Lake summer holidays

Enjoy a getaway to one of the world’s great lakes

Lakeside holidays

What better than serenity beside the water’s edge?

Sophie Gackowski

Sophie Gackowski
HomeAway travel expert

Lake ComoWhether 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


Lake District Lake District

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



Lake Como Lake Como

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



Lake Balaton Lake Balaton

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



Lake Constance Lake Constance

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



Lake Bled Lake Bled

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


independent house with a large living room of 35 m2, with skylights, including 1 TV, 2 sofas, 1 sofa bed for 2 people, 1 large round table with chairs, 1 fully equipped kitchen, oven, dishwasher, plates induction coffee maker nespresso, and normal...

Apartment of 25 sq.m in Val Thorens

The apartment is located 100 m from the ski runs (apartment building 'Les Glaciers'), at the heart of the highest ski station of the 3 Valleys. South facing, you will enjoy the magnificent view over the ski area. The apartment was fully renova...

Two-room apartment, 42 m², in Ile Rousse

Beautiful new apartment of 47 m² in an attractive residence, with panoramic view of L'Ile Rousse and Cap Corse bay. This place is a true heaven with shaded terrace of 19 m², equipped for relaxation. Dining area. Reversible air-conditioning in t...

Apartment T3 78 sq.m in Ile Rousse

New and very beautiful apartment of 78 sq.m in a beautiful apartment building with panoramic view over the Bay of the Ile Rousse and the Cap Corse. This place is a real haven of peace with its shaded terrace of 29 sq.m boasting a chaise longue, a ...

Spacious three-room apartment for rent, furnished, direct access to the sea

It is located close to Port Marina Baie des Anges, in front of the beaches, the cycle lane, between Cannes and Nice, and close to Antibes. This wonderful and new three-room apartment is located in a luxury apartment building with pool, private par...

 Villa, facing the sea, with a large terrace

It is a house of 90m2 with two bedrooms that can accommodate up to 6 people. It was thought four seasons. Its internal architecture is based on the modularity and optimizing the space. On the ground floor a kitchen of 20 m2, with all the amenitie...

Ski in ski out +Morzine center +panorama: Chalet Skadi is the perfect location!

Chalet SKADI = 4 seasons of pleasure! Ski in ski out + hedge of town centre + calm + heartbreaking panoramic view + 150 m2 (180 yd2) of comfort for 8 people = the outstanding Chalet SKADI! In the middle of the Europe's largest ski area Les Portes...

Luxury villa for up to 15 persons, 8 bedrooms, heated pool, near Lake Der

Very nice manor, luxurious, with a living surface of 650 sq.m. The villa is located in a magnificent village rated '3 fleurs' (3 flowers), on the edge of the forest of Lake Der-Chantecoq. The villa has 8 bedrooms, including 6 with private bathro...


Near the centre, large wooded park, you will discover the charms of the Haut Jura, craft works, natural products, activities which are cultural, sporty, artistic, gastronomic in summer, autumn winter or spring such as alpine ski, cross-country ski...

New Basque style house, 1km from the beach, sleeps 6, 3 bedrooms

This neo Basque style house of 100 m² for 6 persons is located in the center of Biarritz in a quiet neighborhood. She is bright, spacious, fully renovated, 1 km from the beach and 15 minutes walk from the city center. The garden with its barbecue ...
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