best lakes switzerland

Top Best Lakes Switzerland Getaways Revealed

Switzerland is not only known for its chocolate, cheese, and majestic mountains but also for its extraordinary number of lakes. With over 1,500 lakes in Switzerland, there are plenty of stunning options to explore. From crystal-clear alpine lakes to picturesque lakeside villages, these Swiss lakes offer breathtaking views, relaxation, and a chance to immerse oneself in nature. In this article, we will reveal the top best lakes in Switzerland that are must-visit destinations for any traveler.

Key Takeaways:

  • Switzerland is home to over 1,500 stunning lakes.
  • These lakes offer breathtaking views and a chance to relax in nature.
  • From Lake Geneva and Lake Zurich to Lake Brienz and Lake Lucerne, each lake has its own unique charm.
  • Boat cruises, swimming, and exploring charming villages are popular activities on these lakes.
  • There are also hidden gems in the Swiss Alps, including mountain lakes with pristine beauty.

Lake Geneva – The Largest Lake in Switzerland

Lake Geneva, also known as Lac Léman, is the largest lake in Switzerland and is a must-visit destination for any traveler. Located in the city of Geneva, Lake Geneva offers stunning views of the snow-capped Alps, picturesque castles, and vineyard-dotted hillsides.

One of the highlights of Lake Geneva is the Jet d’Eau, one of the world’s tallest fountains, which shoots water nearly 500 feet high. Boat cruises are a popular way to explore the lake and take in the surrounding scenery.

“Lake Geneva offers breathtaking views of the snow-capped Alps, picturesque castles, and vineyard-dotted hillsides.”

The nearby city of Geneva offers charming cobblestone streets, outdoor cafes, and quaint shops in the Old Town, making it a perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of Lake Geneva.

Key FeaturesAttractions
Picturesque castlesChillon Castle
Vineyard-dotted hillsidesLavaux Vineyards
Boat cruisesCGN Lake Geneva Navigation Company

Whether you’re taking a cruise on the lake, exploring the beautiful castles, or simply strolling along the shoreline, Lake Geneva is a true gem and a must-visit destination in Switzerland.

Lake Zurich – Historic Paddle-Steamers and Charming Villages

Located in the city of Zurich, Lake Zurich is a popular destination for those seeking relaxation and a dip in the water. This banana-shaped lake offers stunning views of the Alps and is surrounded by charming villages that add to its picturesque allure.

“Lake Zurich is the epitome of tranquility, with its crystal-clear waters and scenic surroundings. It’s a true haven for nature lovers and those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.”

One of the unique attractions of Lake Zurich is its historic paddle-steamers. These grand vessels take visitors on leisurely cruises across the lake, allowing them to marvel at the beauty of the surrounding landscapes while enjoying the comfort of a bygone era. The paddle-steamers also offer an excellent opportunity to explore the grand homes and villas that line the lake’s “Golden Coast”, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich history and architectural charm.

During the summer months, Lake Zurich becomes a hub of activity with numerous swimming areas dotted along its shores. These designated swimming spots provide the perfect opportunity for visitors to take a refreshing plunge into the clear waters and soak up the sun. Whether you prefer lounging on the beach or diving into the depths, Lake Zurich offers an idyllic setting for a day of swimming and relaxation.

Lake Zurich

For those with a sweet tooth, a visit to Kilchberg is a must. This charming village near Lake Zurich is home to the world’s largest chocolate shop, Lindt Home of Chocolate. Indulge in a variety of tempting treats and take a behind-the-scenes tour of the chocolate-making process. It’s a delectable experience that is sure to satisfy any chocolate lover’s cravings.

Highlights of Lake Zurich

Historic Paddle-SteamersExplore the lake on these majestic vessels and admire the grand homes along the “Golden Coast”.
Charming VillagesDiscover picturesque villages surrounding the lake, each with its own unique character.
Swimming AreasTake a refreshing dip in designated swimming spots along the lake’s shores.
Lindt Home of ChocolateVisit Kilchberg and indulge in Switzerland’s favorite treat at the world’s largest chocolate shop.

