‘Magnificent lakes and majestic mountains’: tips from readers from Europe

For a few more Dolomites, Italy

Alleghe is a picturesque town in Belluno, 80 miles north of Venice, next to a magnificent lake, framed by the majestic eastern Dolomites. We found the streets very pleasant, the local cuisine exceptional and enjoyed fun hikes where we hardly met another soul. Alleghe was the perfect base to explore one of Italy’s most magical and unspoiled regions.
Lorna Og

Rock windows and waterfalls, Slovenia

Kranjska Gora in the Julian Alps has great highlights for thrill seekers. Try Prisank (2,547 meters) and watch out for the amazing rock window on the way up. Mala Mojstrovka (2,332 meters) has great views and is easier to climb. We loved the walk to the emerald green pools of Zelenci and visited the Martuljek waterfall, passing through a beautiful woodland. We relaxed on the shores of Loch Jasna, absorbing the 360 ​​degree views, and eating delicious ice cream kremna rezina cake at the lakeside cafe. Then, we cycled into north-east Italy on the amazing off-road track.

Tips from Guardian Travel readers

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Accursed but beautiful peaks of Albania

The Scottish Alps, or Favored Mountains, offer dramatic peaks, bucolic pastoral valleys, and freezing turquoise rivers. While many tourists opt for a quick visit to walk the 11-mile Theth to Valbonë pass, we spent five days in Theth, staying at the charming and homely Bujtina Vellezerit Grrela (doubles from £49 B&B), which provides excellent traditional Scottish food. Theth is a relaxing retreat from the challenging mountain climbs. Excellent views and warm June nights spent watching the swallows and fireflies against the backdrop of the peaks were truly memorable.

lakeside monasteries, North Macedonia

At Lake Ohrid, one of the deepest lakes in Europe, we recently spent some wonderful days exploring the monasteries and ruins around the water’s edge. We had lunch on a restaurant’s wooden veranda, stepping out so you can drop your feet into the clear water, and ended the day with a tasting at a local winery. North Macedonia has a unique blend of Balkan and Mediterranean influences, from the domed churches to the delicious plates of grilled vegetables, lamb and fresh sheep’s cheese. Sofia

Going solo on Lake Bracciano, near Rome

Lake Bracciano, an hour’s drive north of Rome, was the perfect place to relearn how to (really) enjoy a solo vacation, having completely lost my travel mojo during the pandemic. Motorboats are prohibited and the water is cool, clear, and perfect for swimming, windsurfing and lazing around. The three sleepy towns on the lake – Bracciano, Anguillara, Trevignano – boast a huge range of restaurants and aperitivo spots. I felt cosseted by the locals, who were eager to hear my tips for visiting the Scottish islands (where I’m from) and were patient with my dodgy Italian. I am already planning my return.

Inspired by Newby in the Italian Apennines

We explored the mountains of the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, inspired by Eric Newby’s book Love and War in the Apennines, which tells of his experience hiding from the German army on mountain farms during the second world war. We followed his steps in the mountains south of Parma, hiking through wooded areas to reach the main road crinale (ridge), from where you get a great view of the Ligurian coast. The paths are well marked, and we stayed in one of the refuges (alpine huts) run by the Club Alpino Italiano (from €55 for half board). The food is seasonal and local: think mushrooms, polenta, homemade pasta and cured meats.

Break for the border on the local train, Slovenia to Italy

To get from Lake Bled to Italy you might want to go back to Ljubljana and take a train or fast bus to Trieste. Instead, take one of the most beautiful journeys in Slovenia – the regional train from Bled Jezero station (at the western end of the lake) to the Slovenian town of Nova Gorica on the Italian border. The 90 minute trip, which cost us just €7.30 each, took us from Lake Bled through the Bohinj valley, offering views of the Julian Alps and the emerald green waters of the Soca River. Once at Nova Gorica, walk about 20 minutes to cross the border to enter Italy at the beautiful town of Gorizia.
Frances Li

A glacial walk near Chamonix

Chamonix is ​​best known as a ski resort but is just as enjoyable in the warmer months. Departing from the village of Les Praz, on the outskirts of Chamonix, we walked through the peaceful forest, stopping several times to take in the stunning views of the lush green against snow-capped mountains. In the forest we found Chalet de la Floria, at 1,350 meters, where we enjoyed an omelette and tarte blueberry (blue tart). The next day we took a funicular train to the ice cave in the Mer du Glace glacier. It was amazing: the cold was intense, there were amazing ice sculptures and we learned great details about the history of the glaciers.

Gliding across Lake Lugano, Switzerland/Italy

Lake Lugano is shared between Italy and Switzerland and last summer we found a beautiful way to explore both parts of it. We took the bright white Swiss ferry Navigazione Lago di Lugano back £20 a day. Starting at 10.30am from Porto Ceresio in Italy, the vessel moves along very flat waters, crossing the lake, stopping at villages with stone houses, alternating stops in Switzerland and Italy, including at a museum wonderful open air Swiss Miniatur at Melide. . During the journey there are views of pine tree decorated slopes and distant snowy peaks. Arriving in Lugano after a little over an hour, we explored the beautiful town and even went for a swim in the lake, returning at 7pm to see the sunset views.

Winning tip: such larks in Interlaken, Switzerland

My husband and I took our four-year-old son on his first foreign adventure, traveling to Interlaken via Amsterdam using ferries and overnight trains. We arrived, tired from the trip, to see the stunning turquoise waters of Thunersee glistening in the early summer sunlight. Just east of Interlaken is another beautiful lake: Brienzersee. In the following days, we explored the surrounding mountains, hiking to Mürren from the Lauterbrunnen cable car. It was an unforgettable experience for all of us.

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