Balvanyosfurdo is the number one bath resort of the county. It is connected to Torja by a 10 km long road. It was built at the junction of the roads toward the Bodoki mountain, the Torja mountain and the Csomad-Budos mountain, at 850 m.height. It is bordered by the spine of the Csomad mountain from the south, which meets at Kis- teto the main spine of the Bodoki mountain.
This is one of the regions where there is the richest post-volcanic action. Many geologists state that the Csomad is not a dead volcano, just a sleeping one. From time to time as we walk here we can smell the sulphurous gases which erupt from the ground here and there demonstrating the volcanic action. These gas eruptions are called stinky pits by the locals. Today’s Balvanyosfurdo was formed from three separate bath resorts: the oldest one is the Torjai Budos, then Csiszar resort from the end of the 19th century and Varpadi resort which is also known as Transylvania bath.
The erupting carbon dioxide and sulphurous hydrogen gave birth to a whole series of mineral water fountains. It is advised as drinking cure to heal stomach and intestine problems. The hot steam bathes are advised for those who suffer from cardiac and circulatory diseases. The formerly known as Best Western medical hotel offers modern curing basis for visitors. From now on the hotel will function under the name Balvanyos and after 2009 the renovated hotel will be ranked with four stars. We can still find here the curing walk paths. Above the hotel, in the side of the Budos mountain at the height of 1052 m we can see the biggest natural steam bath of Europe, the Torjai-Budos cave. About 3899 cubic meter carbon dioxide pours out from the 14 m long cave cavern every day. Its walls are covered with a yellowish layer of sulphure, showing also the level of the mixture of gases. In the side of the Budos mountain there are several little gas eruptions in small stone chambers: Medve cave, Timsos cave, Gyilkos cave. On the posted tourist path a two hour walk takes us to the crater of the once active Csomad-Budos volcano, which is the St Anna lake. This legendary tarn is the only crater lake in Europe. The area of the round lake is 1800 m, and it is surrounded by steep crater walls. An other significant and well-known rarity of this region is the Mohos muskeg. There is only a narrow hillside between the St Anna lake and the muskeg. An other tourist attraction of Balvanyosfurdo is the fortress from early middle Ages called Balvanyos fortress, which, according to the legend used to be a pagan worship place during St Istvan’s reign.
The fortress built in the 11th or 12th century used to belong to the Apor family, they had probably got it as royal gift. It belongs to the type of fortresses which have irregular inner basis. Its past is woven into legends and tales created by the local people, according to which the builders were giants and fairies and there was also a golden bridge which connected the fortress with the Budos mountain. This place inspired Jokai too. He had the feeling that he was walking among fairy tale creatures, he could see mountain peaks crowned with fortresses, this place offered a real romantic background to his novels inspired by Haromszek. The first and, up to now, only ecumenical chapel from Felsoharomszek was built here, at Balvanyosfurdo.
The establishment was built during record short time with the help of the local authorities, the locals and sponsors. The developing village tourism has achieved that this resort is as popular again as it used to be once. The formerly closed cuing bases are being reopened and renovated. The center of the County Village Tourism Institute functions right here. Villas, weekend houses await their guests. The Var complex offers accommodation to more than sixty people and it can host three hundred member parties in its diner. The locals prepare attractive tourist inviting events every year. At the beginning of the year they organize international pig killing festival showing traditions connected to this event. The festival is visited by hundreds of guests every year.
The festival is a competition at the same time, the tasks of the competing teams are very complex: from the killing of the pig up to offering food for guests, and while performing their tasks the guests have the chance to entertain themselves singing or dancing traditional songs and dances. This very original festival of the county ends up with a rich pork based dinner, campfire and fireworks. This picturesque region of rare beauty is worth visiting it and it is no wonder that the locals are so proud of it. Their aim for the future is to achieve that this place will be known by people as a tourist paradise.