What Country Has The Most Natural Lakes? Wonderful Destinations For Your Lakeside Retreat! 

The travel season has come, and like most Americans, you probably daydream about the upcoming, long-awaited vacation. What is your next stop? What will you do? The norm is always going to the beach, but hey, Enjoyfuntrip has a different idea! How about setting aside the bucket and shovel, staying away from the flock of tourists searching for seashells, and trying something outside the box? In this article, let’s find out what country has the most natural lakes, and which one is suitable for your lakeside retreat. 

I firmly believe that a lake getaway is better than a trip to the beach: You can listen to the soothing sounds of waves lapping against the shore while enjoying all kinds of outdoor activities. From classic surfing and sun-bathing to non-water-based activities like hiking and biking, there is something for everyone. Not to mention, lakes have that serene, romantic ambiance that beaches can never match! 

What Country Has The Most Natural Lakes? 

Canada Has The Most Natural Lakes In The World
Canada is the country with the most natural lakes – Source: The Crazy Tourist

Being the second-largest country in the world, there’s no surprise that Canada boasts a great number of lakes. After all, a more extensive land volume means more land area to include natural features. 

More precisely, according to McGill University research, the Great White North is home to 879,000 lakes. That makes it the country with the largest lake area. Other sources, however, suggest that it might contain more than two million natural lakes. Estimating the exact number is difficult since many areas are occupied and inaccessible. 

You may wonder, “Why does Russia – the largest country in the world – have much fewer lakes than Canada does?”. Well, that’s because a significant portion of Canada was covered by a massive ice sheet during the last Ice Age. The ice sheet’s vast weight sculpted the landscape, leaving behind natural indentations when it melted. They have been filled with water ever since, making Canada the “land of a thousand lakes”.

Little Manitou Lake Canada
Little Manitou Salt Lake Is Said To Be The Canadian Version Of The Dead Sea – Source: TripAdvisor

Canada’s lakes are diverse. You might hike, swim, or camp at the immense Great Lakes shared with the U.S., marvel at the enchanting emerald lakes at the Canadian Rockies, or float on Little Manitou – one of the most beautiful salt lakes of the world. If you really want to see lakes in all their true natural glory, this should be your number one country to visit! 

Other Countries With The Most Lakes For A Summer Escape

But for a lake getaway, Rupert’s Land might be a bit too familiar for Americans already. If you are seeking a new kind of adventure because you’ve already checked many Canadian lakes off your bucket list, check out the destinations below. 

All of them are the countries with the most lakes in the world, just after Canada. The thing is, they are less likely to pop up in your friends’ Instagram posts!


With approximately 201,200 lakes, Russia is one of the world’s most lake-dense countries. If you are planning to visit the world’s largest nation, make sure to check out some of its spectacular lakes while you are there. 

Of course, the first one on your bucket list should be Lake Baikal. It’s known as the planet’s largest freshwater lake, but beyond that, this popular visitor attraction is truly a majestic sight to behold. 

Lake Baikal Russia
Lake Baikal Has 27 Islands And Is Home To A Rich And Unique Ecosystem – Source: AZ Animals

You can find more than 3,800 species of animals and countless plants around the lake. All of them contribute to Baikal’s scenic beauty. In summer, visitors may admire the riot of colors from the wildflowers that bloom on the shore. As winter comes, the lake will become a massive ice rink that’s perfect for dog-sleighing, snowmobile riding, and ice-fishing. 

Also, don’t forget one of the most mysterious landmarks in Russia – Lake Nero. Although it’s already 500,000 years old, this ancient lake is never forgotten by people. The lake prides itself on its mirror-like water and thick surrounding forests, attracting everyone looking for new adventures and impressions. 


Sweden is home to 22,600 lakes, ranging from small to incredibly large ones. The Nordic country might be smaller in size compared to other nations on this list, but just like Canada, it was covered in ice during the last Ice Age. The ice filled up the surface with water as it melted, forming the natural lakes the Swedish are proud of today.  

A notable example is Lake Vänern, the biggest lake in Sweden and one of the most well-known attractions in Europe. With plenty of sandy beaches and shallow bays, it’s a paradise for swimmers and those who seek exciting water adventures. You can set off on a canoe excursion, and the wonderful nature reserves here are perfect for hiking. 

