River Danube, Europe's second largest river, and the only
major European river that runs west to east, divides Hungary
down the middle, going through Budapest, its capital. Nearly
one third of this river runs through Hungary. Its other
major river is the Tisza. These two rivers separate Hungary
into three large parts.
Western Hungary is characterized by hills and low mountains.
The mountains of Sopron and Koszeg, are built up of ancient
crystalline rocks, while to the north, the highest and most
varied terrain of Hungary exists. The mountains in this
region are mostly volcanic in their structure.
Nearly 50 miles long, Lake Balaton hails not only as
Hungary's largest freshwater lake, but that of Central
Europe. Hungarians often refer to it as the Hungarian Sea.
To the south, its shoreline is sandy and shallow, making it
ideal for boating, swimming and fishing.
Across the lake, the northern shores are steep and hilly,
and the surrounding land is
marked with hiking and biking trails. In winter months, its
frozen waters continue to provide entertainment for visitors.
But diverse land characteristics are only a few of the
things that set Hungary apart from its many neighbors. Often
described as picturesque, Hungary offers a wide variety of
natural and historical attractions.
Hungary's climate is considered continental, with marked
differences between summer and winter conditions. The
average temperature is 50 degrees F, but July, being the
warmest month, has an average temperature of 82 degrees F,
while January, (coldest month) has an average temperature of
30 degrees F.