7 incredibly beautiful holidays on Europe’s lakes
With so many beautiful destinations to choose from, it’s best to consider why you’re travelling in the first place. Culture buffs and history buffs will undoubtedly head for one of the continent’s famous cities, while sunbathers and beach lovers will opt for a seaside resort, perhaps one of Tripadvisor’s award-winning beaches.
But what if you’re not the type to get sand between your toes and still want to relax in the sun or take a dip in the water? A lakeside holiday could be an alternative. The quiet, romantic atmosphere and beautiful views of lakeside stays will take the stress out of everyday life. But don’t pick a lake at random. We’ve explored eight magnificent lakes in Europe, each with an extraordinary range of holiday homes on offer.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Slovenia is home to countless of Europe’s treasures and Lake Bled is no exception, although, let’s face it, the secret of its beauty has long been kept under wraps. With a small church with a fairytale atmosphere peeping through the trees on Bled Island, surrounded by the topaz-blue waters of the lake of the same name, this body of water seems magically suspended in time under a blanket of winter snow. With an experienced guide you can also take a day trip to Lake Bled and Bled Castle. Just 35 km from Ljubljana airport, you will enjoy spending a week in one of Lake Bled’s lovely holiday homes.
Lake Ohrid, Republic of North Macedonia (Fyrom)
Imagine sipping your morning coffee on the terrace of this magnificent lakeside villa, or ending the evening with a glass of bubbly. Considered one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, Lake Ohrid has long been understood as a perfect destination for relaxing holidays by the inhabitants of Macedonia and Albania, the two countries it borders. Today, visitors come from the other side of the Balkans and even further afield, but the place has not lost its charm, its beauty and, above all, the peace and tranquillity that can still be felt along the shores of these turquoise waters. Find out more on a full-day private tour of Lake Ohrid and get to know several cultural sites in the vicinity.
Lake Orta, Italy
Considered by many to be the diva of European lake destinations, the Italian lake region offers something for everyone, depending on budget and the desire to spot famous faces. George Clooney, to name but one? Dangerously close to the tourist hotspots of Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore and Lake Como, Lake Orta is still often overlooked, but it certainly offers the same culinary delights and scenic beauty as its more famous brethren. Book a private guide for an excursion on foot and then on a boat to discover the village of the same name, the lake and the island of San Giulio.
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Croatia joined the European Union in 2013 and long-time fans of this beautiful country began to fear that the price of their beer would soar. However, thanks to National Park regulations, the enchanting Plitvice Lakes are carefully protected from the masses of tourists, eager to bathe in their magnificent waters and gaze in wonder at the impressive array of waterfalls – a truly unique sight. Explore the national park in depth with a full-day guided tour that includes a hike, boat ride and picturesque train ride. Book a local holiday home to be close to the hiking trails and water.
Loch Awe, Scotland
Before we get lost in mainland Europe, which is dangerously easy, let’s pop over to the British Isles to see what they have to offer. Loch Awe in Scotland rivals any of the other destinations on this list, with its rolling hills in the background and crystal-clear waters along which centuries-old ruins and castles stand. In fact, you can even stay overnight in one of these castles.
Lake Sainte-Croix, France
Created by man through a dam built in the 1970s, Lake Sainte-Croix makes up for its lack of natural origins with stunningly beautiful views and sparkling blue waters in which to swim, kayak and pedal boat. While other French lakes, such as Annecy, welcome large numbers of tourists all year round, in September, Sainte-Croix will seem like a secret sanctuary.