My mates and I are planning on doing Tomorrowland and Sziget Festival, and we have a week in between the two. We were thinking of visiting Cinque Terre, but heard it can be busy with tourists. Could you recommend anywhere else? Wayne Darra, via email
This would be an ambitious plan, Wayne. Tomorrowland in Boom, Belgium, is over 800 miles from Sziget’s home in Budapest, Hungary.
Trying to also visit the popular coastal spot of Cinque Terre in northern Italy doubles the journey’s distance.
Given that festivals are pretty exhausting, trying to manage this travelling, partying and sightseeing could leave you tapped out and you may end up not enjoying any of it.
The most direct route from Belgium to Hungary goes straight through central Europe, passing no coastline.
However, Hungary’s Lake Balaton is Europe’s largest freshwater lake (it is known as the Hungarian Sea it’s so big) and might work as an alternative.
Siófok on the southern edge of the lake is a popular party spot.
Nagystrand is the main beach and there are often free concerts in the summer.
There is also a spa here (galerius-furdo.hu).
For a more relaxing time, the north shore is dotted with vineyards and pretty historical towns, such as Badacsony.
You can get a train direct from the lake to Budapest – easy! If you yearn for proper ocean spray and a lake won’t cut it, Croatia’s northern region of Istria is a good alternative.
Easy to reach by train from Budapest (via Zagreb), Pula is the jumping off point for this varied stretch of coastline.
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