Who says that vacations need to always be exciting and jam-packed with touristy activities? Sometimes, all we need is a relaxing day to unwind, enjoy nature’s wonders and maybe even meditate. During times like these, nothing beats sitting beside an expanse of calm water with nothing but peace and tranquility. While there is a myriad of lakes around the world that you can visit, the best are in Europe where you can spend a few days relishing in their beauty and quietness and other days exploring everything else in Europe. So, if you are ready for a break from your hectic life and would love nothing more than to enjoy a cup of tea (or cocktail) beside a lake, here are 18 places in Europe that you have to visit!
1. Lake Como
Besides being the perfect place for you to take Insta-worthy photos, this lake stretches out for 29 miles through Lombardy and Bellagio. Luxuriating beside this lake at any of the hotels on this stretch will give you the chance to truly escape reality and relish in the sounds of waves!
2. Lake Garda
If you prefer to enjoy scenic views while exploring Italy, Lake Garda is the perfect destination for you! This place offers cycling holidays where you can embark on a leisurely bike ride that lasts 171-miles and will take you through mountains at Bolzano all the way to the lake itself. Lake Garda is the biggest of the glacier-cut grooves in northern Italy and is 32 miles long; a rewarding sight to enjoy after a bike ride.
3. Lake Orta
A hidden paradise to the west of Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta is eight miles long; making it smaller than the other lakes but undoubtedly more private and peaceful. It is gorgeous and even ideal for family vacations with children.
4. Lake Maggiore
A lake shared by Switzerland and Italy, Lake Maggiore boasts of a mystical, captivating beauty that inspires love stories. You can revel in views of the river through the many hotels littered all around it or drop by for a leisurely stroll that will be both tranquil and serene.
5. Lake Geneva
Visiting this lake from either Switzerland or France, you will be spoilt for views as this beauteous lake is vast and undeniably beautiful. Locals frequent the area a lot during the summer months to play water sports like sailing and water rafting. Definitely rent a bicycle if you would like to explore the lake further!
6. Lake Lucerne
Lying at the heart of Zurich, Lake Lucerne is surrounded by enormous mountains that make it all the more alluring. Besides seeing the lake, consider driving up the mountains if you want to enjoy more of Switzerland’s marvelous natural creations!
7. Lake Constance
This boundless lake belongs to not two, but three countries; namely, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. It descends from the rivers Rhine and Rhone, which have in their own rights inspired many legends and stories. Regardless of which of these shores you decide to visit this lake from, its quintessential waters will provide the perfect escape!
8. Lake Bled
Situated around Slovenia, you can get the best of both worlds immersing in Slovenia’s rich cultural history and scrumptious delights while unwinding to a view of the lake. What’s more, Slovenia is known for the 17th-century Church of the Assumption — a place you have to visit if you ever come to Lake Bled!
9. The Masurian Lakes
While many frozen lakes during winter may not be a rewarding sight to see, the Masurian Lakes are an exception. In Poland, they are most charming and beguiling in the winter, with wild animals like elks and bisons wandering around; making it a must-go if you love both nature and animals.
Pretzel Pool Float
10. Lake Saimaa
Finland boasts of having 187,888 lakes around the country, with the largest being Lake Saimaa. It is 1700 sq miles in surface area and is the best place to go ice skating at when the lake freezes over in Winter.
11. Lake Nasijarvi
Bask in the beauty of the third-biggest city in Finland, Tampere while enjoying gorgeous views of Lake Nasijarvi. The lake exudes into the urban areas of the city, making for a sensational stroll when you visit!
12. Lake Animmen
Spend a few days in calm and reposed Scandinavia when you stay in a cabin at the heart of Lake Animmen. While this lake is relatively small compared to others; running a total of 2,190 sq miles, it provides tourists with the ultimate escape as you will be surrounded by nothing but deep blue majestic waters.
13. Lake Skadar
Satisfy your appetite for adventure by kayaking at Lake Skadar National Park. Not only will you be able to relish in the enchanting sight of the lake, but you will also be able to see lilies and maybe spot a sporadic Dalmatian pelican or two!
14. Lake Vrana
Located 20 miles south-east of Zadar, Lake Vrana is the largest lake in Croatia. The lake is easily accessible through Lake Vrana Nature Park where a leisure walk or hike will lead you straight to the center of the lake itself!
15. Lake Ohrid
Europe is always full of surprises when it comes to what their small cities can offer to travelers. Lake Ohrid is situated in a small city with ancient architecture and traditional cultures that will give you an awe-inspiring holiday whenever you decide to stay in one of their waterfront hotels.
16. Lough Neagh
Appreciate picturesque sunsets at the largest lake in the UK. It is rarely known to travelers and is at the tip of five out of six Northern Ireland countries. An oasis away from the city, staying close to the shore of this lake will be breathtaking and incredibly fulfilling!
17. Loch Ness
Discover the mystery behind the mythical creature that this lake is named after in Scotland. There are cruise trips available for tourists interested in seeing the entire lake, which stretches for a total of 120 miles; who knows, you might even spot the monster itself!
Be rewarded with a gratifying view of Windermere when you trek across the lake district which is simple to navigate. It is England’s largest lake and has inspired writers from Wordsworth, proving just how captivating and alluring the lake is!
Regardless of which part of Europe you decide to fly to next, there will be a spectacular lake just waiting for you to discover. Include a trip to any of these dazzling lakes in your itinerary and you will have the perfect combination of adventure and much-needed relaxation on your next holiday!