The best views in Europe’s lakes and mountains
If pinch-me views are the highlight of your holiday, our TUI Lakes & Mountains destinations have heaps to offer – they’re all about soaring mountains, glistening lakes and authentic towns and villages. Take a look at our pick of must-see places in Europe.
Schafberg mountain, St Wolfgang, Austria
Hop on the bright red cogwheel train in St Wolfgang and it’ll carry you up to 1,783m, the summit of the Schafberg mountain. Up here is one of the best views in Austria – a 360-degree panorama across the lakes, mountains and valleys of the Salzkammergut region, and even over the border into Germany. And while you’re there, pop into Austria’s oldest mountain inn, the Hotel Schafbergspitze for a cup of coffee and slice of cake.
Grand Canal, Venice, Italy
A popular holiday spot in northern Italy is Lake Garda – and from there, it’s easy to visit one of Europe’s must-see cities. Venice is made up of 118 islands linked by canals so the best way to see it is from the water. Take a ride along the Grand Canal in a vaporetto (a public water bus) to wind from one end of the city to the other. You’ll pass historic palaces, churches, markets and hotels, built in all different styles from the 13th-18th centuries. And you’ll also go under the arched Rialto Bridge, another top photo spot, before finishing up at St Mark’s Square.
With its lakeside setting and 16th-century chalets, Hallstatt’s famed for being one of the world’s most photogenic towns – there’s even a replica of it in China. Visit from nearby resorts Fuschl am See, St Gilgen or St Wolfgang to spend some time exploring the UNESCO-protected original for yourself. You can snap photo after photo as you wander around the streets and along the lakeshore. Then head up the hill on the edge of town to see this view of the Gothic church and Dachstein mountains.
Ojstrica, Velika Osojnica & Mala Osojnica viewpoints, Bled, Slovenia
Follow signs from Zaka on the lakeshore for this walking route up through the forest. It takes around 20 minutes to get to the Ojstrica point, and you’ll be rewarded with an incredible view over Lake Bled and the island – Slovenia’s most photographed sight. If you want to stretch your legs a bit further, carry on up to Velika Osojnica (about 20 minutes’ walk) and Mala Osojnica (about 15 minutes beyond that) to see the scenery from even higher up.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Füssen, Germany
High on a cliff, this 18th-century palace starred in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and also inspired the design of the Disneyland castle in California. It’s really easy to visit on a day trip from Achensee, Alpbach or Seefeld in Austria, and you can take a tour inside to see the lavish Throne Room and Hall of Singers. Then from outside the castle, walk 15 minutes along the signposted trail to Queen Mary’s Bridge for this perfect view.
Villa Carlotta, Lake Como, Italy
This 17th-century villa in Tremezzo is known for its beautiful gardens, and also has some of the most amazing views of Lake Como. Step out onto the 3rd-floor balcony to look over the neat hedges, fountains and citrus trees, and across the water to the town of Bellagio. And behind the villa, the gardens spread across the hillside. There are lots of scenic spots, like the bamboo forest, fern valley and colourful beds of rhododendrons – but head to the top of the hill for views over the sparkling lake and lush, green mountains.
Schwarzsee, Kitzbühel, Austria
The scenery here is exactly how you might imagine Austria to look – a still, blue lake surrounded by green meadows and pine forests, with the Alps peeking out behind. It’s a gentle 35-minute walk from Kitzbühel, so pack up a picnic and head off to spend the day lounging on the grass and swimming in the cool water.
Sirmione, Lake Garda, Italy
The Sirmione peninsula stretches out from the southern shore of Lake Garda. Stroll to the very tip for views that stretch from Peschiera on one side of the lake to Desenzano on the other. You can also explore the ruins of the 1st-century Grottoes of Catullus, and see the turquoise waters and golden rocks of Jamaica beach, one of the top lake beaches in Europe.
Two Lakes Bridge, Interlaken, Switzerland
Catch the funicular from Interlaken to the Harder Kulm peak up at 1,322m, to see some of the most spectacular scenery in Switzerland. From the bridge, you’ll have panoramic views from the brilliant blue waters of Lake Thun on your right to Lake Brienz on your left – and straight ahead, you can see three of the Alps’ most famous mountains, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. If you’re feeling brave, step onto the glass section in the floor to peer straight down at the green fields far below.
Alpine reservoirs, Kaprun, Austria
Built in the mid-1900s, the Wasserfallboden and Mooserboden reservoirs are a marvel of engineering. Stroll along the top of the dam wall that’s 500m long and 107m tall, to look out over the bright turquoise water – most of which comes from the Pasterze glacier up on the nearby Grossglockner, Austria’s highest mountain. There are walking trails in the surrounding area too. Take a 10-minute wander up to the Höhenburg platform for a view of the reservoirs from above, surrounded by green fields and rugged peaks.
Set your sights on Europe and see these views for yourself on a Lakes & Mountains holiday next summer.
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