Visiting lakes and rivers in Europe: a multifaceted tourism

Friday, 03 March 2017

You well know. Tourism has many faces. Among these, the lakes and rivers tourism, also called aquatic tourism. This kind of tourism that does not exhaust its potential with an itinerant journey down a river on a boat or sailing on the waters of a lake.

Lakes and rivers tourism, in fact, satisfies multiple needs and demands, because it includes and implies other types of tourism: naturalistic, cultural, wine and food tourism and sports tourism, for example.



A holiday in the nearby of lakes and rivers brings with it the chance to immerse yourself in the nature. Discover small towns that are close to stretches of water and fresh water streams, explore a city from an unusual point of view (from a boat on a river that sail through it), enjoy the specialties of the local cuisine, enjoy water sports.


Let’s go exploring the lakes and rivers in Europe, then, to discover a multifaceted tourism.

Austria: the Schwarzsee, the Danube river, lake Neusiedl

What is the first color that comes to your mind when thinking about the Austrian landscapes?” Asks Austria Tourism. “Probably the intense green of the woods and the grasslands. But there is also the blue water in all its nuances: the blue of the large and small rivers in the territory, the blue of the lakes and the blue of waterfalls and rushing streams coming down from the top of the mountains.




And what is the first color that comes to your mind when thinking of Kitzbühel? Probably the white snow. But in Kitzbühel there is also the blue of the lake Schwarzsee, “one of the most beautiful lakes in the Alps“, wrote the Kitzbühel Tourism.

It is not only beautiful, in the Schwarzsee, it is also possible to swim and make mud baths: soaking in its waters is good for your skin and hair. Beauty, swimming, relaxation, nature and wellbeing, then, in Kitzbuehel.

From the lake Schwarzsee to the Danube river, “often celebrated with music, art and literature, an everlasting great way of communication“, emphasizes the Austrian National Tourist Office. Schwechat, in the lower Austria, is a suggested destination because in whose territory there is the Vienna International Airport, the main airport of the country.


The Austrian capital is about 20 minutes from Schwechat. In about 40 minutes, however, direction south, from Schwechat you can reach the lake Neusiedl, “a paradise for lovers of water sports and a unique nature reserve of its kind“, remarks the Burgenland Tourismus GmbH.

Italy: lake Garda

A country full of lakes, Italy. The largest is lake Garda, whose shores lapping Lombardy, Trentino Alto Adige and Veneto regions. “With its mild climate and the perfect temperature of the water, it looks like a beach nestled between the Alps and the Po Valley“, writes the National Tourism Agency.

The lake Garda “is surrounded by palm trees, oleander, olive trees and vineyards“, and around it arise “picturesque villages, beaches and harbors, cities full of life, nature parks and reserves”. It is “the ideal place to spend a customized holiday: from nature lovers, to sports fans, to those who want to discover places rich in history and culture“, writes the National Tourism Agency.

The first to be fascinated by Lake Garda was the Latin poet Catullus, whose family had a villa in Sirmione“. And we recommend Sirmione as a destination to enjoy lake Garda.

Well-known destination for wellness and thermal tourism, the town of Brescia offers a rich historical and artistic heritage, which includes the ruins of a Roman villa of the first imperial age, known as the Grotte di Catullo, and leisure facilities for water sports, highlights Visit Garda.


Keep an eye on the project Garda by Lake, because in the next few years cycling pedestrian routes already existing along the Lake Garda will be completed and, at the end of the work, you will be able to take advantage of a unified itinerary of over 140 km.

Within Easter 2017, at maximum within August 2017, it will be possible to cover a new cycling path between North Limone and Riva del Garda.


Switzerland: the lakes Lemano, Lugano, Stelli and St. Moritz and the Rhine river

In Switzerland the blue water is a dominant color: more than 7,000 lakes, 120 glaciers and 65,300 kilometers of rivers, streams and waterfalls. Almost all Swiss cities, then, arise on the shores of lakes or rivers, especially in summer, “come alive with sports and leisure becoming the main center of attraction for both residents and guests“, writes Schweiz Tourismus.

This is the case, for example, of Montreux, located on a sheltered bay on Lake Lemano, often called Lake Geneva, famous for the Montreux Jazz Festival which takes place every year in the summer months.

On the Lake Lemano is located Lausanne, declared in 1994 the Olympic Capital and the seat of the International Olympic Committee. Not to be missed, about sports, the Olympic Museum.

From Lausanne to Lugano, overlooking the beautiful lake. The third largest financial center of Switzerland, an important destination for business travel, a city of parks, flower gardens, villas and religious buildings.

Heading to St. Moritz and Zermatt. They are known above all for the white snow, but also for the two ski resorts where you can enjoy the blue Swiss waters.

St. Moritz, situated in the homonym lake, is the starting point to explore the aquatic world of the Engadine region. From Zermatt, instead, you can reach Blauherd via the lifts and enjoy the path that crosses the lake Stelli, Grindjisee and Grünsee.

From the lakes to the river Rhine, one of the longest rivers in Europe. Along a bay of the Rhine, on the border with France and Germany, Basel is the third largest city in Switzerland by population after Zurich and Geneva.

A cruise on the Rhine, in about two hours, you can admire the beautiful facades of the old town of Basel, the cathedral, the old city walls of Valle di Sant’Albano, the banks of the Rhine to Kleinbasel and the port. And, in summer, you can swim in the Rhine, for example in Badhysli, the two little seaside resorts so called by the inhabitants of Basel.

Germany: the lakes Hopfensee, Weissensee and Tegernsee and the river Lech


We conclude our journey through lakes and rivers in Germany, to be precise in Bavaria, a Länder which has no access to the sea, but which has 1,600 lakes and ponds and almost 100,000 kilometers of waterways.

We go to Füssen, the highest town in Bavaria and the last stage of the Romantische Strasse, the Romantic Road, known to occur near the Neuschwanstein Castle, the fairytale building of the King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

The shining crown of Fussen, is composed by more than ten lakes. In winter, freezing temperatures convert those stretches of water into natural ice rinks, whose frame rewards the athletes“, writes Munich tourism. Perfect for ice skating, and also to practice hockey at the amateur level, are the Hopfensee and Weissensee lakes.

There is a tradition in Füssen, which is repeated at the sunset of the New Year’s Day each year: a group of swimmers equipped with torches and diving suit plunge into the icy water of the Lech river to greet the arrival of the new year overlooking the old city.

Exactly in Fussen, a barrier block the Lech and creates the artificial lake Forggensee. And close to the city, you can admire the Lechfall, a cascade of 12 meters.

We reach, finally, Rottach-Egern. Style, elegance, enjoy and experience are the words that best describe the Bavarian municipality located on the south shore of Lake Tegernsee, in an area which is a real heaven for lovers of outdoor activities.

Have a good trip with 6TOUR!

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