Travel Guide: The Breathtaking Beauty of the Lakes in Switzerland

The eternal wonder of nature that overwhelms the rhythm of colours enriches the soul, particularly in Switzerland. The rhythm of mountainous charm exchanges with the mesmerising invite of the lakes. Some of them share the lines with Italy, France and Germany but also the cultural sense of differences.

What attracts visitors to Switzerland is Mont Blanc, one of the highest peaks in Europe. The snow that drops from the paths even in summer leads to special mountainous windows that belong to Switzerland. Known as one of the most expensive countries in the world, Switzerland could be pretty bearable if following the certain tips.

Several thousand lakes in Switzerland include some of the largest in Europe, but also small bodies. Most of the lakes, or to be precise, 66 of them are located along the valley of the Rhine river. The description of the most beautiful lakes of Switzerland follows below.

Lake Geneva

One of the largest in Switzerland and particularly in Europe, Lake Geneva (also known as lake Leman) covers the gift of the relaxing beauty of Geneva town. Embraced by the lovely Jura mountains in France and the Swiss Alps, Lake Geneva is the perfect base for mountain lovers.

Covering both Switzerland and France, Lake Geneva has a few lovely beaches, starting from Geneva town itself. This town of the United Nations shouldn’t be overexposed to itself while lacking the other gems like Lausanne, Montreux or Vavey.

Castle Chillon in MOntreux at lake Geneva
Castle Chillon in Montreux at Lake Geneva- Credit:

In Geneva, the Brunswick Monument, made as a mausoleum of Charles II captivates the beauty of the lake by its elegance.

Gruyères village, famous for the cheese of the same name, is an oasis of sweetness. The castle of St. Germain hosts the variety of weird paintings and album covers from Alien made by Swiss artist HR Giger. The soft valleys of Gruyere make an excellent stop to learn about the history of this cheese.

Amazing medieval architecture can be captured at the lovely town of Yvoire in France, which dates back in 1306. It was a time when the castle of Yvoire created a vivid atmosphere and trade routes. Nowadays, it can be easily reached by boat.

Montreux town

Montreux deserves the etiquette of the most picturesque town on the lake with the captivating hilly views. Along the Flower Promenade of Montreux shines the imposing statue of Freddie Mercury. From Vevey to Villeneuve stretches this fascinating 10 km long promenade. Bursting with exotic flowers, cacti and palm trees, all senses are fully occupied while relaxing at one of the numerous beaches.

Montreux town hosts the charming castle Chillon, which is one of the most visited attractions of the lake. It’s located only 45 minutes away from the centre on a rocky islet. Montreux also hosts numerous classical concerts which sound especially enchanting at the dawn.

Lake Constance

Lake Constance or Bodensee in Germany stretches along the shores of Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Boat trips serve as the most efficient way to see the lake, especially considering that you can visit three countries in one day. Lindau town in Germany characterises the existence of the lake.

Lake Constance in the eastern Switzerland
Lake Constance in the eastern Switzerland- Credit:

On the Swiss side, the enchanting towns of Romanshorn, Arbon and Rorschach delightfully present the beauty of the lake. Kreuzlingen town serves as the starting point of most river cruises towards the Rhine river. The Lake Constant Cycle Path covers the enchanting charm of the entire lake.

Lake Lucerne

The fourth largest lake in Switzerland lies at the heart of the country, at its middle point. Shaped by many twists and steep mountains, Lake Lucerne charmingly invites its visitors. The historical towns of Lucerne and Weggis picturesquely define their idyllic images.

The wooden bridge of Lucerne is the major characteristic of the city romantically decorating the river Reuss. Named the Chapel Bridge, it vibrates the history from 14th century which is represented by the colourful images on it. Across the bridge is placed the gift shop within the Water Tower. Many cafe bars and restaurants offer relaxing spots to absorb the beautiness of the lake.

Chappel Bridge in the city of Lucerne
Chappel Bridge in the city of Lucerne- Credit:

Another wooden bridge or Spreuer bridge is a bit shorter but full of paintings.

Lucerne City delights with the vivid squares and many churches. Narrow cobblestone alleys in the Old town are made for wander and catching the magic. Mount Rigi impresses the lake with fabulous views.


Lake Thun

Lake Thun near the city of Bern is one of the most scenic lakes in Switzerland. Nestled at the Swiss Alps between the towns of Thun and Interlaken lake Thun is a treasure of water sports.

