Lake Balaton

Quick Facts: Lake Balaton
Countries: Hungary
Area: 592 km² (229 mi²)
Avg. Depth: 3.2 m (10 ft)
Max. Depth: 12.2 m (40 ft)
Surface elevation: 104.8 m (344 ft)
Type: Rift Lake


Lake Balaton is a lake found in western Hungary, 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Budapest. It is also called Plattensee in German.

The largest lake in central Europe, Balaton has many resorts on its shores. The lake is constantly in a state of motion, sufficient to cause waves. Its waters are transparent and abound with fine fish, notably the fogas, a variety of perch that frequently weighs as much as 20 pounds (9 kg). It has a delicious snow-white flesh.

The lake is 48 miles (77 km) long and has an average width of 8 miles (13 km). Its area is about 266 square miles (688 sq km), including the marshy shores. Average depth approximates 10 feet (3 meters), although a depth of over 100 feet (30.5 meters) is found at one point.

Lake Balaton receives the waters of more than 30 small streams and mineral springs and is also fed by the Zala River, which enters the lake from the west. It discharges through the Kapos River and the Sió, which empties into the Sárviz, an affluent of the Danube.

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