The lakes we’ve missed

For central areas of Europe, lakes are the aquatic escape of choice for locals and visitors. Often surrounded by rugged, magical scenery, these emerald waters are wonderful to both immerse in, and entertain around. 15 months of staying local and we are more than ready to dip into the freshwater lakes of Europe again.

Swagger on Italian waters

With almost 160km of shoreline, Lake Garda in the north of Italy has la dolce vita on a grand scale. The emerald waters are surrounded by towns which cling to the steep cliffs, each offering a unique feel, endless dining options and mountain and water-based activities. They are a place where the Italians come to promenade. The northern end of Lake Garda, around the stylish resort of Riva is mountainous, whilst the southern end around Sirmione has a Mediterranean feel to it, with the mountains giving way to flat lands to the south. Ferry boats criss-cross the lake, there are world-class sail sport conditions to be found in the north and beaches line the 160km shore. The activities on the water and in the mountains are extensive and varied, with everything from vineyards to sailing regattas possible. After a day on or around the waters of Lake Garda, relax and indulge in the waterfront bars and restaurants.

Adrenalin on alpine waters

Away from promenading Italians and waterfront restaurants, Area47 in the Austrian Alps offers a high-octane experience on the thundering waters of the Tirol. The main lake in the complex features water slides, blobbing and diving platforms. The water slides include ridiculously steep chutes and slides that fire the rider high and far into the lake. The diving platforms reach 27m for the Red Bull cliff diving competitions and the blobbing bag attracts professional blobbing teams for unmissable events. There is a fantastic wakeboarding lake, canyoning and white-water rafting tours from the base at Area47. The restaurant terrace offers a place to dine and relax, about the only place at Area47 to lower the pulse.

Tranquil waters of Salzburg

To the east of Area47, close to Salzburg, the Salzkammergut region offers stunning emerald waters amongst beautiful Alpine peaks and pastures. The filming location of the Sound of Music, the region is steeped in history, offers irresistible swimming waters and is popular with paragliders who buzz the peaks and waters under their canopies. Whilst the region is a bit of throwback in time, there are contemporary facilities as well as the truly striking, world HQ of Red Bull - a statement building if there was ever one.

There are countless freshwater lakes across central Europe, offering wonderful backdrops to event entertaining and activities. At this time of the year, cooling off in pristine water from the Alps offers such a rejuvenation to the body and mind.

Person launching out of water cannon at Area 47, Austria.
Yacht on an Austrian lake.
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