Exploring The Biggest Natural Lakes In Europe
In comparison to Africa’s and America’s Great Lakes, Europe’s large natural-made bodies of water may be termed “fun-size,” but they are stunning in their own right. Many were born during the last Ice Age, with the majority in the Baltic region and a few distributed across alpine areas in the continent’s center and southern regions.
Lake Siljan, Sᴡᴇᴅᴇɴ
Siljan is the largest lake in the Swedish county of Dalarna, covering 112 square miles (290 square kilometers). Around 377 million years ago, the area was struck by a massive asteroid the size of 500 million atomic bombs, which slammed onto Earth with the force of 500 million atomic bombs. The lake was created to cover the impact crater and has since become a popular summer vacation spot because to its lush environment, numerous outdoor recreational opportunities, and a thriving folk art culture. Mora, Rättvik, and Tällberg are some of the nicest spots to visit along the coast.
Lake Puula, Fɪɴʟᴀɴᴅ
Lake Puula – or Puulavesi – spans 128 square miles (331 square kilometers) and is distinguished by pristine waters and wooded, mountainous shores that, in some sections, appear prehistoric due to their stony appearance. There are a few sandy beaches among the trees, and the lake’s exceptional trout and salmon stocks attract anglers. Canoeing and rowing are two more water-based sports popular on Puula, however some courses are difficult, so avoid them unless you’re an elite canoeist.
Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia and Aʟʙᴀɴɪᴀ
Ohrid is one of the world’s oldest lakes, spanning 134 square miles (347 square kilometers) on the border between North Macedonia and Aʟʙᴀɴɪᴀ. Ohrid is spiritually significant, with prominent religious sites such as the Church of St. John at Kaneo and the Monastery of St. Naum situated along its banks. Local artisans have been passing down the art of producing Ohrid pearl, a prized substance formed from fish scales, for years.
Lake Mjøsa, Nᴏʀᴡᴀʏ
Mjsa, Nᴏʀᴡᴀʏ’s largest natural lake, measures 142 square miles (368 square kilometers) and is part of the country’s inland fjords. The main lakeside towns are Lillehammer and Hamar, which draw visitors with chances for trout fishing, boating, and winter sports. Other attractions along the beach include the Peder Balke Centre for Contemporary Art, which hosts free concerts every Saturday throughout the summer, and the Mjsmuseet, which focuses on the history of the lake and its inhabitants.
Lake Garda, Iᴛᴀʟʏ
Garda is the largest of the Italian Lakes, covering 143 square miles (370 square kilometers). The environment is Mediterranean, with hanging citrus fruits, olive trees, and cypresses adorning the coastlines, surrounded by mountains and hills. Whether you’re looking for an athletic vacation, an epicurean retreat, a history lesson, or a quiet break, the area can accommodate all preferences. Stop in at vibrant lakeside towns like Sirmione and Malcesine, or rent a car to drive the gorgeous Gardesana Occidentale road.
Lake Storsjön, Sᴡᴇᴅᴇɴ
In the summer, anything from kayaks and canoes to ferries and steamboats may travel Lake Storsjön, which covers an area of 176 square miles (456 square kilometers) before becoming an ice road in the winter. Skiing is also a popular pastime, both on the sea and on land. On the lake, there are several islands; the largest is Frösön, which is located between the city of stersund on the far-east shore and open water. Storsjön may even have its own Loch Ness Monster, the Storsjöodjuret, according to local legend.
Lake Geneva, Sᴡɪᴛᴢᴇʀʟᴀɴᴅ
Lake Geneva, or Lac Léman in French, is a 224-square-mile (581-square-kilometer) body of water that runs along the Swiss-French border. The Jura Mountains, which dominate the west and north sides of the lake, captivate adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. The Alps meet the lake’s south and east coastlines as they rise behind destinations like Montreux and Évian-les-Bains, from whence you may take ferries across the lake to Lausanne.