Best lakes in Switzerland to visit

Best lakes in Switzerland

There is something a little different about the lakes in Switzerland; maybe it’s the altitude or the beauty of the surrounding landscapes that make the lakes in Switzerland truly extraordinary. There are four major river basins in this tiny country that are home to hundreds of picture-perfect lakes.

With the abundance of lakes comes all manner of water-based activities, from swimming, kayaking, boating, jet skis and cruises. There is something for every water lover. Of course, beautiful lakes mean there is no shortage of stunning lakeside resorts. Towns and cities have blossomed on the banks of the lakes for many thousands of years, and there is no end of cultural activities and medieval castles overlooking the crystal-clear water.

No matter where you are in Switzerland, it is hard not to come into contact with one of the many glacial lakes that are spread throughout the country. The latest count brings us to an incredible number of 7,000 lakes in Switzerland! That’s just amazing for such a small country, but from that number, only 103 are considered real lakes, based on the size. Here is the list of best lakes in Switzerland (according to All About Swiss!):

Lake Riffelsee

The Matterhorn is one of the most famous and stunning mountain peaks in all of The Alps. Nestled at the foot of the mountain lies Lake Riffelsee. The mirror image of the mountain is reflected on the lake’s surface and is truly a sight to behold.

Best lakes in Switzerland - Lake Riffelsee
Lake Riffelsee

Thanks to its proximity to the nearby ski resort of Zermatt, the lake is surprisingly easy to reach. The narrow-gauge railway that serves the resort stops at Rotenboden station along the way. The lake is a ten-minute walk from the station.

Lake Riffelsee tops our list for most instagrammable picture worthiness and it is easily reachable by mountain railway, so here is your photo session tri idea!

Lake Constance

Constance is situated on the Swiss, Austrian and German borders and is best for intercultural activities and watersports. The unique location along three borders give this lake a multi-cultural flavor.

Visitors have long since flocked to the area to enjoy the abundance of watersports on offer. Boating, cruising, kayaking, swimming, and so much more can be found along the shores of this lake. There is also a cycle track that runs the perimeter of Constance that offers a unique biking experience.

Best lakes in Switzerland - Lake Constance
Lake Constance

One of the most scenic boat tours in Europe can be found here. It runs from Kreuzlingen on the Swiss side and stops at medieval towns along the way for sightseeing. Constance is the third largest lake in Central Europe and tops our list for her size and variety of activities on offer.

Private Sightseeing Flight around Lake Constance
from: Viator, A Tripadvisor Company

Lake Bachalpsee

A complete contrast to Constance, Bachalpsee is a small lake that sits above the resort town of Grindelwald. It takes an hour and a half to hike to the lake, but the views do not disappoint. The lake is divided in two by natural dam, where smaller part is 6 meters lower from the bigger one.

Best lakes in switzerland - Lake Bachalpsee
Lake Bachalpsee

The surrounding glaciers give Bachalpsee an otherworldly air, so much so that it was used as the backdrop of Alderaan in Star Wars, Revenge of the Syth. This lake tops our list for having a magical aura.

The tiny lake is popular with hikers to climb to the area and be greeted with crystal clear waters and great view.

Lake Lucerne

This lake is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe, and it’s not hard to see why. Despite being surrounded by the Alps, Lucerne has a mild year-round climate. It is also one of the oldest resorts in Switzerland, which means it has had plenty of time to perfect the amenities on offer.

Best lakes in switzerland - Lake Lucerne
Lake Lucerne

There is no end to activities on and around the lake from biking, hiking, boating and swimming. But it is not just the activities that have put Lake Lucerne on our list. The resort itself is made up of a medieval old town, and there is culture to be had around every corner.

When the lake is wrapped in fog, it takes on a foreboding presence. The mist, the mountains and the medieval old town make the perfect combination for a gothic novel.

Full-Day Private Tour of Lake Lucerne and Swiss Knife Valley
from: Viator, A Tripadvisor Company

Lake Geneva

The long famous Lake Geneva shares a border with both Switzerland and France. This lake is a yacht spotters paradise and a playground for the rich and famous. This lake tops our list for luxury.