Lake Thun and Interlaken town
Lake Thun and Interlaken town- Credit:

The most fascinating way to explore the lake is by taking a cruise and absorbing the delightful villages and medieval castles. Oberhofen castle from 14th century spread the enchanting pearls of discovery at its lovely gardens and living museum. Thun castle from the 12th century, transfers visitors to the Middle Age, holding one of the best viewpoints of the lake.

Lake Thun can easily be reached by train from Bern or Zurich. Mountain lovers will find their paradise starting from the town Interlaken at the pyramidal peak of Niesen, Stockhorn and Niederhorn.

Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano in the Italian canton of Ticino captures the Mediterranean vibes at the threshold of the mountains. Mount Generoso is the highest mountain on the lake Lugano, with more than 1700m. The mesmerising beauty leaves the shine at its blue waters.

Lake Lugano and the city of Lugano surrounded by the mountains
Lake Lugano and the city of Lugano surrounded by the mountains- Credit:

Taking a funicular to the top of Monte Brè or Monte or Monte San Salvadore is the most fascinating way to capture the beauty of the lake. Gorgeous villages and views admired by pure harmonic symphony.

The ideal starting point for the lake is the city of Lugano, which can easily be reached by train or bus. Numerous parks around the lake are the botanical treasure like Parco Scherrer in Morcote or the Park Belvedere in Lugano itself. Swiss Miniature Park in Melide is one of the main attractions at the lake. Hermann Hesse Museum in Montagnola is definitely a delicacy to his enthusiasts.

Lake Zürich

Lake Zürich is the fifth largest lake in the country, stretching to many swimming spots at the city itself. Four islands spread at this banana-shaped lake offering boat trips as the best way to discover the lake. Linth river shapes its existence defined by the glaciers of the Glarus Alps.

lake Zurich and the charming capital of Switzerland Zurich
lake Zurich and the charming capital of Switzerland Zurich- Credit:

Once serving as a significant traffic connection, Lake Zürich is nowadays a popular holiday spot. The picturesque houses rise along the charming towns. Rapperswil is popular as the “rose town“ where the treasure of Roses counts more than 600 varieties. This lovely town holds the medieval castle, giving fabulous views from above. Near Rapperswil, fantastic excursions can be made to the islands of Ufenau and Lützelau.

The famous Lindt chocolate factory is located here in Kilchberg, one of chocolate brands that simply delights in every situation. A popular water park and one of the largest in Europe is the Alpamare in Pfäffikon.

Lake Brienz

Lake Brienz with the adjacent lake Thun is the turquoise heaven. Picturesquely nestled among the mountains of Bern lake, Brienz holds the pure charm. The most popular activities at Lake Brienz are the boat excursions with the colourful panorama of possibilities.

Isetwald castle on the turqouise water of the Brienz lake
Isetwald castle on the turquoise water of the Brienz lake- Credit:

The popular place to visit is the charming town of Brienz, which leads to the wonderful panoramic views of the nearby village of Brienzer Rothorn. Giessbach Falls is a gift from another charming boat trip. A marvelous waterfall leads to a fairytale of the castle at its historic Grand Hotel Giessbach.

Lucerne connects to Brienz by train on the quickest way.


Walensee holds the impressive beauty of the large lake of Switzerland. This mesmerizing lake in eastern Switzerland near St. Galen town is the fairy tale world of Heidi stories. This was the place that inspired Swiss writer Johanna Spyri about Heidi. Heididorf is the idyllic village of Heidi and a popular tourist attraction.

Beautiful panorama of the lake Wallensee
Beautiful panorama of the lake Wallensee- Credit:

Majestic mountains and steep cliffs that shape the lake hold picturesque images and stories. Lovely villages and towns enchant alone, some of them are:

Quinten- town, which can only be reached by boat or foot, is one of the most touristic places where the Mediterranean climate rules.

Betlis- village where snow plays the game is particularly impressive in the light of the Seerenbach Waterfall;

Weesen- this historic little town is the popular basis of many hikes;

Amden- spa town popular as the skiing centre;

Lake Gelmer

Gelmer lake is an artificial lake that serves as the hydroelectric reservoir in the Bernese Oberland. Enchanting blue colours of the Gelmer lake inspire with the divine strength of the mountains.

