8 Beautiful Lakes To Visit In Europe

8 Beautiful Lakes To Visit In Europe

There are a lot of beautiful lakes in Europe, ranging from rugged, fjord-like Lochs in northern Scotland to scenic waterfall-tumbled lakes in Bosnia-Herzegovina and from mountain-hemmed, ice-cold lakes to endless, flat expanses of water. Ask most Europe-bound travelers, and they’ll tell you that Lake Bled in Slovenia is the most visited lake in the world.

A collection of lakes here that are not well known but are equally beautiful, varied, and worth a detour or longer stay for various reasons has been brought together. Some names will be familiar to you instantly, but others might not be a good idea for a destination.

Here are my personal favorites and not-so-well-known lakes to visit in Europe, and the reasons I recommend them to you.

Lake Zurich in Switzerland
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1. Lake Zurich

Switzerland

Lake Zurich is the only lake you will have heard of. Lake Zurich spans 25 miles into the landscape with a width of roughly 2 miles, past some of the world’s priciest real estate, villages and islands. The best way to see this lake is by boat.

There are regular commuter ferries that will take you to the lovely medieval town of Rapperswil-Jona, with its castle, lovely marina and annual Blues and Jazz Festival. The advantage of going on a themed lake cruise is that it will give you interesting information about the surrounding area and its history.

If you happen to be in the area in the summer, you should take a swim in one of the many public baths along the coastline.

Lac Inférieur in Paris
People boating near the Kiosk of the Emperor on Lac Inférieur in ParisUlyssePixel / Shutterstock.com

2. Lac Inférieur

Paris

The Bois de Boulogne lies outside of the center of Paris and across the busy ring road. This vast forest, park, and slice of nature is located in the 16th arrondissement and offers a wonderful respite from the city with many walking trails.

This is where Parisians take their dogs for a walk at the weekend, and one of the loveliest walks is once around the Lacinferieur. It is the lower of two artificial lakes, the other being Lac Superieur, and is not an inferior lake. The lake is surrounded by mature trees that come into their best in fall when the leaves change color and you can hire rowboats for some splashing around.

One of the best places to eat in the center of the lake is Le Chalet des Isles, which is reached by ferry. The terrace is beautiful during the summer.

Lake Constance (Bodensee) in Germany
Lake Constance (Bodensee) OxfordSquare / Shutterstock.com

3. Lake Constance

Germany

When I was a child, my mother took me on a summer vacation at Lake Constance, also known as the Bodensee. Foreign visitors tend to overlook this lake in favor of better-known examples such as Lake Starnberg or the Chiemsee, even though it is well-known to Germans. Lake Constance is large enough for decent sailing and has so much to offer, such as great swimming and water sports, in my opinion.

Lake Constance is Germany’s largest lake, in fact. The towns of Lindau and the flower island of Mainau are both located in Austria and Switzerland and are not related to the lakes.

The Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria is home to some superb temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.

Mondsee in the Alps of Austria
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4. Mondsee

Austria

One of the prettiest countries in the world is Austria, which has crystal-clear Alpine lakes where each one is prettier than the next. The Mondsee is 17 miles away from the gorgeous city of Salzburg. It was a hot place when I first visited in the summer. The lake’s water shimmered in the light as if it had been poured from a bottle. I will never forget running into the lake and then coming back out again. It was so cold.

The water is as fresh as it is cold because of the streams tumbling down from the mountains. I found out later that the Mondsee is one of the warmest lakes in Austria. I don’t think everything is the same. I went for a swim and it was wonderful. It just took a while to get used to.

Maria and Captain von Trapp were married in the Mondsee Cathedral, which is located in Mondsee Town, known for its ancient abbey.

Lake Como in Italy
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5. Lake Como

Italy

You can’t go wrong with this northern Italian lake if it’s good enough for George Clooney. I agree with Mr. Clooney that if I could afford an Italian villa, I would become his neighbor.

Most of us can only dream of villas with palm-fringed gardens and their own moorings, but there are small villages nestled in the coastline. There are some amazing sights that are there. The Basilica of Sant’Abbondio, dating back to the 5th centuryCE, and the ruins of Forte di Fuentes are both worth a visit.

This is an elegant part of the world that wants to be explored. Book a tour of the lake with these sleek water taxis, wear sunglasses and a hat, and then go ahead and choose your dream villa.

Plitvice Lakes
Photographer in Spain

6. Plitvice Lakes

Croatia

This is a magical place. The largest and oldest national park in Croatia contains lakes and waterfalls. This national park is full of natural beauty, from forests and rock formations to rivers, streams, lakes, and waterfalls, but is also home to wild bears, wolves, and countless other species of flora and fauna, making it a wild gem.

If you want to truly appreciate the beauty of the park, you will need to take a lot of time to walk through the allocated trails and walkways, and you must not forget your camera. The park is beautiful in all seasons, with the foliage of the trees spectacular in fall, as well as the young green in spring, and the watery landscape is refreshing and calming. It is magical in winter. The choices are yours.

The camping and farm stays near the park are very popular, so be sure to check it out. The 16 Lakes Hotel is one of the hotels that has a lot of amenities nearby.

Derwentwater in the Lake District
Derwentwater in the Lake DistrictMichael Conrad / Shutterstock.com

7. The Lake District

England

It is not easy to choose a favorite of the glaciers that make up the Lake District in Cumbria, northwest England. The region is famous for its quaint villages, such as Ambleside, Keswick, Kendal, or Hawkshead, and for being one of England’s best areas.

Lake Windermere is the most popular and crowded of them all, but it is also the one with the most options for lodging. It is a great base to explore further and to see the other lakes.

You can take a steam train adventure to give you a break from hiking. It’s not such a big deal, but it is fun.

Loch Awe
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8. Loch Awe

Scotland

One of the best places in the world to discover is the Scottish Highlands, and it’s one of the 30,000-plus Lochs. Lochs look like lakes and some are close to being completely surrounded by land, but they are in fact arms of the sea, fjords, that stretch inland, and which are increasingly freshwater the further inland they are located.

Scotland is a vast, rugged country with so many natural wonders to see that taking your time is very important. A lot of the lochs have a castle nearby. Loch Awe has a scenic Innes Chonnel Castle from the 13th century that has a stunning reflection in the calm water.

A gateway to the Hebrides Islands can be found northwest of Glasgow in this mostly freshwater loch.