With 117 million beautiful lakes across the globe, it isn’t a cinch to pick only the ten biggest mesmerizing lakes. The below list is based on the number of visitors per year, the reviews from visitors, the lakes’ economic and cultural values, and the lake’s beauty. 

As beauty is subjective, here are the ten mesmerizing lakes in the world with an honorable mention of Spirit Island as a featured image. 

1. Lake Rara 

Rara lake - mesmerizing lakes
The heavenly lake Rara| Photo by The Himalayan times
LocationNepal
Area9.8 km²
Depth167 m
Visitors per yearOver 15,000
SpecialtyPicturesque view 

Rara Lake, the biggest freshwater lake in the Nepalese Himalayas, is located in the Jumla and mugu district of Karnali province. 

The lake lies above 2990m from sea level. 5.1 km long with 2.7 km width, the lake has a maximum depth of 167m and a water surface of 10.8 km2

The lake is slightly polluted and contains low nutrient contents; hence classified as an oligotrophic lake with high pH and conductivity. 

The rara lake drains into the Mugu Karnali River via the Nijar River. The lake was considered a Ramsar site in September 2007 as it is home to diverse flora and fauna. 

The rare and endangered species are also protected within the proximity of rara lake. Three endemic fishes and frog species are protected in rara lake with utmost care. The lake seems to change its color three times a day.

Sometimes it is blue; sometimes it’s brown and sometimes crimson and purple. The water reflects the Himalayan peaks: the scene is an ethereal experience for any visitor. 

The lake is receiving a lot of visitors from all over the world except the covid time. Adventures like boating in clear water, hiking to nearby hills, and exquisite view of the Himalayas make the visit to rara lake worthwhile.

As per the visitors, the visit to rara lake was a journey of insight and tranquility. However, the experience is possible in only the summer season; the temperature drops below the freezing point during the winter. 

2. Lake Bled

lake bled - mesmerizing lakes
Lake Bled| Photo from Pinterest
LocationSlovenia
Area145 ha
Depth31m
Visitors per year500,000
SpecialtyIt looks like a scene from a Disney movie 

If you ever wanted to venture to Disney-like castles situated in the middle of a lake, the lake bled is the ultimate destination for you.

One of Slovenia’s most popular sites, Lake Bled, is of glacial and tectonic origin. With 2,120m long, 1,380m wide, a width of maximum depth of 29.5m, and a tiny island, the lake is surrounded by mountains and forest. 

The island in the lake has several buildings: the main one is the pilgrimage church dedicated to the assumption of Mary built in its current form around the 17th century. 

The reason behind the current unique shape of the lake did not emerge coincidentally. The Bohinj glacier made a tectonic hole and is now the lakes’ location. The only thing that remained was the island. 

The ice melted, and the basin filled with water; thus, Lake Bled emerged, which is in some places up to 30 meters deep and quite popular amongst divers. 

Nineteen species of fish live on the lake. The plants are also seen thriving on the water surface. Anyone can experience the majestic views of a lake bled with a picturesque environment any time of the year.

Summer and spring are inarguably the best time to visit the lake. The winter and fall are much colder.

There could be light snowfall and skill available in winter, making the experience wholesome. However, the restaurants’ activities are often closed during the winter. 

3. Lake Biwa

Biwa Lake - mesmerizing lakes
Glorifying Biwa Lake, Japan| Photo from 123rf
Locationjapan
Area670.4 km²
Depth104m
Visitors per year30,000,000
SpecialtyHistorical significance

Located northeast of the former city of Kyoto, Lake Biwa is the largest freshwater lake in Japan. Lake Biwa is the 13th oldest lake globally, estimated at four million years old.

References of lake biwa appear in Japanese literature and hold accounts of numerous battles fought on the shores of the lake.

The lake has a max length of 63.49 km, max-width of 22.8 km, max depth of 104m, and a total area of 670 km².

The lake serves as a source of economy to the whole of Japan. The lake is used as a water source for the cities of Kyoto and Otsu.

Drinking water is produced from lake biwa to 15 million people in the Kansai region, and Lake Biwa is famous for freshwater fish and the pearl culture industry. 

When the torii gate aligns to the mountain range during the sunset, that magnificent scene brings an indescribable feeling for a moment; a perfect destination for vacations. 

The diverse ecosystem has evolved in lake Biwa because of its long age. Naturalists have found thousands of species and subspecies in the lake. 

Around 60 endemic species are found in the lake, out of which forty-six are species and subspecies are of fishes. 

In recent years, biodiversity has been suffering greatly because of the invasion of foreign fish, the black bass and the bluegill.

