Stunning Eastern European Lakes

27 September 2013

While we love the cosmopolitan life of big European cities, there is something to be said for escaping to the country side and relaxing amongst nature on the shores of a beautiful lake.  So, get ready to experience some of the continents’ best kept secrets with our insider list of stunning Eastern European lakes.

#1 – Bled, Slovenia

Descending on this beautiful lake is something like stumbling across a fairy-tale kingdom.  Edged with leafy green trees encircling still turquoise waters, Bled is made even more postcard perfect by a gorgeous castle perched on a lone island in the centre of the lake.  Travellers can take a pletna or rowboat out to the island, ride a bicycle around the lake and through the nearby towns or simply relax with some local wine. With another castle built on the mountain beside the lake, this is one place you will never forget.

#2 Lake Orhid – Macedonia/Albania

Spanning the mountainous border between Macedonia and Albania lies one of Europe’s oldest lakes.  Lake Orhid offers travellers an unparalleled mix of classic Baltic style and natural beauty.  The deep clear waters of the lake itself are said to have innumerable healing properties, while the coastal towns of Orhid and Pogradec are rich cultural centres.  Here visitors can get a taste of the region’s ancient history at numerous churches, fortresses and monasteries.  Undoubtedly a hidden gem of Eastern Europe, Lake Orhid is perfect for a spiritual retreat.

Lake Balaton, Hungary Lake Balaton, Hungary

#3 Lake Balaton – Hungary

Nestled in the lush landscapes of the Hungarian countryside, Lake Balaton has been a local favourite for many years.  With warm glittering waters and soft sandy shores, guests to the area will feel instantly relaxed and welcomed.  Siofok, the largest town located on the northern shore of the island, boastsplenty of comfortable accommodation, trendy clubs and beautiful beaches making it a popular destination for travellers of all kinds.  Guests can spend many an afternoon exploringneighbouring vineyards or take a venture out to the Water Buffalo sanctuary just south of the lake.

#4 Lake Onega – Russia

From quiet marshlands with rustling reeds to dense forests to the bustling city streets of Petrozavodsk on the western shore, Russia’s Lake Onega is a travellers dream.  Outdoor enthusiasts can spending their days wildlife watching and exploring the lake’s many islands.  With a healthy population of elk, wild fox and brown bear there’s lots to be seen onshore.  Water sport lovers, can enjoy a host of exciting activities ranging from sailing to kite-boarding and everything in between while the cultural enthusiast can get lost in the historic streets of Petrozavodsk.  Famous for its historic round square, Petrozavodsk blends soviet and neo-classical styles in an interesting balance.

#5 – Plitvice Lakes – Croatia

Where shimmering emerald waters reflect dense Mediterranean forests, the Plitvice Lakes are certainly one of Croatia’s hidden gems.  Just an hour’s drive outside of Dalmatian, this series of sixteen lakes are connected by cascading waterfalls and interwoven with numerous hiking trails perfect for an afternoon jaunt.  A UNESCO protected natural wonder, the Plitvice Lakes provide travellers with a much needed sanctuary of pristine natural beauty.

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