01 Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
In Andean culture, this vast lake — 12,500ft above sea level — is the birthplace of the sun. Take a boat from Copacabana and check in to a hostel on the mystical Isla del Sol, a sparsely populated island of terraced hills, secluded sandy coves and sacred Incan sites — plus the odd wandering lama.
02 Lake Garda, Italy
Italy’s largest lake may lack the glitz of its neighbour, Lake Como, yet Garda’s no wallflower with miles of beaches, pretty harbour towns, and historical highs such as the Grottoes of Catullus — a spectacular tumbledown Roman villa.
03 Lake McKenzie, Australia
Take the ferry from the mainland to this ‘perched’ freshwater lake on swoon-palmy Fraser Island, 186 miles north east of Brisbane. After a dip in the warm, mineral-rich water, kick back at one of the nearby camping grounds and fire up the BBQ.
04 Lake Malawi, Malawi
With golden beaches and shoals of technicolour fish to snorkel amongst, it’s hard to believe you’re hundreds of miles from the ocean. Check into one of several secluded lakeside lodges, and explore uninhabited islands in a dugout canoe.
05 Lake Tahoe, USA
Set your sights on Nevada’s largest alpine lake where dizzying views of dramatic mountains can be captured from the shoreline. Pad about the soft sands and party atmosphere of Zephr Cove or take a boat to a secluded bay and spend languid days camping on the shores and swimming in the shallows.
Published in the September 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)