4. Lake Manapouri

Lake Manapouri - mesmerizing lakes
Lake Manapouri Area| Photo by Newzealand Department of Conservation
LocationSouth of New Zealand
Area142 km²
Depth444m
Visitors per year593,000
SpecialtyAdventurous activities 

New Zealand’s second deepest lake, Lake Manapouri, is located south island of New Zealand. 

There is a myth about how the lake was formed. According to legends, there were two daughters of an old chief in the region: Motorola and coronae. 

One day, coronae ventured deep into the jungle when she was stranded alone. Moturoa went in to help Koronae only to realize her sister could not be saved. They stayed there together until they both died. 

Their tears are what they believed created the lake. Manapouri means sorrowful heart. The lake has a max length of 28km, a max depth of 444m, and a surface area of 142 km2.

The area around the lake is renowned for fishing. Due to the lake’s high-quality water, the lake is listed in the ultra-oligotrophic index. 

The lake has low biological productivity because of its clear, highly oxygenated water. The granite peaks, waterfall, and vivid beauty along the shore make an enjoyable crossing around the lake. 

The presence of diverse submerged vegetation is what is unique about the lake. The foliage is mainly endemic to that lake.

5. Laka Phewa

Phewa lake - mesmerizing lakes
Wide view of Phewa Lakes| Photo by East Med Wanderer
LocationKaski, Nepal
Area4.43 km²
Depth23m
Visitors per year700,000
SpecialtyCulturally important 

Phewa, often called Badam Taal, is a freshwater lake located south of Pokhara valley. The lake is a semi-natural freshwater lake because the lake is stream-fed, and a dam regulates the water reserves.

Nepal’s most famous and most visited lake, Phewa lake, is the second largest in the country. Island Phewa lake is located at an altitude of 742m and covers an area of about 4.43 km2

With an average depth of 8.6m and a maximum depth of 24m, the maximum water capacity of the lake is 45,000,000 cubic meters. 

The lake holds cultural importance to the people of Nepal. In the middle of the lake, there is a small island. 

Tal Barahi Temple is the most important religious monument located in the middle of the lake and is dedicated to one of the Hindu gods known as Vishnu.

Such a strong culture transformed Pokhara into a robust city. Pokhara is the hub for tourists: one of the main reasons is Phewa lake. 

What makes the lake so beautiful is the reflection of Mount Machhapuchhre and other mountain peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges on its surface.

A recent lake sediment analysis showed the lake age to be BC 12640 – 12025. Any day in the year is suitable for the visit. 

The shimmering water in the lake gives a tranquilizing effect on your mind. One-stop would not be enough for this beautiful nature’s creation. 

Once you visit the lake, you feel like revisiting the lake; That is the mark the lake and city mark upon the tourist’s mind.

6. Attabad lake 

People boating at Lake Attabad, Hunza valley| Photo by Mohsin Kazmi
LocationPakistan 
length20.9 km 
Depth109m
Visitors per yearAround 500,000
SpecialtySkiing, fishing, boating 

Located in the Gojal region of Hunza valley Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, the Attabad lake formed due to a landslide in 2010. 

The first week of June 2010, the water began flowing from the landslide dam, submerging some places. The lake reached 21 meters long and over 100 meters in depth in the first week. 

A landslide formed the lake, so it caused a lot of destruction over the places. The landslide blocked the flow of water in the Hunza River. 

Twenty people died, and many more got injured because of the catastrophe. Over six thousand people had to find another shelter. 

The Karakoram highway could not be used, due to which the residents suffered a shortage of food. 

The prime minister of the country, Yousaf Raza Gillani, visited the affected area and provided 100 million aid for the victims and 0.5 million rupees for the families of casualties. 

Despite all the damages caused, the lake is beautiful scenery to watch. It’s a majestic experience to hop into a canoe in the shimmering blue water surrounded by the mountains; above the mountains, the blue sky with moving clouds provides warmth. 

Besides, the lake offers activities like fishing, boating, jet-skiing, and other adventurous activities. The spot has become one of the major tourist attractions in Gilgit-Baltistan.

7. Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal, Russia| Photo by Rbth
LocationRussia
Area31,722 km²
Depth1,642 m
Visitors per year4,000,000
SpecialtyThe deepest and oldest lake 

Lake Baikal, located in Russia, is identified as the world’s largest lake. The world’s biggest freshwater lake by volume, the Baikal lake contains twenty-one percent of the world’s freshwater surface. 

With 23,615.39 km3 of water, the Baikal lake is also the world’s deepest lake, with a maximum depth of 1642m.

