The most beautiful lakes in Europe

For sailing, swimming, fishing or simply admiring natural landscapes... lakes usually loose against seas in the contest for top vacation destinations. But we will convince you that this is unfair.

LAKE BLED, SLOVENIA

Lake Bled is an icon of Slovenia and one of the most often photographed places in Europe. A striking medieval church sits on a small, rocky island above the lake. But merely admiring Bled is not enough. Its turquoise waters create ideal conditions for leisure activities, and numerous resorts offer rental services for boats and kayaks. Against the background of the snow-capped peaks of the Julian Alps - this is a dream place for a romantic trip.

LAKE GARDA, ITALY

This is the answer to the eternal question of whether to take a vacation near water or in the mountains. Garda - the largest and cleanest lake in Italy, situated at the foot of the Alps, close to Verona - combines features of a summer resort with beaches and water equipment and a base for hikers. There are a dozen or so charming villages around the lake with narrow alleyways and terraces with lovely views.

LAKE LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND

The clear waters of this lake lead to it often being compared to the Caribbean, and the mountains and landscape of the shore bring to mind Norwegian fjords. This body of water situated in the centre of Switzerland can be admired either by spending a day on a boat cruise or at one of the numerous viewpoints on its shore. Around Lake Lucerne there are many walking and climbing trails as well as infrastructure for water sports.

PLITVICE LAKES, CROATIA

You won't be able to fish here or do any water sports, but you'll still say that it's worth seeing how 16 azure lakes are picturesquely connected by waterfalls flowing from the mountains. This lake lies on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina and is carefully protected, as is Plitvice Lakes National Park, which is on the UNESCO list. This region is a popular destination for tourists and is an excellent place for hiking trips.

LOCH NESS, SCOTLAND

Scotland is famous for its lakes, nearly all of which have their own legends. Loch Ness is the most famous of these - everyone has heard of the monster which allegedly lives in its depths. However, even those who don't manage to spot the creature will be delighted by the severe landscape of the lake (the sunset over Loch Ness is particularly captivating) as well as the interesting sites in the surrounding area, such as the ruins of Urquhart Castle.

MORSKIE OKO, POLAND

The Wall Street Journal listed Poland's Morskie Oko, in the Tatra Mountains, as one of the 5 most beautiful lakes in the world. The crowds thin out in the off-season, so it’s better to visit in autumn. The reward for covering the 10 km trail is the view of mountain peaks reflected in the mirror-like water. The lake lies at 1,393 metres above sea level. It takes less than one hour to walk around the entire lake.

LAKE ANNECY, FRANCE

Where do residents of Lyon and Grenoble go for some relaxation when they want to suntan and swim? They go to Lake Annecy, situated in the very heart of the French Alps. This place tempts people with its wide panorama, natural views, clear water and well-developed tourist offer. Yachts, kayaks and water skis, or a bike ride along the numerous trails around the lake, are just a few of the ways to spend time in this area.

Tags: Italy, Slovenia, France, Switzerland, Croatia, Scotland, Poland