Whether you’re looking to unwind amidst stunning natural beauty, embark on a scenic boat cruise, or satisfy your chocolate cravings, Lake Zurich is a destination that offers something for everyone. Immerse yourself in the history, charm, and natural splendor of this captivating lake and discover why it is a favored retreat for locals and visitors alike.

Lake Brienz – The Turquoise Gem of the Alps

Lake Brienz, located in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, is truly a turquoise gem nestled amidst the majestic Alps. With its deep blue color and breathtaking surroundings, this lake is regarded as one of the most beautiful in Switzerland.

The waters of Lake Brienz have a mesmerizing turquoise hue, reminiscent of the pristine waters found in the Caribbean. This unique color is attributed to the glacial meltwater that feeds the lake, resulting in an awe-inspiring spectacle.

To fully experience the stunning beauty surrounding Lake Brienz, a boat trip on one of the vintage paddle steamers is a must. These charming vessels offer a nostalgic journey, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the incredible scenery as they glide across the turquoise waters.

Aside from its enchanting waters, Lake Brienz is surrounded by picturesque villages that add to its allure. Interlaken, a popular destination nearby, offers breathtaking views of soaring Alpine peaks and serves as a gateway to the surrounding natural wonders.

Another charming lakeside village worth visiting is Iseltwald, where visitors can soak in the tranquil atmosphere and admire the beauty of Lake Brienz from a different perspective.

“Lake Brienz is a true turquoise gem hidden in the heart of the Alps, offering a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty and tranquility.”

No visit to Lake Brienz would be complete without witnessing the awe-inspiring Giessbach Falls. Plunging gracefully into the lake, these thundering waterfalls create a breathtaking sight, enhancing the beauty of the already stunning surroundings.

Experience the Magic of Lake Brienz:

  • Marvel at the deep blue color and turquoise waters of Lake Brienz.
  • Take a nostalgic boat trip on a vintage paddle steamer.
  • Explore the charming lakeside villages of Interlaken and Iseltwald.
  • Be captivated by the thundering Giessbach Falls.

Lake Brienz truly epitomizes the natural beauty of Switzerland, offering a mesmerizing combination of deep blue waters, stunning scenery, and historic charm. It is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a tranquil and awe-inspiring experience amidst the breathtaking Swiss Alps.

Key FeaturesDescription
Turquoise WatersThe deep blue color of Lake Brienz’s waters creates a mesmerizing turquoise spectacle.
Vintage Paddle SteamersExperience the nostalgia of a boat trip on a vintage paddle steamer.
Picturesque VillagesExplore the charming lakeside villages of Interlaken and Iseltwald.
Giessbach FallsMarvel at the thundering beauty of the Giessbach Falls as they cascade into the lake.

Lake Lucerne – Breathtaking Beauty and Mild Climate

Lake Lucerne, located in the heart of Switzerland, is a mesmerizing destination that offers both stunning natural beauty and a mild climate. Surrounded by the majestic Alps, Lake Lucerne captivates visitors with its ever-changing atmosphere and serene surroundings. Its crystal-clear turquoise waters and picturesque landscapes make it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

A popular way to explore Lake Lucerne is by taking a leisurely cruise on a traditional steamship. As you sail across the tranquil waters, you’ll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and charming lakeside villages such as Weggis and Brunnen.

For those seeking relaxation, a peaceful stroll along the lakeside path is a must. The path offers a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of Lake Lucerne while enjoying the fresh mountain air. As you walk, you’ll come across scenic spots where you can pause and admire the sparkling water and the magnificent landscape.

If you’re looking to cool off on a hot summer day, Lake Lucerne provides excellent swimming opportunities. The lake’s clean and invigorating waters beckon visitors to take a refreshing dip. Whether you prefer lounging on the lakeshore or diving into the crystal-clear depths, Lake Lucerne offers a memorable swimming experience.

