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Six Great Lakes

22nd March 2019

On World Water Day, we look at the most picturesque places to fill up your Water To Go bottle, helping save on plastic and minimise pollution of the planet’s seas. Click here to find out more about our water campaign.

Lake Titicaca: Peru/Bolivia

The highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca shimmers like a mirror, reflecting the huge skies you get in this part of the world, and the distant snow-capped peaks of the Andes. Isla del Sol, on the Bolivian side, is a great place to enjoy a walk amidst the small villages, farms and herds of llamas. There are no roads, cars or motorbikes here and the air is as clear as you’ve ever tasted. Each evening nature puts on a show with a spectacular deep red sunset.

Son Kul Lake: Kyrgyzstan

At an altitude of 3,000m in the heart of nomad country, Son Kul is one of Central Asia’s most picturesque lakes. With the opportunity to stay in a yurt by the side of the lake, this is the place to immerse yourself in the nomadic way of life, from horse games such as kok boru (polo played with a goat’s carcass) to rides amongst the surrounding hill to see ancient petroglyphs. Some of Kyrgyzstan’s semi-nomadic people spend summer here, grazing their cattle when the snow melts, before heading further south for winter. With no internet connection, hot water or even much electricity, this is a place to unwind from the stresses of the modern world.

Lake Pichola: India

The staggeringly beautiful Lake Pichola in Udaipur, is one of the world’s most famous lakes for a number of reasons; the Taj Lake Palace hotel which sits in the middle of the lake is the second-most photographed building in India (no prizes for guessing which is number one); James Bond fans meanwhile will instantly recognise the lake from the film Octopussy, starring Roger Moore; and finally, as any visitor will testify, it is one of the most beautiful and romantic lakes in the world. Around the lake there are many old havelis which have been converted into character hotels and rooftop restaurants, which offer the perfect place to sit for dinner or enjoy a quiet sundowner. The lake itself is very shallow and can even dry up completely during a drought. But when full, it makes one of the most picturesque places to fill up your Water To Go bottle.

Lake Inle: Burma

When you think of Burma's Lake Inle, images of stilted lodges and amazing sunsets come to mind. The locals have adapted incredibly to life on the water, residing in villages on stilts and using reed beds to create floating vegetable gardens. Lake Inle is probably most famous for its foot-rowing fishermen, who power their boats using their feet. There is even a foot-rowing competition at the Inle Lake Festival each October – the only one of its kind in the world! The wonderful floating market is a five-day rotating affair, taking place on different parts of the lake on various days of the week. With a wealth of things to see and do it’s easy to spend a whole week in the region; highlights include spotting indigenous birdlife, trekking and overnighting in a monastery, visiting sunken stupors, watching the magical act of weaving lotus into cloth, kayaking on the lake to enjoy a different perspective of its tranquil waters or even visiting the local vineyard.

Dal Lake: India

Dal Lake, in Kashmir, has been in and out of fashion for centuries. First discovered by the Moghuls, Dal Lake was popular with the British during the Raj as an escape from the heat of the plains; after the Sikh wars the Brits were banned from building any properties there. They got around this by building elaborate houseboats and this became a popular holiday retreat. Then in the 1960s the lake was revitalised by the hippie trail, with intrepid backpackers often staying for months at a time on the houseboats. Today, the region is recovering from a decade of conflict and instability and tourists have slowly started to return in the last five years. Wild Frontiers offers a number of options on Dal Lake, including the luxurious houseboat Sukoon.

Ohrid Lake: North Macedonia

Straddling the mountains between North Macedonia and Albania, Ohrid Lake is considered the oldest lake in Europe, and with 288 metres until you reach the bottom, it is also one of the deepest. A great way to appreciate this natural wonder is to hike up to Magaro Peak, which at 2255 metres offers wonderful views over the lake. Alternatively you can take a boat tour across the clear blue waters. The area has something for everyone – from beaches in the summer, to great walking opportunities, and for a touch of culture, the town of Ohrid gave the world the Cryillic alphabet. The Lake was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Michael Pullman

Michael became interested in travel at a young age, when his father would come home with souvenirs and tales from work trips to exotic sounding destin…

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