What makes a lake so special?  For us, it’s the surroundings.  Whether it’s towering mountains, volcano walls or villages you’re looking for, one thing’s for sure, the surroundings should be peaceful and gorgeous to look at.  There’s something about hiking around a stunning lake, diving into fresh water and being out in nature that really puts one’s mind at ease.  Here’s our list of Top 5 Most Beautiful Lakes, enjoy!

1.  Kalamalka Lake (British Columbia, Canada):

Yep, the number one lake on our list is one from our home!  We were fortunate enough to live next to this beauty for 18 years.  This is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Named after a First Nation’s Chief who lived on its northern shores, Kalamalka is now marketed as the “Lake Of Many Colours”…and it couldn’t be more perfectly described!  The colours of the water constantly change shades from turquoise to blue to indigo and green.  It’s massive and is the perfect place for swimming, boating, going to the beach, hiking in the surrounding hills, camping on its shores or just gazing down at it from the surrounding mountains.

most beautiful lakes
Stunning, turquoise waters of Kalamalka Lake, British Columbia, Canada

2.  Lake Toba (Sumatra Island, Indonesia):

This lake is so intriguing; it has to be one of the most incredible bodies of water in the world.  It’s a massive volcanic lake with an island in the center of it.  People living on an island, on a lake, within a volcano?  Pretty crazy!  The waters here are clear and calm, and the village of Toba is the perfect place to relax for a week, or two.

most beautiful lakes
Beautiful Lake Toba set in a volcano caldera! Indonesia

3.  Lake Nyassa (Malawi, Mozambique & Tanzania):

The crystal clear waters of the 9th largest lake in the world are amazing.  What makes Lake Nyassa so interesting is that it’s home to more species of fish than any other freshwater body of water in the world! Colourful, tropical looking African Cichlid Fish swim around, making it a great spot for snorkelling and scuba-diving.  It really feels like you’re in the ocean rather than a lake.

most beautiful lakes
Jumping into the turquoise waters of Lake Malawi, Monkey Bay, Malawi

4.  Inle Lake (Nyaungshwe, Myanmar):

Inle lake is a great spot to see traditional living.  The villages surrounding the shores here are predominately home to the Intha People, who are self-sufficient and still live the way they have for centuries.  Age-old methods of fishing, farming and cooking are still used here on a daily basis.  This lake isn’t a great spot for swimming, but it’s the perfect place to rent a canoe-like boat and cruise the waters enjoying all of the scenery along the way.

most beautiful lakes
A local fisherman using traditional techniques, Inle Lake, Myanmar

5.  Lake Louise (Alberta, Canada):

Another one for the home team!  This is a stunning lake surrounded by mountains in the beautiful Banff National Park.  The waters here are calm and perfectly turquoise in the spring and summer and completely frozen in the winter, making it the perfect place for ice fishing and ice skating.  The famous Chateau Lake Louise Fairmont Hotel sits at one end of the lake as it has since the early 1900’s.  Popular with tourists, this lake also has great hiking and mountain bike trails which are teaming with wildlife.

most beautiful lakes
Stunning Lake Louise with Fairmont’s Chateau Lake Louise in the distance. Alberta, Canada

There are so many beautiful lakes in this world.  We haven’t even began to scratch the surface with this list.  Having never been to Central America, South America, parts of Europe, New Zealand or Australia, we chose lakes based on ones we’ve seen in North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  Hopefully one day we’ll be able to add some more lakes to this list.

Please feel free to comment below and add your favourite lakes!

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Top 5 Most Beautiful Lakes

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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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26 thoughts on “Top 5 Most Beautiful Lakes

  1. Lake O’Hara in the BC Rockies is my # 1 choice. This is a fun article. It should get you a lot of ideas of new places to go.

  2. Thanks for the comment Charlie! We’ve never been to Lake O’Hara…next time we’re in B.C. we’ll have to check it out.

  3. Thanks for the commet Danica! Lake Toba is amazing, isn’t it? Such an interesting place. We spent a week there but could have stayed longer! Cheers.

  4. Been to Lake Louise and it was gorgeous! Nice post. Glad that there still is so much beauty to see and explore!;-)

  5. Yes Lake Louise is amazing! There is so much to explore in Canada alone! We are guilty of not exploring our own country enough. One day we will see more of it. Safe travels!

  6. Yes, Canada is beautiful. I lived in Montreal for 6 years. A fantastic city!

  7. hi,
    greetings from mumbai india.keep the travel spirit up all the time,i think CHILKA LAKE
    in orissa state of india (East India) is also one of the very big lake in the is spread over an area of 8 sq km and has abundant huge water falls, greeneery freash
    lake water fishes,and huge place to will give you all details
    all the best
    vijay pandya

  8. Thanks for the comment Vijay!

    I just looked up Chilka Lake and it looks beautiful. Maybe next time we are in India we will have to go there. We love India and have been there 3 times now!

    Cheers from China 🙂

  9. We love you too, Danica. Hahaha.
    It’s amazing places. Lake Toba is the largest lake in Indonesia, and have an awesome view too.
    I go there when I was a child.

  10. Thanks for the comment. Lake Toba is stunning! We’ll have to go back again one day 🙂

  11. I think that Lake Malawi looks like the most fun. but Lake Louise looks awesome also. great stuff guys thanks.

  12. Thanks Kymee!
    Lake Malawi was a lot of fun. We’ve been to some really nice lakes on our Central Asian trip…we’ll be adding to this list soon!


  13. Nice selection of lakes. I haven’t visited any off them yet. I’m about to explore the famous lake Zurich in a couple of weeks 🙂 I hear it’s one of the cleanest in the world, you can drink from it, which is amazing when we think it’s located in the city center.

  14. These look beautiful, and I haven’t been to any of them!! I’d add the Attabad Lake in Northern Pakistan to that list too – I wrote about it here – – sadly however, that lake was artificially created by a landslide which claimed lives 🙁

  15. Nice! Let us know how the lake is. If you can drink out of it, it must be clear and amazing 🙂

  16. Hey guys, I’ve just been to BC this weekend and saw the Kalamalka Lake for the first was gorgeous.
    It was a long ride from Vancouver to Calgary, next time we will make some time for a swim 😉
    I’m sure you will agree that Morraine Lake and Peyto Lake are beautiful too.

  17. That lake looks beautiful! Too bad it had to take lives in order for it to be created 🙁 Still, lovely!

  18. If you can believe it, we lived in Calgary for 6 years and never saw Morraine Lake!!!! I know, I know, it’s ridiculous. Seen photos though and it looks unreal. Glad you enjoyed our hometown’s Kal Lake!

    Cheers 🙂

  19. Lake Louise looks like my favorite one! A little piece of heaven 🙂 Love your website, glad I found you!

  20. Hi there,
    great website. I love lakes and you grew up in an area with tons of stunning lakes. Heading off to Chilliwack lake tomorrow, fantastic view from up on Flora lake trail. Didn’t realize I was following a local – small world

  21. That sounds like a great walk! We’ve never been to Chilliwak Lake…been to Chilliwak thought! haha. Glad to have you following 🙂

  22. I need to get up to Canada. My favorite on the list is Lake Nyassa (Malawi, Mozambique & Tanzania):

  23. Yes, you must get to Canada! We really like lake Nayassa as well. However, now we’re staying on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and love it as well. I think we need to redo this list 😉

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