No matter where one travels, there are sure to be beautiful lakes to swim in, hike around, and admire. But, on this list, readers will find ten of the most beautiful lakes in the world. They feature brilliant blue water and are often centered in incredible mountain ranges.

Crater Lake 

Location: Klamath County, Oregon, United States 

Features: Deep blue color, fills a caldera formed by a collapsed volcano. 

crater lake
The deep blue waters of Crater Lake in a caldera

Credit: Epmatsw, CC BY-SA 3.0

Crater Lake is located in south-central Oregon. It was created when Mount Mazama collapsed around 7,700 years ago. The lake is not fed by any rivers, nor does it flow out of the lake. It is filled through rainfall and depleted with evaporation. Crater Lake is also the deepest lake in the United States, reaching an incredible 1,949 feet or 594 meters. It is the ninth deepest in the world if measuring for maximum depth.

The lake is well-loved for its deep blue color and the two islands that sit within its borders. They are Wizard Island and Phantom Ship. The latter is a rock pillar near the southern shore, and the former is a cinder cone, around 316 acres in size. The lake is the main feature of Crater Lake National Park, the only national park in the state of Oregon. Visitors are allowed to hike, bike, snowshoe, and ski around the lake during the appropriate seasons. Since the first Western explorer visited the lake, it has been renamed several times (names include Blue Lake and Lake Majesty). 

Lake Baikal 

Location: Siberia, Russia 

Features: Incredibly clear water, home to many species of plants and animals

baikal lake
The oldest lake in the world, Lake Baikal

Credit: Аркадий Зарубин

Lake Baikal is an ancient, continental rift lake that tis located in southern Siberia. The lake is the largest freshwater lake (by volume) in the world. It is also the world’s deepest and oldest lake and is famed for its clear and beautiful waters. Scientists believe the lake formed around 25-30 million years ago. Thousands of animals call the lake and its surroundings home, including seals, red foxes, elk, Siberian red deer, wild boar, Eurasian brown bear, and more. 


The lake is frozen around five months a year and, due to its clarity, has become a tourist destination. Visitors can see through the ice and admire the various formations on its surface. The lake is also at the center of several interesting legends, including that of the Baikal lake monster. 

Plitvice Lakes

Location: Croatia

Features: Sixteen waterfalls and interconnected lakes, bright blue color

The waterfalls of the Plitvice Lakes
The stunning waterfalls of the Plitvice Lakes

Credit: Anastasia Ilya Grigorik, CC3.0, unchanged

This lake is well-known for its sixteen waterfalls that descend to its bright blue pools. It is located in Croatia’s oldest national park, founded in 1949, and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Around one million visitors a year come to visit the many interconnected lakes.

Lake Como 

Location: Lombardy, Italy 

Features: Beautiful landscape and villas, interesting history

lake como
The gorgeous Lake Como, surrounded by villas and mountains

Credit: Luca Casartelli 

Lake Como is perhaps the most beautiful lake in Italy. It is also the third-largest and reaches a depth of 1,300 feet or 400 meters. The lake has been a popular destination for wealthy tourists for centuries, dating back to Roman times. There are numerous villas on its banks, including Villa Olmo and Villa Carlotta, many of which have played host to various famous residents.

The lake has a characteristic shape, taking the form of the letter “Y.” It is also popular for actives like windsurfing and sailing. In the surrounding areas, visitors can choose to attend spas, go shopping, or see the incredible wildlife the forests play host to. 

It has been named as the most beautiful in the world by several different publications and has been cited by poets such as William Wordsworth and Percy Bysshe Shelley for its beauty. 

Lake Wakatipu

Location: Queenstown, New Zealand 

Features: Mountain ranges, adventure activities, forests

lake wakatipu
The clear waters of Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand

Credit: Harshavardhan deuskar

The lake is a famous location for tourists seeking water, air, and forest-based activities like paragliding, rafting, and hiking. It is 50 miles, or 80 kilometers, long and is the third-largest lake in the country. The lake is surrounded by beautiful mountains, including The Remarkables mountain range. 

Moraine Lake 

Location: Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada 

Features: Distinctive blue color, surrounded by glaciers

Moraine lake
The baby blue Moraine lake, surrounded by glaciers in Alberta

Credit: WhyDon’tWeZJCDJ

Moraine Lake is an incredible glacial lake in Banff National Park, located outside of Lake Louise, Alberta. The lake has a surface area of around 120 acres and is bordered by mountains. Specifically, it’s located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. It takes on a distinctive blue color in the middle of summer, and visitors can enjoy the miles of hiking trails around its borders. There are also nearby mountaineering routes, such as the Perren Route. The lake features on the backside of the Canadian twenty-dollar bill and is one of the most recognizable lakes in the world. 

Lake Bled 

Location: Upper Carniolan region of Slovenia

Features: Bled island, rowing

The beautiful Lake Bled with the small Bled Island at its centre

Credit: Canadianhockey91

Lake Bled is a long, 6,960 ft lake that reaches a depth of 97 feet. It surrounds Bled Island, a small island with a  few buildings, one of which is a pilgrimage church. The lake is incredibly picturesque and mostly serves as a tourist attraction. Visitors come to see its shores and enjoy the mountains and forests that border the lake. Other attractions include mountain biking, rowing, and backpacking. 

Lake Powell 

Location: Utah and Arizona, United States 

Features: Canyons, desert landscapes and rock formations

The incredible desert landscape around Lake Powell

Credit: Alex Proimos

Lake Powell is a human-made lake on the Colorado River. It extends into Utah and Arizona. The lake is an important tourist attraction and is visited by around two million people a year. It is the second-largest human-made reservoir in the United States and was created by flooding Glen Canyon. Some of the many attractions around the lake include Glen Canyon Dam (which was used to create Lake Powell and is now used to maintain its levels), Rainbow Bridge (a natural rock bridge), and Hite Crossing Bridge (the only bridge spanning the lake). 

Peyto Lake 

Location: Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada 

Features: Turqouise color, surrounding mountain peaks. 

Peyto lake
The beautiful mountains surrounding Peyto Lake

Credit: WhyDon’tWeZJCDJ

Peyto Lake is a beautiful wakener the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park. The lake is situated in a valley, surrounded by mountain peaks. It has a beautiful turquoise color that draws in tourists from around the world. It is fed by Peyto Creek and is a popular destination for water-based activities and hiking and mountaineering. 

Laguna Colorada

Location: Potosí, Bolivia 

Features: Red color, flamingos 

Laguna Colorada
The distinctly red Laguna Colorada

Credit: Havardtl

Also known as Bolivia’s red lagoon, this red-colored lake looks like it belongs on another planet. The red algae in the water give the surface a distinctive red color. Visitors will also be treated to the sight of flamingos who use the lake as a hunting ground for plankton. Famously, their feathers are stained pink due to the algae.

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