21 December 2017
Stunning landscapes and tranquil shorelines make for the awe-inspiring scenery of so many of the world’s lakes. Whether you’re looking to relax in peace and quiet, or dive straight into some watersports, lakes make a fantastic alternative to the traditional beach holiday. Here are some of the globe’s most beautiful lakes for a waters-edge getaway with a difference.
A playground for the rich and famous, Lake Como is home to dramatic views and idyllic public gardens with plenty of play areas and green spaces for your kids. The surrounding area is dotted with picturesque villas painted in vibrant hues of orange, red and yellow, lending to the area’s status as one of the prettiest lake resorts in the world. Lake Como plays host to LacMus Music Festival in the summer, where revellers can enjoy classical pianists, orchestras and enchanting opera performances during an unforgettable extravaganza. Visit beautiful Bellagio, known as The Pearl of Lake Como, to experience the rolling mountains and serene skies that frame the water, and see why so many celebrities have fallen in love with this place.
Steeped in indigenous Native American history, Lake Tahoe straddles the border of Nevada and California and has starred in many Hollywood blockbusters due to its breathtaking aesthetics. Snow-capped mountains and cobalt water make for incredible scenery, but this stunning lake resort is so much more than a pretty face. Ski slopes, casinos, kayaking – Lake Tahoe has it all. Hike up to Inspiration Point for panoramic views of Emerald Bay, or take a speedboat out and dive into the refreshing drink. You can even take the kids on a thrilling gondola ride up to the aptly-named Heavenly Mountain for unrivalled views of jaw-dropping Tahoe.
Travellers have flocked en masse to Croatia over the past few years, and besides the ancient city of Dubrokvnik and the popular Pag Islands, this Mediterranean melting pot is home to the spectacular mineral-rich Plitvice Lakes. These lagoons are connected by a network of cascading waterfalls and visitors can explore this aqua paradise by boat, foot or bus. Conveniently situated within Plitvice National Park, the area is full of scenic hacks, so take the kids to see the sights by horseback on one of the many routes.
This picture-postcard location is a hotspot for honeymooners. Romantic rolling mountains frame the spectacular Gothic architecture and the emerald green Lake Bled, creating a scene that looks like something straight from a fairytale. Take a trip to Bled Island, situated in the middle of the lake, aboard a traditional wooden Plenta boat, and take the kids to visit the fascinating castle with history dating back to 1004 A.D. From here you can enjoy the finest views of the entire region, plus you can purchase a bottle of wine and seal it yourself using the traditional method of wax, giving you a beautiful reminder of your visit.
A list of beautiful lakes wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the Lake District. As England’s largest National Park, The Lakes region is bursting with activities, events and attractions all year round. Visit Faeryland Tea and Coffee Garden in pretty Grasmere and hire a pastel-coloured rowing boat to take to the glassy waters on a private trip, followed by afternoon tea inside a charming traditional gypsy caravan. Take the kids to learn about the celebrated poet William Wordsworth, where they can visit his former home, Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum to discover the greatest collection of the esteemed poet’s handwritten work.