Hévíz….Hey who? You may be asking right now. If so, I can’t blame you, it’s a fair question. Héviz is one of those well-known and beloved Hungarian resort spots that is wildly popular only amongst our parent’s generation and Russian tourists. Every young Hungarian knows of it, but probably doesn’t have real plans to visit it any time soon, opting instead for the far more dynamic shores of Balaton for a weekend getaway. But despite my Millenial age and non-Russianness, a few weeks ago my beau and I visited the healing waters of the Héviz lake. We wanted to have a quiet, serene few days to break up the mad rush of the week, and we had a wonderful time!
Some tips we learned along the way for getting the best out of it:
1. Reserve a treat for yourself at Festetics Bathhouse.
Of course Hévíz is famous for the rich mineral water lake and it’s healing properties, but the real pampering goes down at the Festetics Furdohaz. This is your one-stop shop for a variety of different massages, wraps, and other beauty treatments, all administered with amazing, organic, and local products. The staff is amazing and the experience is pure relaxation — the only thing you should stress about is reserving your treatment on time. These fill up fast and you probably won’t be able to walk-in and enjoy something day of, but thinking just a day ahead is completely worth your time!
2. Take a dip in the lake
You probably won’t see the lake when you first arrive — it’s hidden behind some real-old school looking turrets, which actually gives it an air of calm privacy once you get in. The water of Hévíz is an amazingly comfortable temperature — not too hot and not too cold — and you can feel the rich minerals soaking into your pores the minute you step in. The lake is quite deep and large, so you can swim around, lounge by grabbing easily on to of the many metal rungs or holders stationed around, or buy yourself a noodle and soak anywhere you like!
Once you’re ready to dry off you can snooze on a lounge chair, or play chess with the giant set on the lawn.
The whole design and atmosphere of the place truly hearkens back to a different time in Hungary. Attendants whoosh past you all dressed in white with rubber clogs, everything is written in Hungarian, Russian and German, and older men and women in swim caps are slowly making their way through the lily fronds to the nearest turret. If you’re curious to take a peek into the 70’s and 80’s of the region, this is really an enjoyable way to experience it!
3. Enjoy the surrounding environment
Hévíz Lake is surrounded by beautiful green pathways and forests, and it’s nice to just amble around and take a refreshing nature walk on the marked paths. There’s also the option of bringing your bike down and exploring it on wheels.
The vegetation and decorative gardens are truly beautiful — it’s no wonder that Hévíz has won Hungary’s most flowery city award!
And the best tip of all is a given — enjoy a relaxing weekend with a friend or family. A dip into the lake and back in time is best enjoyed in good company!