République tchèque

Lake Tisza


Visit one of the most exciting Bird Reservations in Europe! You can take a boat tour of the Lake and gaze at more than 150 bird species, or fish in hidden reeds and swirling eddies. Try the traditional cuisine in cosy restaurants, and for a little more activity come to our beaches and dive into water sports! Whether you arrive by car, bike or on horseback, quaint villages, fine food and revitalising waters are waiting for you.

Take a fantastic journey in a unique water-world on the Great Hungarian Plain, in the rolling currents at the junction of a river and a lake!...Rampant forests, golden sandbanks, hidden backwaters, islands, bays...thousands of birds circling in the air and hiding in the reeds...peace and harmony all around. Lake Tisza is a wonder of nature.

Nature's Unspoiled Island

A few decades ago a handful of visionaries had a bold idea: to create a lake in the very heart of the Great Hungarian Plain. The results, accomplished with a dam on the river Tisza, exceeded all expectations. This unique territory covers 127 square kilometres. We use the word "unique" with good reason: owing to the river rolling through it, it's not technically a lake at all. But just one look at its swimmers, sail-boats, and sail-boards and the pensions, hotels and restaurants lining its shores, and you'll know why this "little cousin" of Lake Balaton is not to be missed.

Motor boats are allowed in the 14 square kilometres of Abádszalóki Bay (the southern part of Lake Tisza), so this is a paradise for water-skiers. Sailing boats with swelling sails sway on the water like colourful butterflies, while motor boats circle nearby with skiers in tow. On the beaches, loud with the laughter of children, there's an authentic summer atmosphere. While the children play, the sun-tanned grown ups in the embrace of the glittering yellow sand can imagine they're enjoying the joys of summer at the seaside.

Lake Tisza's first guests were anglers and they continue to come. The rich catch from the River Tisza - called the "Blonde Tisza" because of the billion delicate sand grains floating in the water - comes mostly from the flooded area. The middle part of the lake, the biggest single area for fishing in Hungary, is a paradise for anglers even today: more than fifty species of fish live in the lake (12 of them are protected).

Fishing on Lake Tisza in winter is a really unique experience. The brave anglers aren't afraid of driving on the safely frozen surface of the backwaters and fens. After the strenuous job of making an ice hole, they can catch lots of fish seeking fresh oxygen. Meanwhile the ice is "speaking": it booms and roars while breath freezes in the air. It is pleasant to make a fire in the biting cold and the food cooked in stew-pots tastes delicious.

The river Tisza keeps to its original bed as it runs through the lake and is very popular with tourists. Rowers row towards the flood-gates of the Kisköre barrages while bright water-drops fall from the paddles in the wonderful sunshine. Ports and banks with quicksand can be seen along the way and there are safe places when rests are necessary.

We'd have very different experiences if we rode a bicycle or horse; Lake Tisza is different from other lakes in that the surrounding area is protected by dams against flooding, and most of the dam areas have paved surfaces. If we choose to take a tour in this way, it is advisable to buy a map that can help us to locate the weir-keepers' houses. We can get drinking water in these houses and use the phone or receive first aid in case of emergency.

In the labyrinth of Lake Tisza we can meet four-legged animals as well. (It was a great surprise to see the once extinct beaver return and repopulate the area, and we often see otters.) The forests in the flood area are hunting territory. We shouldn't be surprised if boars appear with a loud clomping, rabbits jump in front of us or pheasants fly out of the bush. Few people can say they've seen the territory's most feared predator, the wildcat. The large roebuck watching motionless feels that the prince of the territory can appear at any time. Bushy red fox-tail can be seen in the narrow paths along the reeds, and a musk, fearing for its fur, is running quickly; it's difficult to notice the ermine with his royal coat in the snow-cover, but he's there.

Tourists can find numerous thermal baths and spas offering recreation and cures for both healthy and ill people. Many people from distant parts of Europe come here for the 39 C curative waters of Tiszafüred. Thermal baths can be found too in Kõtelek, famous for its horse-farm, in Tiszacsege, close to the romantic banks of the Tisza, and in Polgár, where apart from a thermal bath a pond for rowing increases the range of choice.

The folk art of the Great Hungarian Plain and of Lake Tisza are well known. The pottery of Tiszafüred, rooted in the best traditions of Alföld ceramics, reflects the persistence and rejuvenating power of tradition. One of the best known and liked types of Tiszafüred earthenware is the "Miska Jug". It is usually made in the shape of a hussar with a shako on his head and buttons and rich decorative trim on his clothing.

Traditionally, bulrush is cut in the backwaters of the Tisza in August. The dried plant is transported in sheaves and processed at home. The spinners work differently from the weavers, but all produce nice objects: baskets, breadbaskets, bags, doormats and small pieces of furniture. Today the people of Tiszavalk are famous for their bulrush craft objects.

It may sound contradictory when we call this lake "an island", but Lake Tisza is one of nature's few unspoiled places. Owing to the river running through it, it's able to withstand considerable environmental damage and pollution. For this reason water sport fans, swimmers, sunbathers, bird watchers and anglers longing for peace can enjoy their holidays without disturbing each other.


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