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

House Cottage charm and character Midi Pyrénée Campan Valley

Old barn (March 2011), 200m2, comfortable, elegantly decorated, 4 personalized rooms. 60m2 living room, wood stove, kitchen, 1 bathroom (Italian shower 3m2), 1 bathroom, 2 separate toilets, a corner office 'mezzanine'. Flat screen, wifi, phone, m...

Chalet 12 people on the slopes

Jay Chalet (12 people) This cottage will be renovated this spring 2014 it will have an extra room with private shower and toilet. A bathroom with shower and toilet will be created in a room. The kitchen will be renovated Current photos will hel...

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...

Former fortified castle, pool deck: quiet. View breathtaking blown

Between Narbonne and Carcassonne, the Fort is a large and beautiful original house ideal for 1-2 families or friends with 4 bedrooms, 4 rooms, 3 bathrooms, 1 pool deck. Atypical, this 12th century Fort is carefully restored. From the pool deck on ...

Les Houches, Farm Typical renovated, Surface and Volume

The cottage is located in a quiet neighborhood is nice, 400 m from the village center and the train station, 800 m from the cable car, very easy to access whatever the weather (motorway, railway station, bus stop nearby free shuttle) and close to ...

Very nice apartment, 25 m2, a small price, 40 euros per night, all comfort

situated on the Garonne, 8 minutes walk from the Capitol studio on the 2nd floor with 1 main room of 20m +5 M bathroom, fitted kitchen, 4 ring gas, multifunction, large fridge, washing machine, double bed furnace of 14O/200 with beautiful bedding,...

Pleasant provencal cottage with swimming-pool and beautiful view on to montvento

cotage in nature, with swimmingpool. 3 km of buis les baronnies (drôme provençale), 15 km of vaison la romaine and 60 km of avignon.


THE MARCAIRIE is a large chalet-new spa, rated 5 stars, ideally located in Alsace, the heart of the Natural Park of Ballons des Vosges, 800 m above sea level, facing south with stunning panoramic views of the Vosges mountains.        Designed to ...

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...

Apt. of 85 sq.m, 100 m from the harbour of Vannes and the historical district

4-room renovated apartment of 85 sq.m in small building of the 18th century, large living room with leather sofa, 103 cm big flat screen TV Samsung, 3 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, beans and wooden floors, fireplaces, double glazing, slab above. M...
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