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Tip Top Lake Locations from the Hotel Guru
There are no crashing waves, crowded beaches or wafts of sun cream here! Serenity reigns amongst the alpine lakes with stunning mountain views over still clear glacial waters. Churches and castles nestle into the shores, each with their own stories to tell. If activity is the name of the game, then Lakeside is where it's at, you just have to choose which lake you'd prefer to visit.
Lake Lucerne, Switzerland.
Beautiful Lake Lucerne in central Switzerland, with its old medieval town, and pretty bridges; Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrucke), the oldest wood covered bridge in Europe is a must see, incredibly, some of the amazing interior paintings survived a fire some 20 years ago. The lake creates the perfect setting for its August summer classical music festival. Take a boat trip along it's 38km length at a leisurely pace and visit the small, idyllic villages of Weggis and Vitznau.
Borromeo islands, Lake Maggiore, Italy.
Thinking of Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, Lake Como and Lake Garda also spring to mind. They all have their own qualities and ooze Italian charm and elegance. You can easily understand the big attraction to the silver screen and celebrities choosing to own some of the incredible lakeside Baroque villas. Lake Maggiore is unique in that it crosses into Switzerland where the landscape is more mountainous, creating a dramatic backdrop. From the shores of the lake you can admire the Borromeo islands, owned by the same family since the 17th century; there is an overall tranquil beauty, and Isola Bella with it's much photographed garden is out of this world.
Lake Konstanz, Switzerland.
Lake Kontanz has an international flavour, bordering Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Lichenstein. If you time it right you can visit all three countries and a principality in one day! A boat trip is the way to go. Starting at Kontanz the largest city on the lake, in Germany, the architecture encompasses so many different periods, you have to see it to identify them all. Lindau is pretty, with its colourful buildings and cobbled streets, a good stopping point where you can take your pick of tasteful restaurants for lunch. Bregenz in Austria has the most unbelievable floating stage with some incredible set design, definitely worth booking in to see a performance. Switzerland delivers a picture postcard St Gallen, full of monastic history with vineyards and gardens that go with the territory.
Lake Bled, Slovenia.
Slovenia is a beautiful country and the capital Ljubljana is a foodies paradise with a wonderful riverside cafe culture. Lake Bled is a short train journey of forty-five minutes from Ljubljana . Here the activity schedule kicks in; Paragliding, watersports, cycling, walking, oh, and river rafting, all on hand in stunning surroundings. Once you've had your fill, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the views of the castle which overlooks the island on the lake.
Lake Garda, Italy.
Lake Garda, the largest of the Italian lakes straddles three regions; Trentino in the north, edged with dramatic cliffs and those perilous winding roads you see in Grace Kelly movies! Veneto to the east, where you'll find the charming town of Malcesine, here you can take a cable car to the top of Mt Baldo for a spectacular view of the lake. The peninsula of Sirmione in the southern Lombardy region, not far from Verona, is very picturesque, a stroll around the castle and the old town is an idyllic way to spend an afternoon. Before we leave the shores, the gurus need to mention the colourful town of Gargnano on the west shores of the lake, truly spellbinding.