20 Famous Lakes You Need to Know

Written by Taiwo Victor
Updated: March 28, 2022
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Lakes are unquestionably one of the most beautiful bodies of water. They embody calmness and peacefulness and host various complex ecosystems and thousands of diverse flora and fauna. Apart from the grand aesthetics lakes bring to nature, they also provide dozens of functions for all kinds of life, including human life. From being the main source of water down to providing hydroelectricity, lakes are undoubtedly one of the most important and functional bodies of water.

Like beaches, tourists visit lakes and often offer various types of recreational activities such as boating, kayaking, skiing, and more. Both freshwater and saline lakes also provide a wide array of fishing opportunities as they harbor thousands of different marine species. Lakes are often part of tourist attractions around the globe, and in this article, we will tackle 20 famous lakes you need to know.

20 Famous Lakes You Need to Know

1. Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world.

©Julia Kuzenkova/Shutterstock.com

Without question, Lake Baikal in Russia indeed deserves to be one of the most popular lakes in the world. For one, it is the deepest lake globally and the oldest one, having been around for 25 million years. Apart from this, Lake Baikal is also the largest freshwater lake by water volume. Despite having such incredible depths, Lake Baikal is famous for its amazingly clear water. The lake’s underwater visibility reaches 30 to 40 meters on a good day, making it one of the cleanest and clearest lakes in the world. If you sail on Lake Baikal’s surface, it’s possible to watch its ecosystem within! 

2. Lake Superior

Lake Superior has 10% of the world’s surface freshwater.

©Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock.com

As the biggest of the five North American Great Lakes, Lake Superior holds many other features that make it stand out. The lake has numerous titles, putting it at the top of the list. Lake Superior has a staggering maximum depth of 1,333 feet (406 meters). It is a vital route for the transportation of iron ore, grains, and manufactured goods. It’s also famous for its clear waters, with underwater visibility reaching 27 feet and at some spots reaching 100 feet. 

3. Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is famous for its very high salinity.


There is no doubt that the Dead Sea is one of the world’s most famous. Not only because of its very high salinity but also due to its incredible buoyancy. Tourists all over the world visit the lake to experience swimming into its waters (which feels more like floating than swimming) and because of its healing properties. As the Dead Sea contains high levels of salt minerals, it provides benefits that include strengthening the immune system and enhancing the skin’s health.

4. Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is the world’s biggest tropical lake after Lake Superior.

©Stefan Haider/Shutterstock.com

The largest lake in Africa also makes it to our list. Located in the middle of three African countries –Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, Lake Victoria also holds the title as the world’s biggest tropical lake, seconding Lake Superior’s surface area for the largest freshwater lakes. The lake is home to various indigenous fish species due to its size and vast shoreline, including islands that make up 3.7%of its total shoreline.

5. Caspian Sea

The Caspian Sea isn’t a sea but a vast lake.

©Marina Khlybova/Shutterstock.com

Don’t get fooled by its name. The Caspian Sea isn’t a sea, but a very vast lake. It is the largest of all the lakes in the world with a massive surface area, touching three countries, namely Iran, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan. The Caspian Sea also has high salinity, making its name even more suitable. It is often described as a full-fledged sea. Due to its vast surface area, the Caspian Sea is known for its caviar and oil industries. 

6. Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika is the second-deepest lake in the world.

©Naoki Kakuta/Shutterstock.com

The continent’s second-largest lake and the world’s second-deepest lake is Lake Tanganyika. It spans four African countries: Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Aside from its many titles, Lake Tanganyika is also one of the world’s oldest lakes, estimated to be 10 million years old. There are only about 20 ancient lakes globally, and the lake is one of them.

7. Great Slave Lake

The deepest lake in North America is the Great Slave Lake.


Great Slave Lake owns the title for being the deepest lake in all of North America. Its cold temperature makes it densely populated, but it is a good spot for fishing and visiting, especially during the summer. It’s in Canada’s Northwest Territories, and it’s named for the Slave or Slavey people who lived on the lake’s coast about 8,000 years ago.

8. Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi is one of the most popular lakes in the world.

©iStock.com/Tristan Barrington Photography

Stretching along two African countries (Mozambique and Tanzania), Lake Malawi is one of the most popular lakes in the world. Measuring 2,316 feet deep, it is also the world’s 6th deepest lake. It’s also famous for its crystal-clear water with underwater visibility that reaches 20 meters on a sunny day. Lake Malawi is recognized for its incredibly diverse ecosystem. It is home to over a thousand fish species, accounting for 15% of the Earth’s freshwater fish.

