20 Largest Lakes in Europe

In the European region, there are thousands of lakes in various locations. Lakes get their water from icy mountains, rivers, and streams. The lakes vary in size and depth. Lake Ladoga, with a surface area of 17,700 square kilometres, is Europe’s largest lake. It is located in Russia.

Image by anvel from Pixabay
RankLargest LakesCountryAverage area
(km2)
1Lake LadogaRussia17,700
2OnegaRussia9,894
3VanernSweden6,450
4SaimaaFinland4,377
5PeipusEstonia, Russia3,555
6VatternSweden1,893
7BeloyeRussia1,290
8VygozeroRussia1,250
9MalarenSweden1,140
10IjsselmeerNetherlans1,100
11PaijanneFinland1,081
12Lake InariFinland1,040
13TopozeroRussia986
14Lake IlmenRussia982
15Lake SevanArmenia940
16SegozeroRussia906
17PielinenFinland894
18OulujarviFinland887
19ImandraRussia876
20MarkermeerNetherlands700

Facts to Know:

  • Ladoga, the largest lake in Europe and the 14th largest in the World. (located in the north-western part of Russia).
  • Finland and Russia are home to several of Europe’s biggest lakes.
  • Vanern, the largest lake in Sweden and the European Union.
  • Europe dotted by thousands of lakes and reservoirs.
  • Many of the natural lakes were formed between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago.
  • Northern Europe’s ice is the primary source of water for many lakes.
  • Lakes cover around 5% to 10% of the total surface area of Norway, Sweden, and Finland, respectively.
  • Many natural lakes can be found in central European mountain ranges.
  • Lakes in lowlands are often bigger, whereas lakes at high altitude are typically smaller.
  • The largest lake in Finland is Saimaa, while the deepest is Paijanne.
  • Peipus is the largest lake in Estonia.
  • IJsselmeer, the largest lake in the Netherlands and Western Europe.

Largest Lakes in the Regional division of Europe.

  1. Eastern Europe: Ladoga, Onega, Beloye, Vygozero, Topozero, Ilmen, Sevan, Segozero, Imandra
  2. Northern Europe: Vanern, Saimaa, Peipus, Vattern, Malaren, Paijanne, Inari, Pielinen, Oulujarvi
  3. Western Europe: IJsselmeer, Markermeer, Geneva, Constance, Neusiedi, Neuchatel
  4. Southern Europe: Scutari, Garda, Ohrid, Grea Prespa, Derdap, Alqueva, Maggiore, Mar Menor

Note: Reservoirs and smaller sub-basins are ignored from the list.

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