The world’s prettiest lakes
Lakes are Mother Nature’s way of telling us that some vistas are so incredible we need to see them twice. These bodies of water are defined by their expanse and the grounds that enclose them, leading to a calm atmosphere and often water with properties we rarely see elsewhere.
As pockets of natural beauty and tranquillity, they’re a huge draw for travellers who make the journey knowing that pictures can’t do justice to the 360 degree scenery.
For an enviable fishing experience, rest and relaxation, hikes in stunning areas, water sports or all of the above, here are the Flexicover team top picks.
Meaning ‘the glen of two lakes’, this stunning area in Wicklow is centred round an ancient monastic city, the ruins of which can still be seen. But it’s the two lakes which are the real draw: at the more popular Upper Lake, the view of the rolling hills covered in evergreens and rugged rock is the archetype of a lake view. Only an hour away from Dublin by car (a little more with the daily bus service) Glendalough makes for an ideal day trip, with picnic areas, a large hotel with restaurant and numerous well-signposted hikes on offer. A seven-hour hike will take you around the whole area, but even the easiest stroll will allow nature-lovers to come across waterfalls, wildlife and dense forests.
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
It’s one of the most beautiful areas of Europe, yet for many Croatia’s number one tourist attraction remains under the radar. In a nutshell, it’s a park dotted with cascading waterfalls filling the bottom of caves and its sixteen stunning lakes, made discreetly accessible with wooden walkways that lead hikers around. The fresh water gives life to thick greenery, and the greenery attracts a large breadth of animals from deer to boars to bears. Spanning over 300km, the area can take a couple of days to comb so three hotels are on site to help travellers make the most of their stay. Be warned that they’re no-frills accommodation, but the wow factor is all around as soon as you step outside.
Maligne Lake, Canada
Located in Jasper National Park, Maligne Lake is guaranteed to take your breath away, and not just because of its average water temperature of -4°C. The 22km long lake is surrounded by an icy-white glacial landscape that makes its baby-blue waters sparkle even more, especially when contrasted with Canada’s dark green pines. You’d be braver than most to go swimming, but water activities include fishing, boat tours to Spirit Island, canoeing and kayaking. The unreliable weather doesn’t deter hikers aiming to do the 44km Skyline Trail, which boasts views over the top of the trees all the way from Maligne to Jasper.
Lake Berryessa, California
Man-made lakes aren’t the most obvious sub-genre on this list, but Lake Berryessa is an all-round special case. Located in the Napa County, the reservoir is evenly bordered by luscious foliage, making it a postcard-perfect place to relax, enjoy and play water sports. Yet all is not as it seems: the lake and the nearby Monticello Dam are mighty enough to provide hydroelectricity to the North Bay region of San Francisco and to help regulate overflow, the world’s largest drain takes up a corner of the lake. It sucks up water at a terrifying rate of 48,800 cubic feet per second, in its sheer drop of 200ft. Unsurprisingly, it’s well-signed that swimmers should stay away from the Morning Glory Spillway, or the Glory Hole as it’s locally known, but water activities are available in other parts of the lake.
Lake Motosu, Japan
So iconic that it features on the 1000 Yen note, Lake Motosu is the calm body of water we famously see giving rise to Mount Fuji. This lake is also famous for the clarity of its water, but you’ll have to get there early to see it at its best as the lake is now a popular spot for paddle boarding, scuba diving, kayaking and fishing, all making the azure waters busy indeed. For something more relaxing, indulge in a spot of tea-tasting by the lake or there are foot bath services so visitors can admire the quintessentially Japanese scenery while being pampered.
Wherever your next trip takes you, it’s good to know that Flexicover are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.