Switzerland offers a breathtaking landscape but do not forget the beautiful lakes, Switzerland is home to many wonderful lakes, over 1500 to be precise! In this blog, we will inform you about the top 10 most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. Of course, we are not able to cover all 1500 lakes, so we decided to select a top 10 of the most beautiful lakes. This top ten includes both popular lakes and hidden gems as well.
1. Lake Gelmersee
The Gelmersee is located in the Swiss Alps. This lake can be found in Canton Bern. The colour of the water is incredible, crystal clear. The surrounding mountains make this an impressive place. You can reach the lake in two ways. The first one is by hiking up a mountain. The harder one, the second one is by taking the Gelmerbahn Funicular. The Gelmerbahn Funicular is undoubtedly the steepest railway in Europe, with a gradient of 106%! We highly recommend buying your tickets early, perhaps even in advance of your arrival. We also advise you to take water or a picnic with you. No restaurants will be found at the lake. However, a picnic with a view like this isn’t bad at all!
2. Lake Zurich
Our second recommendation is lake Zurich. Lake Zurich is in our opinion one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. Lake Zurich was early on a popular transport route, nowadays the lake is a super popular lake for tourists to swim, and enjoy a boat trip or have a delicious picnic on one of the lake’s banks! Around the lake, there are many restaurants that offer dinner with a fabulous view.
To get a different view, we advise taking a boat trip, lovely views from lake Zurich. We recommend visiting one of the four islands in Lake Zurich. The Saffa Island connects to the mainland by a footbridge, this island is a popular sight by Tourists. During Summer you can enjoy the sun while bathing at Lake Zurich.
3. Lake Oeschinensee
Lake Oeschinensee can be found in the Bernese Oberland. After a hike of a few kilometres uphill from the town of Kandersteg, you will reach lake Oeschinensee. This place is really peaceful. The Lake can be reached by Cable Car as well. The cable car operates from Kandersteg to Oeschinen, and then via Toboggan.
During summer, travellers experience enjoyable warm days and cool nights, in the winter season, the entire lake is frozen. During Winter people even do ice fishing, which is a very popular activity in the Winter period. Beautiful Hotel Oeschinensee also has charming accommodations directly at the lake, especially perfect for those who would love to stay right at the shore of the lake. There are many hiking and walking trails available to reach the lake. Different levels of difficulty are there. A nice hike from the cable car station through the forest, rocks and waterfalls to reach the lake, is highly recommended.
4. Lake Lugano
Located in the Canton Ticino, Lake Lugano is a beautiful lake. The lake is located at the border between the south of Switzerland and the north of Italy. Because of this, you will experience a mix of Italian Culture and Swiss Culture in the lakeside communities. The impressive blue water takes your eye right away. The mountains create a spectacular place.
We recommend experiencing Lake Lugano by boat. Book a boat excursion around the lake. The natural beauty of Lake Lugano is far more experienced on the water than on the mainland. Besides Lake Lugano, it offers fabulous parks and promenades as well, here you can explore and wander along the shoreline while enjoying the view. A nice starting point for your adventure is at the City itself, Lugano. Easily reachable by bus or train or by car.
5. Lake Lucerne
Rated at place four in the top 5 largest lakes in Switzerland, this is a must-visit. Lake Lucerne is enclosed by the cantons, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Uri and the canon of Lucerne. Besides the beautiful city of Lucerne, the shores rise up to the peaks of wonderful local mountains, named: Pilatus and Rigi. During Summer time there are many boat excursions on the lake. If you visit Lake Lucerne you could experience a magical mist above the lake, this will make your visit unforgettable!
We highly recommend booking a steamer cruise across the lake of Lucerne. When it’s sunny outside, this will be an amazing experience. But if it isn’t the summer, lake Lucerne is beautiful as well. If you plan a sailing in the evening, you will see the city of Lucerne with all its beautiful lights, a truly impressive experience. There are possibilities to combine a boat excursion with a nice walk. We recommend the Swiss path, Weg der Schweiz, this is a themed trail on the history of beautiful Switzerland. Of course, there are plenty of possibilities to bathe at the lake, many rest areas and bathing areas are provided along the lake shores.
6. Lake Geneva
Number six in our top 10 is Lake Geneva, the location of this lake is between France and Switzerland. It is also known in France as Lac Léman. Lake Geneva offers many things, a mild climate, the largest lake in Switzerland and the lake containing the most water in Central Europe. It is definitely a big lake, there are boats, historic paddle steamers, and ferries on the water. The company, GGN(Compagnie Generale de Navigation operates at lake Geneva with eight steamers, which is in fact the largest European fleet. With small ferries, the several villages and cities are connected, in this way you can travel fast and efficiently from one shore of the lake to another shore.
