Hungary is located in Central Europe, embraced by the Alps and the imposing Carthapian Mountains. Bordering on the West with Austria, and North with Slovakia and the Ukraine, the East with Romania, and South with Croatia and Slovenia, the Danube River runs all the way through it.
Here you will not find high peaks with glaciers, or immense evergreen forests, like in the bordering nations. Everything is much more modest: the tallest peak is barely over 1,000m high; more frequent are the hilly landscapes and the endless horizon of the Great Plain, now the legendary Maygar puszta.
Certainly, today the pristine nature is often interrupted here and there by a city, a highway or a factory; but in its ten National Parks, we can still find the ancient atmosphere of the puszta, or that typical climate of the small villages.
Even though there are no high mountains, the amount of water is enormous. In its course from the Black Forest up to Budapest, the Danube becomes a huge river. Perhaps our most fascinating landscape is really at the 90 degree twist of the Danube, where its wide and peaceful course curves and unexpectedly flows South. The Tisza, its smaller brother, is less wide: even though in springtime, it seems to want to show that it too is a river to be respected!
The Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in Europe, always glimmers with different colours: at times it shines bright blue beneath the sun, other times it merges into the grey of the sky; instead, during storms, its a choppy dark green. This is the preferred vacation spot for Hungarians. One of the popular events is the swimming competition across the Balaton: every year 5-6 thousand persons attempt the five kilometre distance from one shore of the lake to the other.
Even the subsurface is rich with water. In the whole national territory, there are more than 1,000 sources of hot springs and hundreds are therapeutic by nature. In Hungary, at Hévíz, there is the largest thermal lake (of hot water) in Europe.
In many places, the underground rivers have created caves full of stalactites and stalagmites. The largest are at Aggtelek, in the north-eastern region of the country, but it is possible to visit similar caves also in the capital of Budapest.