The Orfű Lakes is an artificial lake system, which from Pécs are located 10 km northwest at the foot of the Mecsek. (Orfű is a village in Baranya county, Hungary. The settlement is a well-known pleasure resort). The approximately 5 km long lake system consists of four lakes: Lake Orfű, the Pécs Lake, the Herman Ottó Lake and the Lake Kovácsszénája.
The Orfű lake system is fed by the abundant karst water from the Head of Water. The water supply is provided by a 32 km2 karst catchment with an annual discharge of approximately 4.5 million m3 of typically calcium hydrogen carbonate (CaCO3). The design of the lake system was conceived in the early 1960s.
The purpose of the plan was to exploit the potential of the karst spring and at the same time create recreational areas centred around the lake system.
Lake Orfű was first constructed in 1962, which at that time was the smallest in the world with 17 cadastral acres of water, the biggest lake was created in 1966. The lake lies between Orfű and Mecsekrákos. The lake, which is surrounded by dams, has become a well-known hiking resort, a paradise for bathers and anglers.
The lake as a reservoir has a multi-purpose function, in addition to flood protection, recreational areas and the creation of water sports facilities, sport fishing has also played an important role.
The lake's water level is 70 m higher than Lake Balaton, its average depth is 3.3 m.
The depth of the lake shows an interesting picture, as 44% of the water is 3-7 m deep, and the remainder 56% is 0-3 m deep.
Beside the lake, there is a Mill Museum and Exhibition of Flour History, as well as a collection of forest antlers. An open-air showcase features fish as an animal and food.
The nearly 200 years old mill nowadays stands still and recalls the milling technology of the recent past.
In the mill one can see a folk oil mill which was working until 1946. Each of its oak beams are one and a half tons and they give an accurate illustration of the process of pressing oil. One of the most attractive tourist spots of the Mecsek, with a dripstone cave, a series of lakes for swimming, boating and fishing, which are all surrounded by picturesque hills. The road to Orfű-Abaliget branches off from road no. 6 at the north-western part of Pécs.
After arriving at Orfű, it is worth taking a short excursion by following the green mark to the source of the Sárkány (dragon) fountain. This is a nature preservation area. The water springing from the ground used to be accompanied by a loud growling sound.
According to legend, a dragon once lived in the cave, but a rock fell across the cave's entrance and trapped the dragon inside.
The dragon is now struggling to escape and so pushes the water out of the cave. When the dragon gets tired, the spring becomes quiet and runs dry.
This place functions as a recreational area and it is very popular with the residents of the nearby Pécs, but people from all around the country visit too.
What's more, you can meet some foreign tourists especially the Dutch, who like this resort for some reason.
On one hand, you can spend some laid-back days here, fishing, boating, swimming and eating well, on the other hand, you can discover the neighbouring places of interests, including historic towns, natural beauties, cultural and culinary delights.