FOR YOUR BUCKET LIST – HERE ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LAKES IN SWITZERLAND
From the mountains to cities and towns, Switzerland is a traveler’s paradise! But if you’re like me and want to reach absolute peak relaxation while on your trip – then I definitely recommend adding some of their gorgeous (and quite frankly magical) lakes to your Swiss bucket list.
Experience the beauty of Switzerland and its stunning lakes – From breathtaking alpine views to tranquil subterranean destinations, this European paradise has something for everyone.
With over 1,500 lakes, Switzerland boasts some of the most picturesque lakes in the world. Whether you’re into swimming, other water activities, or just taking a leisurely stroll along the shore, there’s a lake for everyone in this beautiful country.
From the crystal-clear waters of Lake Geneva to the serene surroundings of Lake Lucerne, you’re in for a treat. So, grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and picnic basket, and let’s dive into the amazing world of Swiss lakes!
As a #LakeAddict I consider myself an expert when it comes to Swiss lakes – I really know my stuff. And I can say: The lakes in Switzerland are everything you could ask for! They are a real dream. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors! So make sure to add a few lakes to your Switzerland itinerary.
EXPLORE THE BEST LAKES IN SWITZERLAND
Here are the most stunning, the prettiest, and the most amazing and the best lakes in Switzerland to add to your Switzerland bucket list
In the canton of Bern lies Lake Brienz, an immense turquoise lake with a surface area larger than 29 football fields! Perfect for taking in deep breaths of fresh air and admiring fantastic views along its banks standing 564 meters above sea level.
If you’re looking for a picturesque spot to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then Lake Brienz is your ideal destination. This lake is located near Interlaken and takes its name from the nearby village of Brienz.
Cruise around on one of their iconic ships or take an unforgettable short ride up 98 meters with astounding views by taking a funicular journey aboard Giessbachbahn, where you can also walk behind the Giessbach Waterfalls.
For some views even higher up, get up to Brienzer Rothorn Mountain for some of the best panoramas!
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lake Brienz is definitely in my “top 3 Swiss lakes”. Its sheer size in that unique color is beyond incredible and it is a great place to spend time at. Also, there is so much to do and see around Lake Brienz. You can check out my full guide on Lake Brienz for the best vantage points, activities, and more.
With 48 square kilometers to its credit, Lake Thun is one of the biggest lakes in Switzerland and stretches 17.5 km long and reaches 217 meters deep at its maximum depth… whoa!
Explore the picturesque town of Thun, where pristine bluish-greenish waters sparkle beneath a dazzling sky. Jump aboard one of many ships and sail across this majestic lake – it’s an unforgettable experience! Also, you will also find some of the most gorgeous medivial castles along Lake Thun´s shore.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lake Thun is definitely in my “top 5 of Swiss lakes”. Its amazing villages and towns along the shores make this lake very special. You can check out my full guide on Lake Thun for the best vantage points, activities, and more.
Deep in the Swiss Alps and surrounded by towering mountains, Oeschinen Lake is a sight straight out of your favorite postcards. At 1,578 meters above sea level and with a surface area over one square kilometer wide you won’t soon forget this alpine gem!
To get to the lake itself though- it’s all on foot or by gondola/bus from Kandersteg – so just make sure you pack some hiking boots before heading off because no cars are allowed.
Lake Oeschinen is one of the most unique lakes in the country and has become a hotspot – so though it is no hidden gem, the water has some of the most beautiful colors which still make it a must-see place.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lake Oeschinen is definitely in my “top 10 Swiss lakes”. Its color and scenery make it incredibly beautiful. However, for the best views, you have to do quite a bit of hiking. You can check out my full guide on Lake Oeschinen for the best vantage points, activities, and more.
READ MORE: Lake Oeschinen Hiking Guide
You’ve got to check out Lake Blausee, a teeny deep blue gem tucked away in the Bernese Oberland. Located high up at 887 meters and only 0.64 hectares large (we’re talking extra small!), it’s no wonder this lake was praised by travel guides back in 1885!
And you might be surprised that you can enjoy a boat trip on this tiny lake – small and yet exciting!
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lake Blausee is pretty, a pretty, pretty small lake. It is not in my “top 10 of Swiss lakes”, because there is an entrance fee to see it. Quite a bumper. You can check out my full guide on Lake Blausee for more information.
READ MORE: Quick Lake Blausee travel guide
Lake Lucerne (also known as Vierwaldstättersee in German) lies nestled in the heart of Central Switzerland, surrounded by stunning Swiss Alps. It’s so huge that it can almost count as nine lakes – with bays, funnels, and basins galore.
Don’t forget to Lucerne on the western side a visit while you’re there; then don your swimwear and dive into some serious relaxation time at beautiful Lake Lucerne.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lake Lucerne is definitely in my “top 10 of Swiss lakes”. Its sheer size and stunning scenery make it a top lake in Switzerland. Also, there is so much to do and see around Lake Lucerne. You can check out my guide on Lucerne for more tips on things to do around Lake Lucerne.
GENEVA, MONTREUX, LAUSANNE
If you’re looking for a big splash, hop on over to Lake Geneva (also known as Lac Léman)! Situated near the gorgeous Swiss cities of Lausanne and Montreaux as well as France, this lake is awe-inspiring 580 square kilometers.
And it doesn’t stop there – Lake Geneva offers up 73 km in length and 14km in width at 372 meters above sea level. Plus check out its max depth––310 meters deep! So don’t forget your trunks & towels – if you want to make some waves while sightseeing, then hit up Lake Geneva ASAP!!!
