Explore the Most Scenic Waters of the World

Relaxation on the Water’s Edge

October 1, 2021

There is nothing quite as rejuvenating as communing in nature and large bodies of water offer some of the most scenic vacation spots worldwide. From lakes and bays to seas and beaches, there is something quite pleasing about relaxing close to the water’s edge. But, with so many places to choose from, we have narrowed down some of the bluest waters imaginable to consider when planning your next getaway.

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Egremni Beach, Greece

There are many great vacation spots within the Greek islands but for some of the best views of the Ionian Sea, there is no better place to explore than the remote south-western beach of Egremni. Situated 38km from Lefkada town, the beach is accessible by boat or via a steep, downhill hike. Here the Ionian Sea puts on its finest display, with crystal clear, turquoise waters that are beautifully contrasted against the otherwise, stark shoreline of white pebbles and silky, beach sand. A visit to Lefkada is not complete without a foray to this secluded spot at the ocean’s edge.

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Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake was formed over 7,700 years ago from a violent eruption that collapsed a tall mountain peak in the area that is now known as south-central Oregon.  The lake reaches a depth of 1,943 feet and owes its outstanding water quality and deep blue color to the fact that there are no additional water inlets into the area. The lake is filled with pure rainwater and melted snow making it one of the cleanest and clearest bodies of water worldwide. Visitors are permitted to swim in its waters at designated spots but whether swimming is on the agenda or not, there are over 30 scenic points from which to explore the surrounding national park and its impressive flora and fauna.

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Con Son, Vietnam

The Con Dao Islands, located 110 miles off Vietnam’s southeastern coast are largely uninhabited and consist of 16 islets that all boast impressive sandy beaches, shaded with evergreen trees. The main and only inhabited island of the archipelago, Con Son, is a fantastic vacation destination for those looking for a quiet, coastal retreat that is off the beaten track. Its remote location makes it one of the most private island destinations and its unspoiled beaches and turquoise waters will inspire a peace and serenity that few other locations can match in its beauty and intensity.

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Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Croatia is a territory known for its warm, Adriatic waters and stunning, rocky coastline. However, its most revered national attraction is a chain of 16 terraced lakes that can be found nestled amidst a forested reserve on the outskirts of Zagreb. Walkways and hiking trails connect visitors to the vast expanse of hills surrounding the lakes on all sides and its many waterfalls bring this landscape to life. There are few other regions where nature’s beauty has been so magnificently preserved for posterity and it’s a privilege simply to be able to bear witness to this incredible natural wonder.

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Ambergris Caye, Belize

For a quintessential Caribbean experience, one needs look no further than Ambergris Caye. Spanning 25 miles from end to end, this island off the coast of Belize is known to be a diving and snorkeling hotspot, home to a vast array of exotic sea creatures, corals, and sponges. Once a small fishing village, Ambergris Caye is now a bustling tourist destination that offers upscale amenities mixed into casual beach life and it is this appealing combination that has turned it into a much-loved island paradise for holidaymakers.

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Five Flower Lake, Jiuzhaigou National Park, China

Surrounded by mountains, the Jiuzhaigou National Park is a valley on the Tibetan Plateau, consisting of a plethora of lakes and waterfalls. Five Flower Lake is considered the most spectacular of this array, reaching a depth of 16 feet and considered to be a “holy” site by residents. The water is a deep sapphire blue (most of the time) but the color is known to shift from amber to emerald and back to turquoise periodically, creating a mesmerizing effect that is a pleasure to witness.

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Havelock Island, India

India’s Andaman Islands are known for their impressive dive sites and snow-white beaches. It is in this island paradise, north of Port Blair, where you will find Havelock Island (now called Swaraj Dweep) and some of the best diving spots on the continent. The island has a forested interior that is home to a variety of bird species, but it is the stunning coral reefs that really showcase this region’s inherent beauty to its fullest extent. Whether lazing on its shores or hiking the jungle wilderness, this island paradise has something for every traveler.

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Islas del Rosario, Colombia

Colombia’s largest coral reef can be found within a tiny chain of mostly uninhabited islands off the coast of Cartagena. Here, white sandy beaches are lined with mangroves and the clear waters are home to an array of tropical ocean species that are a sight to behold. Spend a day touring the area via speedboat or stay for a few nights in one of the gorgeous, island hotels. Either way, we promise that this Caribbean hotspot will linger in your memories long after you return home.

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Peyto Lake, Banff National Park, Canada

The Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies has everything one would expect from a mountainous destination. Canada’s first national park, this magnificent setting has both summer and winter activities fit for all outdoor adventurers. Hiking, golfing, white water rafting and skiing are all offered within its borders but it is the glacier-fed lakes that offer some of the most brilliant sights for those wandering its vast landscape. Peyto Lake is one of Banff’s highlights and its icy, clear blue waters is a result of fine rock particles that make their way into its depths from the glacier above. Although swimming is permitted, the icy water makes it less appealing but just being close to the water’s edge is an experience in and of itself.

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The Maldives

A favorite with celebrities for good reason, the low-lying island nation of the Maldives sits between the Indian and Arabian seas and is both secluded and luxurious. Visitors are treated to an array of first world amenities, including some of the world’s best spas and a range of beautiful resorts and top-class hotels. Enjoy days spent snorkeling and exploring the depths of the sea or lounging on its pristine beaches. The epitome of a tropical paradise.

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Palawan, The Philippines

A short flight from Manila, Palawan is a collection of jungle-filled islands, which include a plethora of lagoons, coves, and secret beaches. Tropical fish swarm the lively coral reefs and the area has the distinction of being home to the world’s longest, navigable, underground river. This 403-mile island region stretches all the way to Borneo and it is best known for its beaches, caves, jungles and lakes. Its impressive seascape is outshone only by its incredible lakes and a visit to this area delivers more picturesque moments than one can even count. With plenty to explore and a people that are both hospitable and friendly, your days here are guaranteed to be filled with a variety of outdoor activities, great food and excellent company.

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To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa

A local swimming point aptly known as “The Big Hole”, this incredible natural wonder sits opposite a lava field and overlooking a small, white sand beach. Accessible via a forest hike and perched at the end of a steep ladder, the water in the hole comes from the lava tubes that connect to the ocean. Its unique geographical location and unusual formation makes it one of the most unusual swimming spots on the planet and a popular tourist attraction for visitors to Samoa. Formed during an ancient lava eruption, the pool is filled with seawater and connects to the ocean via an underwater cave. The water is unbelievably clear and filled with colorful fish. For those brave enough to venture into its salty waters, it is an experience that is hard to match anywhere else on Earth.

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Nature as the Antidote to Cabin Fever

It is always a good idea to turn to nature’s beauty for an escape from the daily stressors that are so prevalent in modern day life. Perhaps even more so since the onslaught of the pandemic has relegated many of us to a life indoors. If you are looking for vacation inspiration within and around nature, these waterside locations could be just the answer you need.