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Europe Lakes

Lake Geneva, Lakes of Killarney, Windermere Lake, Loch Ness, Plitvice Lakes, Lake Bled, Lake Orta, Lake Saimaa, Lake Ohrid, Lake Skadar, Lagoa das Sete Cidades, Lake Constance, Lake Garda, Lake Como, Finnish Lakeland and many more.

Lakes in Europe are some of the most beautiful and serene destinations for a perfect getaway. With over 400 million annual visitors, Europe's lakes offer a variety of experiences. The Lake District in England is the most popular national park in the country, with an estimated 16 million visitors. Explore Northern Italian Lakes, including Garda, Iseo, Como, and Maggiore, with Thrillophilia's exclusive Europe packages.

These lakes offer timeless glamour and movie-star looks. You'll find elegant escapes amid romantic villas and palazzi, glorious gardens, and sensational restaurants. Finnish Lakeland is the largest lake district on the continent, with close to 200,000 lakes and countless rivers and canals. Its forested landscape glimmers with patches of water, the focal point for endless summer days when Finns escape to their waterfront cabins. Lake Bled in Slovenia is perhaps the best-known lake, with its fairytale castle and island church. Bohinj in the vast Triglav National Park to the west is one of the most beautiful.

Europe's lakes offer a variety of activities, including hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, and boating. With so many options, there is something for everyone at Europe's beautiful lakes. So pack your bags for a beautiful getaway to these beautiful lakes and enjoy European serenity.

Here are some of the best lakes in Europe:

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01

Lake Geneva, France & Switzerland

Located among the towering Alps, Lake Geneva offers scenic beauty and charming towns along its elegant shores. The lake's pristine waters and the backdrop of the Alps create a perfect setting for a serene retreat or a romantic getaway.

This is one of the best lakes to visit in Europe to enjoy several outdoor activities like sailing or paddleboarding amidst stunning Alpine scenery. In addition, you can visit the lakeside vineyards for wine-tasting tours.

You can also explore the peaceful villages around the lake like the Village of Fontana and Williams Bay to make your trip memorable.

Location:
On the borders of Switzerland and France.

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02

Lakes of Killarney, Ireland

Surrounded by mountains and greenery, the Lakes of Killarney is one of the best lakes to visit in Europe. The connected lakes, Lough Leane, Muckross Lake, and Upper Lake, are filled with serene beauty for a relaxing getaway.

The lake has spectacular views of mountains like Carrauntaahil, Purple Mountain, and Mangerton Mountain. This is one of the best lakes to visit in Europe to explore the lush national parks of the region, go kayaking in its waters, and cycle through scenic trails.

You can also enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Gap of Dunloe and hike to ancient ruins overlooking the lakes.

Location:
Killarney National Park near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland.

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03

Windermere Lake, England

England's largest lake, Windermere, is surrounded by rolling hills and idyllic villages. It offers a serene retreat amidst unspoiled natural beauty and the classic English countryside. The calm waters and charming hamlets make Windermere the best lake to visit in Europe for a peaceful and rejuvenating getaway.

The lake sprawls over 10.5 miles in length and is about 220 feet deep. You can enjoy a plethora of water activities here such as surfing and speed boating.  If you are a history enthusiast and a travel lover, you can also visit iconic sites like Wray Castle and enjoy a leisurely steamboat cruise with stunning mountain views.

Location: 
Southeastern part of the Lake District, Cumbria, Northwest England.

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04

Loch Ness, Scotland

Loch Ness is famous for its mythical monsters, stunning lush green landscapes, and ancient castles. The lake's charisma and the surrounding landscape make it a stunning destination for visitors. An interesting fact about Loch Ness is that it contains more water than the waters of lakes of England and Wales combined.

It is one of the prominent lakes in Europe, and people also come here to seek the truth behind the legend of the Loch Ness monster. Along with it, you can explore the ancient ruins like Urquhart Castle near this attraction, and walk through the surrounding Highlands as well.

Location:
Southwest of Inverness, Scotland.

