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Lakes and the art of serenity

Lakes and the art of serenity A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable -- William Wordsworth.

Sit yourself down by a lake and let the tranquillity wash over you. Watch calm waters reflect the sky and lose yourself to the charms of nature’s mirrors. Lakes come in all shapes and sizes and have proved inspirational to writers, poets and travellers the world over, most notably the Lake Poets of 19th century England, such as Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey.

There are plenty of lakes which are renowned, from the Great Lakes of North America, a chain of freshwater lakes on the USA/Canada border, to the glorious Lake Victoria in Africa and Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, famous for its lightning storms. And then there’s Lake Baikal in Russia, probably the world’s most superlative lake – it’s the largest (volumetrically of freshwater), the deepest, clearest and oldest.

But there are plenty of other beautiful lakes in the world to visit and the TopDog Insurance team highlights some that would be a breathtaking addition to any itinerary.

Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

This mountainous country is famous for its stunning lakes, of which there are over 260 to choose from. Lake Lucerne is one of the most picturesque, with its many arms rising into the rugged beauty of the Swiss Alps and offering dramatic views. From its banks, you can enjoy a panorama that includes Mounts Rigi, Jungfrau and Pilatus as well as the noted Eiger. On the south shore is Rütli meadow, the founding site of the Swiss Confederation. Walk the 35km Swiss Path around it or take one of the beautiful steamers that meander leisurely across the lake to enjoy your trip in style.

Loch Duich, Scotland

With many Scottish lochs being true idylls in their own right, there is an enchanting beauty to this particular lake and legend tells of three fishermen brothers who were enraptured by a trio of maidens dancing here. Located in the western Scottish Highlands, Loch Duich is particularly captivating because on an island where it meets Loch Long and Loch Alsh stands the magnificent Eilean Donan Castle, former stronghold of Clans Mackenzie and Macrae. Restored in the early 20th century, it’s Scotland’s most photographed monument and was featured in both Highlander and The World is Not Enough.

Lake Malawi, Malawi

Also known as Lake Nyasa, this African Great Lake is the southernmost in the East African Rift system and the second-deepest lake on the continent. The explorer, David Livingstone, called it the Lake of Stars due to the fishermen’s lanterns dotting the shore. Situated between Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique, it holds a greater diversity of fish than any other freshwater lake in the world, ranging from cichlids to catfish. The fauna of the area is a great tourist draw with Nile crocodiles, hippos and African fish eagles all spotted here. Plus shoreline resorts offer diving, sailing, water skiing and camping as a bonus on your trip.

Lake Titicaca, Peru

Located at an altitude of 3,811m between Peru and Bolivia, this is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world and largest lake by volume in South America. The region is known for its very traditional way of life and for having been home to many ancient cultures. Puno and Juliaca are the tourist ‘hubs’ but try to get out to one of the villages, like Llachon, for a chance to see rural Peru and possibly stay with a family there. Make sure you visit the Islas Flotantes, artificial islands woven from totora reeds, built and inhabited by the Uros people, which can move around the lake as necessary.

Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand

This 80km long glacial finger lake lies in south-western South Island, towards the end of the Southern Alps and bounded by The Remarkables mountain range. Surrounded as it is by such an incredible landscape of snow-capped peaks, many locals argue that it is the most beautiful lake in the world. Its crystal-clear water and impressive surroundings make it an ideal place to visit for an adventurous holiday as skiing, paragliding, scrambling and various water sports are all available here. For a more sedate trip, there are nearby vineyards and vintage steamboat, the TSS Earnslaw, plies the waters.

Wherever you go to visit the world’s most beautiful lakes, we at TopDog Insurance are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.

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