Sep 19


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.

Why visit?

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.

Why visit?

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.

Why visit?

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.

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May 06


The surreal shade of the pictures representing the lakes in the Plitvice National Park make you think of photo editing, but we assure you it is, not only real, but even more beautiful and outstanding when you see it with your own eyes.

Plitvice Lakes National Park is relatively close to the capital Zagreb (less than 150km) and the Dalmatian coast – from Zadar there are 120 km of highway. Virtually no later than two hours you reach Plitvice.

The park is open every day at 7:00, and if you get there at rush hour, you might be lucky and take some amazing snapshots without being interrupted. Hurried, or without having other people in the frame.

The Great National Park is divided into the Lower and the Upper Lakes, and if your feet won’t get tired you can see them all in one day.

Dure to this division, there are two entrances to the Park easily remembered by the names “Entrance 1” for the lower lakes and “Entrance 2” for the higher lakes. Entrance 2 is normally closed between November tand April.

A complete circuit takes about nine hours, but it’s recommend to enjoy the routes leisurely, as there is plenty of fresh air, tranquility and nature in a surreal computer wallpaper scenery. If however you have only one day available, you better get here first thing in the morning. As stated above, because later on come dozens of buses with tour groups will arrive and doing slalom through the narrow trails might ruin the pleasure.

Protected by U.N.E.S.C.O., the landscapes with 92 waterfalls represent the pearl of Croatian tourism and a magnetic attraction for more than 1 million tourists annually. The best time to go there is in the months of July and August.

Depending on how much time you have, choose one of the 8 trails – they are marked with letters – and let yourself guided by wooden signs and the map printed on the entrance ticket. You will not get lost (and even if you do, we are sure you won’t mind!), as routes are intuitive and every waterfall and lake is marked with signs and you will be able to trace it on your map.

As for accommodation, there are three main hotels clustered at the second entrance in the area and another one – Hotel Gabrovac – in the northern part of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. If you opt for a more rustic settlement, there are a few camping sites with bungalows and tent perimeter, such as Camp Korana or Camp Borje.

Locals will also offer you a great variety of possibilities, so you will choose between single rooms, apartments, pensions, guesthouses etc.

Even if summertime is preferred, a visit there is perfect any time of the year, as you can enjoy the chromatic palette of the vegetation, which changes accordingly, offering an amazing spectacle of nature and shades. In wintertime it is usually closed, except for the second entrance, which will provide you with access to the magical icy scenery that will unfold in front of your eyes, but keep in mind that, regardless of the season. You must always have proper footwear for tracking.