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10 enchanting lakes

10 enchanting lakes
Top 10

Large expanses of fresh or salt water, the most enchanting lakes in the world stand out for their wonderful decor, their mystical atmosphere, or even for their magical splendour. Whether they meet one or more of these criteria, they are an invitation to travel for many couples or families in search of escape. These closed seas, representing less than 5 % of the world’s land, lend themselves to the practice of many activities, summer and winter.

Jiuzhaigou (China)

Mirror effect of a lake in the Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area

Dressed in a hundred lakes, primary forests and large-scale waterfalls, Jiuzhaigou attracts millions of visitors each year. Located in the mountainous and karst region of Sichuan province over more than 600 km², this natural region is dotted with 9 villages with Tibetan origin. Its crystal-clear lakes are of incredible visual purity due to the high calcium carbonate content in the water of the Rize, Shuzheng and Zechawa valleys. An earthquake in 2017 upset the peaceful setting of the place that local communities consider as sacred.

Lake Baikal (Russia)

Elenka Island surrounded by the icy waters of Lake Baikal

If we consider its volume, Lake Baikal is the largest and oldest freshwater lake in the world. It is also the deepest (1,700 meters at its maximum point). Its dimensions make it an inland sea representing 20 % of the world’s freshwater reserves. It is considered a sacred site by the Buryat tribes living near the border with Mongolia. The twenty islands of Lake Baikal and the 300 streams or rivers that feed it contribute to the biodiversity of the place. The lake’s unique ecosystem provides habitat for thousands of species, the majority of which are endemic.

Lake Bled (Slovenia)

Aerial view of the lake Bled and Bled Island

The Lake Bled is the most popular resort in Slovenia and a world-famous Alpine site. One of its peculiarities is to contain the only island in Slovenia. To access it, you have to borrow a traditional wooden boat (pletna). The church and the many legends associated with the surroundings have attracted pilgrims for many centuries. A castle built in the 11th century watches over the glacial lake and the Soča Valley. From the top of its promontory, this defensive site transformed into an exhibition space offers a superb panorama of this ancient thermal spa resort of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Lake Bogoria (Kenya)

Large colony of flamingos nestled on Lake Bogoria

This salt lake is located in an active volcanic area of the Great Rift Valley. Shallow and rich in minerals, It hosts one of the largest populations of flamingos in the world, attracted by the development of algae from its alkaline waters, from which they feed. Protected wetland, Lake Bogoria is bounded by the Kesubo Swamp to the north and the Siracho Escarpment to the east. This ornithological reserve is also famous for its geysers springing from the ground and its 200 hot springs based on its banks.

Lake Como (Italy)

Italian city of Bellagio installed on the shore of Lake Como

Lake Como is the third largest Italian lake in area and volume. It is made up of three arms at its ends giving it the shape of an inverted Y. They are the result of the melting of the glaciers combined with the erosive action of the Adda River. Positioned at the foot of the Italian Alps, around this sumptuous lake lie charming villages and remarkable cities, historic monuments, lake villas, terraced gardens, beaches and also an island, accessible not far from the shore. A panoply of outdoor recreation complements the many discoveries to be made around Lake Como.

Lake Malawi (Malawi)

Shores of Lake Malawi

Considered as a flagship of the country, Lake Malawi forms the border between Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique. Third largest lake on the African continent, its maximum depth of 750 meters deep corresponds to a crevasse in the Great Rift valley, below sea level. The peculiarity of this freshwater lake comes from the transparency of its water, but also from the wide variety of its aquatic fauna, present in quantity. This biodiversity treasure is the home to more than a thousand tropical fish species (cichlids). Fishing villages are present just a few meters from beautiful sand areas, conducive to a multitude of activities.

