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Zalaegerszeg: Azalea valley in 360°
This valley close to Zalaegerszeg, Hungary has a yearly unique sight during two weeks in May: the spring blossom of the azalea collection. These exotic plants were first planted as an experiment in this valley which has its own microclimate.
1. What to see
The evergreen collection includes European larch (Larix decidua), sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), white fir (Abies concolor), giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), Serbian spruce (Picea omorika), Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi), Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), Nordmann Fir (Abies nordmanniana), two types of the Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. viridis, Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca), and various types of thuja (Cupressaceae).
2. When to see
You can admire the flowers of the bushes each year during the first half of May.
4. How to get there
4.1. By plane
The nearest airport is FlyBalaton located at Sármellék. FlyBalaton is reachable usually during summer via charter flights from several cities in Germany and from Moscow. The large international airport of Hungary, Liszt Ferenc Airport is in the suburbs of the capital, Budapest.
4.2. By car
In case of driving from FlyBalaton Airport, simply follow road 76 which directly brings you to the city of Zalagerszeg.
If arriving at Budapest, follow M7 toll-highway from Budapest to get to the south-east corner of Lake Balaton. Simply follow road 71 leading to Keszthely but much before entering the town, turn left to follow road 76 leading directly to Zalaegerszeg. The Azalea valley is located south from the city of Zalaegerszeg, ask for help from the locals to show you the right direction.
5. Where to stay
There is a multitude of guesthouses (pensions) spotted around Lake Balaton. If you prefer wellness and healing water, the city of Hévíz is the right choice for you.