When most people think of going on vacation, images of white sand beaches and oceans spring to mind (especially if you’re living in a snow kingdom during winter). But if your looking to try something a little different with just as much fun same fun as the beach offers, a holiday by a lake could be just the little vacay to mix it up for you.

Although lakes will provide a totally different holiday experience to the beach holidays we are used to, the same rules apply. Make sure your passport is valid, check whether you need any additional visas or other documentation and compare travel insurance before you go to make sure you are getting the best possible deal.

Here is a run-down of five of the world’s most beautiful lakes.

Lake Bled, Slovenia

a view of the church on Lake Bled

Located in the Julian Alps in Slovenia, Lake Bled is 2120 meters long and 1380 meters wide, with a maximum depth of over 30 meters. Set against a breathtaking backdrop of forests and mountains and overlooked by the medieval Bled Castle, Lake Bled was formed when the Bohinj Glacier melted. The lake is still, picturesque and very clear and has hosted the World Rowing Championships on a number of occasions.

Lake Garda, Italy

A view of Lake Garda

The largest lake in Italy with a total area of approximately 370 square kilometers, Lake Garda is situated between the cities of Venice and Milan and is a popular destination for holidays and weddings. Being a true vacation spot, there are plenty of hotels, restaurants and activities to enjoy.

You’ll also be able to take a drive through the Lake Garda road tunnels – with odd little windows hewn from the rock at intervals – which border one side of the lake (as featured in the opening scenes of the James Bond Film ‘Quantum of Solace’). There are also plenty of historical sites to explore and tranquil, peaceful places to relax and enjoy your truly spectacular surroundings.

Loch Lomond, Scotland

Loch Lomond on a sunny day

Located within the Trossachs National Park in Scotland, Loch Lomond is around 30 minutes from Glasgow and 90 minutes from Edinburgh. It is an idyllic destination with gorgeous scenery and quaint cottages. Loch Lomond is almost 29 kilometers long and over 7 kilometers wide at its broadest point. It is up to 192 meters deep and has over 30 islands. Loch Lomond is the largest area of fresh water in Britain and is certainly a deserving contender for this list due to its unspoilt feel and breathtaking beauty – especially when the rays of the setting sun reflect upon its waters).

Lake Nakuru, Kenya

Wildlife at Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru in Kenya is home to pink flamingos and pelicans, while the National Park in which it is situated also contains rhinos, Colobus monkeys, zebras, buffalo and giraffes. It is a popular destination for safari holidays. The lake is situated around 100 kilometres from Nairobi and is set in a beautiful mixture of woods, grassland and rocky hills. It is around 60 square kilometres in total.

Crater Lake, Oregon, USA

The Deepest Lake in the USA

Crater Lake is situated within Oregon. At 592 meters deep, it is the deepest lake in the USA and the seventh deepest in the world. A freshwater lake, it is a truly beautiful deep blue in colour and surrounded by 2000-foot-high cliffs and a volcano. The average snowfall for the area is around 44 feet a year, although the lake very rarely freezes. The National Park is also home to a wide range of wildlife so you’ll find that your camera will be kept busy!

Have you been to an amazing lake and think it should make it the list?