Translucent waters lapping at your feet, soft beaches, mellow chatter emanating from bars along the shoreline and the fragrant smell of pines, lemons and olive groves. You could be at almost any Mediterranean beach.
Take away the persistent breeze, salty water and sea currents, and replace them with a stunning mountain backdrop, a handful of charming villages, spectacular wildlife encounters, breathtaking walks and the finest local vineyards – and you have a lakeside holiday to rival anything you’ll find on the coast.
Lake Tahoe – North America
The largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe is located on the border of California and Nevada. With a vast perimeter, more than 75% of which is forest, Lake Tahoe offers plenty of opportunities to get away from it all. The eastern North Shore enclave features some of the most relaxing beaches and a more genteel approach to lake life, with Incline Village being favoured for luxury retreats.
Truckee airport, Tahoe – 25 minutes from Incline Village
Summer highlights include the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor (11 July – 24 August) and the prestigious Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance wooden boat regatta (8 – 9 August).
Lake Garda – Italy
In northern Italy, equidistant from the cultural delights of Milan, Venice, Verona and Brescia, lies the much-loved Lake Garda, Italy’s largest and most popular lake. The lake attracts a cosmopolitan crowd, drawn by the choice of serene lakeside vistas, charming villages, fragrant olive groves, exquisite vineyards, spas, boutiques, bars and fine Mediterranean dining experiences. A perennial favourite.
Brescia Airport, Brescia – 60 minutes from Gargnano
Summer highlights include Night of Enchantment (fireworks and festivities) at Desenzano (Mid-August) and Centomiglia del Garda sailing regatta at Gardnano (6 – 7 September).
Lake Bled, Slovenia
A stunning glacial lake with its own fairy-tale island, Lake Bled is nestled in the Julian Alps in north-western Slovenia. Chamois, ibex and brown bears rub shoulders with walkers in the stunning wilderness around this lake. The town of Bled was a 19th century health resort and remains popular today with those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation in picture-perfect surroundings.
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, Ljubljana – 30 minutes from Lake Bled
Summer highlights include several musical concerts, outdoor film screenings, and events at Bled Castle, perched high above the lake.
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
The breathtaking World Heritage Site of Plitvice Lakes lies between Zagreb and Zadar in Croatia. Forested hills enclose spectacular turquoise lakes, which are linked by a series of waterfalls and cascades. Wooden footbridges and pathways meander under, around and across the water, providing a truly refreshing and invigorating walk, for mind, body and soul.
Zadar Aiport, Zemunik Donji – 2 hours from Plitvice Lakes
Summer highlights vary from the energetic flow of the water in late spring, to the lush vegetation in early summer, which slowly gives way to brightly coloured foliage in autumn – a feast for the senses at any time.
Lake Pielinen, Finland
Pielinen’s dark waters, surrounded by coniferous forests, are typical of Finland’s beautiful lakeland vistas. This vast and remote lake, dotted with picturesque islands, offers a rare chance to completely retreat into the wilderness or to indulge in an array of outdoor pursuits. The view from Koli, on the popular western shore of the lake, is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Finland.
Joensuu Airport, Joensuu – 1 hour from Koli
Summer highlights include the chance to get close to wildlife you might not otherwise experience in Europe – with bears and wolves also commonly seen at Lake Lentiira, just three hours drive north.
If our selection of lake escapes has inspired you, please get in touch with Victor on +44 (0) 207 384 8550 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you to reach your dream lakeside destination this summer.
Lake Bled by Mark Gregory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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