The Kis-Balaton, as a huge wetland habitat is unique in the whole of Europe, which is why it has always been recorded by international nature conservation.
Kis-Balaton was included in the list of Wetlands of International Importance as Waterfowl Habitat in 1979, when Hungary joined the Ramsar Convention. It is also part of the Natura 2000 network.
Kápolnapuszta buffalo reserve gives home to a herd of 200 buffalos.
It plays an important role in the survival and the conservation of genome of the indigenous buffalo in Hungary, and it is the popular display center of the species since the tameness of the livestock makes direct connection possible with the visitors. An interactive exhibition displays the flora and the fauna of Kis-Balaton, part of the Balaton Uplands National Park.
Swedish reference of Badacsony wine-region: Did you know that the Swedish engineer and wine-lover, Mr Christer Sandahl from Smaland bought a vineyard in 2004 at lake Balaton, in Badacsony, established a winery here , and won 2 gold prizes in London Decanter World Wine Awards in 2013?
His wines are also in Hugh Johnson’s world-famous wine pocketbook with honorable mention.
Michelin-starred restaurants in Germany and Austria buy premium wines of Badacsony and Balaton-region .
In addition to the natural values the main fascination of Badacsony is : vineyards dating back to the Roman times, world-famous wine-culture is blooming in the region with the result of many international wine-awards.
(All detailed information about Badacsony wines and our wine-tasting program can be read under our Wines & Spirits menu.)
The area has been inhabited since the age of Celts and archeological excavations unearthed 2000-year-old Roman remains, which testify to early beginnings of viticulture in the region. Newer and newer settlers/conquerors brought by the tempests of history, fortunately, carried on the traditions of growing vine realising the unique opportunities provided by the terrain. In the 19th century Badacsony boasted with the best vermouth of its time and the region has a varietal grape that is not grown elsewhere: Kéknyelű.
Typical wines are here: Kéknyelű, which is Hungaricum, Szürkebarát, Rajnai and Italian Rizling, Rizlingszilváni, a Muscat Ottonel , Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc.
Monadnocks are peculiarly shaped results of the volcanic activity towards the end of the Pannonian Age. At the edges of the Csobánc, Szentgyörgy and Badacsony Hills, typical formations of solidifying –basalt: the basalt columns can be seen. The most beautiful examples are the Stone Gate of Badacsony and the basalt organs of the Szentgyörgy Hill. At the slopes of Badacsony, huge rock-glaciers and block fields are to be found, where the large-leaf linden and the mahaleb cherry forest can just establish themselves.
One of the greatest achievements of the Hungarian nature conservation movement is that the basalt quarries opened here in 1903 have finally been closed down.
The famous playwrighter Ferenc Herczeg made powerful efforts in the Upper House in the 1920s to have the basalt-mine closed. A press campaign was also launched, but the last quarries where only finally closed in 1964. The Szentgyörgy and Csobánc Hills are more fortunate: their basalt was not found suitable for building purposes, so there are only small wounds on their flanks .
The basalt cone- mountains of the area are not only unique and picturesque geological relics, they are also the habitat of many rare plants and animals.
On the rocks and in the forests of the basalt hills several rare birds nest: raven, red footed falcon, rock bird etc. In the reeds below the Szigliget Hill the protected greylag goose breeds.
Several botanical rarities live in the extreme climatic and geological conditions of the basalt mountains. The abundance of the yellow golden alyssium on the rock and quarry sides is picturesque. A unique acidophilic ash-beech forest occurs on the rocky escarpments of the Badacsony; in its beech forests we find cyclamen, while in the hornbeam, oak groves hepatica, black bryony, broomrape grow. On the sunny rocks of the Szentgyörgy Hill a small population of Cheilanthes marantae (unique in Hungary) blooms with caterack and Lumnitzer carnation .Several local subspecies of sorbtrees find habitat in the unavailable rock cracks. The flower stock of Csobánc is enriched, dusit by Pulsatilla grandis, Saxifragas and lilac. On the top of the Tóti Hill a picturesque flower field is situated: Orlaya grandiflora mixed with iris, Pulsatillas and Caryophyllaceae.