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05

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Comprising 16 interconnected lakes and waterfalls, this destination has the best lakes in Europe. The Plitvice Lakes are set amidst lush forests, creating a picturesque and serene environment. The crystal-clear waters and abundant wildlife add to the allure of this stunning natural wonder.

Plitvice Lakes are a chain of 16 terraced lakes that are connected by waterfalls, which finally extend into a limestone canyon. This is one of the best lakes in Europe where you can wander through the wooden pathways amidst the waterfalls and turquoise pools to explore the region. You can also go birdwatching at this place.

Location:
Central Croatia.

Timings:
7.00 AM - 4.00 PM Monday - Sunday.

Pricing:
Approx INR 980; varies with month.

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06

Lake Bled, Slovenia

A picture-perfect lake adorned with a fairy-tale castle and an enchanting island church, Lake Bled attracts visitors with its romantic ambience and serene beauty. The emerald-green waters and the Julian Alps backdrop create a truly magical and unforgettable scene.

You can rent a rowboat and enjoy boating to the island church on Lake Bled.  As you sail close to the church, you can hear the sound of the ringing bells that add a spiritual aura to the lake. This is one of the best lakes in Europe to savour delicious Bled Cream Cakes sold in the shops lining the lake.

Location:
The Julian Alps of the Upper Carniolan region, northwestern Slovenia

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07

Lake Orta, Italy

Charming villages encircle this small and beautiful lake and offer stunning views of the Alps. The peaceful ambience and the beauty of the surrounding landscape make Lake Orta one of the best lakes to visit in Europe. Lake Orta is the perfect retreat for those seeking a serene and picturesque setting.

The famous island of San Giulio is located in the middle of Lake Orta and there is a 13th-century basilica and convent on the island. You can take a boat ride to the island and visit the spiritual basilica on your visit to this lake. You can also explore the Sacred Mountain of Orta or simply relax by the tranquil shores of this serene water body.

Location:
West of Lake Maggiore in North Italy.

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08

Lake Saimaa, Finland

As the largest lake in Finland, Lake Saimaa is celebrated for its peaceful nature and the crown of whispering pines that adorn its shores. The idyllic atmosphere, coupled with the vast expanse of the lake, makes it a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts.

The lake has the longest shoreline in the world which extends for about 14,5000 km. This is one of the top lakes in Europe and has been a prominent settlement area for thousands of years. The Astuvansalmi rock paintings found near Lake Saimaa are a popular tourist destination, as they are believed to be  5000 years old. You can explore the lake by kayaking, canoeing, or taking a traditional Finnish row boat ride.

Location:
Northeast of Helsinki in Finland

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09

Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lake Ohrid is renowned as one of the top lakes in Europe. Its crystal-clear waters and historic monasteries allure visitors. The lake's pristine beauty and cultural significance make it an ideal destination for travellers seeking natural and historical marvels.

It is one of the oldest lakes in Europe and looks breathtakingly beautiful azure waters shimmering in daylight. The lake has more than 200 endemic species thriving in it. You can also stroll along cobblestone streets around the beach and marvel at the surrounding Byzantine churches and Ottoman-era buildings. The lake has several dedicated swimming areas for you to enjoy as well.

Location:
Southwestern part of North Macedonia.

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10

Lake Skadar, Montenegro & Albania

Southern Europe's largest body of freshwater, Lake Skadar is known for its diverse wildlife and floral landscape. The lake is surrounded by rugged mountains and is home to over 260 species of birds, including the rare Dalmatian pelican. Visitors can take a boat tour to explore the lake's many islands and hidden coves.

The lake is also known as Lake Scutari, Lake Shkodër and Lake Shkodra. It is surrounded by karst mountains, rocky shores and wetlands. The lake gets its water from the Mora?a River and a series of underwater springs. You can spot more than 260 different species here like the rare Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant and other common water birds such as storks, herons, egrets and ibises.

Location:
Montenegro & Albania

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11

Lagoa das Sete Cidades, Portugal

Located on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, Lagoa das Sete Cidades is a stunning lake surrounded by a former caldera. These two lakes in Europe are known for their two brightly-hued lakes, one blue and one green, and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can hike around the lake or take a boat tour to explore its hidden coves.

