Water Tower Festival
The Water Tower Festival is held on the last weekend of June in Siófok every year, when the locals celebrate the Water Tower, one of the iconic buildings of the town. It is an all-weekend event on Siófok’s Main Square, with nice summer-night concerts and the usual family activities in focus. Visitors of the festival not only have the chance to taste the culinary specialties of local restaurants, but also to browse through a variety of artisan goods, enjoying the atmosphere of a real fair.
New Orleans Jazz Festival Siófok
The New Orleans Jazz Festival Siófok is held every summer and has by now become one of the most prestigious music events of Hungary that is fully dedicated to jazz. The festival is generally centred around Main Square, with the best musicians and bands of the Hungarian jazz scene in the line-up, while of course it regularly features international artists as well. Although it is first and foremost a music event, other cultural, culinary and family activities are also featured in its programme.
Feast of Bread and Wine
The Feast of Bread and Wine is part of the series of events related to 20th August (an important date in the Hungarian calendar) as one of the biggest summer festivals of the Balaton region, with a main focus on gastronomy. But that’s not all, as it also includes a variety of cultural programmes and family activities, live music, a craft fair and festivities such as blessing the New Bread or selecting the wine of the city.
Siófok Fish Festival
The Siófok Fish Festival takes place every October in the Capital of Balaton, offering a variety of programmes and activities on Main Square to locals and tourists alike. In the centre of the festival are fish-related culinary events and activities: cooking contests, specialties, presentations, lectures and diverse cultural programmes and family activities, all this accompanied by live music.
Summer Nights in Siófok
“Summer Nights in Siófok” is one of the most diverse programme series of the town, featuring numerous exhibitions, events, family, children and adult programmes, movie screenings and theatre shows. The aim of the programme series is to provide a variety of events throughout the summer, or at least every weekend of the high season, often including weekdays. Summer Nights in Siófok runs from mid-June to the end of August.
Musical Moments at the Coffee House
The Kálmán Imre Cultural Centre has brought together its all-year-round regular events under the title Musical Moments at the Coffee House. While it hosts a number of returning performers and recurring shows and exhibitions, the programme series is mostly marked by innovation and renewal. Musical Moments at the Coffee House was created in order to provide a diverse selection of music events to visitors and locals and features a wide range of popular music performers in KICC’s Teátrum Coffee House all year round.
National Day of Hungarian Culture in Siófok
Like most Hungarian holidays, the National Day of Hungarian Culture is also celebrated in the Capital of Balaton every year. Held on 22nd January every year, the students and literary experts of Siófok pay their respects to Ferenc Kölcsey, his poem that serves as the national anthem of Hungary (“Hymnus”), and to Hungarian culture in general. The event is held at the Siófoki Szakképzési Centrum Krúdy Gyula Szakképző Iskola vocational training school every year.
New Year’s Gala Concert
Although every city rings the old year out in a proper way, Siófok is almost the only one that also rings in the new year, with the New Year’s Gala Concert among others. The event always features the most prestigious Hungarian performers: locals and visitors are entertained by companies such as the Budapest Operetta Theatre, the Hungarian Dance Academy and the Vác Symphony Orchestra.
Siófok Rabbit Race
This Easter-related event is a rich, fun family programme with a focus on sports and exercise, and it is all about Easter and the bunnies of course.
SPURI Balaton Super Marathon
The SPURI Balaton Super Marathon programme series is held every March and is a great opportunity for anyone who likes to run to jog around the Hungarian Sea. Every year more and more professional and amateur runners register, so we can safely say that thousands of people have already run around Lake Balaton in this event, and the organisers are expecting heaps of new and returning runners joining this year to enjoy the diverse programme, the good company and the recurring challenge.
Siófok Spring Festival
Every spring the locals and the people visiting the town celebrate the end of winter and the rebirth of nature with a special series of events, which they refer to as the Siófok Spring Festival instead of calling it carnival. The programme series is hosted by the Kálmán Imre Cultural Centre and lasts over two weeks, featuring concerts, performances, parades, exhibitions, culinary events, fun family and children’s programmes, as well as concerts and theatrical performances in this spring festival.
