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?

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.

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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.

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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

Comfortable chalet in Gerardmer, sauna, large terrace with lake view

On a quiet plot of 2000m2 (trampoline, football ...) and 2 steps from downtown thought our cottage for cozy holiday with family or friends has a large terrace overlooking the lac.Sa fireplace, its tastefully decorated mountain and 3 chs with beds ...

Biarritz Halles, downtown beach while walking 3 bedrooms

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...

4 pers. pkg / wifi / BBQ, beaches 2 minutes, very close to Nice

We rent an apartment in Cagnes sur Mer, a bedroom and a living room with beds. The rate also includes water and electricity. Cagnes sur Mer is a nice little town, located 10 minutes drive from Nice. The apartment is located neighborhood 'Bréguière...

Family house close to the ocean, close to the city centre

House on a 500 sq.m land on a very quiet street. Holiday family house, decorated with the furniture of the grandparents on the mother's side: the black bedroom, dining table and rustic cupboards. The house offers modern facilities, including t...

PROVENCE Mas with swimming pool, open all year

 We will welcome you with pleasure in full nature of Provence. We offer 3 mas for hire, all three located in a 6-hectare park planted with Mediterranean species and surrounded by olive trees. LOU Pénéquet (4-5 P): To enter Pénéquet Lou, you cros...

Old Lyon Cour Renaissance luxury apartment

In a building of the XVth 'arrondisement' (area), we offer a high standard apartment, combining modern comfort with a setting of character. Ideally, the apartment has a 1 or 2 people capacity and possibility to receive a child. The main room is ...

apartment in farmhouse tt comfort 4 to 6 people, 5 min walk from town ctr

Uzes Bed ground floor 4-6 persons in renovated farmhouse, located 600m from the city center We are fortunate to be located in the heart of a very popular area of ??multiple recreational opportunities available to you including rental Bicycle to go...

Chalet very comfortable, perfect for all mountain activities!

This cottage is fully equipped to spend a carefree holiday, it is very spacious and everything is provided. Ideal for stays 'clan' or groups of friends .The high Jura is peaceful and welcoming, everything is close, Nordic and alpine skiing, snowsh...

BELVUE, Bay of Mont Saint Michel

You are in the Manche, on the edge of Brittany. Mont Saint Michel at 40 km, 10 km Villedieu Stoves (Quoted copper, the studio and the house are BEAUCHAMPS. There ability to communicate via a stone staircase in the region They are independent, each...

 CHALET # 2, 1 bedroom 350 € / week in September

Between Basin and ocean Chalet 32m ², functional, equipped for the winter at the bottom of a private driveway, Lege, Composed of a bedroom bed or beds in 140 0. 90, living room, 2 BZ convertible into 2 beds or 160, shower room, W. C, terrace, gard...
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