Lake holidays in Switzerland

Picture perfect scenery throughout the country

 

Switzerland is famed for its beautiful lakes. There are crystal-clear little mountain lakes to visit and you can navigate the larger lakes on a traditional paddle steamer. Wherever you choose to stay, you won't be too far from the water and all the beautiful scenery which accompanies it.

Here are just a few of the lake highlights which you discover on a holiday in Switzerland.

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What lakes to visit in Switzerland

There are so many beautiful lakes to see in Switzerland, so wherever you decide to stay there is likely to be a stunning lake near by that you will want to visit.

The biggest lakes to visit are Lake Geneva (stay in Montreux and Vevey), Lake Lucerne (stay in Lucerne and Weggis), Lake Thun and Lake Brienz (stay in Interlaken), Lake Maggiore (stay in Locarno and Ascona) and Lake Lugano (stay in Lugano). If you are prefer a holiday in the mountains there are plenty of smaller, alpine lakes to enjoy, often found on the route of delightful walking trails. 

What lakes to visit in Switzerland

There are so many beautiful lakes to see in Switzerland, so wherever you decide to stay there is likely to be a stunning lake near by that you will want to visit.

The biggest lakes to visit are Lake Geneva (stay in Montreux and Vevey), Lake Lucerne (stay in Lucerne and Weggis), Lake Thun and Lake Brienz (stay in Interlaken), Lake Maggiore (stay in Locarno and Ascona) and Lake Lugano (stay in Lugano). If you are prefer a holiday in the mountains there are plenty of smaller, alpine lakes to enjoy, often found on the route of delightful walking trails. 

 
Lake Lucerne Lake Lucerne steamer

Encircled by mountains, the lake stretches from the historic resort of Lucerne through the fjord-like landscape and joins with Lake Uri to reach Flüelen, in the very heart of Switzerland. A lake cruise is a real pleasure - you can hop across to one of the villages or stay on board for the full round trip. The boats also connect with the mountain trains and cable cars. You can bathe in the lake, take a trip on a pedalo, stroll along a lakeside path or simply sit and admire the sparkling water in all its glory. 

Size: 114km²,  elevation: 434m,  maximum depth: 214m.

Stay in a lakeside resort: Lucerne, Weggis or Brunnen

Lake Lucerne
Lake Lucerne steamer

Encircled by mountains, the lake stretches from the historic resort of Lucerne through the fjord-like landscape and joins with Lake Uri to reach Flüelen, in the very heart of Switzerland. A lake cruise is a real pleasure - you can hop across to one of the villages or stay on board for the full round trip. The boats also connect with the mountain trains and cable cars. You can bathe in the lake, take a trip on a pedalo, stroll along a lakeside path or simply sit and admire the sparkling water in all its glory. 

Size: 114km²,  elevation: 434m,  maximum depth: 214m.

Stay in a lakeside resort: Lucerne, Weggis or Brunnen

 
Lake Thun & Lake Brienz Lake Thun

These two lakes at the heart of the Bernese Oberland are separated by the popular resort of Interlaken. Both lakes are famed for their deep blue colour and have a stunning backdrop of the Jungfrau mountains - a relaxing cruise is highly recommended to experience this magnificent view. All along the lakes you will find pleasant villages, swimming areas and lakeside walking trails. Lake Thun also has historic castles to visit, while on Lake Brienz you can see the thundering Giessbach Falls. 

Thun - Size: 48km²,  elevation: 558m,  maximum depth: 217m. Brienz - Size: 29km²,  elevation: 564m,  maximum depth: 260m.

Stay in a lakeside resort: Interlaken, Spiez, Merligen and Bönigen

Lake Thun & Lake Brienz
Lake Thun

These two lakes at the heart of the Bernese Oberland are separated by the popular resort of Interlaken. Both lakes are famed for their deep blue colour and have a stunning backdrop of the Jungfrau mountains - a relaxing cruise is highly recommended to experience this magnificent view. All along the lakes you will find pleasant villages, swimming areas and lakeside walking trails. Lake Thun also has historic castles to visit, while on Lake Brienz you can see the thundering Giessbach Falls. 

Thun - Size: 48km²,  elevation: 558m,  maximum depth: 217m. Brienz - Size: 29km²,  elevation: 564m,  maximum depth: 260m.

Stay in a lakeside resort: Interlaken, Spiez, Merligen and Bönigen

 
Lake Geneva A cruise on Lake Geneva

Switzerland's largest lake boasts a mild climate and has historic vineyards stretching along its scenic shoreline. Take a cruise along the length of the lake and you will be suprised by the changing scenery - from the snowcapped Alps to the sunny vines and pleasant villages, from waterside statues of residents Charlie Chaplin and Freddie Mercury to the famous Jet d'Eau fountain if you travel all the way to Geneva. In Montreux, it is a delight to promenade along the lake to the charming Château de Chillon.

Size: 580km²,  elevation: 372m,  maximum depth: 310m.

Stay in a lakeside resort: Montreux, Vevey, Lausanne and Geneva

Lake Geneva
A cruise on Lake Geneva

Switzerland's largest lake boasts a mild climate and has historic vineyards stretching along its scenic shoreline. Take a cruise along the length of the lake and you will be suprised by the changing scenery - from the snowcapped Alps to the sunny vines and pleasant villages, from waterside statues of residents Charlie Chaplin and Freddie Mercury to the famous Jet d'Eau fountain if you travel all the way to Geneva. In Montreux, it is a delight to promenade along the lake to the charming Château de Chillon.