Every year, Samsara Festival is organised as a separate event in the Töreki district of Siófok, with Eastern culture, yoga and related activities at its centre. Ancient practices, alternative medicine, meditation, philosophy, but even dance, gymnastics, aerobic sessions, concerts, DJs from all around the world, and most importantly, workshops and séances await the visitors of the festival. All this in the company of world-famous doctors, gurus, healers, shamans, psychologists and life coaches, in good company.
Siófok Santa Claus Race
At the Santa Claus Race you can decide whether to dress up as Santa or not – young and old, professionals and amateurs can all run in this special race, for the pure pleasure of running, as well as the lively atmosphere and diverse programmes that accompany the race.
Valentine’s Day at the Siófok Water Tower
The people of Siófok celebrate the day of love every year with smaller or bigger events, and they do so in the Water Tower, that is considered a major feature, if not the symbol of the town. The event takes place on Valentine’s Day every year, and as a part of it, everything is about love and lovers for an entire day. Couples wishing to spend some romantic time together can not only have a stroll on Main Square, but they can also send off helium balloons with their wishes relevant to the event or their love from the observation terrace of the Water Tower.
Tour de Pelso
One of the biggest bicycle races of the Balaton region, Tour de Pelso, in contrast with Tour de France, welcomes not only the professional elite, but also beginners and amateurs. So, anyone feeling the need to cycle around Lake Balaton can do so at Tour de Pelso in a helpful and welcoming company (indeed, it has become a real community, growing year by year), while also gaining a life-long experience.
Events and recreational opportunities in Siófok, all year round
Siófok offers programmes all year round – you can explore the shores of Balaton and the town not just in the summer season, but also in the warm sunshine of autumn, and the freezing cold of winter.
The staff at Mala Garden is always at your service to help you pick the best programmes for you personally. Just ask at the reception, and we will give directions and book the desired programmes for you.
Strolls on the shore
You can take long, leisurely walks on the waterfront promenades of Siófok, which are several kilometres long. The century-old mansions and shady avenues around the lake may be the perfect setting for some romance, if that is what you are looking for. Always take a map with you, just in case.
Bicycle routes run all round the lake linking all the lakeside villages and towns, as well as allowing for a slight detour, a bit further away from Lake Balaton. You will enjoy an enchanting and colourful scenery on your trip. Taking a map with you on the bicycle tour is highly recommended. If you do not have your own bike, ask for some useful tips on bicycle renting at the reception.
There are countless hiking trails in Siófok and the surrounding area that offer a wide selection of pleasant activities to choose from. It could be a relaxing stroll, a full day hike or even mountain climbing, visiting wineries, or maybe an educational trail or a national park. We have excellent recommendations for you for hiking trips as well.
Enthusiasts of this popular sport can try Nordic walking in Jókai Park, the streets of Siófok or on our organised excursions.
Gliding on the smooth, shimmering surface of the lake, watching the scenery, the sunset and the birds is something that you do not want to miss. In the summer season you can rent kayaks in front of Mala Garden.
The beach of Mala Garden is accessible for our guests free of charge. The only sand-covered beach of Siófok is in front of our hotel, so it is ideal for guests arriving with small children, as they can just keep an eye on the children in the shallows. If you would like to swim, you will have to walk at least 200 metres to reach deep water.
On the central pay beach of Siófok, the Big Beach (“Nagy strand”) there are free activities all day long and free concerts in the evenings from June until September.
If you chose to spend your holiday at Lake Balaton, do not miss an opportunity to go sailing – you can do so as a couple, or with a bigger group of friends.
Cruising on a sea sailboat
A 12-metre schooner offers a romantic cruising opportunity to Mala Garden guests. Talizman Yacht is the only sea sailboat on Lake Balaton, which departs from Siófok port every 90 minutes, on a 60-minute trip. Admire the beautiful sunset with your Dearest on board of Talizman.