After a day of exploration and adventure, relax and unwind while savoring an Aperol spritz, a popular Swiss cocktail, at one of the lakeside cafes or restaurants. Indulge in the serene atmosphere and breathtaking views as you sip on this refreshing beverage, immersing yourself in the magic of Lake Lucerne.

Located on the shores of Lake Lucerne, the city of Lucerne itself is a charming destination worth exploring. With its cobblestone streets, historic landmarks such as the iconic Chapel Bridge, and an array of delightful Swiss delicacies, Lucerne offers the perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural charm.

Discover the Beauty of Lake Lucerne

Experience the enchantment of Lake Lucerne – a place where the awe-inspiring beauty of nature meets the tranquility of a mild climate. Explore the stunning landscapes, sail on a steamship, take a leisurely walk along the lakeside path, enjoy a swim in the refreshing waters, and indulge in a delicious Aperol spritz. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, Lake Lucerne is sure to captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.

Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore – Where Switzerland Meets Italy

Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore are two stunning bodies of water that lie in the region where Switzerland merges with Italy. These lakes offer some of the most beautiful views in the country, attracting visitors with their natural splendor and tranquil ambiance. The mild climate in this region allows for the growth of lush palm trees and vibrant flowers along the lake’s shores and in botanical gardens, creating a picturesque landscape that feels like a Mediterranean paradise. Both lakes are encompassed by towering mountains, adding to their dramatic and breathtaking allure.

Exploring Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore is a delightful experience, as they are dotted with idyllic villages that offer a glimpse into the charming local culture. Visitors can embark on ship cruises that transport them across the lakes, providing an opportunity to soak in the majestic surroundings and uncover hidden treasures. These cruises often include stops at scenic villages, where travelers can enjoy leisurely walks, savor delicious cuisine, and relax in a perfect holiday setting. With each passing moment on these ship cruises, the beauty of Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore unfolds, leaving visitors in awe of their enchanting landscapes.

To fully appreciate the unique blend of Swiss and Italian influences in this region, a visit to the palm-lined promenades and elegant waterfront villas is a must. The cultural intersection of these two countries is evident in the charming architecture, authentic cuisine, and warm hospitality found in the idyllic villages surrounding the lakes. From the medieval streets of Lugano to the colorful houses of Ascona, there is so much to explore and discover in this captivating region where Switzerland meets Italy.

Experience the beauty of Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore, where Switzerland meets Italy.

Mountain Lakes – Hidden Gems in the Swiss Alps

While Switzerland is known for its lakes, there are also hidden gems nestled in the Swiss Alps. These mountain lakes offer pristine beauty and captivating landscapes. Whether you’re seeking crystal-clear waters or lakes with striking colors, the Swiss Alps have it all.

“The mountains are calling, and I must go.” – John Muir

Let’s dive into the enchanting world of mountain lakes in Switzerland:

Bachalpsee and Oeschinensee

Located in the Bernese Oberland, Bachalpsee and Oeschinensee are two stunning mountain lakes fed by pure glacier waters. Bachalpsee offers crystal-clear reflections of the surrounding peaks, while Oeschinensee mesmerizes visitors with its emerald green color. These lakes provide an idyllic setting for hiking, picnicking, and immersing yourself in nature’s tranquility.

Riffelsee and Schwarzsee

Near the iconic Matterhorn, Riffelsee and Schwarzsee are two mountain lakes adorned with striking colors. Riffelsee showcases a deep blue hue, perfectly contrasting with the snow-covered peaks in the background. Schwarzsee, on the other hand, boasts a serene green color, creating a magical atmosphere. Both lakes offer breathtaking views and peaceful surroundings that will leave you in awe.

