5 of the World's Most Iconic Lakes

Posted: 23 March 2020 | Updated: 23 March 2020

Ah, lakes - who doesn’t have sweet summer memories of swimming in and taking boat rides on their scintillating waters? If you’ve spent a lot of time with them, however, you’ll know that every lake has its own personality of sorts. Some are simply more memorable than others.

This week we’ll take a look at some of the world’s most iconic lakes, from the deep dark homes of mythological creatures to lakes with healing powers on which one can float.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Lake Tekapo, a UNESCO world heritage site, was so designated due to its truly undeniable beauty and clear skies, leading to huge stargazing potential. You’d think that’s enough in itself but no - every November until mid-December, Tekapo’s lakeshores are suddenly surrounded by luscious fields of tall pea-like lupin flowers in a variety of colours (pink, orange, blue, yellow and more), making for a veritable surreal experience worthy of a Tim Walker set. The flowers can reach a height of up to 1.5 meters, adding to the lake’s already striking beauty and providing a heavenly backdrop for many one aspiring landscape photographer. 

 

Loch Ness, Scotland

Who hasn’t heard of the cryptozoological (before you refer to Google, this is a word used to describe fantastical folklore entities whose existence pseudoscientists have made it their aim to prove) Loch Ness monster as a little child? Spooky stories of phantasmagorical creatures called Nessie aside, the Loch Ness lake is a national Scottish emblem. Lying in the Scottish highlands, a natural wonder of their own right, it is arguably the world’s most famous lake, despite only being Scotland’s second-biggest lake, after Loch Lomond. At 226m deep, while its dark murky waters may not harbour monsters, the 1.6km long lake contains more freshwater than all lakes, rivers and reservoirs of England and Wales combined. 

Lake Baikail, Russia

Located in Eastern Siberia, close to Mongolia, this crescent-shaped lake is one of Russia’s main natural attractions and one of the world’s Great Lakes. Lake Baikail in fact is the world’s largest freshwater lake, containing an astonishing 22% of the world’s fresh surface water. Speaking of rankings, Baikail also ranks first age-wise: at 25-30 million years, it is the most ancient lake in recorded geological history. It is also the world’s deepest lake. Alas, you get the point – this is a pretty impressive lake by any measure. It also is a sight to behold, offering sapphire-blue waters surrounded by a Siberian wilderness of (pine, conifer and boreal) forest, plains and semidesert and views of soaring mountain ranges.

Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan

No list of the world’s most iconic lakes would be complete without the Dead Sea and by extension its potent salt, the latter a bathroom essential in many a self-respecting household. While your own bathtub, unfortunately, does not permit floating, all you have to do is visit the salt’s lieux de providence for a premium floating experience. With a salinity level of about 30 parts per hundred (that is 9x as salty as the ocean!), this marvel of a lake presents an invitation to just turn over onto your back, relax and succumb to that light floaty feeling. That’s definitely a better experience than your bathtub can offer. Oh and also, fear not, you cannot drown in its 330m deep waters. 

Lake Superior, U.S. and Canada

Another major world lake, Lake Superior (as its name suggests) is the largest of the Great Lakes of North America, as well as the world’s largest freshwater lake by surface area. Rightfully upheld as a major attraction, its waters are shared by the U.S. and Canada so anyone wishing to partake in the 10-day Lake Superior Circle Tour along its 2783km long shoreline or any of its shorter variations. Whether you are in for a fun kayak ride or prefer hiking up giant dunes and admiring mind-blowing scenery consisting of cliffs, waterfalls and lighthouses, there is something to experience for everyone. 

If we’ve inspired you to take a trip over to Lake Tekapo soon, make sure to check out our Mount Cook National Park tours and activities. You’re sure to find some exciting there.

By AAT Kings