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.

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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?

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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.

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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

Charming Village House 3 Minutes By Foot From Bay Of Talloires, Lake Annecy

Our house built in 1900 is situated in the center of our beautiful village, one of the oldest of France, the 'pearl of Lake Annecy' and is the most photographed house of Talloires. Located at walking distance from the port, the beach, amenities (m...

Separated house in a private property in a peaceful area with a stunning view

Lovely independant small house with panoramic view of the Sainte-Croix Lake and Verdon Gorges located in wild nature and in one of the most beautiful villages in France, no traffic, accessible through a private path, not overlooked, only nature an...

Sunny And Scenic 3 Bedroom Apt. (110 M2) Along Lake Zurich

Bright, sunny and quiet 3 bedroom apartment along Lake Zurich with a lake view. Beautifully appointed apartment in alpine baroque zen style. Save money in expensive Switzerland by staying in a beautiful apartment where you can prepare your own me...

T2 in a villa on a stunning wooded garden with swimming pool, 7km from Cannes and 10min from the beaches

Apartment at ground level in a villa, opening onto a typically Provençal landscaped garden. An ideal setting to enjoy and relax between hundred-year-old olive trees, palm trees and other local scents. Exceptional swimming pool for swimming and tan...

beautifull stylish house close to the beach, heated and covered swimming pool

stand alone old house renovated with stones and wood, on a ill in a beautiful valley near the beach at Saint-Pabu. 160m2 in house, on a field of 1200m2. beds for 12 people (5 double beds, 2 single beds), 3 bedrooms with cupboards and Plasma TVs, ...

Charming new appartment very near to the Disneyland Park & the Vallée village

Lovely,spacious new appartment ,entirely furnished & authenticlally decorated with high quality equipements .Within walking distance of the Vallée village & 5 mins drive from Disneyland. Close enough to the action ,but situated in a nice quiet ...

Luxury ski-in/ski-out Chalet with jacuzzi and sauna Tignes 2100m - Val d'Isère

New Wellness room with Spa and Sauna L'Ours Brun is a large and comfortable SKI-IN SKI-OUT Chalet located in the heart of top rated Tignes ski resort, perfectly served by two high speed chairlifts giving access to all skiing areas in the world fa...

Châteaux of the Loire - Beautiful Apartment in the Castle

1h30 from Paris, in the heart of the golden triangle of the Loire Castles - Chambord, Blois, Cheverny - Château d'Avaray welcomes you in its area of ??16 ha fenced for an unforgettable vacation. It is a beautiful building of the Louis XIII style, ...

Calm pretty house, ideally located, 15 mn from the sea and in the countryside

A charming pretty house in a wonderful, peaceful surrounding, only 15mn from the beach and the coast. The garden is an idyllic, romantic place to rest or sunbathe, just enjoying the calm and an exceptional view on valleys. A little paradise !...w...

Mas La Voûte 1667 in Les Baux-de-Provence

Located in one of the most beautiful listed sites of France between Arles, Avignon and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, this 17th Provencal farmhouse (former vaulted “relais”) boasts of an exceptional quiet location with views of the Château des Baux-de-Pr...

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