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.
Location: Klamath County, Oregon, United States
Features: Deep blue color, fills a caldera formed by a collapsed volcano.
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).
Location: Siberia, Russia
Features: Incredibly clear water, home to many species of plants and animals
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.
Features: Sixteen waterfalls and interconnected lakes, bright blue color
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.
Location: Lombardy, Italy
Features: Beautiful landscape and villas, interesting history
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.
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Features: Mountain ranges, adventure activities, forests
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.
Location: Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Features: Distinctive blue color, surrounded by glaciers
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.
Location: Upper Carniolan region of Slovenia
Features: Bled island, rowing
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.
Location: Utah and Arizona, United States
Features: Canyons, desert landscapes and rock formations
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).
Location: Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Features: Turqouise color, surrounding mountain peaks.
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.
Location: Potosí, Bolivia
Features: Red color, flamingos
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.