Mountain Lake

Härzlisee, St. Moritz, and Pontresina

Härzlisee, nestled in central Switzerland, is not only a picturesque mountain lake but also a haven for relaxation. With stunning views and a traditional Kniepp path, it’s the perfect place to rejuvenate your mind and body. Explore the region around St. Moritz and Pontresina, where lakes such as Lake St. Moritz, Silvaplana, Champfèr, and Sils offer breathtaking scenery amidst the high Alps. Immerse yourself in nature’s splendor and embrace the serenity of these mountain lakes.

Cauma, Flims, Untersee, and Heidsee

For those seeking summer swimming and sandy beaches amidst beautiful mountain settings, Lake Cauma near Flims, Untersee near Arosa, and Heidsee near Lenzerheide are the perfect destinations. These mountain lakes provide a refreshing escape, inviting visitors to cool off in their crystal-clear waters and enjoy various water sports. Embrace the beauty of the Swiss Alps while basking in the warmth of the sun.

These hidden gems in the Swiss Alps offer a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for tranquility, these mountain lakes will captivate your heart and soul.

More Swiss Lakes to Discover

In addition to the well-known lakes, Switzerland is also home to many other beautiful lakes waiting to be discovered. These peaceful little lakes offer hidden gems for travelers seeking tranquility and natural beauty away from the crowds.

Lake Zurich, located near the city of Zurich, is one such hidden gem. As you travel from the airport to your resort, you’ll be greeted by the serene waters of Lake Zurich, providing a picturesque introduction to the country. The lake is surrounded by charming villages and offers a peaceful retreat for visitors.

Lake Zug, another hidden gem, is conveniently located near the city of Zug. Its calm waters and idyllic surroundings make it a perfect spot for relaxation. Take a leisurely stroll along the lakeside promenade or enjoy a picnic with a view.

Lake Constance, situated on the German border, is worth a visit for those staying in St. Gallen, Appenzell, or Schaffhausen. This expansive lake offers breathtaking views and is dotted with charming towns and villages. Take a boat trip to explore the lake and immerse yourself in its beauty.

Hidden Gems in Switzerland

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

Switzerland’s hidden gem lakes provide a unique opportunity to experience the country’s natural beauty in a tranquil setting. Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and discover the peacefulness of these little-known gems.

Peaceful Little Lakes in Switzerland

Lake ZurichNear ZurichCharming villages, lakeside promenade
Lake ZugNear ZugCalming atmosphere, lakeside picnics
Lake ConstanceOn the German border, near St. Gallen, Appenzell, and SchaffhausenScenic views, charming towns and villages

These peaceful little lakes offer a chance to reconnect with nature and escape from the crowds. Whether you take a leisurely walk along the shores, enjoy a boat ride, or simply sit back and soak in the tranquility, these hidden gems will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated.


Switzerland is a haven for lake lovers, with its vast array of stunning lakes offering breathtaking views, outdoor activities, and relaxation. From the largest lake, Lake Geneva, to the turquoise gem of the Alps, Lake Brienz, each lake has its own unique beauty and charm. Whether you choose to cruise on a historic paddle-steamer, swim in crystal-clear waters, or simply soak in the picturesque surroundings, a visit to the best lakes in Switzerland is a must for any traveler.

Explore these hidden gems and discover why Switzerland is truly a paradise for lake enthusiasts. Whether you’re seeking the tranquility of mountain lakes nestled in the Swiss Alps or prefer the idyllic experience of lakes that border Italy, such as Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore, Switzerland has the perfect lake for everyone. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty and serenity of these picturesque lakes.

Indulge in the breathtaking beauty of Lake Lucerne, known for its stunning views and mild climate. Lose yourself in the charming villages surrounding Lake Zurich and witness the incredible turquoise color of Lake Brienz. Whether you’re looking for popular destinations or peaceful retreats, Switzerland’s lakes are sure to leave you in awe. Plan your trip today and experience the natural wonders of these pristine lakes.

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