Lakeside holidays What better than serenity beside the water’s edge?
HomeAway travel expert
Whether you want to swim and sunbathe without experiencing the hassle of sand-filled shoes, or have a penchant for sailing, windsurfing or snorkelling in fresh water, lakeside holidays are a fantastic alternative to beach breaks. We have some of the world’s most beautiful and unspoiled lakes here in Europe, and yet British tourists haven’t quite caught on to the fact! Frequented by Germans, Italians and Slovenians in the know, the likes of Lake Constance, Lake Como and Lake Bled are simply stunning during the summer months. But don’t leave it to the rest of Europe; we deserve some of that beauty too! Think mountains, fresh air and pine-scented forests, and you’re that bit closer to lakeside holidays.
When considering a blissful break by the banks of a lake, browse through HomeAway’s selection of private accommodation. While we offer a huge number of European apartments in popular resorts, we also have traditional chalets in the hearts of forests, as well as cottages at the foot of majestic mountains. Whatever you’re looking for, and whoever you’re travelling with, you’ll find the perfect property to suit. So why wait? Read on for our rundown of Europe’s best, and most [picturesque, lakeside destinations.
Top five lakeside holiday destinations
An article on lakeside holidays just wouldn’t be right without mention of the Lake District. Yes, while you can always pop across to Germany, Italy or Hungary, you can have an equally peaceful break in England’s foremost green and pleasant land. Encompassing 14 lakes and seemingly countless villages and hamlets, it’s an area with something to offer everyone. Families can enjoy sailing along Lake Windermere, whilst couples may enjoy travelling the pretty train line to Coniston. Groups, meanwhile, will love tackling the sloping fells - or hills - so characteristic of the region.
View cottages in the Lake District
When you look at a map of Lombardy, you’ll see the wonderful Lake Como trickling down its centre. A popular holiday spot for well over a century, this inverted “Y” shaped lake is known for its magnificent mountains, warm weather and fresh air; everything you need for a relaxing lakeside break. There are a huge number of places in which to stay around Lake Como, including Bellagio - one of the most popular resorts - and Menaggio - with its famed ice cream and coffee shops. When not on a boat trip or enjoying a spot of kite surfing, why not venture into the mountains?
View cottages near Lake Como
Known as the ‘Hungarian Sea’, Lake Balaton is Europe’s largest body of fresh water. A haven for water-sports enthusiasts and a welcome relief for hot and bothered tourists, it’s the perfect place for a summer holiday. In the south of Lake Balaton you’ll find long, sandy beaches with safe, shallow waters for swimming, and boulevards lined with souvenir shops, restaurants and nightclubs; in the north, you’ll find a more tranquil atmosphere, with pretty towns filled with old churches, and thermal baths. Whichever side of Lake Balaton you decide to explore, the water itself is spectacular.
View cottages near Lake Belaton
Bordered by Germany, Switzerland and Austria and offering 270 kilometres of shoreline, Lake Constance is one of central Europe’s most picturesque places to holiday. Over half the shoreline lies within Germany, and offers amazing views across the stunning Swiss Alps; when you want to get back to nature and spend a week enjoying outdoor sports, there’s nowhere better than Lake Constance. When not lazing along the water’s edge, there are dozens of vineyards to explore - and wine to taste, of course! - as well as curious museums, pretty villages and historical attractions.
View cottages near Lake Constance
Surrounded by the magnificent forests of the Julian Alps, Lake Bled is one of Slovenia’s - if not Europe’s - most beautiful lakes. The tiny village of Bled sits along its edge; serving as the Royal residence for centuries, and brimming with fascinating architectural sites, it’s a wonderful place to stay. As for the lake itself, there are a number of activities by which you can really make the most of your surroundings: from canoeing to swimming, Slovenia’s Lake Bled is one of the most picturesque spots in the world in which to enjoy outdoor sports.
View cottages near Lake Bled
There are a couple of things, when on lakeside holidays, which will ensure you make the most of your break. Remember to bring or buy insect repellent, as you’ll be sure to meet critters along the shore; it’s all very well for nature enthusiasts, but we don’t want to be bitten all the same. Other must-haves include warm or waterproof clothing, as when you’re staying in the mountains, the weather isn’t guaranteed to deliver never-ending sunshine. But even if you catch a rainy spell, remember: there’s no such thing as bad weather; just bad clothes!
Lakeside Holiday Homes
New chalet of 220 m2 with low temperature heating at all levels ground.
It is located at a place called the Sage on the common Chapelle d'Abondance just 3 minutes Châtel
Southern exposure with an exceptional panorama.
Garage, cellar a...
Bright living room with glass doors opening onto the terrace, TV, DVD, internet Wifi access. 1 large bedroom with balcony and en suite bathroom with separate toilet. 1 separate toilet, laundry with washing machine and dryer. 1 bedroom and adjoinin...
Location, Location, Location - Our newly refurbished apartment is situated in the royal and historical district of St James's, Westminster. Adjacent to Buckingham Palace the apartment offers unrivalled access to all that London has to offer, incl...
Charming fully restored, bright, 19th century village house, designed with taste (everything new) and ideally situated with an unobstructed view of the surrounding mountains and of the lake of the Eau d'Olle. A large picture window leading to a 25...
lovers of skiing, and mountain (cycling 15 km was the neck of the Iron Cross and glandon and Alpes d'Huez, the triathlon verney) will be delighted to spend a few days in this charming mountain home fully 170M2 restored in 2007 (indoor and outdoor)...
Very cosi cottage close to beaches south. All decoration and furnishings have been reseeding, we go to the beach on foot. Situated on a plot fenced with gate.
In a quiet street with little traffic this place is ideal for family holidays.
Charming fully restored, bright, 19th century village house, designed with taste (everything new) and ideally situated with an unobstructed view of the surrounding mountains and 300 m away from the lake of the Eau d'Olle. The house is located 3 km...
It is 5 minutes away walking from the Zoo de Vincennes
This exceptional duplex apartment has a veranda and a 50 sq.m terrace, 2 storeys, on the last floor of a high-standard modern building in the 12th district, elevator, and intercom
Barcares, France, Languedoc Roussillon - the Eastern Pyrenees (66).
Housevilla on the beach vis-a-vis the sea: 3 parts in duplex, 2 rooms (2 beds doubles - 1 simple bed), 1 bathroom, Salon (settee reads) - Dining room, Coin cooks, Loggia, 2 Terra...
In to the 'triangle Périgueux', Limoges, Angouleme, Gaëtane and Pierre-Henri will receive you in a very warm way, all season, in a 50 hectares state: extraordinary comfort of 4 stars, indoor heated pool to share with the other houses, sports and f...