The Badacsony – a hefty hunk of volcanic rock, forming a plateau visible from many kilometres around – is the iconic centre-point of the beautiful wine-growing region that is named after it. Four villages nestle at its feet, and Badacsony village (technically Badacsonytomaj, but often known in the short form) is a lovely base for walks, wine tasting and visiting the lake.
The table-top peak of the Badacsony rock draws the eye from the vineyard-strewn hills all around it, and is the heart of this undeniably pretty area – best visited out of the high season when, like all of Balaton, it tends to get overrun by visitors. Badacsony village has a small-scale charm, being easily navigable on foot, and its charms are only enhanced by sampling a glass of local wine – never hard to come by given the abundance of small cellars and roadside bars (borozó) hereabouts. Its cultural sights include the Rósa Szegedy House and Rose Rock among the vineyards uphill from the village. You can rent bikes at various points along Park utca, the main road by the lake. There is also a clean, paying beach (Strandfürdő May & Sept 9am–5pm; June–Aug 8am–7pm; 700Ft).
The Baroque Róza Szegedy House (March–May Wed–Mon 10am–5pm; June–Aug daily 10am–7pm; Sept–Oct Wed–Mon 10am–6pm; Nov–Feb Fri–Sun 11am–5pm; 800Ft) is on Kisfaludy utca, the only road going uphill from Római utca. The walk is a steep but picturesque 2.5km through the Badacsony vineyards. A little further up stands Rose Rock (Rózsa kő), where local legend has it that if a man and woman sit together with their backs facing Lake Balaton and think about each other, they will marry within a year. The Rose Rock is a good starting point for an invigorating hike to the Kisfaludy lookout tower (437m) and, twenty minutes further north, the Stone Gate (Kőkapu), formed by two great basalt towers. Both points offer splendid views of the lake and the patchwork of Badacsony’s vineyards. Several wineries in the area offer wine tasting, including Laposa at Káptalantóti Bogyai L. utca 1, Szási, at Szentgyörgy-hegy Hegymagas, and Istvándy Winery at Káptalantóti, Rózsadomb 121.