Our planet has more than 115 million lakes, covering around 4% of the entire world’s land surface. Each one has its own unique peculiarities, but only a few are well worth a visit. Here is a list of 10 beautiful lakes that look like Paradise on Earth!
1. Lake Yamdrok, Tibet
Lake Yamdrok (meaning “turquoise”) is a heavenly body of water nestled among gray and green hills and snow-capped mountains. With its characteristic turquoise color, the lake sparkles when the sun is shining. Together with Lake Nam and Lake Manasorova, Lake Yamdrok is one of sacred lakes of Tibet. According to popular legends, the lake is able to help Tibetans find the reincarnated soul of the Dalai Lama.
2. Lake Baikal, Russia
Located in the southern part of eastern Siberia, Lake Baikal is the world’s oldest freshwater lake, as well as the deepest body of water. It is believed to be around 20/25 million years old and to reach a maximum deep of 1,620 meters. This immense body of water contains 20% of the world’s total unfrozen freshwater reserve. Known as the “Galapagos of Russia”, in 1996 Lake Baikal was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List thanks to its unique and rich freshwater fauna.
3. Hutt Lagoon, Australia
Located 515 km north of Perth, Hutt Lagoon is a dreamlike pink lake that attracts visitors from all over the world. The lake covers around 70 square kilometers, with most of the lagoon lying only a few meters below sea level. The shades of this salty body of water can transition from gentle pink to purple or red, depending on the season and the time of the day. Its unique color comes from the presence of an algae called Dunaliella Salina that is a source of beta-carotene.
4. Lake Kawaguchiko, Japan
Lake Kawaguchiko is one of the five lakes surrounding Mount Fuji. Among the five lakes, Kawaguchiko is the most beautiful one and also the most easily accessible thanks to efficient train and bus connections to Tokyo. On clear days, it is possible to admire the majestic Mount Fuji and its reflection in the lake’s water. During springtime, cherry blossoms make this place even more magical. The northern and western shores of the lake are mostly undeveloped, while the eastern side includes a hot spring resort town and numerous tourist attractions.
5. Braies Lake, Italy
Braies lake is a mountain lake located in South Tyrol, right in the heart of the Dolomites. With an altitude of 1,496 m above sea level, the lake is part of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies nature park, in a side valley next to the Val Pusteria. With its bright turquoise-green color, Braies lake captivates any visitor.
6. Melissani Lake, Greece
Probably home of the clearest waters in the world, Melissani is a saltwater lake situated inside a rocky cave on the island of Kefalonia. It includes two chambers: a dark chamber covered with stalagmites, and another open-air chamber. When the sun shines in the chamber, the water looks so clear that it seems that the boats are suspended in the air. In the Greek mythology, the area – which opened to the public in the early 1960s – is also known as the Cave of the Nymphs, sacred female spirits.
7. Lake Natron, Tanzania
Lake Natron is a salty lake located in northern Tanzania. One of its peculiarity is that the water flows in, but doesn’t flow out, meaning that it can only escape by evaporation. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind a high concentration of salt and other minerals. Due to a very high amount of the mineral natron (hydrated sodium carbonate), Lake Natron is extremely alkaline. Its pH has been measured as high as 10.5. For this reason, very few creatures live in its waters. The lake is home to only one fish species (Alcolapia latilabris); however, the high presence of scarlet-hued algae attracts millions of flamingos, making it a major breeding ground.
8. Plitviče Lakes, Croatia
Inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979, the Plitviče lakes are a spectacular natural beauty that each year attracts thousands of visitors. The lakes are located in Central Croatia, around 135 km away from Zagreb. Plitviče Lakes include 16 bodies of water, which are part of the Plitviče Lakes National Park. All lakes are connected by waterfalls with different shades of blue. The forests in the park are home to bears, wolves, and many rare bird species.
9. Lake Tahoe, California
Situated on the California and Nevada border and 1,897 meters atop the Sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe leaves any visitor breathless. It is the largest alpine lake in North America and the second deepest lake in the U.S., after Crater Lake, Oregon. Considered one of the most beautiful places in the world, this natural emerald bay surrounded by lush forest offers a magnificent scenery throughout the year.
10. Jökulsárlón, Iceland
Formed as the result of a glacier retreating, Jökulsárlón is regarded as one of Iceland’s greatest natural wonders. This picturesque glacial lagoon located at the southern edge of the Vatnajökull glacier is characterized by the presence of icebergs floating in its waters. The view is incredible from both land and water. Sometimes, it is even possible to spot seals swimming in its frigid waters.