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Top 5 Lakes for a Sailing Holiday in Europe

Sailing in Europe is a unique and unforgettable experience, with a variety of stunning lakes to choose from. If you’re looking for the perfect sailing holiday, here are the top five lakes in Europe that you don’t want to miss: Lake Garda, Lake Balaton, Lake Maggiore, Lake Constance and Lake Wörthersee.


Sailing holidays are a fantastic way to explore Europe’s natural beauty and relax on the water. There are countless lakes to choose from, but we’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 for a sailing holiday in Europe. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sailor, these lakes offer the perfect combination of stunning scenery and excellent sailing conditions.

1. Lake Garda, Italy

Lake Garda, Italy

Topping our list of the best lakes for a sailing holiday in Europe is Lake Garda, located in northern Italy. With its clear waters, gentle breezes, and stunning scenery, Lake Garda is a sailor’s paradise. The lake’s many harbors and marinas make it easy for sailors to dock and explore the charming lakeside towns. Such as Sirmione, Desenzano, and Peschiera.

Sailors can also take advantage of the lake’s ideal wind conditions, with steady breezes that blow in the mornings and afternoons. And for those who want to take a break from sailing, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy, including hiking, cycling, and exploring the lake’s many historical and cultural attractions.

What is Lake Garda famous for?

The lake, is the largest lake in the country and is a popular tourist destination. In addition to its natural beauty and cultural attractions, Lake Garda is also known for its range of outdoor activities. The lake is a popular spot for sailing, windsurfing, and other water sports. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails in the surrounding area. The lake is also surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, making it a great destination for food and wine lovers.

2. Lake Balaton, Hungary

Lake Balaton, Hungary

Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe, and located in western Hungary. It’s also a popular destination for sailors from all over the world. The lake’s shallow waters and gentle winds make it an ideal spot for beginner sailors. More experienced sailors can take advantage of the stronger winds that blow in the afternoons.

Sailors can explore the charming towns and villages that surround the lake, including Keszthely, Tihany, and Balatonfüred, where they can enjoy traditional Hungarian cuisine and experience the local culture. The lake is also home to several thermal springs, which are perfect for a relaxing soak after a long day on the water.

What are the best places to anchor on Lake Balaton?

There are many beautiful spots to anchor around the lake, but some of the best places include:

The Tihany Peninsula is a popular spot for sailing and has several anchorages with beautiful views of the surrounding hills and mountains. It’s also home to the stunning Tihany Abbey, which is a must-visit attraction in the area.

Balatonfüred is a charming town located on the northern shore of the lake. It has several anchorages with easy access to the town’s restaurants and shops. The town is known for its beautiful 19th-century villas, parks, and promenades.

Szigliget is a small village located on the northern shore of the lake. It has a beautiful castle that is well worth a visit. There are several anchorages in the area that provide great views of the castle and the surrounding hills.

3. Lake Maggiore, Italy/Switzerland

Lake Maggiore, Italy/Switzerland

Maggiore is one of the largest lakes in Italy, located in the heart of the Alps. Stretching from the Piedmont region in the west to the Lombardy region in the east. A small part of the lake also extending into Switzerland. The lake is renowned for its stunning scenery, with the majestic mountains of the Alps providing a breathtaking backdrop to the crystal-clear waters below. Lake Maggiore is the perfect destination with its mild climate and gentle winds, for sailors of all levels.

Lake Maggiore is also surrounded by charming towns and villages, including Stresa, Verbania, and Locarno. Where visitors can experience the local culture, cuisine, and architecture. And for those who want to venture out further, the Swiss city of Lugano is only a short drive away.

Is there a lake in Italy close to Switzerland?

Located in the Lombardy region of Italy, Lake Como is one of the most picturesque lakes in the world, and a popular destination for sailors from around the globe. The lake is surrounded by majestic mountains, and dotted with charming lakeside towns and villages.

Sailors can explore the lake’s many attractions, including the stunning Villa del Balbianello. Which has been featured in several movies, and the charming town of Bellagio, known as the “Pearl of Lake Como”. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sailor, the lake is sure to provide a memorable and rewarding sailing holiday.