Size: 580km²,  elevation: 372m,  maximum depth: 310m.

Stay in a lakeside resort: Montreux, Vevey, Lausanne and Geneva

 
Lake Lugano & Lake Maggiore View over Lake Maggiore

The lakes of Ticino, where Switzerland meets Italy, offers some of the country's most beautiful views. Thanks to the mild climate, there are palm trees and an array of brightly coloured flowers on the shores and in the stunning botanical garden on Brissago Island. Mountains surround both lakes and it is certainly worth taking a funicular or cable car up to enjoy the vistas over the azure water. Regular boats transport you across the lakes to idyllic villages, where you can relax over lunch in the perfect holiday setting. 

Maggiore - Size: 212km²,  elevation: 193m,  maximum depth: 372m. Lugano - Size: 48km²,  elevation: 271m,  maximum depth: 288m.

Stay in a lakeside resort: Locarno, Ascona and Lugano

Lake Lugano & Lake Maggiore
View over Lake Maggiore

The lakes of Ticino, where Switzerland meets Italy, offers some of the country's most beautiful views. Thanks to the mild climate, there are palm trees and an array of brightly coloured flowers on the shores and in the stunning botanical garden on Brissago Island. Mountains surround both lakes and it is certainly worth taking a funicular or cable car up to enjoy the vistas over the azure water. Regular boats transport you across the lakes to idyllic villages, where you can relax over lunch in the perfect holiday setting. 

Maggiore - Size: 212km²,  elevation: 193m,  maximum depth: 372m. Lugano - Size: 48km²,  elevation: 271m,  maximum depth: 288m.

Stay in a lakeside resort: Locarno, Ascona and Lugano

 
Mountain lakes Chantarella funicular

You can experience Swiss lakes even if you are staying in a mountain resort.

Bernese Oberland: Bachalpsee and Oeschinensee are crystal clear lakes fed by pure glacier waters. In summer they are surrounded by alpine flowers including edelweiss.  

Valais: Riffelsee, Schwarzsee and Blausee offer fantastic views of the Matterhorn. Riffelsee is famous for its reflection of the mountain and Blausee has water of the deepest, purest blue.

Central Switzerland: Härzlisee is an idyllic mountain lake with wonderful views and a traditional Kniepp path to massage your bare feet. 

Graubünden: the region around St. Moritz and Pontresina has a chain of beautiful lakes offering views of breathtaking scenery in the high Alps. Lake St. Moritz, Lake Silvaplana, Lake Champfèr and Lake Sils are highly recommended for scenic walks. For summer swimming, try Lake Cauma near Flims, Untersee near Arosa or Heidsee near Lenzerheide. Temperatures reach 20ºC and there are sandy beaches, sports facilities and restaurants - all in the midst of beautiful scenery.

Mountain lakes
Chantarella funicular

You can experience Swiss lakes even if you are staying in a mountain resort.

Bernese Oberland: Bachalpsee and Oeschinensee are crystal clear lakes fed by pure glacier waters. In summer they are surrounded by alpine flowers including edelweiss.  

Valais: Riffelsee, Schwarzsee and Blausee offer fantastic views of the Matterhorn. Riffelsee is famous for its reflection of the mountain and Blausee has water of the deepest, purest blue.

Central Switzerland: Härzlisee is an idyllic mountain lake with wonderful views and a traditional Kniepp path to massage your bare feet. 

Graubünden: the region around St. Moritz and Pontresina has a chain of beautiful lakes offering views of breathtaking scenery in the high Alps. Lake St. Moritz, Lake Silvaplana, Lake Champfèr and Lake Sils are highly recommended for scenic walks. For summer swimming, try Lake Cauma near Flims, Untersee near Arosa or Heidsee near Lenzerheide. Temperatures reach 20ºC and there are sandy beaches, sports facilities and restaurants - all in the midst of beautiful scenery.

 
More Swiss lakes Lake Constance

There are of course many other lakes within Switzerland. You may well pass Lake Zurich and Lake Zug while en route from the airport to your resort, and they certainly make for a very picturesque introduction to the country. Visitors staying in St. Gallen, Appenzell and Schaffhausen should take the short journey to see beautiful Lake Constance on the German border. 

As well as these large lakes, there are plenty of peaceful little lakes hidden away in forests all over Switzerland, just waiting to be discovered.

More Swiss lakes
Lake Constance

There are of course many other lakes within Switzerland. You may well pass Lake Zurich and Lake Zug while en route from the airport to your resort, and they certainly make for a very picturesque introduction to the country. Visitors staying in St. Gallen, Appenzell and Schaffhausen should take the short journey to see beautiful Lake Constance on the German border. 

As well as these large lakes, there are plenty of peaceful little lakes hidden away in forests all over Switzerland, just waiting to be discovered.

 

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Speak to our team today to find out more!

Call us on 0800 619 1200 or email us at info@swissholidayco.com

...and the mountains

The Swiss mountains offer a contrasting view, equally stunning and bound to linger in your memories of a wonderful holiday. Find out more here. You can choose to stay by a lake, in a mountain resort or combine both in a multi centre holiday

Lakes blog

Have a read of our 'Best lakes in Switzerland' article for further inspiration! 

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Scenic rail holidays

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