The passenger ship terminal of Siófok is 15 minutes from Mala Garden Hotel. Cruising may offer a number of activities: we can visit Balatonfüred or Tihany on scheduled boats, we can enjoy a 60-minute cruise, a sunset cruise or an evening trip with Latin congas, we can try wine tasting, barbecue, board the children’s boat, a disco boat, or even a nostalgia boat.
The shore next to the hotel is a popular fishing spot.
If you are looking for a special experience and bigger fish, you can try the pike-perch tour, organised nearby with an experienced guide, on a motorboat. For a prime catch, you can also try the smaller fish ponds around Lake Balaton, such as the lakes of the Töreki Nature Reserve next to Siófok.
You can purchase a fishing license and all necessary equipment in the tackle shop 600 metres from the hotel.
Feel free to ask us about the best fishing spots.
Hidegvölgyi Fishing Lake and Wildlife Park
A wildlife park and petting zoo for the children, and a fishing lake for adults 6km from Siófok, in the direction of Balatonkiliti. Besides the lake being open all year, you can also catch exciting seasonal activities, such as falconry, archery, fishing and hunting shows.
Zamárdi Adventure Park
The park set up in a 35,000-square-metre grove offers numerous active recreational opportunities. A 1.5-kilometre-long slide rope and various obstacles on the high rope courses between age-old trees provides active entertainment for all ages.
The bath is situated on the Golden Shore (“Aranypart”), close to Mala Garden. It is highly recommended if you are looking for a change. It has a huge Jacuzzi, children’s corner, 600m2 water surface, and offers a variety of swimming, thermal and leisure pools.
The bath is open all year.
Wine and pálinka tasting
The South Balaton Wine Route starts in Siófok, with Zamárdi and Kiliti being its next stops. The Szt. Kristóf Winery in Zamárdi is open all year round, offering exquisite wines and home-made cold plates for the guests. In the quaint cellars you can satisfy your hunger with pork rinds, ham, knuckle, home-made pickles, goat cheese, pumpkin seed oil and much more. After the wine tasting, you may want to enjoy an excursion to the observation tower of Zamárdi on foot or in a horse carriage, or try yourself at archery, or ride a horse sleigh or have some fun sledging in wintertime.
Apart from wines, you may also taste pálinka in Zamárdi, such as the superb quality Zimek pálinka made from real fruits. Here you will have the chance to see the only distillery machine of the Balaton shore, go coach riding in the orchard, or even make your own pálinka – provided you have booked it beforehand.
Zimek Pálinka Manufaktúra
(Zamárdi – 12km from Mala Garden)
Zimek – Manufaktúra – Pálinka Dreams is one of the leading pálinka distilleries in Hungary.
All their pálinkas are made without additional sugar and natural or artificial flavourings. They produce specialties such as Quince, Raspberry, Walnut, Elderflower and Black Locust pálinka.
The more traditional grape marc pálinka is also part of their selection of course, and it is also of excellent quality. Irsai Olivér and Merlot are a few examples of these.
Nearly 70 types of pálinka are produced in this small manufacture.
Activities: horse carriage tours to the orchard are available on request, where you can learn everything you want about the cultivation and processing of fruits.
This is followed by a short walk, then you return to the “Pálinka Garden”. Here you can taste 12 types of pálinka, accompanied by a cold plate. You will hear more about the pálinka culture during the tasting (e.g. the use of various glasses).
Call +36-84-545-101 for more information.
Feind Wine House and Winery
(Balatonfőkajár – 14km from Mala Garden)
Since 2002, Lajos Feind and his son, Peter, operate the Feind Wine House as a family enterprise. Outstanding results at several wine competitions stand as proof of their expertise, and the popularity and professional reputation of the Feind Wine House speak for the quality of the wine they produce.
Their vineyards are situated in Balatonfőkajár and Balatonaliga, which provide excellent conditions for viticulture.
The enterprise produces over 5,000 hl wine every year. They use 17 kinds of grapes for wine production. Among these, the most significant and sought after are: Olaszrizling (Welschriesling), Irsai Olivér, Chardonnay, Zenit, Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch), Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Among red wines, rosé and siller (Schiller) enhances the selection.
