These are 10 of the most beautiful lakes in Europe

  • Lake Hallstatt | Austria

    In a country full of beautiful lakes, Hallstatt stands out from the crowd. The charming town of the same name on the banks of the lake is thought to be the oldest continually inhabited settlement in Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Touring the lake by boat gives you the best views of the town with the mountains rising up behind it.

    Photo courtesy of Jiuguang Wang / flickr

  • Plitvice Lakes | Croatia

    The lakes and waterfalls within Plitvice Lakes National Park represent Croatia's most stunning natural wonder, as well as one of the most beautiful natural lakes on earth. The park is home to 16 teal bodies of water, each connected by a series of waterfalls and forests. This is Mother Nature at her best.

    Photo courtesy of 29cm

  • Loch Lomond | Scotland

    Immortalized in song, Scotland's Loch Lomond is the largest freshwater lake in Great Britain by surface area. Hiking, cycling, golfing, boating, wildlife viewing and windsurfing are some of the activities on offer here, all within a 30-minute drive of Glasgow.

    Photo courtesy of iStock / Graham Williamson

  • Lake Como | Italy

    Lake Como is the most spectacular of Italy's Alpine lakes with its blue waters surrounded by palatial estates, manicured gardens, forests and snow-capped mountains in the background. Located just an hour from Milan, Lake Como has inspired a wealth of travelers, including Lord Byron and George Clooney.

    Photo courtesy of iStock / lcepparo

  • Lake Bled | Slovenia

    The snowy Alpine peaks of Slovenia reflect off the blue waters of Lake Bled, framing a picture-perfect church set on one of the lake's islands. Hike to Bled Castle for spectacular views of the lake below before relaxing in a thermal pool at one of the luxurious resorts dotting the lake's banks.

    Photo courtesy of Mirci

  • Lake Annecy | France

    Annecy, known by some as the "Alpine Venice," sits on the banks of Lake Annecy, surrounded by meandering bike paths and alpine peaks. As one of the cleanest lakes in Europe – thanks to strict environmental regulation – Lake Annecy is a popular resort spot for swimming and water sports in the warm summer months.

    Photo courtesy of Raphaelhui / Wikimedia Commons

  • Lake Geneva | Switzerland and France

    Lake Geneva, one of the largest lakes in Western Europe, sits on the border of France and Switzerland, with the city of Geneva serving as the most popular jumping-off point to explore the rest of the lake. Stretching for 45 miles, the lake has something for everyone, from culinary and cultural experiences in the towns along the banks to nearly every water sport you could imagine.

    Photo courtesy of iStock / MichalLudwiczak

  • England's Lake District | U.K.

    It's hard to say which of England's Lake District lakes is the most beautiful, as they're each amazingly scenic. Lake District National Park, located within Cumbria, is the largest national park in England and one of Britain's finest regions when it comes to scenery.

    Photo courtesy of iStock / Michael_Conrad

  • Lake Thun and Lake Brienz | Switzerland

    The town of Interlaken is nestled between two lakes in the Swiss Alps, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Ringed by rugged peaks, Interlaken has become the adventure travel capital of Switzerland – a place where you can hike, go paragliding, bungee jump, raft or go rock-climbing, all while enjoying views of the glassy lake waters.

    Photo courtesy of iStock / htomas

  • Lake Königssee | Germany

    Bavarian Lake Königssee serves as a popular day trip destination from Salzburg. The deepest lake in Germany is bordered by dramatic cliffs and tiny Bavarian towns, like Schönau am Königssee, home of the much-photographed monastery of St. Bartholomä.

    Photo courtesy of gravitat-OFF