Best lakes in Switzerland - Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva

Yachts bob peacefully on the serene waters of the lake, while the cobbled streets of Geneva are dotted with exclusive and luxury boutiques and shops. Scenic cruises take you past medieval shoreside castles and picturesque hillside vineyards. Apart from yachting, there are rowing and swimming competitions in the summer.

Geneva Lake is the largest in Switzerland and one of the largest in Western Europe and almost half of it (40%) belongs to France.

Painting Master Class by the Geneva Lake
from: Viator, A Tripadvisor Company

Lake Brienz

Brienz is famous as one of the prettiest lakes in Switzerland, and with so many to choose from, that is praise indeed. The turquoise waters are presided over by towering alpine peaks.

Brienz is separated from neighboring Lake Thun by a thin sliver of land that is home to Interlaken. There are boat services on the lake that take you from Interlaken to neighboring towns and villages. The lake is best experienced by boat to take in all of the beauty. Brienz tops our list for postcard perfection.

Best lakes in Switzerland - Lake Brienz
Lake Brienz

There are regular boat trips on the lake, and especially with the renovated steamer the “Lötschberg”, originally built in 1914. Fun trip with this unique vessel is even better in summer when themed excursion are offered, such as  “Fondue boat”, “Breakfast boat”, or the “Alpine-style brunch”.

Lake Lugano

Lugano sits on the border between Switzerland and Italy and tops our list for a multi-cultural holiday. Lugano is a large lake that branches off in different directions and offers spectacular views from every angle. Geographically, it is right between Lake Como and Lago Maggiore, the other two very popular and famous lakes from the area.

As with most lakes in Switzerland, there is a host of activities on offer, but what makes Lugano unique is the region’s rich history. The lake and the region appear in written records of as early as 6th century. The lake and the surroundings were subject of constant fights between conflicting sides to control this strategic passage through the region.

Best lakes in Switzerland - Lake Lugano
Lake Lugano

Travelers can take a rack railway ride to the top of Mt Generoso to take in the whole panorama of the lake and stunning scenery. The surrounding mountainside towns offer unique insights into the Italian/Swiss culture in the region.

Lake Lugano – a taste of culture
from: Viator, A Tripadvisor Company

Lake Blausee

Lake Blausee (‘The Blue Lake”) is nothing short of mystical. This deep blue, clear lake is fed by subterranean springs. It sits in the middle of a green forest in Blausee Nature Park. The contrast of the green trees against the deep blue lagoon gives astonishing views and a feeling of utter tranquility.

Best lake in Switzerland - Lake Blausee
Lake Blausee

Blausee is a popular destination, but it is still unspoiled and peaceful. Fishing and picnicking are favorite pastimes here, and for the ultimate relaxation, a shore side spa sits right on the banks of this stunning lake. Blausee tops our list for peace and tranquility and for giving us the feeling that a little fairy might pop out at us at any moment. This is also because there is a legend of a maid who died of the broken heart here and who had beautiful blue eyes, whose color is now of the lake’s water.

Lake Thun

The last (but not the least), Lake Thun is a beautiful lake in Bern area. It is almost 18 km long and narrow and it has town of Thun on its shores. There are some other, smaller towns and picturesque churches dotting this scenic lake. It is the neighboring lake of Lake Brienz, whose water overflows into Lake Thun and then flows out by Aare River.

Best lakes in Switzerland - Lake Thun
Lake Thun

The Aare River itself is very popular for rafting, which is often part of Lake Thun and town of Thun visit package. The lake is popular with cruise and boat rides year around and water sports during the summer.

One curious fact about lake Thun is that, until 1964, Swiss government was disposing large amounts of unused ammunition into Lake Thun. This was way back before any environmental regulation is in place.

Waterfalls, Lake Thun, and Lake Brienz Private Tour from Interlaken
from: Viator, A Tripadvisor Company

Conclusion

No trip to Switzerland would be complete without a visit to a lake or two. Each one offers a unique experience and stunning natural beauty. Whether you prefer action and adventure or culture and serenity, there is a lake to suit everyone. You just have to find your favorite of numerous lakes in Switzerland or just visit them all 😊 Safe travels and see you soon!

This post was originally published on our specialized website about Switzerland, All About Swiss.

Last Updated on May 14, 2021 by Admin @ gotravelyourself.com

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