Lake Vänern,  Sweden

While Lake Vänern is for adventurous souls if you are looking for some therapeutic relaxation, head to Lake Hornavan. There, you can immerse yourself in the pristine nature and tranquil mountainous vibe. The lake is famous for its scenic views, but it’s also a popular fishing spot among the locals. 


The next one on this list is China. The Dragon Country boasts over 24,800 natural lakes, each having a surface area of over one square kilometer. 

Without a doubt, lakes are critical sentinels and integrators of environmental change in the country’s terrestrial landscape. Aside from that, they also play an essential role in the natives’ spiritual life. Chinese poets often compare their lakes to “pearls on crowns” or “tears of lovers”, demonstrating their otherworldly beauty. 

My favorite is Qinghai Lake, which lies in the northwest part of the imposing Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It’s not only the largest lake in China but also the highest lake in the world, sitting approximately 3,200 meters above sea level. 

Thanks to that special location, the area maintains cool and pleasant weather throughout the year. Even in midsummer, the average temperature is only 23°C, making it ideal for a summer retreat. 

Qinghai lake
Qinghai Lake Is Listed As Top 5 Summer Destinations In China – Source: World Atlas

That’s not the only remarkable thing about Qinghai, though: The lake is nicknamed the “Seven-colored lake” since its water takes on different hues. Where the water is calmest, it is extremely blue and crystal-like—allowing you to see the reflection of the surrounding mountains. At the entrance of the tributary rivers, the water turns golden due to the abundance of fish swimming close to the surface. This ample supply of fish attracts a vast variety of bird species, which draws in nature lovers and ornithologists as a result.

Other stunning lakes that are worth visiting are Namtso Lake – a famous sacred Buddhist site, Lugu Lake – “the Pearl of the Plateau”, and Kanas Lake – “the Garden of Gods and Fairyland on Earth”. More than some majestic sightseeing, these attractions also possess ancient history backgrounds, adding an extra mystic atmosphere and flavor to their charm. 


When it comes to Brazil, the first thing that comes to our mind is the Amazon river. But hey, did you know that it also has an impressive number of lakes? 

Among the 20,900 lakes in Brazil, many of them are located outside the Amazon region. The country’s largest lake, Juturnaiba, calls the State of Rio de Janeiro home. Here is a fun fact for you: The lake is a source of drinking water for the Marvellous City! 

Lagoa de Juturnaiba – Silva Jardim, Rio de Janeiro

For wildlife lovers, though, Juturnaiba Lake is so much more than that. For many years, the area has been nurturing endangered species of turtles, such as the black-crowned turtles and the Brazillian box turtles. This is the only place in the world where you can observe them with your own eyes.

Another notable name is Mirim Lake – the most crucial lake in Santa Cruz and the second-largest freshwater lake in Bolivia. On a clear spring day, the water reveals the most intense blue your eyes can witness. Trust me when I say, these paradisiacal shades will be challenging for your camera to capture! 

The Special Case Of Finland 

Well, it’s true that if you bring up the question “What country has the most natural lakes?”, some people will say Finland. According to many sources, the nation has around 187,888 lakes, which earns it the nickname “Land of Thousand Lakes”. 

The Scandinavian country doesn’t make it to the top countries with the most natural lakes because the list only takes into account lakes that are over 100,000 sq. m in size. Meanwhile, most of Finland’s lakes are just around 500 sq. m. 

Nonetheless, its lakefront destinations are nothing short of spectacular. They are great places for experiencing a steamy hot sauna – Finland’s well-loved export. For the most wonderful trip to this country, don’t forget to visit Lake Saimaa, Lake Kallavesi, and Lake Nasijarvi! 

Saimaa Lake Finland
Time At A Lakeside Summer Cabin Is An Essential Part Of Any Trip To Finland – Source: Visit Saimaa

Life Is At Ease With A Lake Breeze

Now that you know what country has the most natural lakes, it’s time to pack your luggage and go on a lakeside getaway! While millions of families are heading to the beaches, a random lake destination in these countries can be a significant change of pace for your vacation plan. There is no crowd or riptide – just heaven on calm waters and relaxation! 

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