A beautiful lake, with its glassy, still surface and spectrum of colors, can showcase some of water’s most mesmerizing qualities. Found all around the world, from Bolivia to Siberia and Malawi to Pakistan, some of these spectacular natural and man-made wonders might even make you forget about beaches altogether. (And if their crystalline or wildly colored waters don’t do the trick, then the diversity of wildlife they often attract just might.) While these examples may go by different names (lake, laguna, lago) they’re all equally stunning—and worthy of a visit. From frozen beauties in Russia to man-made wonders in the United States,
Moraine Lake, Canada
The biggest draw at Moraine Lake is the sheer variety of hiking and walking trails, the most popular of them all being The Rockpile Trail.The 300 meters long patch has tourists thronging on it. Witness the most photographed location of Canada from Rockpile’s peak.
Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe is so astounding that a hotel with inclines high above it dubbed itself “Heavenly.” Lake Tahoe is also the largest lake in the country and is bordered by the states of California and Nevada. Seasonal changes have no effect on the lake’s beauty. It’s perfect for snow skiing in the winter and water skiing in the summer. From the right location, travelers can enjoy time in two states on the same day. Mountains, water and plenty of fresh air. Winter sports and summer fun. Mother Nature took it all into consideration when she created this crystal clear body of water.
Lake Bratan, Bali
Most people associate Bali with its beautiful beaches. Its amazingly stunning lakes are often overlooked. In comparison to other lakes, Lake Bratan is relatively small. That doesn’t diminish its natural allure. Making it more appealing is the Puru Ulun and Bratan temple, a shrine that is home to many smaller shrines. The lake temple is in dedication to Dewi Danu, the water goddess that is charged with keeping the water pristine and plentiful. The lake is serene and the presence of the various temples in the background offer a sense of peace that can’t help but exist in the midst of all of this beauty.
Melissani Cave, Kefalonia, Greece
According to Greek legend, Melissani is known to be the Nymph’s cave. It has a striking looking lake in addition to lush trees and a thriving forest.
Nestled smack in the middle of the Eymorfia and Agia Dynati mountains, the place plays host to plenty of tourists.
Plitvice Lakes, Central Croatia
The Plitvice Lakes national park is a favorite destination for those traveling to Croatia. This unbelievable site is made up of forest land, lakes, caverns and waterfalls that cover an area of more than 186-square miles. Mineral deposits have formed natural dams that separate the park’s lakes, yet sixteen of the lakes are integrated by a series of waterfalls. The mixing of mineral also results in the glorious aquamarine hue of the lakes’ water, which changes depending on the mineral amounts present. Of course, a national park of this size offers refuge to a variety of wildlife and natural vegetation.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Encircling the picturesque Bled Island, Lake Bled features several structures, the most prominent of which is a church devoted to the Assumption of Mary.Built in the late 17th century, its Gothic frescos and Baroque detailing is worth witnessing. Makes for a story book perfect scene!
Lake Como, Italy
Lake Como, Italy
Lake Como is located in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. It is the third largest lake in Italy with a surface area of 146 square kilometers. The lake itself is nestled against the iconic foothills of the Alps, at 198 meters elevation, making for a very scenic view. Lake Como is also interesting as it consists of three branches, or arms, which create a Y shape. It is popular as a tourist attraction for its stunning views and the presence of bright colourful villas and upscale resorts which line the shoreline.
Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
Lake Lucerne is located in central Switzerland. What makes this lake so unique, and beautiful, is its shape. The lake has four main arms, as well as several bends and twists, and is situated between towering limestone mountains such as Pilatus and Rigi. The beauty of this lake makes it a popular destination for travel, and many hotels and resorts can be found in the area. Similarly, boat tours of the lake are common, as well as water transportation across the many arms of the lake. For visitors wishing to stay on land, road and railways offer a full route around the entirety of the lake, enabling visitors to take in all angles of the lake’s wonder.
Lake Mansarovar, Tibet
Lake Mansarovar is another high altitude freshwater lake, this time located in Tibet. The lake is roughly circular, with an area of 88 kilometers, at a height of 4,590 meters above sea level. The deep blue lake is very wide and flat, sitting among grasslands. Beyond the lake lies the snow peakexd Mount Naimona’nyi, which provides a distinct backdrop to the lake. The combination of open fields, and towering mountains makes Lake Mansarovar a site to be seen. The lake is held sacred by Hindus and Buddhists and hence, is also a place of pilgrimage for followers of both these religions.
Lake Tahoe, United States
This lake is located in the Sierra Nevada Valley, and borders both Nevada and California. It is a popular tourist destination year round, as it features both beautiful beaches and ski chalets. The lake is rimmed by rocky terrain and tall forest trees for a picturesque view any nature enthusiast will love.
Lake Baikal, Russia
Last on the list is Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world. The lake is also massive in area, covering 31,722 square kilometers of the mountainous Russian area of Siberia. Not only is this lake impressive for its size, volume and depth – being the largest in all three categories – but it also makes an impressive sight. In the cold winter months the lake freezes, forming a beautiful ice layer around the rocky outcroppings. The ice is usually very clear, with trapped circular bubbles in the ice layers, or frozen cracks deep below. Both of these provide wondrous examples of the beauty of nature.
Lake Hopatcong, Jefferson Township
Lake Hopatcong is the stuff of summer dreams. The largest freshwater lake in the Garden State, this glistening beauty beckons swimmers, anglers, and water skiers to frolic for hours. A mere 40 miles from the main attractions of New York City, in the heart of Hopatcong State Park, the lake is surrounded by 45 miles of well-appointed shoreline that’s made the most of its popularity.
From sprawling public beaches to tasty restaurants and marinas for miles, this vacation hot spot is a wonderful place to unwind. Traveling with kids? They’ll love the playgrounds, volleyball, and basketball courts on offer. Plus, there’s a mini-putt course. What’s not to like?