There's a whole variety of European lake holidays for you to explore in Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland. Each one has its own charm and character, whether you enjoy walking, swimming, sightseeing or sunbathing, live music, local festivals or simply sipping an aperitif by the lakeside.
Lake Como has a distinctive and dramatic mountain backdrop that makes the lake recognisable around the world. It's dotted with century-old villas and spectacular gardens, which is why it often lures famous names, like George Clooney and Madonna. While you're there, you can visit the individual villages that surround Lake Como or head out and explore the towns and cities close by, like the city of Como to the south of the lake, or Lenno to the west.Find out more about Lake Como
Lake Garda is the ideal base for exploring Italian culture. The lake itself has lots of resorts to choose from. In the north the villages and towns are surrounded by mountains and dramatic scenery, where windsurfing and sailing are the number one activities. In the south the lake opens up and you'll find many lakeside walks, bustling shops and markets. Lake Garda even has its very own theme park.Find out more about Lake Garda
Traditionally associated with its soothing waters, Lake Levico also offers relaxing walking trails and cycling paths. If you feel like doing something more active, you can try your hand at water sports. On the fringes of the lake, there's a thermal spa town and calming spaces where you can disappear into a book or your surroundings.Find out more about Lake Levico
Lake Maggiore has a touch of class and old fashioned sophistication to it. With the top part of the lake crossing over the border to Switzerland, it's a great location to explore Milan, the mountains and the lake itself, along with Swiss culture and scenery. The lake is surrounded by the beautifully kept gardens and classic Italian villas, plus the resorts have beautiful esplanades stretching along the lakeside – brilliant for an evening stroll or to have an aperitif at one of the bars and cafes.Find out more about Lake Maggiore
Zell am See is a lively resort surrounded by mountains, glaciers and beautifully kept parks. Relax by the lake or give one of the many water activities a go. In the evening head out for some live music at the local bars and join the locals in the weekly town festival.Find out more about Zell am See
At Lake Wolfgang you can combine picturesque scenery with a large selection of walks heading up to the surrounding hills and around to nearby villages. The pretty town of St Wolfgang is buzzing in the summer months with local cafes, bars and ice cream parlours. There's a regular ferry service that will take you to the other villages on the lake including the largest village, St Gilgen, famous for the history of Mozart.Find out more about Lake Wolfgang
The quiet and secluded Lake Fuschl is a haven for walkers, cyclists and swimmers. The village is in a nature reserve so only non-motorised boats are allowed to go onto the lake, helping to protect the wildlife that lives there. The lake is only half an hour on the bus from Salzburg and is walking distance from St Gilgen on Lake Wolfgang. The village of Fuschl is the perfect place to stay if you're looking for plenty to explore during the day and a relaxing atmosphere in the evening.Find out more about Lake Fuschl
The quiet and secluded Lake Achensee is a haven for walkers, cyclists and swimmers. The village is in a nature reserve so only non-motorised boats are allowed to go onto the lake, helping to protect the wildlife that lives there. The lake is only half an hour on the bus from Salzburg and is walking distance from St Gilgen on Lake Wolfgang. The village of Achensee is the perfect place to stay if you're looking for plenty to explore during the day and a relaxing atmosphere in the evening.Find out more about Lake Achensee
Lake Bled is known as the jewel of Slovenia. It's set against the backdrop of the Julian Alps, surrounded by lush, green forests. Perched high in the centre of the lake is the impressive Queen Mary's Church, plus there's the castle that overlooks from the top of the cliffs to the side. There's loads of walks to go on around the lake and there's extensive activities like horse riding, tennis and golf to try.Find out more about Lake Bled
The tranquil, crystal clear waters of Lake Bohinj are surrounded by forested hills leading up to the rocky peaks of the Julian Alps. The small and pretty town of Bohinj has a rustic feel, and makes a perfect base to explore the surrounding area. From here you can visit the Postjna caves or pop over the Italian border and visit Venice for the day.Find out more about Lake Bohinj
Montreux is on the sunny side of Lake Geneva and is surrounded by vineyards It's renowned for its music festivals, promenade, shops and cafés. Belle Epoque paddle steamers chug from port to port and the Golden Pass tour runs along the lake shore.
If you're looking for a holiday that has some excursions included, check out our Discovery packages. There's still plenty of time to relax and explore on your own, but with a Discovery you'll also get some of our favourite local trips included with the price.Find out more about Montreux, Lake Geneva
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