This summer, we visit Hungary’s dog-friendly beaches to test if they comply with suitable for guide dog owners, too, whose basic needs are the same as the sighted owners’, so our comments could be of interest to everyone planning a holiday at the beach.
After Fonyód and Balatonboglár, the next beach to be tested was at Lake Velence.
Those arriving with a dog got an about 60-meter long coastline in Camp Drótszamár in Velence. Because of the huge interest it would be worth expanding it, because during weekends at peak hours some 70-80 dogs are crammed together with their owners on the small beach. The bed section of the beach where dogs are allowed to swim the water rapidly deepens; those who cannot swim do not venture farther than 10-15 meters into the lake. On the shore a huge wallow developed around the only staircase due to the crowd of people and dogs.
The usual problems of the domestic dog-friendly beaches can also be founded here: besides the two mobile toilets there are no washrooms and water supply possibilities and you cannot shift your clothes in a convenient way. The situation is better than at the dog-friendly beach in Fonyód in a way that there is a washroom at the main entrance of the camp, which is accessible within a short walk. We had success in finding a bench and a shaded area before 10 a.m., but later it is much difficult, because the beach is small and the visitors are many. Shielding must be solved individually. It did not look nice that in the afternoon the rubbish accumulated around the dust-bin.
Dogs are not expected to be tempted and go too far, because the beach is surrounded by a wire fence.
The beach has a nice location; you can swim far in the water as we did. Barbara Bartus and Milán Tóth has swum with their dogs for the first time and felt completely safe. The only thing that caused a minor problem for Barbi is that her guide dog, Demi, always wanted to lead her out of the water for fear of her getting hurt. Of course, it could not have happened, because Barbi is a great swimmer: she cheerfully told us her childhood swimming memories hundreds of meters away from the shore.
The entrance fee for an owner and a dog is HUF 1,00, there is additional fee for cars, if it is uncomfortable for you to park outside (which is free). The beach is located two and a half kilometers away from the train station.
Comfortable and friendly, and it is only 45 kilometers from Budapest, so we recommend everyone the dog-friendly beach at Lake Velence, but you should prepare for a crowd and other inconveniences. We recommend guide dog owners to visit the camp with a sighted attendant for the first time, explore it together in order to roam it confidently by themselves within an hour, as we did.