Lake Manapouri (New Zealand)

Mountainous relief reflected in the waters of Lake Manapouri

Attached to the wild region of Fiordland, Manapouri is the second deepest lake in New Zealand. It offers ideal access to the emblematic fjord of the Doubtful Sound which can be explored in sea kayaking or cruise ship. Lake Manapouri offers a number of hiking trails, sandy beaches, uninhabited islands and outdoor activities in a beautiful natural setting. Nestled in the middle of the mountains and sculpted by the glaciers, it is connected to Lake Te Anau by the powerful Waiau River as well as by a very beautiful panoramic road.

Lake Titicaca (Bolivia, Peru)

Andean Mountains protecting Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is the tallest navigable lake in the world and marks the natural border between Peru and Bolivia. This mythical destination fascinates as much for its ancient beliefs as for the quality of its landscapes. Cradle of the main god of the Incas (Viracocha), this lake perched at 3,800 meters above sea level conceals a multitude of archaeological sites. They date from the pre-Columbian era and the oldest are attributed to the Tiwanaku civilization, founder of the first Andean empire. Artificial floating islands, erected from reeds, serve as a place of life for the Uros community.

Moraine Lake (Canada)

Nice perspective on the turquoise colour of Moraine Lake

Belted by the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Lake Moraine waters are distinguished by their turquoise colour. This changes intensity during the summer period with the melting of the glaciers. The lake is located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks in Banff National Park, in the middle of mountains, waterfalls and forests. It enjoys a masterful view and a completely picturesque setting. Hiking routes offer the possibility of venturing into the surrounding nature and canoeing circuits allow you to soak up the beauty of the places at an altitude of 1,883 meters.

Lake Tiberias (Israel)

Scene from a sunset from the shores of Lake Tiberias

Also known as Sea of Galilee, this lake associated with biblical history is crossed by the Jordan River in its southern part. It was there that Jesus would have calmed a storm, walked on the water, operated on healing and fed thousands of men. The lake stretches over 166 km² in a bowl surrounded by basalt hills (on one of them would have taken place the Sermon on the Mount) and constitutes the lowest freshwater lake in the world (200 meters below sea level). The Sea of Galilee enjoys a mild winter climate conducive to growing fruits and vegetables. Inhabited since prehistoric times, the banks of the lake are full of holy places, religious monuments and archaeological sites.

This article could have included the following places:

  • Bachalpsee (Switzerland)
  • Caddo Lake (United States)
  • Chandra Taal (India)
  • Crater Lake (United States)
  • Emerald Lake (Canada)
  • Gadisar Lake (India)
  • Huanglong (China)
  • Inle Lake (Myanmar)
  • Jökulsárlón (Iceland)
  • Kanas Lake (China)
  • Kawah Ijen (Indonesia)
  • Laguna Colorada (Bolivia)
  • Laguna Torre (Argentina)
  • Laguna Verde (Bolivia)
  • Lake Annecy (France)
  • Lake Atitlán (Guatemela)
  • Lake Bacalar (Mexico)
  • Lake Balaton (Hungary)
  • Lake Bourget (France)
  • Lake Eyre (Australia)
  • Lake Garda (Italy)
  • Lake Geneva (France, Switzerland)
  • Lake Iseo (Italy)
  • Lake Louise (Canada)
  • Lake Lugano (Italy, Switzerland)
  • Lake Maggiore (Italy, Switzerland)
  • Lake Matheson (New Zealand)
  • Lake Michigan (Canada, United States)
  • Lake Nakuru (Kenya)
  • Lake Nasser (Egypt)
  • Lake Ontario (Canada, United States)
  • Lake Pamamaroo (Australia)
  • Lake Pehoé (Chile)
  • Lake Powell (United States)
  • Lake Ruataniwha (New Zealand)
  • Lake Tahoe (United States)
  • Lake Tekapo (New Zealand)
  • Leigh Lake (United States)
  • Maroon Lake (United States)
  • Peyto Lake (Canada)
  • Saimaa (Finland)
  • Tonlé Sap (Cambodia)
  • Qiandao Lake (China)
  • Salinas de Torrevieja (Spain)
  • Yamdrok Lake (Tibet, China)
  • (…)
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