The most beautiful lakes in Switzerland!
Switzerland has many beautiful lakes! Some are easy to access because cities are built on their shores, and some require the effort of a hike to get there. But which are the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland? We share our favorite ones with the help of other Swiss based bloggers! From hidden mountain lakes, to the bigger ones, this article will literally take you around Switzerland by its most beautiful lakes!
18 of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland!
Blausee in Berner Oberland is a small lake of an incredible blue color! The water is transparent. You can take a short boat ride on a glass bottom boat to have a look at what’s underneath. The lake has a very romantic setting, both for the scenery, as for the legend of the lake. The legend is about a girl who lost her loved one and cried so much that her tears filled the lake. You can see a statue of this girl on the bottom of the lake. You will reach Blausee by a short stroll through a forest. The lake is beautiful in all seasons, but we particularly liked to visit in autumn because of the colors of the trees around it. Nowadays, there is an organic trout farm, and you will see many trout swimming in the lake.
Oeschinensee is for sure one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. Where it was still a hidden gem a few years ago, its beauty as seen from the Panorama hike is now starting to get a certain fame! In winter the lake is one of the most scenic lakes for ice-skating. In summer it is a beautiful place for hiking, or for grilling and chilling on the lake side. We loved the Panorama hike around the lake, even though the path is sometimes narrow and steep. The views from this hike are views we will never forget! You can access this beautiful mountain lake by the cable car from Kandersteg.
To read all about Oeschinensee and Blausee, check out our article on the Kander Valley: https://letsexplore.ch/2018/10/22/the-kander-valley-in-bernese-oberland/
3. Lake Thun
By Hana from Our Swiss Experience
17.5 km long and 3.5 km wide, Lake Thun is according to me the most beautiful water reservoir in Switzerland. It is named after the nearby city of Thun, which is located on the northernmost tip of the lake and is at a half-hour drive from the capital Bern.
In summer, Lake Thun is absolutely magnificent. Its great atmosphere is completed with five lovely castles scattered around the lake: Hünneg Schloss, Spiez, Oberhofen, Schadau, and Thun.
The BLS company runs boat cruises on the lake. This gives you a unique possibility to get to know the shores from another perspective. While cruising Lake Thun you can enjoy stunning views of the peaks Niesen and Stockhorn on the west side of the lake, forested slopes of Beatenberg (with the peak Niederhorn) in the east, and the snow-capped Bernese Alps in the south. And you just take notes for your future hiking experience since there are many beautiful trails in the neighborhood – e.g. you can hike to Blueme lookout tower, you can experience adrenaline on the suspension bridge in Sigriswil, or visit St. Beatus Caves.
To find our more on cruising Lake Thun, check out Hana’s post with 6 reasons to cruise Lake Thun!
4. Lake Brienz
By Tamara from Part-Time working Hockey Mom
A great starting point to explore the area is Giessbach Falls. After a short hike that allows you to actually walk round the back of the fall, admire the fairytale-like castle / hotel. Better yet, enjoy a cup of coffee on the terrace overlooking the lake and the mountains. Board the historical funicular that is taking you through woods, over bridges and alongside waterfalls down to the lake Brienz.
Many, many water activities are offered at the lake: surfing, stand-up paddling, water skiing, wakeboarding, canoeing, kayaking, and of course good old swimming. If you don’t feel like getting wet, enjoy a scenic cruise to Interlaken Ost from where you may explore a number of exciting sights, the most popular – yet pricey – being a day trip to Jungfraujoch, “Top of Europe”.
More of Tamara’s tips on the region: https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2020/08/day-trip-to-bernese-alps.html
A short hike from the top of Grindelwald’s First mountain will lead you to another add to our list of most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. A beautiful mountain lake! Plenty of space around to find your own quiet picnic spot around the lake to soak up some views and try to catch a perfect photo of a reflection in this beautiful Swiss mountain lake! After the hike, the Grindelwald first mountain offers you some fun alternatives to get back down again, like by Trottibike, mountain kart, or zip lines.
More information about activites on Grindelwald First and Bachalpsee: https://letsexplore.ch/2020/07/31/grindelwald-first-the-tissot-cliff-walk-and-the-bachalpsee-hike/
6. Moiry Lake
By Corina from Packed Again
Deep in Val d’Anniviers in Valais, above the pretty little village of Grimentz you will find the Moiry Valley with its most beautiful mountain lake. As you approach Moiry you can see from far the massive dam wall.
Moiry Lake offers a vast range of mountain activities, whether it be relaxing at the foot of Moiry glacier, hiking around Moiry Lake, pumping some adrenaline on the Via Ferrata or enjoying an ice-cream at the local restaurant whilst observing the lake. We love to visit during the late summer months as the lake has plenty of water due to all the snow melting and therefore the turquoise colour of the water is just out of this world.
Moiry lake definitely belongs on the list of `easily reachable and most beautiful mountain lakes in Switzerland`. Check out our Moiry Guide: https://packedagain.com/moiry-lake-moiry-glacier-hike/
Once visited, you will always come back to Moiry.