Also known as the Lake of the Seven Cities, Lagoa das Sete Cidades consists of two interconnected lakes - Lagoa Azul (Blue Lake) and the Lagoa Verde (Green Lake). According to a folktale, two colours of the lakes were formed from the tears of a princess and a shepherd who were in love.

You can enjoy various water sports like canoeing, kayaking, and swimming at this lake. The region also has paragliding facilities to enjoy panoramic views of the lakes and the surrounding valleys.

Location: Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal.

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12

Lake Constance, Germany, Austria & Switzerland

Located in the heart of Europe, Lake Constance is a large lake surrounded by picturesque towns and stunning Alps views. The lake is known for its crystal-clear waters and is a popular destination for swimming, boating, and fishing. Visitors can explore the lake's many islands and charming lakeside towns.

Also known as the Swabian Sea, Lake Constance has two distinct parts - the Untersee (lower lake) and the larger Obersee (upper lake) that are interconnected. The lake is fed by river Rhine and is one of the best lakes in Europe to visit in summer to enjoy water sports like sailing, windsurfing, and swimming. From here, you can enjoy stunning views of the Swiss Alps, the historical Old Town and the famous Flower Island of Mainau. 

Location:
Borders of Germany, Austria & Switzerland

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13

Lake Garda, Italy

Italy's largest lake, Lake Garda, allures its pristine waters and picturesque lakeside towns and is one of the most visited Lakes in Europe. The lake's crystal-clear waters, framed by rolling vineyards and charming villages, create a charming and idyllic atmosphere.

You can windsurf on clear waters, hike along scenic trails, explore the lakeside towns and visit mediaeval castles like Scaligero Castle around this lake. It also has several waterside dining restaurants to relish fresh authentic Italian seafood like risotto with trinca and pasta with lake sardines. Here, you can even experience the exciting Monte Baldo Cable Car ride to the summit of Mountain Baldo which starts from the lakeside town of Malcesine.

Location: Northeast Italy between  Veneto, Lombardy and Trentino Alto Adige.

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14

Lake Como, Italy

A glamorous lake surrounded by elegant villas and palazzi, Lake Como is known for its stunning Alps views. The lake is one of the best lakes in Europe for boating and swimming, and visitors can explore its charming lakeside towns and historic landmarks.

This is the third largest lake in Italy and it looks like an inverted Y in shape. Located in the foothills of the Alps, the lake provides romantic scenery with clear waters, with towering Alpine ranges in the backdrop.  This is one of the most scenic lakes in Europe where you can enjoy a relaxing cruise ride, sail past opulent villas, dine at waterfront trattorias and visit the botanical gardens of Villa Carlotta located close by.

Location:
  Lombardy, northern Italy.

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15

Finnish Lakeland, Finland

The largest lake district in Europe, Finnish Lakeland is home to 200,000 lakes and countless rivers and canals. Forested landscapes and waterfront cabins surround the area. It is a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, and boating. Visitors can explore the many lakes in Europe and waterways or relax in a traditional Finnish sauna.

This is the largest lake district in Europe where you can find several lakes, rivers, and canals. Traditional wooden cottages, known as mökkis, dot the shoreline of Finnish Lakeland. This place offers a cherishable retreat for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers.  You can try traditional Finnish smoke saunas, or go husky sledding and snowmobiling in winter at this place.

Location: Lakeland, central part of Finland.

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16

Lake Balaton

Lake Balaton is one of the most beautiful Lakes in Europe, this freshwater lake is situated in the central part of Hungary. The clear and shallow waters of the lake along with the engulfing volcanic hills and calm beaches make the lake breathtakingly stunning.

This is also the largest lake in Central Europe and is dotted with several resorts around its shore. In summer, the lake is ideal for sunbathing and swimming. In winter, the lake gets completely frozen and you can enjoy ice skating, ice-fishing, and even sledging here.

Location:
80 km southwest of Budapest, Hungary.

