We all need a break in the colder months as well, so we’ve rounded up some of the region’s eye-catching mountain lakes and tarns that are well worth a visit. In these high-altitude landscapes, you can almost taste the fresh air, while the winter sunshine caresses your face in the cool, icy weather. If you’re looking for an active holiday spot, you don’t have to go far either, as skiing is also available near most of them.
Lake Bohinj | Slovenia
Slovenia’s largest natural lake is just 30 kilometers from Bled. Located in the heart of the Triglav National Park, Lake Bohinji has all the beauty of an ideal winter landscape, and it is almost completely unspoiled. You can do some ice skating, horse riding, skiing, and enjoy wellness services in the area, or try snowshoeing on the local trails.
Lake Jasna | Slovenia
The picturesque lake, also in Triglav, Slovenia, on the Pisnica River near the Kranjska Gora resort, offers a variety of accommodation facilities and a magnificent mountain view. Lake Jasna is actually two artificial lakes connected by glacial water, which attract swimmers in summer with their white sand beaches.
Bâlea Lake | Romania
Bâlea is a glacier lake located in the middle of one of the most beautiful mountainous areas of the Romanian Carpathians. It is easily accessible from the legendary Transfăgărășan mountain road, at an altitude of no less than 2,034 meters above sea level. You are welcome to stay in a chalet right on the shore, but if you want something even more special, try the Hotel of Ice. Yes, everything here is indeed made of ice, even the dining room and beds. If you are already in the area, you should also explore Goat Lake (Lacul Capra) and the waterfall Cascada Bâlea.
Lake of Rudabánya | Hungary
Located in the eastern tip of the country, this artificial quarry lake in Rudabánya is a remnant of the open-pit mining of the local iron ore mine. It is the deepest standing water in Hungary, with a spectacular contrast between the reddish mountain range surrounding it and the turquoise water. It is popularly known as the “Tarn of Borsod”, the trail around the area is built around mineral collecting, the unique panorama, the proximity of the water, and the various rocks of the mining area. In the sedimentary rock layers, researchers have unearthed remains dating back 10 million years, but in addition to the rhinoceroses, dawn horses, and mastodons that once lived here, they have also found a jaw fragment of Rudapithecus hungaricus, the common ancestor of man and modern apes, which is unparalleled in its kind.
Lake Ohrid | Albania, Macedonia
Located on the border between Macedonia and Albania, Lake Ohrid is the deepest lake in the Balkans and the oldest lake in the world. Its crystal-clear waters are transparent to a depth of 22 meters, so the rich and diverse wildlife and the monasteries along its shores are quite unmissable. And the village of Velestovo, on the slopes of Mount Petrino, offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountain ridge.