7. Stellisee, Zermatt
By Iva Kostadinova
The Stellisee (2.537 m) is among the most famous and idyllic mountain lakes of Zermatt. You can get here by cable car from Sunnegga and hike to Stellisee as a part of the 5 Lakes Hike (Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee and Leisee).
Stellisee is a 20-minute walk from the Blauherd summit. To get to Blauherd, you take an underground funicular from Zermatt to Sunnegga and then catch a chairlift from Sunnega to Blauherd. If you hike from Blauherd to Stellisee and back, this short hike takes only about an hour. The path to get there has some rocky parts, so wear good shoes. You will be treated by a breathtaking view of the Matterhorn along the hiking path, and its reflection in the Stellisee lake gives you wonderful views and reflections of Switzerland’s most famous mountain in the water. Swimming is only possible at Grünsee and Leisee.
8. Taney Lake
You have to earn it to see it, as to get to the Lac de Taney, the only way is up! A short, but steep hike in the Chablais region of the Valais you will not regret. Once you have passed the Col, be ready for some postcard views and mountain restaurants. In summer, you can swim in the lake, and there are some mountain huts to stay overnight.
More information about a hike to this lake in the Valais: https://letsexplore.ch/2020/05/17/lac-de-taney-hike-valais-switzerland/
The amazing color from above, and the little island in the middle. This lake will surely be able to please even the most spoilt traveler! Caumasee in Flims definitely deserves a place on any Swiss lakes list! Tropical vibes guaranteed in a mountain setting! You can walk down and back up, or use the elevator. In summer, you pay an entrance fee to the lake. There is a restaurant, a snack, a playground, and stand-up paddle renting on-site. Our top tip on visiting this lake: come early, or late afternoon, as it can sometimes get a bit busy in summer.
Caumasee’s little sister, Crestasee, is usually less crowded, but not less beautiful all the same. The water is transparent here as well, and you so you can see the rocks or fallen trees lying on the bottom of this lake. Swimming here is divine, surely, a bit cold sometimes, but divine! You can rent stand up paddles or a glass bottom canoe. The lake is a bit smaller, and a half an hour of renting will be enough to go around the lake. The lake has a nice restaurant on site and a large grass ‘beach’. One of our favorite lakes in Switzerland!
More information about Caumasee and Crestasee: https://letsexplore.ch/2020/08/14/flims-laax-a-swiss-paradise-for-outdoor-loving-families/
By Alison from Museum Travelers
In a region known for majestic mountains, Davosee is a beautiful gem and one of the first places visitors see when visiting Davos. Davosee is great for all ages with a paved 4km walking track, perfect for strollers and wheelchairs. Tame squirrels amuse the little ones and the sculpture park of Resli A. Marugg at the north end is a nice interlude. In summer, wakeboarders, boats and paddle boarders flock to the lake, but be warned the water is not warm, 15C in summer! For more adventurous hikers trails lead up to Seehorn and to Davos Wolfgang, giving spectacular views of the village, lake and alps, as well as seeing flocks of sheep and the famous red Glacier Express train along the way. End your day with a local craft beer or pub meal at Bachi’s Strandbad or play a game of beach volleyball. In winter the lake is frozen, perfect for ice skating and the path becomes a cross-country ski route. Davosee is an easy 10-minute walk from Davos Dorf train station, or bus route 1 passes the lake about every 30 minutes. There’s lots of car parking, for cars and camping cars, at 1 franc an hour.
12. Lai da Palpuogna
By Tanya from Swiss Family Fun
This gorgeous lake was once voted the most beautiful place in Switzerland and for good reason. It feels remote although it’s only a short walk from the road, surrounded by mountain peaks and forest, making lovely reflections in the water. The walk around the lake only takes 20-30 minutes, so plan more for a leisurely stroll and picnic than a demanding hike.
The path is not suitable for strollers, but it’s an easy short walk and small children should be fine. There are several picnic areas around the lake, some with grill pits and firewood, some with benches and tables. But anywhere you choose along the lakeshore will be perfect for soaking in the view.
For more information on this beautiful lake in Graubünden, check out all Tanya’s tips on Swiss Family Fun: https://swissfamilyfun.com/lai-da-palpuogna/
13. Lake Zürich
By Vanda from the The Yogi Wanderer
It’s not an exaggeration to say gorgeous Lake Zurich is the epicenter of Switzerland’s largest city. Almost all social and leisure activities revolve around this huge and splendid body of water, especially during the warmer months.
From the Expovina wine fair to Zurich’s international theater festival, from the city’s triennial festival to the largest techno parade in the world, there’s no shortage of events happening in and around Lake Zurich. All year round the lake is also a popular meeting point for an improvised lunch break, running, or cycling. And in the summer hundreds flock to its pleasant shores for a barbecue or a swim. There are also several places where you can rent stand up paddleboards, pedal boats and even small motorboats (no license needed) and spend a lovely day on the water with spectacular views of the Alps as a backdrop.
