photo by ArtistGNDphotography via iStock
There’s nothing better than camping beside a lake. I don’t know why this experience awakens something so primitive in me, but the joy of having a steaming cup of coffee on the edge of a lake in the early morning, surrounded by all of the wildlife coming down to get a cool drink, is beyond compare.
So, I’m making it a personal goal to visit some of the world’s most beautiful lakes this year. A lot of these beautiful lakes have almost nothing in common with the traditional lakes I grew up visiting, surrounded by forests and elk and backpackers. But, they are beautiful nonetheless.
If you’re looking for some overlanding travel destinations for 2021, some of these beautiful lakes may just make your list.
Beautiful Lakes to Visit in 2021: Moraine Lake in Canada
photo by AlbertoLoyo via iStock
Canada is filled with so many beautiful lakes that it was almost impossible to pick just one, but Moraine Lake in the Canadian Rockies won out because of the many things there are to do here.
I’m a huge hiking buff and some of the world’s most famous trails are located right on the shores of Moraine Lake. There’s also plenty of hunting available here, since the surrounding mountains are filled with bears and deer.
Moraine Lake is located in Banff and I recommend that you visit in the summer when the surrounding glaciers are melting because this is when the waters will be the most intense turquoise color.
For more information about Moraine Lake, read all about it on the Banff and Lake Louise Tourism site.
Nakuru Lake in Kenya
photo by ANDREYGUDKOV via iStock
Nakuru Lake may be one of the most famous beautiful lakes in the world because of its unique wildlife. You’ve likely seen photos of Nakuru Lake before and just don’t realize it. That’s because Nakuru Lake is home to over a million flamingoes. In fact, many visitors think that the lake is filled with bright pink water from afar.
The flamingos aren’t the only wildlife that call this lake home, though. You’ll also find leopards, rhinos and giraffes here.
The Kenya Wildlife Service has all types of information for Lake Nakuru travel here.
Beautiful Lakes to Visit in 2021: Lake Bled in Slovenia
photo by AleksandarGeorgiev via iStock
While Slovenia has hundreds of beautiful lakes, none are as well-known as Lake Bled because Lake Bled has a gorgeous castle perched right on its shores that make every photo taken here one to be remembered.
Lake Bled is located within the Triglav National Park. Unlike many of the lakes on this list, it is located in a generally warm climate, so you can visit comfortably during any time of the year.
A trip to Lake Bled is also one filled with culture. You may get the chance to see traditional Pletna boats floating on the surface or you may get to try some Bled cream cake, which is just about the best dessert I’ve ever had.
Bled’s official tourism site includes information about the lake, the castle and hiking in the area.
Yamdrok Lake in Tibet
photo by LIANG YICHEN via iStock
Tibet has three sacred lakes, where monks come to refresh themselves and be with nature. Yamdrok Lake is one of the most beautiful.
The lake is huge and surrounded by mountains. If you visit, you might get the opportunity to see a yak or monk from the nearby Samding Monastery, which is home to a few dozen monks and nuns.
Beautiful Lakes to Visit in 2021: Lake Tekapo in New Zealand
photo by simonbradfield via iStock
Lake Tekapo is in a rather far-flung region of New Zealand, but then again what part of New Zealand isn’t far-flung?
This lake is part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, which means that your view of the nature here is going to be completely uninhibited by bright city lights. The lake is an almost otherworldly teal color, especially if you’re planning on visiting during the dry season when the rest of the landscape in the area is a dull brown and yellow.
Of course, the fields of bright purple flowers that bloom in the spring, when the surrounding mountaintops are still white with snow, means you can’t really choose a bad season to visit.
For more information about Lake Tekapo, visit the lake’s tourism website.
Lago di Fusine in Italy
photo by Pavliha via iStock
The Lago di Fusine is technically not one lake but two, so you can visit both beautiful lakes in the same visit. This set of lakes is surrounded by pine forests and is incredibly cold. Because of Italy’s climate and the altitude of these lakes, you will be hard pressed to visit during a time when the surrounding shores aren’t covered in snow.
Like many of the lakes on this list, this one is also fed by glaciers in the surrounding area.
For more information, visit the Friuli Venezia Giulia tourism website.
Beautiful Lakes to Visit in 2021: Obersee in Germany
photo by Michael Blankennagel via iStock
Unless you’re from Europe, or visit regularly, you likely don’t realize just how many beautiful lakes there are in Germany. At least, I didn’t. I always pictured major German towns when I thought of Germany, but it’s countryside is just as much fun.
Obersee is basically located on the border between Germany and Austria. It can be found in Bavaria’s Berchtesgaden National Park.
If you’re visiting Obersee, then you may as well visit Konigssee as well, which is just another of many beautiful lakes in the Berchtesgaden National Park.
Lake Iseo in Italy
photo by RolfSt via iStock
While I desperately tried to pick only one lake per country, I couldn’t quite manage considering all of the beautiful lakes that Italy has to offer.
Lake Iseo, which is located in Lombardy, is surrounded by medieval villages. This means that there are about a thousand ways to explore the lake, be it with a flight over the lake in a small airplane, a sailing trip, or a motor boat.
The Lake Iseo tourism site also has tons of information about restaurant weeks and festivals that aren’t to be missed.
Beautiful Lakes to Visit in 2021: Jökulsárlón Lake in Iceland
photo by Rezus via iStock
Iceland has already been on my bucket list for a long while, but once I saw my first picture of Jökulsárlón Lake, I knew I had to move it up.
Jökulsárlón Lake is a glacier-fed lake in southern Iceland. Well, technically it’s a glacier-fed lagoon, so the body of water is still quite salty. This unique blend of water types means that you will still get to see all sorts of sea life in this lagoon. For instance, if you rent a boat to go out on the water, you’ll likely get to see seals swimming around.
Jökulsárlón Lake is also one of our beautiful lakes to visit because of what can be found on its shores. Diamond Beach, right off of Jökulsárlón Lake, features ice caves that catch all of the surrounding light. You won’t soon forget the experience of walking through glaciers.
For more information about Jökulsárlón Lake, read this Guide to Iceland article.
Laguna Cejar in Chile
photo by Serjio74 via iStock
Laguna Cejar is one of the more interesting lakes on this list because it is located right in the middle of a desert, which is pretty much the exact place I would expect there not to be a lake. The surrounding desert, the Salar de Atacama, means that there is plenty of interesting wildlife nearby all the time.
The lake is also packed with salt, so much salt, in fact, that you can float in the waters of the lake without any effort.
Beautiful Lakes to Visit in 2021: Bachalpsee Lake in Switzerland
photo by Tim Wigley via iStock
Rounding out our beautiful lakes article is Bachalpsee Lake in Switzerland. This lake is surrounded by the Swiss Alps, which means you can take cable cars to summits right off of the lake for one of the most gorgeous views of your life.
Of course, there is plenty of hiking in this area for those in excellent shape!
Of course, there are thousands of other brilliantly beautiful lakes to visit in 2021. These are just a very small sample. When you take off on your next overlanding adventure, consider visiting one of these beautiful lakes – or one of your favorites close to home.