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
Brand new converted apartment stylishly designed and appointed. Relax in the leather sofas, unwind in the relaxing bath or take drinks on the balcony with stunning lake view! The apartment is ideally situated in the heart of vibrant Menaggio where...
At the heart of the Alsatian vineyard, the wine route, in the historic center of Ribeauvillé.
The house is a true Alsatian half-timbered building. It is built on three levels and has a North / South / East exposure.
You'll be close to restaurants ...
Location: Located in the city center of Kaysersberg, in a side street off the main street. Check out this half-timbered house renovated in 2013.
About parking in the city less than 20 meters from the house.
Shops and Services:
In the center of Colmar, in a recent residence, 2nd floor.
The apartment benefits from a south facing.
You'll be close to restaurants and shops in the city.
Parking in the basement is exclusively reserved.
It has an entra...
Rated 4 **** for 6 people.
At the heart of the Alsatian vineyard on the wine route, in the historic center of Colmar, in a very quiet street.
The apartment is located on the 3rd floor of an Alsatian house and enjoys a triple exposure (North / Eas...
Location: Located in the city center of Kaysersberg, 2 steps from Albert Schweitzer Museum in a beautiful half-timbered house.
About parking in the city less than 20 meters from the house. 2 prepaid cards are available.
Shops and Servic...
At the heart of the Alsatian vineyard, the wine route, 900 meters from the town of Kaysersberg center, in a quiet residence.
The apartment is on the first floor of a building of the 2000s and enjoys a south / east exposure.
You'll be clo...
At the heart of the Alsatian vineyard, the wine route, in the historic center of Ribeauvillé in a dead calm.
The apartment is on the ground floor of a house in 1900 and enjoys a south / west exposure.
You'll be close to restaurants and s...
It is 5 minutes away walking from the Zoo de Vincennes
This exceptional duplex apartment has a veranda and a 50 sq.m terrace, 2 storeys, on the last floor of a high-standard modern building in the 12th district, elevator, and intercom
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...