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Balaton(bă`lətŏn, Hung. bŏ`lŏtôn), lake, 230 sq mi (596 sq km), W central Hungary, at the foot of the Bakony Forest. The Zala River is its main tributary; the lake is drained by the Sió River. It is the largest lake in Central Europe with many tourist and health resorts. Its shallow waters abound in fish, and along the shores are fine vineyards. Overdevelopment and poor environmental management have raised concerns about the "health" of the lake.
a lake in Hungary, on the Central Danubian Plain. It is located in a hollow of tectonic origin that stretches along the southeast foothills of the Bakony Mountains. Its area is 596 sq km, its length is 78 km, and its width is up to 12 km. The surface of Lake Balaton is 105 m above sea level. Its average depth is 3 m; its greatest depth, 11 m. The shores on the Bakony side are mainly steep and high, in places strongly indented (the Tihany peninsula), and there is some forest growth. The remainder of the shore is flat and partially swampy. The summer temperature of the water is about 20° C. Many short rivers empty into Lake Balaton; the lake drains into the Sió River, which is connected to the Danube. The area around Lake Balaton, with its mineral and thermal springs, is the most important health-resort area of Hungary. There is fishing and boating. Roads and railroads run along the shores.