Activities:In summertime you can taste light, refreshing white or rosé wines, and wintertime is best for sipping rich red wines, sitting next to a fireplace, listening to wine makers telling the stories of their wines. They offer cold plates of cheese, apples, walnut and bread with dripping and onions by default, but with a booking you can also enjoy delicacies baked in traditional ovens.
Call +36-30-597-9884 for more information.
Bella Horse Ranch and Wild Life Park
The Bella Horse Ranch is a 30,000-square-metre home for horses and smaller animals, with pens, gardens, a parking lot and roads. It is easily accessible on a paved road and provides parking for cars.
Horses are kept in box stalls in the stable on the ground floor of the building, in an animal-friendly environment, well-groomed and taken care of. Upstairs there is a spacious common room with a terrace view to the training pen, and clean changing rooms and showers are available for the riders. Outside you will find wooden garden furniture, barbecue, a training pen with hurdles, grazing pens and a petting zoo with llamas, ponies, donkeys, goats, sheep, peacocks and much more. Children may join trail rides on ponies or go on a ride in a horse carriage with supervision. If you love nature and horses, make sure to visit them and learn to ride! Riding a horse and spending time with these amazing animals is a magical experience! The aim of the Ranch is to teach beginners and more advanced riders, or even people who are just looking for some leisure, about horses, and to share the joys of riding a horse. Horse riding is a hobby and a sport, and enthusiasts will find that training is not just about learning, but also a fun way to spend our free time.
Call +36-84-352-698 or +36-30-939-6006 for more information.
Windsurfing, kitesurfing, wakeboarding, water skiing
The brisk north-west winds of the southern shore of Lake Balaton favours skilled windsurfers, but in a gentler breeze, beginners may also try to learn the basics of surfing. “Surfbeach” is located at the end of the Golden Shore (“Aranypart”) and provides excellent conditions for kitesurfing and windsurfing. Beyond surfing, you can also play tennis, table soccer, table tennis, and even go sea kayaking.
Szabadifürdő has a 1-km-long course where you can try and practice wakeboarding and water skiing.
In summertime open-air tennis courts, in wintertime indoor courts are available for enthusiasts of the sport. Siófok offers a number of well-maintained tennis courts, only 600 metres from Mala Garden. We are glad to assist you in booking a court.
There is also a squash club nearby, with air-conditioned courts, fitness equipment and sauna. If you need a training partner or a trainer, let us know before your arrival to Mala Garden, we are glad to help you with this, too.
Squash is one of the most intensive sports, it’s a perfect way to get some exercise! We are glad to assist you in booking a court.
Rally on the Ádánd Rallycross Track!!
(Ádánd – 13km from Mala Garden)
Driving technique training with Mitsubishi EVO X and Subaru Impreza rally cars at the nearby rally tracks in Ádánd.
If you like rally but have never sat in a racing car before and want to experience first-hand the acceleration of a racing car with a symmetrical all-wheel drive system, make sure you visit the nearby rally tracks.
You are behind the wheel, while a co-driver assists you to get the biggest possible adrenaline boost out of the tracks. It is well worth trying it, we have done so already!
Information: Phone: +36-30-751-8810
If you are looking for some adventure, you can try gliding at the Siófok-Kiliti airport, just make sure you book it ahead of time!
Museums and exhibitions
Siófok offers a number of permanent exhibitions to art lovers, such as: Mineral Museum, Egg Museum and the Imre Kálmán Memorial House (located in the house of the world-famous operetta composer, who was born in Siófok).
Balaton certainly is a marvellous sight in the winter – a whole new world compared to the one you’ve grown accustomed to in the summer. Whether you just wish to enjoy some peace and quiet, or you are looking for some active leisure, the snow-covered shores of wintertime Balaton offer it all.
You can go sledging on the hills of the Zamárdi wineries, then warm up with some mulled wine in the Szt. Kristóf Winery.
You can go ice skating or try ice yachting on the frozen lake. The hiking trails mentioned before are also accessible in wintertime, you can take them on foot, on horseback, or even wrapped in a cosy blanket on a horse carriage. The countryside is truly worthy of exploration, and you can always ward off the cold with a nice cup of mulled wine of some hot tea.