The calm waters of these lakes are surrounded by picturesque, beautiful landscapes. They’re great places for hiking, swimming, or just enjoying the scenery. Thousands of tourists visit these beautiful spots every year. Here are some of the most beautiful lakes in the world.
10. Lake Malawi
Lake Malawi is at the border between Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. It has thousands of fish, more than any other lake, and it’s Africa’s third largest lake. Hundreds of small villages surround the lake and support themselves by fishing. The southern part of the lake, along with the wildlife-rich Cape Maclear, was the world’s first freshwater national park. Lake Malawi National Park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The clear water is perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving. The mbuna is a native fish that will eat right from peoples’ hands.
9. Crater Lake, Oregon
Crater Lake is at the top of a 12,000 foot volcano in the Cascade Mountains. The last time the volcano erupted, a caldera was left behind. It eventually filled with water and formed the lake. At 1,943 feet, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. Beautiful evergreen forests and high cliffs surround it. It’s a great place for hiking and cross country skiing, definitely one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.
8. Taal Lake, Philippines
Taal Lake near Manila is the deepest lake in the Philippines, 564 feet deep. One of the smallest and most active volcanoes in the world, the Taal Volcano, is on Luzon island near the center of the lake. The lake was formed when a large volcanic crater collapsed. It has been declared dangerous because of the volcano, but you can still see it with a tour group or drive along the nearby Tagaytay-Taal ridge.
7. Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Lake Atitlan is at the foot of three more volcanoes. Its shores are lined with small Mayan villiages. The area is surrounded by steep hills, oak trees, and pine trees. Nearly 800 different plant species live there. Try taking a ride on a lancha, one of the many small boats that ferry visitors from village to village.
6. Loch Lomond, Scotland
Loch Lomond feels like the setting of a Victorian romance novel, with its windswept, rolling hills and medieval castles. It’s one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The lake is covered with islands. Some are so small that they disappear when water levels are high, and others are large enough to be sparsely populated. The biggest island, Inchmurrin, has the ruins of a 7th century monastery and the 14th century Lennox Castle. It was often used as a hunting lodge for kings.
5. Lake Garda, Italy
The southern shore of Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, is also one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. It has idyllic hot springs and resort towns with peaceful villas. It’s one of the most popular vacation spots for Italians. The jagged peaks of the Dolomites to the north attract hikers, climbers, and bicyclists. The nearest town, Malcesine, has cobblestoned streets and a medieval castle. You can take a cable car to Mount Baldo for one of the best views of the lake.
4. Lake Annecy, France
This alpine lake in the French Alps is one of the most popular French vacation spots. People often take extended holidays in August. Sailors, swimmers, and water skiers fill the water. Hikers enjoy nearby trails while many people spend time at the many lakeside restaurants and bars. On the first Saturday of August, visitors can watch a spectacular fireworks display over the water.
3. Lake Matheson, New Zealand
Lake Matheson is also called Mirror Lake for its amazing reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. The water is dark brown because of organic matter from the surrounding forest. This creates an ideal reflective surface. Lake Matheson formed about 14,000 years ago, when the Fox Glacier retreated and left a depression which filled with water. Today, the lake is a traditional place to gather food for the Maori people. Rimu and kahikatea trees, remnants of New Zealand’s ancient forests, surround the lake.
2. Lake Bled, Slovenia
The Julian Alps and the Karavanke mountain range surround Lake Bled, creating a beautiful view. You’ll see mountains in every direction from Bled Castle at the top of a 460 foot cliff. The 17th century Church of the Assumption is on Bled Island in the middle of the lake. The mountains shield the lake from wind, so it’s warm for most of the year. There are also natural thermal springs near the north side of the lake.
1. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
The 16 blue-green Plitvice Lakes are connected by hundreds of waterfalls with amazingly clear water. Many people believe these are the most beautiful lakes in the world. Thick trees surround the lakes and waterfalls. You can walk on sturdy wooden planks to see the view from the edge of many of the falls. You can also hike on the planks from a lower lake to a higher lake. The area is surrounded by Plitvice Lakes National Park. Many species of wildlife live there, including wildcats, bears, and boars. The tallest waterfall Veliki Slap, is about 230 feet high.
These lakes are perfect places to enjoy a relaxing vacation. You can take a nap by the beach or go sailing, swimming, fishing, skiing, climbing, or hiking. Many of these lakes have luxurious hotels and restaurants nearby. They’re popular places to relax for locals as well as tourists. There are many other beautiful lakes in the world. Many are protected by national parks. No matter where you live, you can find a lake near you to enjoy the world’s natural beauty.