best lakes in switzerland

If you take a look at our previous articles, you will see just how much we highlight the Swiss country for its gorgeous landscapes. We give lots of attention to the Alps and mountains in Switzerland; however, we never left out the crystal waters that beautifully escort the hills, giving visitors many picturesque views.

In this article, we’re going to focus on this topic exactly, and give you a qualitative list with 10 of the best lakes to swim in Switzerland. Take a dip… I mean, take a look, and start adding these lakes to your bucket list!

1. Lake Sils

This earthly paradise is the largest of the Engadin lakes, surrounded by larch forests in Grison. Its name derives from the village of Sils in the Engadin valley, and its altitude consists of 1,797 meters above sea level. Lake Sils is frequented and recommended for a visit at all seasons, whether autumn, winter, or summer. You’ll see how the lake is majestic during hikes and trails when the golden autumn covers its waters. Or, you will be able to slide through the frozen waters during the winter, when the lake transforms itself into a ski trail. Either way, you won’t be disappointed. Even Nietzsche got inspired gazing at the waters of Lake Sils:

All lake, all midday, all unending time.”

2. Lake Thun

The panoramic Lake Thun belongs to Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region. With just one cruise on the lake, you’ll be mesmerized by so many things you can see. Thun is surrounded by old Romanesque churches, which can be seen in Thun’s old town and in the petite town of Spiez. All of them belong to the 12th century or the 15th century. This lovely cruise will take you to the Beatushöhlen-Sundlauenen boat landing stage and the impressive karst caves with unique textures of stalactites, stalagmites, and waterfalls. Thun lake is also known as the “Riviera of the Bernese Oberland,” for its mild climate. The Swiss also named a festival after the lake (Lake Thun Festival), with musical performances of the ‘Thuner Seespiele.’

3. Lake Toma

Also known as the Tomasee, Lake Toma is the source of the mighty Rhine. Its waters lie calmly near the Oberalp Pass, and on an elevation of 2,344 meters in the middle of a nature reserve. 

If you want to take the road to the lake from the Oberalp Pass, you will be on the run for a 90-minute hike. This hike consists of marked paths that lead to the Piz Badus, whew Tomasee lies. The lake is listed as one of Switzerland’s most beautiful landscapes and natural monuments of national importance. It’s surrounded by cuckoo flowers, gentian, alpine roses, marguerites, and white cotton grass grow on the edges of the path. The quality of this water is very high, making it a drinking water for the Swiss people and a perfect place for swimming. 

4. Blue Sea Lake

The Blausee lake is a small lake in Switzerland, that lies between Kandersteg and Frutigen in the Bernese Oberland. The blue lake is an extremely frequented tourist destination, through a paved path that goes through a thick forest. After you take a walk through it, you’ll be amazed at the appearance of the intensely blue color of the lake, which proves its name right. The small lake that looks more like a pond sits in the middle of a beautiful 22-acre nature park that reminds people of Japanese spiritual gardens.

5. Lake Constance

Lake Constance, also known as Bodensee in German, is a 63km-long central European lake that borders Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. The beautiful lake is fed by the Rhine River, which makes it the perfect summer destination for sailing, swimming or windsurfing. The Bodensee is composed of 2 connected parts – the Untersee (lower lake) and the larger Obersee (upper lake). Constance is ringed by many resort towns, has a rolling landscape, and the mild climate makes it perfect for a holiday destination.

6. Lake Lucerne

Travellers from around the world call this lake as one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland, with a cruise that is definitely worth a shot. 

Lake Lucerne lies in central Switzerland and is the fourth largest lake in the country. It is well known for its complicated shape, with several sharp bends and four arms. Yet, it has the most magnificent scenic variety in the country, similar to a fjord landscape. Boat cruises onboard will offer you a tour through the historic paddlewheel steamers and 15 elegant salon motor vessels, which are considered to be the highlights of this region. As per swimming, you might take a look at the local beaches and go take a dip in Lucerne’s famous waters.

7. Lake Neuchatel

Lake Neuchâtel belongs to the French-speaking part of Switzerland. It lies mainly in the canton of Neuchâtel but is also shared by the cantons of Vaud, Fribourg, and Bern, at the southern foot of the Jura mountains. The northern shore of the lake compiles of stunning vineyard landscapes, whereas the southern shore is characterized by the largest marshland and bird paradise in Switzerland. Through a four-hour boat cruise, you will get to experience all three lakes at the periphery of the Jura – lakes Biel, Murten, and Lac de Neuchâtel. The Pointe du Grain shore has the best swimming reputation at Lake Neuchâtel. Visitors compare it to beach shores of Thailand.

8. The Black Lake

Why do they call it the black lake? Locally known as Schwarzsee, this lake has two versions of the story. According to a legend, a giant washed his feet in one of the Swiss lakes waters, and they remained black ever since. Thus, the name. Whereas rationally explained, it is called the Black lake because its waters can appear very dark in certain lightning. Whatever the truth is, Schwarzsee is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and stand-up paddleboarding. It is also home to many beautiful hikes and mountain biking trails.

9. Lake Brienz

Lake Brienz (Brienzersee) is a beautiful Swiss lake filled with turquoise and emerald hues. Its colors are often associated with shallow Caribbean waters, and they are a result of glacial particles known as “rock flour” that reflect the blue-green sector of the light spectrum. The Brienz lakeside bathing place is located on the upper shore of the Brienzersee lake and has a unique view of Interlaken. Lake Brienz is a lake just north of the Alps, in the canton of Berne in Switzerland. It has a length of about 14 kilometers and a maximum depth of 260 meters.

10. Lake Zurich

In the city with plenty of water, swimming is considered to be a cult, with people cooling down either in the river or the Zurich Lake. Plenty of bleached yachts fill-up the panorama, with families cruising in Zurich waters while sipping rose and holding picnic baskets. Needless to say that while you explore the waters of Lake Zurich, you’re faced with an outstanding view of the energetic old town. The city of Zurich has around 40 of badis (small baths) set up on the Limmat river, as well as on stretches of Lake Zurich. While today they’re a summer hub of hedonism and relaxation, the badis were initially set up by the Romans for a far more prosaic purpose, which is basic hygiene. With all these components, it is no wonder that Zurich is known as one of the best places to live in, specifically during the summer days.

Overall, we can conclude that the Swiss country has a monopoly when it comes down to the best Europe places you can swim in. The list would go on and on, but we’ve only highlighted some of the most gorgeous waters which people have praised through their experience in the Swiss country.

1 Comment
  1. There is also the little know lake in the west of Switzerland. Lake Leman often referred to as Lake Geneva.
    Its so small, its easy to miss. Just a minor oversight on your end. 🙂

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