Wide sand, lapping waves and water as far as the eye can see. Though all appearances would suggest you’re spending a day at the sea, in fact you could just as well be on a holiday at one of the world’s 10 largest lakes. Go on then, take a dip.
1. Caspian Sea
Though the Caspian Sea’s misleading name suggests otherwise, this salt-water body is in fact the world’s largest lake, as it is a land-locked body of water.
2. Lake Superior
The greatest of the Great Lakes, the rugged and beautiful Lake Superior is the biggest freshwater lake in the world.
3. Lake Victoria
Though the Falls get the lion’s share of the press, Lake Victoria is just as beautiful. Visitors flock to the lake (which is also the source of the Nile River) for camping, canoeing, and sightseeing.
4. Lake Huron
Flanked by Michigan and Canada, Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes, though it boasts the longest shoreline. Perfect for sunning yourself on one of its expansive beaches during the summer months.
5. Lake Michigan
One of the best places to take in the tides of Lake Michigan is downtown Chicago. Against the backdrop of skyscrapers, the beach is perfectly relaxing. Plus you have plenty of choice too – Lake Michigan stretches all the way from Gary, Indiana, almost up to the Canadian border.
6. Lake Tanganyika
One of several African Great Lakes, the colossal Lake Tanganyika straddles four borders. It’s also the world’s longest freshwater lakes, and also one of the deepest.
7. Lake Baikal
Located in remote Siberia, Lake Baikal, a rift lake by formation, is also the oldest and deepest in the world.
8. Great Bear Lake
Though it sadly isn’t shaped like a bear, Canada’s Great Bear Lake is still impressive. We recommend staying along its southern shore as the upper portion stretches into the Arctic Circle!
9. Lake Malawi
This deep, beautiful body of water doesn’t just go by one name, it’s also called Lake Nyasa, the Lake of Stars (for the reflections of fishermen’s lanterns), The Lake of Storms (given the localized weather patterns), and the Calendar Lake (it’s roughly 365 miles long and 52 wide).
10. Great Slave Lake
Its position in Canada’s Northwest Territories means this lake, one of the world’s deepest, is often covered with a thick layer of ice. Aim for July or August, when it’s melted (unless ice sledding is your preferred pursuit).
Feature © ehrlif/iStock/Thinkstock
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to… whose guides cover all the best hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, sights, shops and spas.