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

Quiet Residential Location, Just A Few Minutes Walk From All The Local Attractions

A modern, bright cottage in the heart of the Lake District - 2 en-suite bedrooms, lounge/kitchen/dining area full cooking facilities recently refurbished. The lounge is on the upper level and the bedrooms are on the lower level - situated on a qu...

Home park fenced and secure Tv / Sat WIFI INTERNET LOURDES

Rent for 4-6 people, furnished three-star tourist (new official classification 2012) located Ossun-ez-Angles (65100), a small village in the Hautes Pyrénées (altitude 675m) near the towns of Lourdes and Bagneres de Bigorre ( 13kms) ARGELES GAZOST ...

 quiet cottage, garden with spa, sauna, swimming pool 3 minutes, Tarn et Garonne and wifi

COTTAGE village of 177 sq.m for 4 to 10 people with all the amenities and comfort of a renovated and air conditioned for exceptional holiday home; quiet and peaceful, not overlooked and a park for an insured tranquillities and wifi internet 20 meg...

Charming One-Bedroom Apartment with King-Sized Bed in Annecy.

The Annecy Suite is a charming one-bedroom apartment located in the heart of old Annecy. The living room is beautifully furnished with a fireplace, two armchairs, and a couch that converts into two single beds. The kitchen/dining area overlooks th...

Apartment in the typical of Spéloncato. Flowery gardens. Near the beaches

Many cumulative reductions: Last minute: J- 2 months: 10% J -1 month: -20 % J -2 weeks : 30% J- 1 week: 40% WEEK INITIATED (excluding July 5 to August 30) -10 % Per night missing 3 nights = 40% week 4 nights = 30% week 5 nights = 20% week 6 nigh...

Villa next to the Dunes, heated pool, beach 500m, restaurants 300m

Ideally located directly at the coastal dunes at 500 meter walk to the beach and 300 meter walk to the many shops, bars and restaurants at the Boulevard of Moliets-Plage. Very private and calm with the garden directly at the dunes and forêst. Tast...

Peaceful stay in the countryside in the heart of Provence

The apartment of 85 m2 conditioning in renovated farmhouse is located upstairs. (The bottom is not populated) It has been completely renovated and newly furnished. Large living room / kitchen of 45 m2 overlooking the balcony of 20 m2 facing SOUTH...

House 150 m from the sea, 2 bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen, enclosed garden

Discover the land of the Impressionists with this quiet house Bungalow of 70 m2. Located 150 m from the beach, you can admire the beautiful sunsets from the enclosed garden with private parking. 2 bedrooms with 2 beds of 140 cm welcome 4 people wi...

Residence of character (2012) 4 appt, communal pool between sea and mountains

Recently been built in 2012 (photo from September 2013), this boutique residence is composed of 4 apartments, on two levels. It is located at around Ponte Leccia, near the valley of Asco (natural site). Each apartment of 85 m2, sleeps six to a m...

New Villa (July 2013) 3 bedrooms, private pool, between Corte and Ile Rousse

Newly built in 2013 (photos juiller 2013), this bungalow is located around Ponte Leccia, near the valley of Asco (natural site). The house of 100 square meters can accommodate six people for up to eight people. All three bedrooms have two double b...
MapCroatia Slovakia Russia Finland Greece Greece Cyprus Turkey Albania Bulgaria Montenegro Serbia Bosnia Hercegovina Slovenia Austria Czech Republic Hungary Romania Poland Belarus Lithuania Latvia Estonia Afrika Luxembourg Andorra Monaco Malta Italy Italy Sweden Norway Denmark Germany Netherlands Belgium France Portugal Spanien Gibraltar Switzerland Iceland UK Ireland Channel Islands World USA UK

Search for holiday rentals
Search for holiday ideas


Sign up to our newsletter

Our latest updates and special offers, direct to your inbox

Advertise with HomeAway

Related Articles


Other Categories

Popular Articles