Europe has an extremely varied relief and some of the most popular natural sites have always been the lakes; partly because they usually provide an important source of food, but also because they are beautiful places that boost your mood and make you want to enjoy your time in the middle of nature.
Today we are going to visit four of some of the most fascinating, beautiful and popular lakes in Eastern Europe.
Lake Balaton in Hungary
Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Europe, covering an area of 600 square kilometers, with 78 kilometers long. Lake Balaton is a kind of substitute for the sea, since Hungary has no sea coast, and it is often called the “Hungarian Sea”.
And even if Hungarians have only a lake, topography and climate has helped so that the northern and southern half of the lake offers completely different attractions for tourists who want different things for their holiday.
In the southern half, between Siófok and Fonyód, you will meet a lot of resorts, sandy beaches, nightclubs, bars – no different from any other real summer resorts. This is fun for young people, but it is also preferred for families with children, and not only because of the resort’s sites, but also due to the characteristics of the lake, whose depth does not exceed three meters in this area. Furthermore, the beach season is fairly extensive, considering that the average temperature is 26 degrees Celsius from May to October.
The northern part of Lake Balaton is more “urban” with chic towns such as Keszthely, Badacsony and Balatonfüred with tourists who prefer walking by the lake, and enjoy the peace and relaxation of the vineyards, castles and hiking areas.
Tihany Peninsula is a very interesting spot, which almost splits the lake in two, an area where the lake’s depth reaches around 11.5 meters.
While in the area, do not miss a visit to the thermal lake of Hévíz, the largest of its kind in Europe; its water temperature does not exceed 24 to 26 degrees Celsius. Here, as well, you can also enjoy some time in Zalakaros, which is another spa resort sought by tourists.
Hungarians have always been able to explore to the maximum even the simplest location and transform it into a touristic attraction, and it is the same with Balaton, which is not just a destination, but a real beach or promenade spot that is among the most popular. During the season, more than 200 smaller or larger boats transit the lake and organize small cruises or other similar opportunities. Furthermore, both on the lake and in the adjacent area, tourists are offered a range of outdoor activities, from cycling (routes totaling 200 kilometers), windsurfing, sailing and water skiing.
For those active people who are addicted to adrenaline, places like Siofok and Balatonfüred feature several bungee jumping platforms and the most “quiet” tourists can opt for a tour of the vineyards and wineries in the area.
Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia
Baikal is the largest and deepest lake in the world, and it reaches 1,642 meters deep and is a great attraction when it freezes. Photos taken during cold periods capture amazing ice carvings.
Why visit it?
This region has not been transformed by people and it attracts adventurers who are willing to endure even the most unfavorable conditions of the Russian frosty winters.
Morskie Oko – The Eye of the Sea, Poland
One of the largest and deepest lakes in the Tatra Mountains, is surrounded by lush landscapes. Is the most popular tourist destination in this mountain range, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
There is a center for tourists and a cabin which offers visitors all touristic amenities at the highest levels.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
This natural reservation is one of the main attractions of the country. Mountainous landscapes and lakes with clear blue water have made the place one of the most famous and easily recognizable attractions in Europe. Throughout time water eroded the limestone structures which lead to karst formations. As a result, they formed numerous waterfalls, caves and lakes. Wildlife is also very varied: thanks to very low pollution and animal conservation, the unspoiled nature is home to many species.
There are several hiking trails: the main crosses the entire park and it takes 4-5 hours to go through. Boating clear water allows you to explore and see what is hiding in it.
Photo source: Picture 1: lifefoc.com; Picture 2: lifefoc.com; Picture 3: allaboardbalaton.wordpress.com; Picture 4: natureandwinetravel.com; Picture 5: thisbluemarble.me; Picture 6: pinterest.com; Picture 7: ravelmoodz.com