Entry Fee:
Some beaches like Big Beach and Platan Beach at the lake are free. The prices for other beaches at the lake start at about 1.25 EUR and vary.
17

Lake Inari

Located amidst ancient forests and rugged landscapes of the Finnish Lapland, Lake Inari is one of the most enthralling lakes in Europe. The crystal clear waters of the lake shimmer in shades of emerald and turquoise and fascinate every onlooker.

In summer, you can kayak over the calm waters and enjoy fishing for common species like trout, grayling, and whitefish. In winter, you can go snow bowling or ice fishing over the frozen lake as well. This is the third largest lake in Finland and one of the best lakes in Europe to watch the Northern Lights paint the sky in vibrant colours.

Location: Northern part of Lapland, Finland.
18

Lake Lucerne

Located in central Switzerland, this scenic lake is encircled by the towering peaks of the Swiss Alps. The serene blue and green waters of the lake reflect the surrounding mountains and make it one of the most mesmerising lakes in Europe.

Lake Lucerne is the fourth largest lake in Switzerland and you can travel around the lake by train and road to revel in its beauty. You can also enjoy sailing on this enchanting lake on cruises, steamer boats or motor vessels and soak in the scenery around.

Location: Central Switzerland.

Timings: 08.00 AM - 12.00 PM all days.
19

Lake Pyaozero

This is the largest freshwater lake in the Republic of Karelia and is located in the northwestern part of Russia. The lake is a peaceful hidden gem in Russia and is a must-visit for nature lovers and water sports enthusiasts.

You can kayak and canoe through the secluded coves and go angling here. You can also try your hand catching salmon and trout in this lake. The glittering waters of the lake are tinted with hues of azure and jade that reflect the surrounding forests and rugged terrains, enhancing the scenery two-folds.

Location: Northwest Russia.
20

Lake Vozhe

Also known as Lake Charondskoye, Lake Vozhe is located on a flatland with swampy shores in the northern part of Vologda Oblast in Russia. The lake gets its waters from more than 20 rivers and the average depth of the lake is about 6.5 feet.

From October to May, the lake is icebound and you can try ice fishing and cross-country skiing on this frozen lake during this time.  It is surrounded by thick forests where you can spot wildlife like bears, elk, and rare bird species as well.  The Charonda Swamp, which is the largest in the world, is located in the southeast part of the lake. 

Location: Vologda Oblast in Russia.

People Also Ask About Turkey

  1. Which are the most beautiful lakes in Europe?

    Europe has numerous stunning lakes offering diverse activities. The most scenic are Lake Brienz in Switzerland, Lake Annecy in France, Lake Garda in Italy, Lake Bled in Slovenia, and Lake Ohrid in Macedonia. Notable others are Lake Geneva in France & Switzerland, Lakes of Killarney in Ireland, Sognefjord in Norway, Konigsee Lake in Germany, and Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. You can partake in activities like boat tours, water sports, hiking, sightseeing, and enjoying local cuisine and culture.
  2. Which is the purest lake in Europe?

    Lake Annecy is considered to be the purest and one of the best lakes to visit in Europe. It has an exceptional water quality due to various factors. The topmost reasons are its remote location amidst the French Alps, strict environmental regulations, and the absence of major industrial activities around the lake.
  3. What are the top activities to do at lakes in Europe?

    1. Boating: The calm and pristine waters of the European lakes are ideal for boating. Rent a boat or join a guided cruise on lakes like Lake Como in Italy and Lake Lucerne in Switzerland and soak in the natural beauty surrounding them.
    2. Swimming: Enjoy a refreshing dip in the clear waters of lakes like Lake Garda in Italy or Lake Bled in Slovenia. These lakes have cool waters in summer to offer you a rejuvenating experience.
    3. Fishing: You can try your luck catching fish like salmon and trout in the tranquil waters of the lakes in Europe such as Loch Ness in Scotland or Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
    4. Kayaking or Canoeing: Glide along serene lakes like Lake Annecy in France or Lake Bohinj in Slovenia at your own pace and immerse in the peaceful ambience of nature.
    5. Cycling: Pedal along scenic cycling routes encircling lakes, such as Lake Constance in Germany that offer a delightful way to explore the scenery around the attraction.
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