[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Need to clear your head? There aren't many better options than a lakeside run or an ice cold dip.
Sure, the following picks might not be down the street, but that doesn't mean you can't still make it a goal to tick them off at some point during this life. Here are 8 stunning lakes to visit before you die.
Get busy exploring.
Lake Tahoe, USA
Straddling the California/Nevada state line is the West Coast's go-to summer (and winter) ultimate escape destination. North America's largest alpine lake stays chilly all year round, but that doesn't hinder its popularity for water sports and camping weekends away. During the winter season, ski above the lake at resorts such as Squaw Valley or Heavenly.
Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
Nestled in the highlands of the Sierra Madre mountain range, Lake Atitlán (Lago de Atitlán) is held within a massive caldera that began in its current form over 1.8 million years ago. It's surrounded by three volcanos and reaches depths of up to 600 metres.
Lake Malawi, East African Rift
The ninth largest lake in the world, it's split between the East African countries of Malawai, Tanzania and Mozambique. We'd recommend to pick your swimming spots with care, though, as Nile crocodiles and hippopotamus also call this place home.
Peyto Lake, Canada
Seen here in the early stages of the Canadian winter, you'll find Peyto Lake just off the Colombia Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park. Yes, it really is that blue. In prime summer you'd think you were staring at a cheesy Instagram shot with too much filter. Glacial melt flows into the lake every spring carrying rich minerals that don't settle on the lake bottom, and, when hit by sunlight, create the famous turquois colour that makes it such appropriate desktop wallpaper material.
Loch Duich, Scotland
The Scottish Highlands will give you your much needed nature fix while visiting the UK. Eilean Donan Castle, pictured above, is one of the most tranquil and picturesque scenes in the Motherland.
Lake Como, Italy
Terracotta villas, lush lakeside gardens and immaculately polished wooden boats line this staple of the inner Italian countryside. You can understand why George Clooney and Richard Branson have chosen Lake Como as one of their many overseas property locations.
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
A grouping of 16 interconnected lakes, Plitvice Lakes National Park is actually a wide river system that runs from nearby mountains down to lower elevations. Depending on the time of year, the colours and waterfalls can change daily.
Lake Pehoé, Chile
Lake Pehoé can be found at the base of the famed peaks of the Torres Del Paine National Park in Patagonia. Known for its remote location far south of the equator, the average daily air temperature in summer is only 8 degrees, so you might want to rethink that morning swim. Or you can live a little.