Lakeside holidays What better than serenity beside the water’s edge?
HomeAway travel expert
Whether 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
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
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
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
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
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
This 70 sq.m house for 6 people consists of
a shower room with walk-in shower, washbasin, towel warmer, hair dryer and toilet;
an utility room in the cellar with washing machine and dryer, iron and ironing board;
one fully equipped kitchen with...
Beautiful villa with private pool on the heights of Alcaucin with beautiful views of the area.
The villa consists of 3 bedroom and 3 bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen with frigot, freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, television with satellite tel...
A brand new modern luxury detached villa finished to a beautiful standard in the exclusive area of Foz do Arelho, lovely views of the lagoon from all areas of villa and garden. The villa is in a wonderful position which catches the sun all day and...
The 1st floor of Chalet Edelweiss, the apartment is a furnished 4 of 4 rooms with balcony for 6 people in the village of Les Contamines Montjoie. It is open all the year for stays of a week or more.
The cottage was completely renovated in 2005 and...
Cottage 2 bedrooms, four five redone end of March 2013. Airial oak on one hectare wilderness with large pool.
- 1 bedroom with 160 bed and shower.
- 1 bedroom with 140 bed and shower
- 1 half-bath + toilet + washing machine.
- 1 fully equipped ki...
Recent house in a residential area on the south side of Lacanau Ocean about 900 m from the beach, shops and the city center.
Bike path nearby.
Living Room Dining Room
Partly equipped kitchen
Room 1: 1 bed 2 people
Bedroom 2: 2 beds 1 person
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.
Reversible air-conditioning in t...
This semi-detached property is situated in the pine forest at about 1500 m from the beach and shops. Footpaths through the hamlet. The residence has a private parking area.
Close to the bike path.
Living room opening onto the terrace
Lovely comfortable villa on one level situated in a residential area on the golf of Lacanau.
The ocean beaches and the center of Lacanau is about 3 km.
Living room with dining area and lounge opening onto the terrace
Equipped kitchen open to the ...
Nice duplex apartment on the 1st floor of a residence close to the beach and shops.
A pedestrian walk past the residence.
Ideal for holidays without a car.
The apartments are built in staggered; rooms overlooking the rear of the residence and stay...