The bent, almost banana-shaped Lake Zurich is surrounded by the hills of Albis and Zimmerberg on the southern side, and the hills of Pfannenstiel on the north.
Lake Zürich consists of the Linth River, rising on the Glarus alpine glaciers, which was transferred to Lake Walen via the Escher canal, completed in 1811, from where its waters pass through the Linth channel east of Lake Zürich (completed in 1816).
The Zürich lake’s water runs off the lake at its north-western end (Quaibrücke) and crosses through the town of Zürich, but then it is known as the Limmat outflow. At 3,614 meters above sea level, the peak of the drainage basin of the lake is the Tödi.
Once used primarily as a transportation corridor, the lake is now frequented by tourists and the real estate near its beaches is in high demand. A boat tour around Lake Zurich is the finest way to experience the area’s gentle waves, tranquilly, relaxation, and delicious cuisine. All year long, boats make regular trips to most of the locations along the coast.
The two classic paddle-steamers are huge hits with the crowd. Different types of cruises are offered at different times of the day, from the “Gipfeli-Schiff” (early morning) to the “Sonnenuntergangs-Schiff” (evening). The Lake Zurich shipping company provides a variety of excursions, including musical outings and holiday-themed cruises.
From Zollikon to Feldmeilen, the “golden coast” stretches along the northern shore of the lake. This sunny area is well-known for its low tax rates and high property values, making it the ideal spot to view the lavish mansions and villas owned by the country’s elite.
The “rose town” of Rapperswil sits on the eastern shore of the lake. More than 600 varieties of roses are in bloom on over 15,000 rose bushes in the city’s public gardens. This coastal town is a favourite excursion destination thanks to its Mediterranean-style lakeside promenade, attractive Old Town, and mediaeval castle. Young tourists have great hopes for Knie’s Children’s Zoo.
The sunny islands of Ufenau and Lützelau near Rapperswil, the wooden footbridge across the lake between Rapperswil and Hurden, the Baroque church in Lachen, the famous Lindt & Sprüngli chocolate factory in Kilchberg, and the pulsating metropolis of Zurich, with all its many sights, the famous shopping mile of the Bahnhofstrasse, and the lake itself, are all popular destinations for tourists in the vicinity of Lake Zurich.