Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe, situated in the middle of the Hungarian Trans-Danube territory in the western part of the country. The 77-km-length and the 14-km-width form a 600 km2 water surface. The Tihany peninsula divides the lake in two parts, and forms an app. 1 km-wide strait close to mid-lake, where also the deepest point of the lake lies (11 metres). The main axis of the lake is SW-NE oriented.
The water depth varies between 0.5 and 5 metres, the south-shore being more shallow and gradually deepening (2 metres depth after a 600-1000 m distance from the shore line). At the hilly Northern shore the depth starts with about 1.5 meter and reaches 5 metres relatively soon. 

The wave pattern is unique: the short and relatively high waves can be very rough and choppy in heavy wind. The average wavelength is 3-4 metres, increasing up to 6 metres in strong winds. The height of the waves averages 1 metre, increasing to 1.5 metres in heavy weather, when the crests fall through. On extremely rare instances with winds over 80 km/hour, the wave crests are blown away by the wind and a dust of -steam is formed just above the water surface, posing a significant risk of drowning for swimmers.