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Experience Europe’s lakes without leaving home

by Francesca 13th May 2020
Lake Garda in Northern Italy

Lakeside holidays offer watersports and cycle trails for adventurers, secluded spots for chillers, and charming towns for explorers along the shores.

While we can’t take you to the real thing just yet, we can immerse you in lakeside experiences so your mind can take a holiday while you stay safe at home. So sit back, relax and float away to some of our favourite lakeside destinations.

Drift away with soothing lake sounds

Listen closely and let the stillness and tranquility of a lakeside retreat wash over you. No rushing water, no crashing waves, just a gentle ebb and flow as the lake brushes the shore. Imagine you’re there on the edge of the water, shaded by trees, listening to the birds singing above you.

Glide over Lake Garda

Italy’s largest lake has so many moods. Majestic mountains to the north, pretty towns and villages along its shore, and mysterious blue depths at its centre. Press play to explore them all at once, and experience the scenery in ways you wouldn’t get to even if you were there.

Cycle Lake Annecy without breaking a sweat

With easy access to routes for all abilities, Annecy makes the perfect base for cycling holidays.

Let’s take you on one of the gentler cycle routes in the area. This 50km trail covers the perimeter of the lake, passing through mountains, countryside, towns and villages. Enjoy all the breathtaking scenery of the ride, without the sore legs afterwards!

Surround yourself with glacial water

Ancient glaciers carved out the landscape of the Jura, leaving behind a series of lakes. Here you’ll find yourself on the edge of the largest one in the region, Lac De Chalain. Imagine you’re sat on the edge of the jetty, feet submerged in the cool, mountain-fresh water. Move around the image to look across the lake and explore its shores.

Rehydrate with a taste of Bavaria

Vineyards near Lake Constance

Image courtesy of Andreas Praefcke via Wikimedia Commons

Head west from the beer gardens of Munich and you’ll arrive at the vineyards of Lindau. Along the shores of Lake Constance, local wine or freshly pressed juice is the beverage of choice. Look for wines made from Müller-Thurgau or Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) grapes to transport your tastebuds to the traditional taverns of Lake Constance’s German shores.

Taste the culinary traditions of Lake Thun

Dessert made from chestnut puree, meringue and cream
Cyclists, climbers, paddlers and waterskiers all pile into Interlaken’s cafes to refuel after a day of adventure on Lake Thun.

And that’s where we discovered Coupe Nesselrode. This regional delicacy combines meringue, chestnut puree, ice cream and cream to make a refreshing but hearty dessert. And it’s pretty easy to recreate at home too – just swap the chestnut puree for fruit and Swiss chocolate if you prefer!

Discover the stories from Lake Como’s shores

Villa Balbianello on Lake Como

Letting your mind wander to Lake Como is as easy as rewatching some of your favourite films. Its natural beauty and the elegant villas along its shores have inspired film-makers for decades.

Villa del Balbianello (pictured above) becomes a wedding venue on the planet Naboo in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and a hospital where James Bond is treated in Casino Royale. And the 1995 rom-com A Month by the Lake follows the story of a budding romance on Lake Como’s shores.

Continue exploring…

Take a look at the Italian Lakes, the French Alps or Switzerland to discover more lakeside holiday inspiration. This video shows some of the highlights:

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