Divine blue colours of the water at Gelmer lake
Divine blue colours of the water at Gelmer lake- Credit:

Many hiking trails along the lake add to the charm of the sand beaches. Gelmer lake can be reached in two ways: within a one hour hike from Handegg near Meiringen or by a very steep funicular starting from the village of Handegg.

Lake Oeschinen

The mesmerising charm of the turquoise colours embraced by the mountains makes it one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. Located on the Bernese Oberland lake, Oeschinen is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Hiking along the amazing blue colours of the Oeschinen lake
Hiking along the amazing blue colours of the Oeschinen lake- Credit:

Stunning views from the cliffs above the lake deepen its colours even more. Green fields and rocky mountains exchange in harmony here. Placed above Kandersteg lake, Oeschinen is the home to nature lovers. Its glacial beauty touches the views of three-thousand-metre peaks.

Lake Oeschinen can easily be reached by cable car from Oeschinen, followed by a walk of 30 minutes.

Lake de Cleuson

The turquoise dream of this lake is created by the minerals of the glacier. Located in the canton of Valaisthis, artificial reservoir was built between 1946 and 1951.

Hike by the artificial Cleuson lake
Hike by the artificial Cleuson lake- Credit:

From November to May the lake is impassable due to snow. Shaped by the sharp mountains, the lake also features a small chapel.

Pizol Wildsee

Nestled at the Pizol mountain across the Glarus Alps in the canton, St. Gallen, this dreamy lake, is very popular with visitors and hikers. This small lake deserves a challenging hike as it just deep blue colours.

Deep blue colours of the Pizol Wildsee
Deep blue colours of the Pizol Wildsee- Credit:

The Wildsee is the most popular of the five lakes in the area. A special charm it shows in summer when swimming takes place. Along the 5-lake hike, incredible views of lake Constance intertwine with the Rhine Valley and the mountains of Glarus and Grisons.


Riffelsee is the small lake set up on the hiking trails of the legendary Zermatt. The marvellous reflections of the Matterhorn are its most recognizable sign. The views of Matterhorn ornate the easy hike from the lake the whole way.

The best way to start the hike is to take the train to Rotenboden, which is only 10 minutes away from the lake. Zermatt town is the perfect base for any hike in the area.

The dawn or dusk at the lake shows the most beautiful colours and photo opportunities.

Zermatt town

This lovely village is classified as the town is a car-free place full of shops and restaurants. The romantic treasure can be held on the palm of your hand at every corner here.

Reflections of the Matterhorn at Riffelsee
Reflections of the Matterhorn at Riffelsee- Credit:

Located at the threshold of the Matterhorn, this village offers the astonishing days to relax before any hike. Zermatt is situated close to Geneva and the Italian border, known as the most popular Swiss mountain resort.

The historical houses and several cable cars offer car-free, enchanting moments.

Lake Neuchatel

Lake Neuchatel is the largest lake in the Swiss territory, located in the French-speaking area. It’s one of the three lakes of the Jura mountains, among which are Lakes Biel and Murten.

Lake Neuschatel with the impressive castle
Lake Neuschatel with the impressive castle- Credit:

Neuchâtel town is a charming place dominated by the medieval castle. The French charm of Neuchâtel town is particularly visible during the traditional open-air wine festivals in autumn, one of the top cultural festivals of Switzerland. 

Several lovely towns are scattered along the northern side of the lake. The southern area of the lake holds the famous spa town Yverdon-les-Bains and an oasis for migratory birds.


Conclusion- The breathtaking power of the Swiss lakes

Mountains intertwined with lakes captivate with their power of enchantment. Incredible colors arise and one can wonder how something like this could be possible. Switzerland is a treasure of nature, country where divine beauty blooms at every corner. Thousands of lakes scatter the charm of this mountainous country.

Most of the major lakes are based in the Rhine basin in southeastern Switzerland, 66 of them. The throne holds Lake Geneva as the largest, its crystal clear water shines so pure even in the city centre.

Picturesque places filled with nature share the dream of an idyllic life, a life where simplicity rules. The breathtaking lakes belong to that dream where their colours hold beauty. Even the world of Heidi is not forgotten, it’s Switzerland in its roots.

Lakes hidden in the mountains sing the story of colours, the story of wonder and freedom. This landlocked country doesn’t lack a water charm; the ode to nature finds the true meaning here.

Leave a Reply