Hidden lakes in Europe can be found all over the continent. You just have to know where to look! Escape the crowds and have a private adventure of your own at these secret lakes.
Lake Schrecksee, Germany
Germany’s highest alpine lake is also one of its most pristine. Getting to Lake Schrecksee is no easy feat. You’ll need to hike for several hours in order to reach its gorgeous turquoise waters surrounded by mountainous meadows. The remoteness of this Bavarian paradise is what makes it one of the best-kept secret lakes of Germany.
Lac de Gaube, France
Lac de Gaube may not technically be considered one of Europe’s hidden lakes due to its popularity and ease of access. However, the tranquil vistas are sure to make you feel a world away from the hubbub of civilization. Located near the town of Cauterets in Pyrenees National Park, you can reach it by hiking or riding the cable car.
Loch Einich, Scotland
Scotland’s lochs are famous, insert: Loch Ness Monster. Despite the fame of a few, there are still plenty of lakes hiding among the country’s magnificent terrain. Tucked away in Cairngorms National Park is Loch Einich, one of the secret lakes of the Scottish Highlands. Loch Einich makes a great mountain biking or backpacking trip from one of the nearby towns or villages.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
In Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park makes up a whole series of hidden lakes. A Unesco World Heritage Site and the largest national park in Croatia, this region features 16 lakes and numerous caves, waterfalls, rock formations and other lush forestry. While the park itself may be a popular destination for visitors, it won’t be long before you wander off the beaten path and find your own hidden lakeside gems.
Masurian Lakes, Poland
Likewise, Poland has thousands of stunning lakes that make up the Masurian Lake District in the region of Mazury. While the biggest lakes are inundated with visitors in the summer months, there are plenty of private spots to go around given the sheer number of lakes in the area. What’s the best way to find them, you ask? Plan a hike, ride or paddle through one of the national wilderness areas and see what you find!
Ponte de São João, Rio Coura, Portugal
Tucked away in the craggy hills near Porto, Portugal, you’ll find the secret swimming hole of Ponte de São João at Rio Coura. More of a gathering pool than a lake, this spot might be one of the hardest to find on the list. After stumbling through directions and scrambling down rock formations, the most dedicated visitors are rewarded with crystal clear waters that rarely require sharing.