But one of my favorite things to do in Zurich is taking a cruise on Lake Zurich and admiring the city and its surroundings from a different perspective. Departing from Bürkliplatz, the short round trip takes around 1,5 hours. Alternatively, you can also take the boat to the picturesque town of Rapperswil, on Lake Zurich’s riviera.
14. Lake Zug
By Kristin from Swiss Family Travel
I may be a little bias as the lake of Zug is the background to my everyday life. It is the first thing I see when I open the curtains in the mornings and accompanies me on my commute and is the scene of many of late summer cooldowns. With the Rigi at one end and the city of Zug at the other, you can not only ride around it on your bike (mostly on the road), but you can also swim in it – year-round if you dare enter with some locals in the winter. For families with small kids, the best place to dip your toes in is at the sandy beach at the Strandbad Zug. But the villages of Oberwil, Cham, Hünenberg, Walchwil, Arth and Immensee are all worthy of a stop. And for those who would prefer to admire from the shores, make sure you don’t miss one of Zug’s famous sunsets. Grab a drink, settle in along the banks in Zug’s old town and bask in the golden hues as the sun sets over the alps.
To read more of Kristin’s articles on the area around Zug: https://swissfamilytravel.com/blog?offset=1512722019006&category=Zug
15. Lake Hallwyl
By Tamara from Part-Time working Hockey Mom
My «home lake» so to speak. Start at Schloss Hallwyl, a water castle built in 1265. If you have six hours, you may hike entirely around the lake. If you want to take it easier, walk 15 – 20 minutes until you’ll arrive at the Seengen jetty, a nature preservation area with lots of ducks, gulls and swans.
Take the cruise boat to Seerose Meisterschwanden, a beautiful resort and spa. It is very popular for weddings but also for offside business meetings, or for a meal in one of the many restaurants.
Just a short walk away there is the less posh “Strandbad” where people swim, enjoy their floating devices and stand-up paddles. You may also rent a pedalo, a rowboat or a motorboat.
When I was in elementary school, one winter was particularly cold, and a good part of the lake was frozen, so we went there to skate – it felt somewhat bizarre!
In summer 2019 there were rumors of several cayman sightings in the lake, and people were worried but also excited and curious to find that creature as well. As it turned out later, it was a 105cm tall wels catfish.
More information about the area around Lake Hallwyl: https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2016/09/top-ten-thursday-hometown.html
Canton Geneva and Vaud
16. Lac Léman
Lac Léman, often referred to as ‘Geneva Lake’ in English, is a very large lake, and stretches from Geneva to beyond Montreux in the Canton Vaud. This lake is partly in Switzerland, and partly in France. It has dreamy castles which overlook the lake, like Chateau Chillon, Chateau de Prangins, or the castles of Morges and Nyon, and the UNESCO world heritage are of the vineyards of Lavaux are located on the shores of this lake as well. Lac Léman is a perfect lake for stand up paddling, for scenic boat rides, and in Geneva, even for boat bus lines ‘les mouettes’ to cross the lake in style for the price of a simple bus ticket. What we love most about Lac Léman is the wide view on the mountains, the Alps with the Mont Blanc on one side, and the Jura mountains on the other side.
If you are visiting Geneva, then check out our article on Things to do in Geneva with kids.
17. Lac de Joux
We really discovered Lac de Joux in the Canton Vaud this summer. One of the advantages of this crazy year, is that we went to find less crowded places. We found that at Lac de Joux, which is a perfect place to chill around the lake on a warm summer day. The lake side is surrounded by nature, with a path in the forest just besides the lake. Just pick your spot to hang out, whether it is a public picnic table, or any spot on the beach where you can grill something on an open fire. We loved to discover this lake, which also has a small sand beach, the Pointe de Sable beach. In winter, the lake sometimes freezes and when it does, people come from far to ice-skate on it!
All about Lac de Joux: https://letsexplore.ch/2020/06/14/lac-de-joux-a-pearl-in-the-jura-vaud/
18. Lago Maggiore
No Swiss lakes tour is complete without a lake in Canton Ticino! The Lago Maggiore is partly in the Ticino in Switzerland, and partly in Italy and is a beautiful and big lake! There are beautiful villages on the lake, like Ascona, and places with incredible views from above like from the Madonna del Sasso sanctuary in Locarno. Another place we loved is a restaurant with stunning views over the lake, called Osteria Borei in Brissago.
To read all our tips on a trip to the Locarno, Ascona, and Valle Verzasca area in Canton Ticino: https://letsexplore.ch/2019/11/07/ticino-ascona-locarno-valle-verzasca/
Of course, there are more beautiful lakes in Switzerland! Lake Lucerne, and Lac Constance for example, just until now not yet discovered enough by us at Let’s Explore. And the lake of Neuchatel, which we have so far just been to on a clouded day. And how about you? What is your favorite lake in Switzerland? Let us know in comments below!