The world’s seventh-largest lake by surface area falls under the list of the world’s clearest lakes devoid of pollutants and contaminants. 

Lake Baikal is a world heritage site enlisted by UNESCO in 1996. Thousands of plants and animals species have been living in lake Baikal in the past million years. 

The eastern region of the lake is home to Buryat tribes. The tribes over there focus on raising cattle, goats, camels, sheep, and horses. 

The optimal season to visit the lake would be over the summer: in winter, the temperature will go up to −19 °C. 

8. Lac de Sainte 

Lac de Sainte-Croix - mesmerizing lakes
3rd biggest lake in France, Lac de Sainte-Croix| Photo from Moustiers
LocationFrance 
Area22 km²
Depth93m
Visitors per year2,500,000
SpecialtyArtificial lake 

The only artificial lake on the list is lac de Sainte- Croix. The lake was constructed between 1971 and 1974 of a reinforced-concrete arch dam named the dam of Sainte-Croix. Verdon river feds the lake. 

The surface area of the lake is 22 km2. With a max depth of 93 m, the lake elevates 477m above sea level. 

The lake holds a maximum of 761 million cubic meters of water: The dam, which generates 142 million kWh of electricity per year, is 94 meters high, 7.5 meters thick at its base, and 3 meters wide at its crest.

The lake is a prominent tourist destination in the country. The lake provides various adventurous activities for its visitors. 

Many people visit the lake to swim, boat, windsurf, pedalo, and canoe-kayak. The power produced from the lake is enough for the locals and is subsistence for adjacent cities. 

9. Lake Lugano 

Lake Lugano - mesmerizing lakes
Lake Lugano with the beautiful peripheral of Osteno village| Photo from Shutterstock

Lake Lugano, Switzerland (source)

LocationSwitzerland and Italy 
Area48.7 km²
Depth288m
Visitors per year3,000,000
SpecialtyDistinctive tranquilizing view 

Lake Lugano is a glacial lake situated between southern Switzerland and northern Italy. The lake is named after the city of Lugano. Cited for the first time by Gregory of Tours, the lake is situated between Lake Como and Lago maggiore. 

There was once an abundance of cherry trees around the shores of the lake. The lake is one of the famous tourist destinations in Switzerland. 

Various mountains lie on the shores of the lake that are the major tourist attraction: Monte Brè mountain to the east, Monte San Salvatore to the west, and Monte Generoso on the south-eastern shore.

Pollution is such a massive problem in the lake. Despite all the government’s efforts and actions to sanitize the lake, there is still a doubt that the lake will recover anytime soon.

The lake is full of fish and allows fishing, excluding some areas. Despite all the restricted activities on the lake, the spot could be a perfect destination because of the surrounding mountains and great environment.

10. Lake Iseo 

Lake Iseo - mesmerizing lakes
Lake Iseo (Isola di Loreto)| Photo by Cheryl Howard
LocationItaly 
Area65.3 km²
Depth251m 
Visitors per year3,000,000
SpecialtyMost romantic of Italian lakes 

Lake Iseo, popularly known as Sebino, is the fourth largest lake in Lombardy, Italy. The oglio river feeds the lake. The lake has a max length of 25 kilometers, a max depth of 251m, a surface area of 65.3 km2.

The lake has an average depth of 124m. The surface elevation of the lake is 185m above sea level. There are three islands in the middle of the lake: Montisola island, Loreto isle, san paolo isle. 

The lake is in a beautiful environment, surrounded by lush green mountains. A road is constructed around the hills to circumnavigate the lake.

Sarnico dam regulates the lake’s level, and Consorzio dell olio manages water withdrawal between electrical and hydroelectric uses.

The area is known for its heavily industrialized town and numerous other lakes. Anyone can rent boat stations nearby to enjoy the lake or go to one of the islands in the lake.

A gaze to the south of the side of the lake and the mountains makes all effort to reach the lake will be worthwhile. The lakes add beauty to the world. It is home to millions of species that would have been extinct if not for lakes.

The lakes are historically significant and are a place for evolution. Some of the lakes mentioned above also serve a cultural value to people near their vicinity. 

Numerous people are more interested in waterfalls. Waterfalls are fascinating to watch as they are beautiful and magical. Check out our articles on the most prominent waterfalls and fantastic waterfalls.

(Last Updated on April 28, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Saurav Khadka, with his A levels in computer science from Saipal Academy, owns a keen desire to know more about the environment. He wants to preach his knowledge to others by learning through his hobbies; reading, writing, traveling, and watching movies. He believes sharing his insight regarding a sustainable environment will undoubtedly generate positive perceptions in the people.