funiQ logo

Óvár, Tihany

Tihany has many amazing lookout points where we can see a beautiful panorama of the Balaton. One of these is the 214 high hill named Óvár ('old castle') near the old city, which not only has a spectacular view but it is also the location of the remains of one of the largest and most intact hill forts from the Early Iron Age.

Lake Balaton from the nature trail
Lake Balaton from the nature trail Photo: funiQ

The hill fort built around 1000-600 BCE was probably a manorial center and served as a shelter during battles. Though by today most of the original site have been built over with houses and gardens, and the ramparts have been removed, the ruins are still visible in many places. The Celts living here between 400 BCE - 100 CE further expanded the fort. Later other people also used the fort but probably did not develop it any more.

Lake Balaton in Winter
Lake Balaton in Winter Photo: funiQ

The hill can be easily approached from the end of Árpád Street where a sign guides us towards the Óvár and the Friar habitations. From we have to follow the green trail mark, we'll see the Outer Lake, and after half an hour we will reach the rampant of the Óvár which looks like a 1,5-2 meters tall embankment. During excavations, findings from the Stone Age were also dug out from the ramparts.

Friar habitation - medieval homes of the monks
Friar habitation - medieval homes of the monks Photo: funiQ

In the eastern side of the hill, we can find the famous friar habitations which were little chapels, cells that were dug in the soft basalt tuff wall by local friars in the 11th century. If we would like to visit these, we have to follow further on the green mark trail. Further on this way, there is the Ciprián Spring, the only spring in Tihany. Though the ice cold water of the spring might be very welcoming, the swarm of mosquitoes will not urge us to stay too long. The trail will lead us to the lake where we can relax after our journey.