The 10 most important lakes in Europe

Many of the most important and famous lakes on the planet are located on the European continent; they are true and amazing treasures of nature. Some of them are saltwater and others are freshwater, and we can get to know them without having to go far away or to remote places, since today’s travelers prefer to visit nature.

A lake is a basin that contains an extension of water, salty or fresh, dammed in what would be dry land. There are many causes of its formation, among them we have that these basins can be formed by geological processes such as fracture or deformation of stratified rocks, landslides, also by the formation of a river due to its vegetation, a natural dam, etc.

There are also other factors such as the deposition of volcanic lava or alluvium, or the accumulation of ice, as well as glaciations, which create basins by polishing the rock; there are also the lakes that form in the craters of volcanoes, either because they are extinct or dormant.

Most important lakes in Northern and Southern Europe:

  • Lake Saimaa: this lake located in Finland, at the north of Europe, is the largest lake in the country and the 5th largest in the continent; a beautiful jewel of nature in Scandinavia. It has an area of about 4,377 square kilometers and is located in the southeast of the country. It arose at the end of the glaciations, approximately 10,000 years ago.
  • Lake Como: is located in southern Europe, specifically in Italy, Lombardy. This lake, besides beautiful, is famous for the ancient and historic villas along the entire coast, both private and public, enjoying the views of the lake and a well-deserved vacation. In addition, it is located in front of the foothills of the Alps or prealpine.

Most important lakes in the southern part of Central Europe:

  • Lake Hallstatt: is located in a town that bears the same name Hallstatt, specifically in Austria, located in a beautiful setting and surrounded by mountains with an altitude of about 3,000 m. In 1997 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, thanks to the beauty of its landscapes; a real spectacle, almost out of a fairy tale or movie.
  • Plitvice Lake: Croatia is located between Southern Europe and Central Europe, where these beautiful lakes are located. It is a national park of this country, a natural paradise of waterfalls, forests, caves and turquoise waters in combination with ochre and green tones. It has also been declared a World Heritage Site and is open to the public all year round.

Most important lakes in Eastern Europe:

  • Lake Baikal: located in Russia north of the Mongolian border, between Buriata and Irkutsk Oblasts; it is also known as the Blue Eye of the Siberian region. It is considered the largest and deepest on the planet. It is surrounded by hiking trails. In winter there are skating and dog sledding activities.
  • Lake Ohrid: this lake is located in the Republic of Macedonia-Albania, at the level of its borders, exactly in the South-Eastern part of the European continent. It is also called Lake Ocrida, with a surface of 358 square kilometers; it is considered, together with Lake Titicaca and Lake Baikal, to be the oldest on the surface of the Earth. It has a depth of 22 m, surrounded by Byzantine monasteries and beaches with clear waters.

Most important lakes in Western Europe:

  • Glendalough Lake: located in County Wicklow in Ireland, Glendalough is a monastic complex, whose creation was in the sixth century by St. Kevin, who did his work and lived as a hermit until 1539, with the completion of the monasteries. It is located 50 km from Dublin, south of it; its name means Valley of the Two Lakes.

This lake was formed thanks to the last glaciation, with crystal clear waters and a nature surrounded by oak groves; Gaelic area considered as the greatest treasure. The ruins of the monastery were a place of pilgrimage until the 19th century.

  • Loch Ness: located in Scotland, in the Highlands. The lake is called Loch Ness and is of fresh water, where boats travel to take visitors to different cities or also to the various attractions that are located on the shores of the lake, such as Urquhart Castle, fishing, canoeing, sailing, among others. 

There is a legend that talks about the monster that lives in the depths of the lake called Nessie, which has inspired different stories, being taken to the movie screen; there is even a club of fans of the monster.

  • Lake Annecy in France: it is said that its origin comes from the glaciers, some 18,000 years ago, when the Alpine glaciers thawed. It is considered the cleanest lake on the planet, with crystal clear waters, and in the summer season visitors go scuba diving, sailing, swimming or simply take a boat ride. 

In the winter season you can walk along the banks and also visit the local villages. For taking pictures it is recommended to arrive at the port of Forclaz. It is also the 2nd largest lake in the country.

  • The Covadonga Lakes in Southwest Europe: we are talking about 2 small lakes, called the Enol and the Ercina, located in Asturias, Spain. Surrounded by the mountains of the Picos del Continent National Park; in the western part of the mountain massif. 

It is said that its origin is glacial, although there is a third lake, which only has water in times of thaw, called the Bricial. Covadonga has a very good location, 8 km from Cangas de Onis, the first capital of the ancient kingdom of Asturias. From here you can go up to the lakes, enjoying beautiful landscapes and views that you will love. 

Posted in Europe.