This post is all about the most beautiful lakes of Europe you should explore at least once in your life.
Great to have you here! Planning a trip to Europe and are curious to find out which are the most spectacular lakes worth visiting?
Then look no further! 🙂
I’ve collected for you here some of the most famous and gorgeous lakes around Europe that will simply take your breath away. (don’t worry, it won’t be Lake Bled again, as I’m sure you’ve already seen it 😉 ).
I’ve also included a few lesser-known lakes, yet equally impressive which you should definitely explore during your travels around Europe.
12 Best Lakes To Visit In Europe
1. Como Lake, Italy
I am sure Como Lake needs no introduction and if you are planning a trip to Italy, you should definitely add it to your list.
It has been a travel bucket list item for me for many years and in 2021 I finally crossed it off. It is a truly spectacular place to visit, with many gorgeous, colorful villages along its shores. If you are interested in luxury villas, scenic boat rides, and incredibly good food, then Lake Como is for you.
And if you’re looking for the best things to do in the Lake Como region, I’ve got you covered, too. 😉
2. Gossausee, Austria – one of the most spectacular lakes in Europe
This is one of the most spectacular lakes I’ve ever visited so far and completely unexpected. This gorgeous lake in Austria is probably lesser-known among the lakes in Europe, but it truly deserves a visit.
You can find it close to Gossau, located around one hour drive from Salzburg. I highly suggest finding accommodation in the area, as Gossau village is simply gorgeous and has a spectacular view of the mountains.
3. Königssee, Germany – one of the most famous lakes in Europe
Königssee probably needs no introduction. One of the most impressive lakes in Germany is a must-see if you are traveling in the Bavaria region.
Have a walk along its shore and then take the boat to the other side of the lake. You will find another smaller lake there, with a stunning green color hidden away by the mountain cliffs.
You can also stop halfway to visit St. Bartholomew’s Church and have a dip in the crystal clear waters, which I would highly recommend.
As Königssee is a super popular tourist destination, especially in summer and during the weekends, make sure to arrive early (8 AM or even earlier) to grab your boat tickets and enjoy the views with fewer crowds.
4. Zürich Lake, Switzerland
5th largest lake in Switzerland, Lake Zürich is a great spot for relaxation during your visit to the city, but also a great place to swim and enjoy the sun on a hot summer day.
You can also take a boat ride to the other side and admire the beautiful villas on each side.
5. Attersee, Austria
Another amazing lake to discover in Europe is Attersee, the largest lake in Austria’s Salzkammergut region. it is a great destination for a relaxing, quiet lake holiday either for larger families or couples. There are many camping possibilities along its shores and lots of great things to do in the area.
Best places to visit in the region are Unterach am Attersee and Steinback am Attersee.
6. Geneva Lake, Switzerland
A beautiful lake in the Southern part of Switzerland and definitely one not to miss is Geneva Lake.
You will love driving along its shore, bordered by the Alps, and admiring beautiful cities along the way, such as Lausanne and Montreux.
I highly recommend spending a few days here to visit the area, it is very impressive.
7. Balea Lake, Romania – Europe’s hidden gem
If you’re a nature lover, then Balea Lake should definitely be on your travel list as it has SO much to offer.
Right at the top of the Fagaras mountains (the highest section of the Carpathians), at 2.034m high, you will find Balea Lake, a glacier lake with stunning views and ice-cold water. You can reach it by car during the summer season (a 1,5h drive from Sibiu on the famous Transfagarasan road) or via cable car during wintertime.
8. Hallstättersee, Austria
Another one of Europe’s lakes that needs no introduction is Hallstättersee, bordering the beautiful town of Hallstatt, Austria.
Located in the same Salzkammergut region of Austria, relatively close to Attersee, this lake is not to be missed during your visit to the area.
Hallstatt is also an extremely popular tourist destination (I am sure it’s all over your IG feed) so make sure to visit outside of peak season, as it can get extremely busy during summer. It is impossible to find a parking place in the area, believe me! 🙂
9. Wolfgangsee, Austria
I’d like to say that this is one of my favorite lakes in Austria (and in Europe) but it’s really hard to pick a favorite as all lakes in the Salzkammergut region are simply spectacular!
We visited the lake and the cute St. Wolfgang village during our trip last year and this is definitely the place where we aim to come back. I already have my eyes on this beautiful hotel Im Weissen Rossl am Wolfgangsee. They have an amazing spa and pool at the lake which I am really looking forward to trying.
10. Wallensee, Switzerland
This is truly a spectacular place to visit in Switzerland. Back when I was living there, I always made sure to take all my friends & family to visit this beautiful lake.
Wallensee is one of the largest lakes in the country, bordered by high mountains and it’s located about an hour away drive from Zürich. I absolutely love the view and the crystal waters. You can even swim in the lake in summer, but be prepared, it’s pretty cold.
11. Mazury Lakes, Poland
Mazury lakes (or the Mazuria region) is one of the best places in Poland to spend a lake summer holiday out in nature.
The region is known for its 2.000 lakes and it’s a great destination for watersports or for simply sunbathing by the shores (as for yours truly 😉 ). From kayaking to water skiing, to sailing, there are many cool things to do here.
Summer is the best time to visit Mazury. Yet you should know that it’s a popular tourist destination so planning your trip during weekdays might be a better option if you want to avoid crowds.
You can reach Mazury lakes in 3 hours by car from Warsaw, and 6 hours from Krakow.
12. Mondsee, Austria
And closing our list of the best lakes in Europe with another lake from Austria’s Salzkammergut region – Mondsee.
For all of you lake holiday enthusiasts out there, I can definitely recommend Austria as the perfect lake vacation destination in Europe. There are so many beautiful lakes with turquoise water and stunning views, bordered by picturesque villages, for you to explore and enjoy!
Mondsee is just another example, a perfect spot for bathing (the water temperature reaches even 27C/80F in summer), watersports, or hiking. You can find more information on planning the best lake holiday at Mondsee HERE.
Final thoughts – Best Lakes of Europe
Europe has so much to offer in terms of travel, whether that’s nature holidays or city trips. Regardless of which country you choose to visit, you will find lots of beautiful lakes to explore.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my list of the best lakes to visit in Europe and hopefully has inspired your next holiday!
Happy travels! 🙂