Lake Heviz is located close to the town of Heviz in Hungary, near the western end of Lake Balaton, about 8 km away from Keszthely. At 47,500 square meters surface area, it is Europe's largest thermal lake and the second largest thermal lake in the world. Hot waters at different temperatures diffuse from fissures under the water’s surface, mix with the cold water of the lake to produce a constant temperature that maintains throughout the season. The water is rich in carbonic acid, sulphur, calcium, magnesium, hydrogen carbonate and even slightly radioactive substances, that is believed to have medicinal properties.
At the center of the lake is a wooden bath house constructed in the 18th century that looks more or less the same as it was more than two hundreds years ago. Beautiful water lilies, brought to Hungary at the end of the 19th century, dot the lake supporting the rich ecology. Mist covers the surface slowing down evaporation, and creepers protect the medicinal mud on the bottom of the lake.
The peat-bottomed lake is fed by cold and warm water rich in mineral content originating in springs located in a 40 m deep cave. The flow of the spring is so high that it completely replenishes the lake every 3 days. The temperature of the lake varies between 23-25 °C in winter and 33-36 °C in summer.
The lake’s curative effect is believed to be a product of the unique blend of organic and inorganic materials found in the waters. Lake Heviz is a biologically active lake and home to a large number of bacteria. Some of the species found in the waters is unique to the lake. For instance, Micromonospora heviziensis, a bacteria that is a very powerful protein and cellulose decomposer, can only be found here in the entire world. Similarly, for the two thermophile blue green alga species (Pseudanabaena papillaterminata and Pseudanabaena crassa), Lake Heviz is the only Hungarian habitat.
Health tourism is thriving industry here, based around Lake Heviz.
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