A SHORE THING

Photos: 12 Most Beautiful Lakes

  1. Taal Lake, situated just 37.28 miles south of Manila, has two claims to fame: It is the deepest lake in the Philippines at 564 feet deep, and it is home to one of the world's smallest, but most active, volcanoes.

    (Courtesy Luca Tettoni/Corbis)
  2. Plenty of tour groups offer trips to the volcano in the middle of Lake Taal—in spite of the fact that it has been declared a permanent danger zone. Here, outriggers line the shore.

    (Courtesy Dirscherl Reinhard/age fotostock)
  3. Not only is Lake Malawi home to 1,000 species of fish (estimated to be more than anyplace on earth), it's also Africa's third largest lake at 363 miles long and approximately 50 miles wide in spots.

    (Ian Cumming/age fotostock)
  4. Lake Malawi is positioend at the crossroads of Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania and supports hundreds of local villages with its rich underwater stock.

    (Ian Cumming/age fotostock)
  5. Lake Garda is Italy's largest lake. The southern shore is home to hot springs and resort towns laced with pastel villas and terra-cotta-roofed hotels.

    (Svenja-Foto/Corbis)
  6. If the shape of Italy is a couture boot, think of the imprint of Lake Garda as a design from the funky sister line—long and skinny at the top, opening up toward the bottom.

    (Sandro Vannini/Corbis)
  7. Croatia's 16 blue-green Plitvice Lakes are connected by hundreds of waterfalls. The waters are amazingly clear. Walk on well-maintained wooden planks to get to the edge.

    (29cm/Flickr)
  8. In Croatia, the Plitvice Lakes offer hiking trails with killer views, especially of the 230-foot-high waterfall Veliki Slap.

    (José Fuste Raga/Corbis)
  9. At Slovenia's Lake Bled, you'll see mountains in every direction, including the Julian Alps and the Karavanke range.

    (Walter Bibikow/JAI/Corbis)
  10. The best view of Lake Bled is from a castle perched on a 460-foot-high cliff. Bled Island is a tiny forested circle that's home to the 17th-century Church of the Assumption.

    (mirci/Flickr)
  11. An African buffalo wades along the shoreline of Kenya's Lake Nakuru. In the background, flamingos feed in the shallow lake.

    (Martin Harvey/Corbis)
  12. Scotland's Loch Lomond is like something straight out of a Victorian romance novel.

    (Bob the courier/Flickr)
  13. A broader view of Scotland's Loch Lomond, with Balloch Castle in the foreground.

    (Skyscan/Corbis)
  14. Lake Annecy meanders past eight miles of nature reserves, waterfront villages, and soaring peaks in the heart of the French Alps.

    (A. Gerard/courtesy Annecy Tourisme)
  15. Another view of Annecy, where Parisians often take extended summer vacations.

    (Gavin Hellier/JAI/Corbis)
  16. Lake Matheson in New Zealand is also known as Mirror Lake—for good reason.

    (Hugh van Noorden/go_wild/Flickr)
  17. A fisherman on Lake Atitlán, nearly a mile up in the highlands of Guatemala.

    (Frans Lemmens/Corbis)
  18. Lake Atitlán rests at the foot of massive conical volcanoes.

    (José Fuste Raga/Corbis)
  19. In the Canadian province of Alberta, Peyto Lake lies amid the Canadian Rockies. Its waters pop with a brilliant turquoise more often associated with warm-weather paradises like Antigua and Bora-Bora.

    (Courtesy Travel Alberta)
  20. About 8,000 years ago, the top of a 12,000-foot-high volcano in the Cascade Range exploded. The massive pit left behind became known as Crater Lake, the centerpiece of a national park in southern Oregon.

    (Galen Rowell/Corbis)
  21. The extraordinarily deep waters of Crater Lake yield an intense sapphire-blue hue.

    (Tim McGuire/Corbis)

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