Most Beautiful Freshwater Lakes in the World

A body of water

There’s something about freshwater lakes that just makes them so captivating. Maybe it’s their stillness or the way they reflect the sky and surrounding landscape. Whatever it is, there’s no doubt that freshwater lakes are some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Loch Ness, Scotland.

A body of water surrounded by trees

Loch Ness is probably the most famous freshwater lake in the world thanks to its legendary resident, the Loch Ness Monster. But even without Nessie, this lake is stunning. It’s the largest body of water in the UK by surface area and is one of the deepest too.

2. Crater Lake, Oregon.

A flock of seagulls standing on a rock

Crater Lake has formed around 7700 years ago when a volcano called Mount Mazama erupted and then collapsed in on itself. The result was a beautiful blue lake that was surrounded by sheer cliffs. It’s also one of the clearest lakes in the world with visibility up to 140 feet (43 meters).

3. Lake Baikal, Russia.

Lake Baikal is not only massive (it’s the largest freshwater lake in the world by volume), but it’s also incredibly deep (over a mile at some points). It’s so big and deep that it actually contains 20% of the world’s unfrozen surface freshwater. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, Lake Baikal is also one of the oldest lakes in the world, dating back around 25 million years.

4. Jasper Lake, Alberta.

Jasper Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Canada and is located in Jasper National Park. The water is so clear that you can see right to the bottom and there are often reflections of mountains and trees on its surface.

5. Lake Louise, Alberta.

Lake Louise is another stunner from Canada. It’s famous for its bright turquoise waters which are a result of the glacial silt that’s been deposited in the lake over the years.

6. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia.

The Plitvice Lakes are a series of 16 interconnected lakes that are fed by waterfalls. They’re located in Plitvice National Park and have become one of Croatia’s most popular tourist destinations.

7. Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

Lake Tekapo is one of three beautiful lakes that make up the MacKenzie Basin in New Zealand. It’s well known for its bright turquoise color which is caused by glacial flour (fine particles of rock).

8. Pyhajarvi, Finland.

Pyhajarvi is one of the largest lakes in Finland and is located in Pyhä-Luosto National Park. It’s a popular spot for fishing, swimming, and boating in the summer months.

9. Derwentwater, England.

Derwentwater is one of the Lake District’s most popular lakes. It’s surrounded by mountains and forests and is a great place for hiking, canoeing, and kayaking.

10. Lake Wanaka, New Zealand.

Lake Wanaka is another lake in New Zealand that’s famous for its turquoise waters. It’s located in Mount Aspiring National Park and is a popular spot for activities like skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking.

11. Lake Tahoe, California.

Lake Tahoe is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the US and is located on the border between California and Nevada. It’s a popular spot for all sorts of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, camping, and skiing.

12. Lake Superior, Michigan.

Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes and is the world’s largest freshwater lake by surface area. It’s so big that it has its own microclimate and is home to a variety of plant and animal life.

13. Lake Powell, Utah.

Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir that was created by damming the Colorado River. It’s located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and is popular for activities like boating, fishing, and swimming.

14. Dead Sea, Israel.

The Dead Sea is actually a saltwater lake but it’s included on this list because it’s one of the most unique lakes in the world. It gets its name from the fact that its high salt content makes it impossible for fish and other aquatic life to survive in it.

15. Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan.

The Caspian Sea is the world’s largest inland body of water and is located between Europe and Asia. It’s home to a variety of plant and animal life, including some endangered species.

16. Great Salt Lake, Utah.

The Great Salt Lake is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere and is one of Utah’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s famous for its high salt content (up to 25%), which makes it possible to float on the surface of the water.

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