Zala is a administrative union in South-Western Hungary. Its area is about one third bigger than that of Luxembourg, and with a population of just about 300 thousand one can say that its density of people is not too high. Zala borders on Croatia and Slovenia, but what's a lot more important for it is the fact that its distance to the country of Austria is not big, either. Since the fall of communism in 1989 and especially Hungary's accession to the European Union, this proximity has had a highly positive effect on its economy, most notably on its real estate sector. Austrians like the fact that Zala has a landscape - but also a cultural heritage - that resembles its own very strongly. Hence, they highly invested in the region's infrastructure - and, as well, they built a lot of country houses.
The impact of this on Zala's real estate sector has been very favourable. It is now in the healthy position of having a market that is performing well, yet still expanding. For buyers it is very attractive, especially due to the fact that in reality it does not at all lag behind Austrian standards any more, but still everything in Zala is a a lot more affordable. Therefor this region is seen as a place for sound investment. Of course, during communism it got very much neglected as a destination for foreign tourists. Hence it had a lot of catching-up to do after Hungary's transition into a market economy. This process is by no means finished.
Although it boasts healthy living conditions. Zala is mostly rural, and its for the biggest part mountainous terrain is very inviting for tourists of many sorts.
Hévíz. or example, is a spa town with a remarkable hot spring, only five kilometers away from Lake Balaton, Central Europe's biggest lake. Keszthely (population about 20 thousand) is Zala's most important tourist town. It too is located on the shore of the Balaton and it has an appealing old town. Zala's capital and major urban center is Zalaegerszeg, having about 60 thousand inhabitants. It has quite a fine collection of historic monuments, among them a famous Baroque church. For everyone who is interested in the region's history, Zalaergerszeg's open air museum is highly recommended. The region offers clean air, hospitable people, and a cuisine which, by Central European standards, is unusually spicy. Culturally, Zala is an interesting mixture of Hungarian, Germanic, and Slavic.