Famed for its thermal spring baths, Zalakaros is a small town in Hungary’s Zala County, not far from the border with Croatia. Its therapeutic waters were discovered in 1967 during prospective oil drilling and provide a source for Zalakaros’s family-friendly water park. A dense forest blankets the hillside overlooking Zalakaros, creating a “green lung” for the town.
Things to do in Zalakaros
You can relax in one of the rejuvenating pools of the Zalakaros Thermal Spa or take advantage of the Finnish saunas, steam baths and jacuzzis. Medicinal mud baths, carbonic acid baths and healing massages are also available. Also part of the complex is Children’s World, which has been created specifically for kids, with waterslides, spurting cannons and a rope ladder. For toddlers, there’s a shallow water playground and a flower-shaped water swing.
Adjacent to the Zalakaros Thermal Spa is the Zalakaros Termáltó és ökopart, a landscaped garden where you can stretch your legs after your swim. It centres around a sprawling lake filled with water lilies and features a small children’s playground. A short trail winds through the park and is dotted with signboards detailing the local ecology.
Rising to the north-west of Zalakaros is the Erdész Kilátó, a metal tower with sweeping views across the surrounding forest. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Balaton Uplands. After returning to ground level, follow the Csiga-túra tanösvény educational trail, which is dotted with custom-designed relaxation wave benches.
Getting around Zalakaros
Zalakaros is around 20 minutes’ drive from Nagykanizsa and two hours from Budapest while Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport is 2.5 hours away. Trains connect to the railway station at Zalakomar, which is a 10-minute taxi ride from Zalakaros.