Water Sports in Hungary

Information on the facilities available for canoeing, sailing and windsurfing in Hungary...

Hungary is a landlocked country so water sports are limited to rivers and lakes, of which there are many, giving ample opportunities to canoe, sail or windsurf.

Lake Balaton, Europe's largest freshwater lake, is one of the best places in Hungary for water sports; it is at the heart of what is sometimes referred to as Hungary's Lake District. Many people sail, windsurf and kayak on the lake. It is Hungary's mecca for water sports, but motorboats are not allowed. It is possible to hire equipment on the lake at one of the many marinas and at Lake Velence, which is near by. There are numerous sailing and windsurfing schools in the area offering lessons for all levels of experience. Lake Balaton is popular with competitive sailors because of the complex winds it receives; races are frequently held here.

The Hungarian Yachting Association organises regattas for many classes of boat in the country. They have local associations around Hungary which offer a chance to meet like-minded people and get more involved in the sport.

Winds on the lake, generated by both frontal storms and local breezes, combined with the shallow water frequently give good windsurfing conditions, from flat to choppy.

  • For more information on windsurfing in the country: Click here (in Hungarian)

Lake Balaton is also popular with wake boarders and rowers.

Lakes and rivers

Hungary's lakes and rivers are perfect for canoeing and kayaking; the country is covered in a vast network of rivers offering both calm water and whitewater rapids. Exploring the islands of the River Danube is particularly popular. The River Tisza, which is a major tributary of the Danube, is also popular with paddlers, as is Lake Tisza which was created by flooding the river into an area which was formerly forest. In Budapest the best place for canoeing and kayaking is at RĂ³mai Part, or the Roman Shore, a stretch of the Danube starting at the Northern Railway Bridge on the Buda side of the river. There are many boathouses along the shore which offer equipment hire.

The Hungarian Canoe Federation (in Hungarian) is the governing body of the sport. They organise both training events and competitions.