8 lakes and mountain holidays to feel at one with nature

The UK and Europe are packed with towering peaks and sparkling lakes that allow you to get closer to nature on a lakes and mountain holiday.

8 lakes and mountain holidays to feel at one with nature
© Slovenia. Jeremy Woodhouse – Getty Images For the best mountain holidays Europe and the UK has to offer, these relaxing lake and mountain trips take in incredible views in 2022.

A relaxing escape to the lakes and mountains often involves less hiking and more travel by train and cable car, allowing you to enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery all around, without the tough climb.

Covid-19: Check the latest information from the government before travelling.

Whether you’re thinking of visiting the countryside or a city in the likes of Norway, Spain, Slovenia or Scotland, there are plenty of hills and mountains where you can take in the romance of lofty landscapes at a leisurely pace.

To inspire your next escape, we’ve rounded up the best lakes and mountain holidays for 2022.

Mount Rigi, Switzerland

Rising above glittering Lake Lucerne, Mount Rigi offers some of the best alpine views in Switzerland. While mountain walkers love it here, a more relaxed way of getting to the top is by using the traditional cogwheel railway, which will lift you gently up its steep sides.

8 lakes and mountain holidays to feel at one with nature
© Markus Thoenen – Getty Images Lakes and mountains holidays – Switzerland

At the summit, you can look out over the turquoise waters of Lake Lucerne surrounded by Alpine meadows and the medieval city of Lucerne, with its distinctive timber-clad buildings and fortifications. Like the sound of this? Visit Lake Lucerne and Mount Rigi as you ride the Glacier Express with Country Living in October 2022 or February 2023.

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Mount Snowdon, Wales

The summit of Mount Snowdon is more than 3,500 feet above sea level and offers panoramic vistas of the rugged beauty of Snowdonia National Park – voted the best view in Britain in 2017.

8 lakes and mountain holidays to feel at one with nature
© Rixipix – Getty Images Lakes and mountains holidays – Wales

Since 1896, visitors have been taking the Snowdon Mountain Railway to get there, which sets off from the pretty village of Llanberis and chugs up the mountainside using a traditional diesel or heritage steam engine. There are also a number of gorgeous lakes in the area, including Llyn Llydaw and Glaslyn. You can reach the top of Mount Snowdon on a Welsh rail trip in spring 2022.

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Pyrenees, Spain

These mighty mountains stretch along Spain’s northern border with France, dividing the two countries in spectacular style. They reach all the way to the coast, making for a uniquely beautiful and rugged landscape which is now a national park, Cap de Creus.

8 lakes and mountain holidays to feel at one with nature
© Jorgefontestad – Getty Images gettyimages-1169713284

While the region offers some challenging hikes for adventurous walkers, thankfully there are also more relaxing ways to explore all the beautiful scenery here by train, including the Roses Express, Núria Valley Rack Railway – which takes you through gorgeous alpine meadows. You can ride all of these on a Country Living tour between May and September 2022.

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Cairn Gorm, Scotland

Britain’s sixth highest mountain, in the Scottish Highlands, is one of the few places in the UK where you can ski. Visitors to the resort take to its summit on the Cairngorm Mountain Railway, a modern funicular which has the distinction of being the UK’s highest railway.

8 lakes and mountain holidays to feel at one with nature
© dnaveh – Getty Images Lakes and mountains holidays – Scotland

Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of an ancient glacial landscape that’s a gorgeous green during the summer months and snow white in winter. The views here are simply breathtaking, with tranquil lochs nestled between craggy peaks. Check into one of our favourite Scottish Highland hotels during a lakes and mountains escape. Alternatively, experience Cairn Gorm from a holiday cottage with Sykes.

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Flamsdalen Valley, Norway

The famous Norwegian fjords are a real wilderness, with crystal blue waters surrounded by steep valley sides and mountains. They’re an amazing place to escape from everyday life, and tune in to the gentler rhythms of nature.

8 lakes and mountain holidays to feel at one with nature
© Arkadij Schell – Getty Images gettyimages-1277717852

These fascinating glacial landscapes are a wonderful location for an unforgettable railway escape as you taken in the natural scenery. The Flamsbana, known as the ‘Corkscrew Railway’, is widely considered one of the best train rides in the world, taking you from Myrdal along a spectacular 20 kilometre track, from 865 metres above sea level down to Flam, nestled in the green valley bed, by the shores of Aurlandsfjord. Experience the fjords and mountains of Norway with Country Living between April and October 2022.

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Julian Alps, Slovenia

Slowly rising in rocky peaks from northeastern Italy into Slovenia, the romantic Julian Alps reach their highest point at Mount Triglav – which is nearly 3,000 metres tall. This is classic European mountain scenery, with glassy blue lakes, pine forests and snow-capped tops. The most famous of these lakes is Bled, instantly recognisable by the ancient white church on an island at its centre.

8 lakes and mountain holidays to feel at one with nature
© Alexander Gutkin – Getty Images gettyimages-1140962616

A large part of the mountain range falls inside Slovenia’s only national park, Triglav, which has plenty to offer experienced walkers, as well as being a peaceful retreat for lakeside picnics and wild swimming during the summer months. If you fancy seeing the best of Slovenia’s scenery without having to pull on walking boots, you can join Country Living on a Lake Bled holiday that will take you through the national park by coach between June and September 2022.

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Peak District, England

The Peak District is undoubtedly one of the UK’s most breathtakingly beautiful destinations for a mountain holiday – which is no doubt why it won Bronze at the 2019 British Travel Awards. It’s full of charming villages with lovely traditional pubs and B&Bs to stay in, and has some of the most expansive, inspiring views in the country.

8 lakes and mountain holidays to feel at one with nature
© Daniel_Kay – Getty Images gettyimages-840651604

Home to reservoirs, like the scenic, Y-shaped Ladybower Reservoir, the Peak District is a fantastic location for experiencing England at a height while taking in the views of its sparkling reservoirs. You can join Country Living’s rail and walking holiday, which takes you through picturesque towns and villages, including Wirksworth, Shottle and Idridgehay, in April or September 2022.

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Rocky Mountains, Canada

While it’s outside of Europe, we couldn’t list the best lakes and mountain holidays without mentioning Canada’s breathtaking Rocky Mountains. Packed with postcard-perfect peaks and turquoise lakes, this is one destinations where nature and wildlife is all around – think dramatic canyons, black bears, bald eagles and impressive waterfalls.

8 lakes and mountain holidays to feel at one with nature
© Julia Gnther / EyeEm – Getty Images gettyimages-1002426346

The Canadian Rockies are home to some of the country’s most spectacular natural beauty, from Lake Louise to Emerald Lake and the Jasper National Park to Fraser River. The best way to see this mind-blowing corner of the world? On the Rocky Mountaineer train, of course. For one of the greatest rail experiences of your life, this incredible train with its glass-roofed carriages is the perfect way to experience the lakes and mountains of Canada. You can join Country Living’s exclusive Rocky Mountaineer and Vancouver tour betwen April and October 2022.

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