Gokyo Lakes – Nepal
Resting at an altitude of 4,700 – 5,000m in the Nepalese Himalayas, the stunning Gokyo lakes make up the highest freshwater lake system in the world. They are considered deeply sacred by Hindus and Buddhists, with several hundred Hindus travelling there to take a holy bath in the lakes during the Janai Purnima Festival.
Lake Hillier (Pink Lake) – Australia
Known as the ‘Pink Lake’ for obvious reasons, Australia’s Lake Hillier looks more like something from a surrealist painting than a natural occurrence. Its startling candy pink colour is permanent and doesn’t change when the water is put into a container, though the reason for this is still something of a mystery.
Lake Toba – Sumatra, Indonesia
At 30km wide and up to 505m deep, Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world. It occupies the caldera of a super volcano on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia and was formed following an eruption that literally changed the face of the earth, sometime around 70,000 years ago.
The Dead Sea – Israel
Despite its name, the Dead Sea is technically a lake and a salty one at that. With its surface and shores sitting at 430.5m below sea level, it resides at the Earth’s lowest location on land. It is also one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet meaning plants and animals cannot thrive here – hence the name. The lake’s salt and mineral content has long been revered for its medicinal properties, said to cure various ailments.
Lake Bled – Slovenia
Surrounded by snowcapped mountains and aromatic pine forests Lake Bled in Slovenia is the ultimate fairytale lake. It even has its own castle, perched atop a hill along the shore. The water itself is warmed by mild thermal springs, making it an ideal swimming spot right through to the autumn months.
Melissani Cave – Greece
In Greek mythology, Melissani is known as the Cave of the Nymphs – where the creatures would come to bathe – and it’s easy to see why. Encased by dense forest on the outside, the lake journeys into the cave where you can take a boat ride into the subterranean world of sun-dappled water and eerie rock formations.
Lake Baikal – Siberia, Russia
The deepest lake in the world, and thriving with endemic flora and fauna, Lake Baikal in Russia contains more than 20% of the world’s fresh surface water. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and remains central to the local cultures that have settled on its shores.
Plitvice Lakes – Croatia
More a system of lakes than a single body of water, the magical Plitvice Lakes National Park could easily be a scene from a fantasy story. It comprises of 16 terraced lakes, interconnected by waterfalls that cascade down into a limestone canyon.
Abraham Lake – Canada
Nestled in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, the beautiful manmade Lake Abraham becomes something of a phenomenon in the winter months, when decaying plants on the lake bed create methane bubbles that rise and freeze beneath the surface; stacked in perfect formation.
Lake Malawi – Africa
With shorelines on Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania, Lake Malawi is one of the Great African Lakes and home to more species of fish than any other lake in the world. It is around 570km long and 75km wide and known for its sandy beaches and incredible wildlife.