A lake island is any landmass located within a lake. It is a type of Inland Island and may be formed in numerous ways. These natural processes include sedimentation, erosion, volcanic activity or meteor impacts, etc. There are few naturally occurring lake islands with an area in excess of 270 km2 (100 sq mi). Here’s a list of some of the biggest Lake Islands that come with their own unique culture, spectacular wildlife and water-based adventures.
Manitoulin Island, Canada
With an area of 2,766 square km, Manitoulin Island is the largest lake island in the world and the 31st largest island in Canada. It is located in Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada. The island itself has 108 freshwater lakes and many of them have their own islands. Nestled along the north shore of Lake Huron, this island will surprise you with its diversity. The Island hosts forest, farmland, clean inland lakes and ocean-like shore along the Lake Huron coastline.
This Island has become a paradise to escape to, where you can intentionally set out to get lost, have your own unique experience with the beauty and nature, and eventually, find your way home.
René-Levasseur Island, Canada
Another Canadian Lake Island, René-Levasseur Island is located at the centre of Lake Manicouagan in Quebec. With a total area of about 2,020 square km (780 square mi), the island is larger than the size of the annular lake in which it is located. It is the world’s second-largest lake island (the largest is Manitoulin Island) and was formed by an impact from a meteorite that hit the planet sometime 214 million years ago. It can be usually seen if you are flying from Europe towards the countries in North America and is also called the “eye of Québec” with its distinguished form easily discernible from space.
Olkhon Island, Russia
This beautiful island is located in the Lake Baikal of eastern Siberia and is the largest island of the lake. Occupying an area of 730 square km and measuring 20.8 km in width and 71.5 km in length, Olkhon is the world’s fourth-largest lake island in the world. While the island is covered with forests in the large parts, its terrain also exhibits dramatic features such as mountains, steppe, taiga, and even a small dessert. Mount Zhima, at an altitude of 4,186 ft above sea level, is the highest point on the island and it even has its own lake.
While it’s not as touristic as Listvyanka, Olkhon tourism is a growing and therefore it is possible to rent mountain bicycles, motorbikes or even off-road cars from the locals. You can also rent kayaks for some water activities or make trek and tours to the parts of the island that are not populated.
This large island in the middle of Lake Toba is a dreamy landscape of rice paddies and palms surrounded by commanding volcanic mountains, dotted all over with the dramatic peaked roofs of traditional Batak houses. Samosir Island, or Pulau Samosir, is situated north of Sumatra, Indonesia and is the largest island in a lake on an island. With an area of At 630 square kilometres which is just a little smaller than Singapore, it is considered to be the fifth-largest in the world. It is said that the island was born due to a volcanic eruption 75,000 years ago. Today, you can enjoy a swim in the deep cool waters of Lake Toba, hitch a ride on a bamboo raft or Hike Pusuk Buhit Mountain for panoramic views of the island and the waters beyond. At the end of the day, soothe your feet in a local hot spring before dining on Batak favourites like spicy freshwater carp.
Isle Royale, USA
An island of the Great Lakes, Isle Royale is located in the northwest of Lake Superior, and part of the U.S. state of Michigan. The island and the 450 surrounding smaller islands together make up Isle Royale National Park. It is 72 km long and 14 km wide, with an area of 206.73 square miles (535.43 km2), making it the fourth-largest lake island in the world. While the island lacks a permanent population, it offers unparalleled solitude and adventures for backpackers, hikers, boaters, kayakers, canoeists and scuba divers. The stunning natural beauty of this island can be accessed via ferries that land at Rock Harbour at the island’s eastern end.
Reflect and discover yourself amidst this stunning scenic magnificence, and make memories along the way.
Ukerewe Island, Tanzania
With an area of approximately 530 km², Ukerewe is the largest island in Lake Victoria and the largest inland island in Africa. Situated in the Ukerewe District in Tanzania, nearly 50 km north of Mwanza, it has a simple lifestyle and rocky terrain broken up by lake vistas and tiny patches of forest. The shoreline of Ukerewe Island is carved into numerous bays and it is surrounded by 27 small islands. Out of these, 3 of them are not occupied by humans and the rest is occupied by fishermen with their families. Its largest community is Nansio. So, you’ll see that the real attraction is the rural life of the island. Learn about Ukerewe’s unusual but highly successful farming techniques, centuries of stable population, and the fact that every patch of land and every tree is individually owned.
Idjwi Island, Democratic Republic of Congo
Idjwi Island is a floating Lake island in the middle of Lake Kivu and belongs to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). At 70 km in length and with an area of 340 km square, it is the second-largest lake island in Africa and tenth-largest in the world. It is roughly equidistant between DRC and Rwanda with 10-15 km separating its western shore from DRC mainland and a similar distance between its eastern shore and its coastline of Rwanda. However, the island’s southern tip lies only a kilometre from a headland of the Rwandan coast.
Isolated from Congo’s decades of war, this mountainous island is therefore called “Africa’s Forgotten Island” as well. Unfortunately, the island has also missed out on what little development the mainland has seen. Escape the modern world; enjoy nature and the rich island culture here at this Congolese natural paradise.
Isla de Ometepe is a barbell-shaped island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, in you guessed it-Nicaragua. The island is home two volcanoes, luscious hillside coffee plantations and small native villages. While both the volcanoes are hike-able, Maderas lies dormant on the southeast side and Concepción to the northwest still regularly belches out smoke and ash. Joined by a thin, flat strip of land these two volcanoes shape the island like an hourglass.
Isolated from the rest of Nicaragua by the Cocibolca, the great Lake of Nicaragua, Ometepe feels far away from the rest of the world. With its majestic volcanoes and tropical forests, it is surely a mesmerizing place, entrenched in history, and full of stunning sights and activities.
So, add these waterfront wonders to your itinerary and tell us your experiences to these Lake Islands in the comments below!