hungary.
Bathtub temperature in winter
The thermal lake in Hévíz differs from other healing springs by its muddy-peaty bottom, whereas other lakes often have stone or clay bottoms. Its hot spring at the bottom of the lake exists in a crater at a depth of 38m and, with a yield of over 400 liters per second, completely exchanges the water in the lake within 48 hours.
Due to the dense haze layer above the water surface, the water temperature in the lake never falls below 22°C and can be used as a bath even in winter without any heating. In summer the water has up to 35°C.
In addition to the beneficial heat, the thermal water of Hévíz contains valuable minerals, including hydrogen carbonate, calcium, carbon dioxide, magnesium, sulfur and radium. Due to its slight radioactivity, one should not stay in the water for more than 20min.
The medicinal water of Hévíz helps especially against rheumatism and diseases of the locomotor system and can also be used as a drinking cure in case of digestive problems. The vapors that arise above the surface of the water have a relaxing effect on the vocal cords. The mud from the bottom of the lake, containing sulfur and radium salts, is used for physiotherapeutic treatments.
Healing spring of the ancient Romans
According to coin finds, the healing waters of the thermal lake were already used by the Romans 2,000 years ago. The Germanic and Slavic peoples also appreciated the beneficial effects of the water. In 1328 Hévíz was mentioned for the first time in documents as "Locus vulgariter Hewyz dictus" ("Place called by the people Hewyz").
Today's spa developed about 200 years ago, the first thermal bath was built under Count Festetics, the current hotel dates from the 1960s and was renovated in 2006. In the 5,500-inhabitant town of Bad Hévíz there are plenty of additional hotels and guesthouses, as well as a campsite, which attract up to 900,000 visitors annually with the healing effect of their thermal lake.
Besides its healing and relaxing effects, the spa town of Hévíz has other highlights to offer. Amidst idyllic nature with unique flora and fauna, you can also unwind outside the healing waters and enjoy the nice atmosphere and beautifully maintained parks of the small town. Walks through the vineyards of western Hungary are best rounded off with a romantic dinner in the evening.