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

Absolute Luxury, Spectacular Views, Base for S'West Tours

Luxurious house, situated two hours from Kerry, one hour from Galway, 40 mins from The Burren, 45 minutes from Shannon Airport and 500m from the beautiful, award winning village of Mountshannon, this property is truly a special find - ideal for to...

Superb modern villa, swimming pool surrounded by palm trees, overlooking vineyards & rocks

Appraisals are visible on our website: www. rentyourdream. had Large villa (220m ²) located on the outskirts of a very quiet area near the local vineyards, forests and rocky mountain Bouverie where the gorges blavet. The house has a large terra...

 2 rental log cabins, 6-8 people 550 € instead of 750 €

, Book a cottage in the Jura:         . quickly call: 84 51 03 47 19...                                  06. 83. 91. or 95. 31 SPECIAL OFFER: 05/07 to 12/07: possibility of B & B 23/08 to 30/08: 700 € instead of 750 € 2 Our log cabins are loca...

Beautiful villa in the heart of south Luberon, 35 min away from Aix en Provence

Pictures and description the rental of Villa Grambois It is located to the south of Luberon, in a peaceful area, close to the shops. The villa is very pleasant to live in, on a fenced in property with a nice view of Luberon. It also has a barbecue...

Terrace Julien

House Borrel lies at the foot of the City Street to the Barbican in Carcassonne, France. In this house were built two houses, one of which, La Terrasse de Julien. From the terrace, you will discover an exceptional view of the medieval city of Carc...

Castle of La Broudiére

Located on 4 hectares of lush countryside sheltered from view by hundred-year-old sequoias, in a hilly area, this large house has spacious rooms for great family reunions, evenings around the fireplace as well as great moments with friends. Durin...

Great rental villa with pool on golf, quiet location near the forest

Villa 'Deer In The Clearing' (T6 Bi format), in a guarded the Golf Moliets et Maa in the Landes forest property, close to the beach (1. 2kms). 5 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, sleeps up to 14 people + 2 babies. Ideal for golfers / surfers and / or large f...

Architect's apartment in a building of character

Perfectly located in the heart of the town, 100 m away from the Rhône River, all mod cons apartment, recently renovated

Riquewihr, beautiful apartment. 3 rooms, well equipped, balcony, great location

Very nice 3 bedroom, bright and sunny, located in a residence, 100 meters from shops and the entrance to the tourist center and close to the vineyards apartment. Just been appointed, it is composed of: - A lovely large fully equipped kitchen, - A...

Recent and independent house for rent

New house of 65 m2 with a shaded terrace of 15 m2 with large barbecue, 3 bedrooms, lounge / dining room, bathroom with walk-in shower and 2 sinks, separate toilet. Air conditioning, central vacuum, electrical equipment and new bedding. Shops (supe...

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