4. Lake Constance, Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Lake Constance, Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Constance, also known as Bodensee, is a large lake that borders Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The lake is known for its picturesque towns and villages, as well as its excellent sailing conditions. There are many sailing schools around the lake, making it easy to rent a sailboat and explore the area on your own. The towns of Konstanz and Bregenz are particularly popular among sailors.

What is the most scenic route to sail on Lake Constance?

One of the most popular and picturesque routes is the Rhine River Route. The Rhine River Route follows the river from Konstanz to Schaffhausen, passing through several picturesque towns and villages along the way. The route is approximately 47 nautical miles long and can be completed in one or two days depending on your sailing speed and preferences.

Starting in Konstanz, the route passes through the charming village of Dingelsdorf before continuing up the Rhine River to the island of Reichenau, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to several historic churches and monasteries. From Reichenau, the route continues to Gaienhofen, which is home to the Hesse Museum Gaienhofen, dedicated to the famous German writer Hermann Hesse.

Continuing up the river, the route passes through the town of Stein am Rhein, which is known for its beautiful frescoes and historic buildings. The final destination on the Rhine River Route is Schaffhausen, which is home to the stunning Rhine Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in Europe.

5. Lake Wörthersee, Austria

Lake Wörthersee, Austria

If you’re planning a sailing holiday in Austria, Lake Wörthersee is an excellent destination to consider. The lake offers great sailing conditions and plenty of opportunities for relaxation and adventure.

Lake Wörthersee has steady winds, usually coming from the south, making it a great place for sailing throughout the day. The lake also has several bays and coves where sailors can anchor and take a break from sailing.

The lake is also surrounded by charming towns and villages, such as Velden and Pörtschach, which are worth exploring on land. Another must-see attraction is the beautiful Maria Wörth church, which sits on a small peninsula in the lake.

How deep is lake Worthersee?

Wörthersee has a maximum depth of approximately 85 meters (279 feet) in its deepest point, and an average depth of about 42 meters (138 feet).

The lake is known for its crystal-clear waters and is considered one of the cleanest lakes in Europe. In the summer months, the water temperature can reach up to 25°C (77°F), making it a pleasant spot for swimming, sunbathing, and other water-based activities.

A sailing holiday in Europe is an excellent way to experience the beauty and diversity of the continent. And with, chartering a yacht for your next European sailing adventure is easier than ever.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most clean lake in Europe?

It is difficult to determine the most clean lake in Europe. Water quality can vary depending on several factors, including the location, human activities, and natural conditions. However, according to the European Environment Agency‘s 2020 assessment of bathing water quality in Europe, the lakes with the highest percentage of excellent water quality are Lac de la Haute-Sûre in Luxembourg, Lough Ennell in Ireland, and Lake Võrtsjärv in Estonia. It’s important to note that water quality can change over time. So it’s always a good idea to check the latest information and local advisories before swimming or engaging in other water activities.

What is the bright blue lake in Europe?

There are several bright blue lakes in Europe, each with their unique characteristics and charm. One of the most famous bright blue lakes in Europe is Lake Bled in Slovenia. It is renowned for its picturesque setting, with crystal-clear blue-green water surrounded by the majestic Julian Alps. Also a castle perched on a hill, and an idyllic island in the middle of the lake. Other bright blue lakes in Europe include Lake Annecy in France, Lake Pukaki in New Zealand, and Lake Bohinj in Slovenia, among others.

Why are alpine lakes bright blue?

Alpine lakes are often bright blue because of a process called glacial flour. Which is the fine-grained silt and rock particles produced by glaciers. As glaciers move, they grind rocks and other materials into small particles that get suspended in the water. These suspended particles reflect and absorb sunlight in a way that gives the water a distinctive blue color. Additionally, the water in alpine lakes is typically very clear and pure. Allowing light to penetrate to greater depths, which also contributes to their vibrant blue color. Other factors that can affect the color of alpine lakes include the angle of the sun, weather conditions, and the surrounding landscape.