Lake Balaton is a popular holiday region because of its sandy beaches (strands) and shallow waters. The surrounding countryside consists mainly of fertile plains dotted with old villages. Siófok, on the south shore of the lake, has some of the sandiest beaches and best facilities for tourists. Keszthely is a pleasant old town – the Balaton’s best – including the Festetics Palace with its Helicon Library, and the Balaton Museum. Hévíz, Europe’s largest thermal lake, is a short bus ride away. Balatonfüred is a well-known health resort with 11 medicinal springs. Tihany’s Benedictine Abbey was founded in 1055; Belső-tó Lake and the Aranyhegy-geyser cones are nearby. Veszprém, 10km (6 miles) north of Lake Balaton, is a pretty town with cobbled streets, built on five hills. It is the home of the Var Museum, an Episcopal Palace and the 13th-century Gizella Chapel. Siófok, where the Summer School will take place, is one of Hungary’s most popular holiday destinations, famous for its beaches and nightlife. Hungarians often call the town “the capital of Balaton”, as it is the largest city on its shores and acts as the commercial and touristic hub of the region. It must-see sights are the Water Tower and the meteorological observatory. The old-fashioned villas, the parks and the port give the town a special atmosphere.