The beautiful city of Geneva, on the shores of Lake Geneva, is one of the most steady starting points to explore Lake Geneva and the city itself. The city of Geneva is easily reached by train, bus or by car. We recommend staying in Geneva as well, it offers fabulous sights and cultural opportunities besides enjoying lake Geneva. A must-visit is the 140 meters high water fountain, the Jet d’eau. Another recommended location at Lake Geneva is the castle named Chillon Castle. The castle is situated at the eastern end of the lake, on the quite narrow shore between Villeneuve and Montreux. This castle is the most visited castle in Switzerland and Europe.
7. Lago Maggiore
Lago Maggiore extends from a part of Switzerland(speak Italian) far into the stunning Italian regions of Lombardy and Piedmont. Because of its Mediterranean climate, it is very reasonable to think you are in Italy. Interesting fact, only one part of the lake is in Switzerland the rest is in Italy. We recommend visiting the picturesque town of Ascona, bright painted buildings and car-free promenades make it a beautiful town to visit. You can book a cruise on Lake Maggiore to enjoy the peaceful views.
A very popular holiday destination is the city of Locarno, with many water and non-water activities available. And do not forget the incredibly beautiful views of the lake, take a funicular with you! When booking a boat cruise, you will see the beautiful villas and imposing fortresses and castles that are located around the lake and situated on its islands. And of course, there are plenty of spots to get a coffee and enjoy the view of the lake, or to take a swim in the beautiful clear water of Lago Maggiore.
8. Lake Lungern
The typical red-roofed chalets of Lungern make this place even more picturesque. Beautiful greenery will make this place so magical. The location of lake Lungern is between Lucerne and Interlaken. In the canton Obwalden, this natural lake is named after the town Lungern on its shore. If you travel by car, we recommend stopping at the viewpoint at the main road, located at the end of the Brunig Pass[Lucerne end] this viewpoint is the perfect spot to make your Instagram selfie or a family photo to share with your friends! The lake is amazing for swimming, relaxing and fishing as well.
The water of Lake Lungern is so fresh and clear that it is almost drinkable. The temperature of the water is up to 22-23 degrees, which is very comfortable. There is a small swimming pool area with a sandy beach and for the children a long water slide!
9. Lake Blausee
Lake Blausee is situated in a nature park, it is a jewel of very rare beauty. It is located between Kandersteg and Frutigen in the Bernese Oberland. It is a fabulous forest lake, so peaceful and it has an intense blue colour.
A well-maintained paved path leads from the entrance to the lake, through the forest. The intense blue lake appears and you will experience this incredible place. The lake is really small, in comparison with other lakes mentioned in this top 10 of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. For a more comprehensive blog about lake Blausee check out this blog.
The lake is very well accessible and has lots of picnic spots and bonfire spots. There is a beautiful hotel directly on the shore of the lake. At the lake you will find an organic trout farm as well, All products of the Blausee trout are available to purchase in the shop, restaurant, or online. Tip: If you visit Blausee with your dog, very welcome, but do not forget to leash your dog.
10. Lake Thun
The last one of the top 10 lakes in Switzerland is Lake Thun. The deeply blue lake is situated between the Bernese Oberland towns of Interlaken and Thun. Lake Thun is very popular amongst windsurfers and sailors, because of the breeze at the Lake. But not only for sailors or windsurfers. Lake Thun offers plenty of swimming spots at the shores, to cool off.
We recommend booking a cruise on Lake Thun, this is a unique experience. Enjoy fine dining, with a glass of wine and just appreciate the view. The cruise will pass the shore of Lake Thun with its picturesque villages and fantastic historic castle. We think a lake cruise is an ideal way to discover the diversity this region offers.
When visiting Lake Thun, travel to the small town of Spiez. Spiez has a beautiful castle and Romanesque church. In the city of Thun, you can find fabulous castles and wonderful museums as well.
Switzerland is home to beautiful nature, with four different seasons all offering something special. In this blog, we inform you about the top 10 most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. There are over 1500 lakes in Switzerland. Many of these lakes can be reached by foot, others even by cable car. You can also swim in some of the lakes mentioned. But be aware, this will be fresh and cold:) We hope you enjoyed this blog, if you have any other questions, leave a comment below.