This little hidden gem isn’t a highly cultural spot, or one with a fascinating historical background, yet it shows beauty in its simplicity. Lake Dombay is a small lake in the middle of the Mecsek Mountains, surrounded by green hills and sounds of nature. It is a spot untouched by tourists, businesses, or the “modern world” for that matter. The lake is only known by locals, which results in a really relaxed and friendly atmosphere, even in the buzzing summer season. These are the kind of places that make me happy to live in Hungary, a country where you are still able to find plenty of these uncovered treasures.
When you head towards Pécsvárad, yet another Hungarian castle worth to pay a visit, you can get lucky enough to stumble upon this lake when you follow the only sign of existence from the main road. All there is, is a small bar and an ice-cream shop, which is all you ever need at the waterside anyway. The lake is destined for swimming, however you should be aware in spring and late summer the water might already be quite chilly. Even though it is a natural lake, and you will be swimming amongst (pretty big) fishes, turtles and what not, it is clean and safe to swim in. The families living, some owning a little summer cottage, in the only street around the lake enjoy their peaceful spot away from the busy world.
Meanwhile, autumn has arrived, and Lake Dombay is still an ideal trip, but now for other reasons! With the beautiful forest full of pinecone trees and the view on the lake it is a more than perfect spot to make a campfire and roast some marshmallows above the fire. You will find several campfire spots next to the lake, and plenty of benches to enjoy the most peaceful meal you have had in a long time. Please pay attention to the local rules of building open fires, in case of drought it is inadvisable. The lake is also the perfect start or finish of a hiking route in the area. Or perhaps in combination with a visit to the earlier mentioned Pécsvárad castle?
Lake Dombay is a true underdog and not even many Hungarians know about the place, and this is exactly what makes it worth a visit. Especially in these times of crisis and chaos, I notice people searching for untroubled places in the middle of nowhere. This is a spot that might meet (and exceed) all your expectations, as Lake Dombay really offers an idyllic retreat from the city like no other place. Whether you like to escape the crowd, look for place to find peace of mind or simply desire a trip to nature, this lake is definitely one to add to your list of favorite destinations in Baranya county.