9. Loch Ness

The Loch Ness has the largest volume of freshwater in Great Britain.


One of the most famous lakes in Scotland and the world, the Loch Ness, has the largest volume of freshwater in Great Britain and possesses more freshwater than all lakes in Wales and England. It is famous for its folklore of the Loch Ness monster and has some deep points even deeper than London’s BT Tower.

10. Lough Neagh

The biggest freshwater lake in the United Kingdom is Lough Neah.

©iStock.com/Antonio Filippi

Located in Ireland, the Lough Neagh is the biggest freshwater lake in the United Kingdom, containing over 800 billion gallons of water. It is known for its remarkable ecosystem with diverse species of waterfowl, fish, bugs, and plants. It is also home to famous eels endemic to the lake, a primary catch for fishers. 

11. Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is popular for its numerous ruins that reflect history.


A deep freshwater lake bordering Bolivia and Peru, this Andes lake is often dubbed the “highest navigable lake” on the planet. It is also one of South America‘s largest lakes and is said to be the birthplace of the Incas. Lake Titicaca is famous for its numerous ruins that reflect history and culture. 

12. Blue Lake

The Blue lake has underwater visibility up to 80 meters.

©iStock.com/Andrey Danilov

New Zealand is famous for its breathtaking natural sceneries, where clear blue waters are seen surrounded by glorious ice-capped mountains and evergreen trees. But it’s also known for hosting the world’s clearest lake, the Blue Lake. With underwater visibility up to 70 to 80 meters or 230 to 260 feet down, the lake reveals the true color of the water: blue-violet.

13. Lake Bled


Lake Bled is one of Slovenia’s most beautiful tourist attractions. With scenic lush forests surrounding every shore, Lake Bled reveals a picturesque scenery with its reflective waters. The lake can sometimes be crowded, especially during summer, but one boating experience is a moment you should not miss out on!

14. Moraine Lake

During the summer, Moraine Lake gets very bright.


Exclusively fed by glaciers, this picturesque lake in Canada is famous for its rich blue hue that changes depending on the day or season of the year. Moraine Lake is brightest during the summer as the melted ice caps from its surrounding mountains would have fallen into the lake’s surface.

15. Crater Lake

Formed 7500 years ago, Crater Lake is one of the world’s clearest lakes.


Crater Lake is a crater lake formed by the collapse of Mount Mazama 7,500 years ago. These geographical formation and position have skyrocketed it to one of the world’s clearest and most beautiful lakes. Its icy blue waters are a popular tourist attraction in Crater Lake National Park. Because the lake has no other entrances or waterways from which water can come through, the lake contains no other debris or salt deposits, preserving the water’s rich hue. 

16. Torch Lake


Formerly a part of Lake Michigan, Torch Lake in Michigan is famous for its insanely clear waters and recreational activities. It is well-known as the lake with the Caribbean’s waters, as its turquoise water mirrors that of the Caribbean Sea. Torch Lake is a famous getaway location for tourists and residents alike in Michigan. 

17. Loch Lomond


Another lake in Scotland, Loch Lomond, is a freshwater lake located in the highlands. Inchmurrin, the biggest freshwater island in the British Isles, can be found within Loch Lomond. People in Glasgow and tourists worldwide visit the spot as a leisure destination.

18. Lake Como

©iStock.com/Leila Kitlaeva

Lake Como is one of the most famous lakes in Italy. Ever since Roman times, this lake has been a sought-after destination by tourists and rich people around the globe. Its beautiful environment and sun-kissed shores, surrounded by forest-clad slopes and mountain peaks, make it ideal for relaxation. You can find out more facts about Lake Como.

19. Lake Pichola

Lake Pichola is one of the world’s most famous lakes.


Located in India, Lake Pichola prides itself as one of the world’s most popular and most stunning lakes. The lake is adorned by shiny temples, magnificent palaces, and fancy mansions along its shores, making it quite a sight. Lake Pichola hosts several islands, and in one of them stands the City Palace, enhancing its beauty.

20. Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is one of the deepest lakes in the United States.


One of the deepest lakes in the United States and North America is Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe sits in the Sierra Nevada, between Nevada and California. It is famous for its pure water, which has 99.994% purity, just a few points behind distilled water with 99.998% standard purity. Lake Tahoe also has one of the cleanest waters in the world.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Valerii_M/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals, tech, and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

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