• The Curious Traveler

8 of the World’s Most Beautiful Lakes

In the heat of the summer (it can get into the 90s here in Vermont), my family and I are so grateful for the little pond in our yard. While it may not be particularly grand, it is quintessential Vermont and perfect for a swim on a hot day.

No matter how large or small, there is something incredibly serene and relaxing about being near water. If you enjoy lakeside dining and accommodations, hiking on shoreline paths, or floating on tranquil water, put these lakes on your list.

Three crater lakes that we’ve grouped together because they form an incredible landscape in the volcanic topography. Bonus: the Azores were just named Europe’s Best Sustainable Destination! View our Azores Islands Explorer itinerary.



This remote crater lake is accessible only on foot after a steady climb. It’s well worth the effort to see the pool’s sapphire hues contrast dramatically with the dark rocks and white glacier ice. View our Patagonia Hiking Adventure itinerary.



Ullswater is considered the most beautiful lake in England and is the second largest lake in the Lake District at nine miles long! On our Hiking Coast to Coast journey, we walk directly to our accommodation situated on its shores.



The Laghi di Fusine are a pair of Alpine glacial lakes with a brilliant emerald color. On our Alpe Adria adventure, we circumnavigate one of them, allowing numerous photo opportunities of the idyllic landscape.



Lake Moeraki lies within the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site and is surrounded by magnificent virgin rainforest. It’s a peaceful place to kayak while gazing at the Southern Alps in the distance. View our Alpine & Coastal Hiking itinerary.



Phewa Lake is Nepal’s most popular and second largest lake. It’s famous for reflecting the iconic Machapuchhre, or “fishtail,” mountain and other peaks of the Annapurna range. View our Himalayan Kingdoms Hiking itinerary.



Lake Bohinj was recently named Europe’s top Hidden Gem, a well-deserved designation. Its crystalline water, dramatic backdrop, and surrounding Alpine villages feels like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. View our Slovenia & Croatia itinerary.



Lake Placid is a village, not a lake, that sits on the pretty Mirror Lake. Visitors enjoy vibrant fall foliage and impressive views of the ridgeline of the Great Range, a contiguous ridge of eight peaks over 4000′. View our Adirondacks hiking itinerary.


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