Lake Velence, located 50 kilometers from Budapest and 20 kilometers from Székesfehérvár, is a popular holiday destination because of its natural features and colorfulness of the surrounding cities. The „lake of sunshine” has 2050 sunny hours per year with an average depth of 1,5 meters making it one of warmest freshwater lakes in Europe.The 26 km large lake has healing effects, its hydrogen-sulfide content helps with rheumatic problems and its sodium and magnesium content helps the skin to regenerate. It is the third largest lake of the country. One third of it is covered in reed which gives the locals their livelihood: the reed is harvested, dried and most of it is sold abroad.
The lake formed during the Pleistocene Age, around 12-15000 years ago, it was larger and deeper than it is today. Later, it was filled up partly with alluvium and it dried up multiple times during history but it was also overflowing due to rain and human interference – so its size and water level were shifting often. This „temperament” of the lake was controlled with lake regulation from the 1960’s. As a consequence, the current shape of Lake Velence developed.
Those interested in the rich fauna of the lake can visit the Bird Sanctuary and the Dinnyés Marshes Nature Reserve, parts of the Danube-Ipoly National Park. The almost thousand hectares large reserve gives home to more than a hundred species of birds, many of them endangered. The Velence Mountains has perfect paths for touring; the traveller can discover the flora and unique geography of the area along bike and study trails. The shores of Lake Velence have many beaches and spas, amongst others Gárdony and Agárd are popular swimming places. There any many options for those who want to do water sports, the tourists can surf, sail, row and, at winter, ice skate on the frozen lake.