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lake Geneva is definitely in my “10 best Swiss lakes”. Its enormous size blew me away – no surprise as one of the largest lakes in Switzerland. Also, there is so much to do and see around Lake Geneva – from vineyards to castles and more.
However, I must say it is not the most impressive when it comes to lake color. But I am a spoiled lake brat, apparently.
ZURICH, ST.GALLEN, SCHWYZ
Have you heard of Lake Zurich? It’s a beautiful and massive 88 square kilometer body of water located in the north of Switzerland near Germany. In fact, it’s so big that its length is an astonishing 40 kilometers!
Although it looks like a kind of an L-shaped lake from up above, go deep enough into its depths and surprise – this refreshing beauty can plunge down to 136 meters below sea level at maximum depth – quite impressive for a Swiss miracle!
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lake Zurich is definitely in my “top 10 of Swiss lakes”. It probably is not the most beautiful lake in the country nor the largest lake. However, there is so much to do and see around Lake Zurich, especially in the summer months it is heaven. You can check out my full guide on Lake Brienz for the best vantage points, activities, and more.
READ MORE: Things to do in Zurich
Lake Lungern is the perfect place to dive in and cool off! At just 2 km long, it’s also easy to take a leisurely stroll around this beautiful lake nestled between Lake Brienz and Lucerne. Temperatures of 23°C (71°F) make for crystal-clear water that looks like something out of a postcard – plus there are beaches on its shores where you can soak up some rays once you’ve put your toes back into dry land.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lake Lungern is one of my favorite stops when I road trip. For the last 10 years or so, I always stop here and enjoy the view from here. Sometimes I take some short walks around the lake.
READ MORE: Best Switzerland road trip
Searching for a postcard-perfect lake in the Swiss Alps? Look no further than Lake Bachalpsee! This gorgeous little gem is nestled way up high at 2265 meters.
At only 0.08 square kilometers (that’s small!), it offers breathtaking mountain views that make you feel like you’re straight outta paradise – and its crystal blue depths reach an impressive 14-meter max depth – perfect for anyone wanting to take a refreshing dip!
So if beauty and serenity are what your heart desires, then look no further: head on over to this spectacular alpine oasis known as Lake Bachalpsee.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Bachsee is definitely a unique lake – unfortunately, it was very foggy when I visited. This might be a problem because it seems the weather in Grindelwald is often not ideal. If the weather had been better, it surely would have made it on my top 10 list. However, if you are in Grindelwald – whether in winter or any other season – make sure to put Bachalpsee on your itinerary.
READ MORE: Best day trips from Interlaken
Lago di Saoseo
Have you heard of Lago di Saoseo? It’s a tiny but totally charming mountain lake tucked away in Switzerland near the Italian border. This picturesque spot, only 0.025 square kilometers big and 2028 meters above sea level, is surrounded by pine forests with an extra-special bonus.
Though this is not the most famous lake, it surely is one of the most stunning lakes of Switzerland.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lago di Saoseo is definitely in my “top 5 of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland”. Its beauty is beyond…everything. It does not present itself on a silver platter and it is time-consuming getting there but it is worth it. This lake is everything. For more info, read my Valposchiavo travel guide.
If you’re looking for a magnificent Swiss experience, Lake Gelmer in the Bernese Oberland is practically calling your name – this artificial lake sits at 1.850 meters elevation with an incredible maximum depth of 48 meters.
Plus it’s got its own dam, steep funicular railway, and spectacular waterfalls if you take on the hike around the shoreline – no need for goggles here though as there’s plenty of fresh mountain spring water that will keep all swimmers happy.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lake Gelmersee is definitely in my “top 5 of Swiss lakes”. I know, it is a man-made lake, and yet, I just love it. You can check out my full guide on Lake Gelmersee for the best vantage points, activities, and more.
READ MORE: Hiking Lake Gelmsersee
Looking for some warm sun and a beautiful lake view? Make your way to Lake Maggiore! This stunning body of water is split between Italy and Switzerland, with the Swiss portion situated at its tip in the Italian-speaking Canton of Ticino.
With an area covering 212 square kilometers (and 16km long on the Swiss side!), you are sure to find breathtaking views wherever you look – plus those extra special sunny days when it comes time for vacationing in Locarno.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lake Maggiore is pretty – no doubt about it. It has beautiful towns and villages along the shores. However, it has not made it on my top 10 list. I am not sure, why not. Maybe it is just because I like another lake close by even more.
READ MORE: Things to do in Locarno/Ascona
Take a dip in Lake Lugano, an emerald oasis in Ticino – one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. Curving around the idyllic Swiss Canton of Ticino and Northern Italy this sparkling jewel covers 48.7 square kilometers with the bustling town of Lugano along its northern shores!
Why not take advantage of swimming spots galore or hiking trails to explore or enjoy a boat tour on Lake Lugano.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lake Lugano is definitely in my “top 10 of Swiss lakes. I love its colors, the vantage points, and the villages along the shores (including the most beautiful village which is Morcote) – I just love it. You can check out my full guide on Lugano (the largest city in the area) and Morcote for the best vantage points, activities, and more.
Palü Lake is a precious, blue gem tucked away in the woods of Graubünden. Sitting 1.923 meters up and with an area less than one-tenth of a square kilometer – you might even miss it if you’re not looking! Palü Glacier gives this tiny lake its well-earned beauty that visitors from near & far come to admire.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Standing at the vantage point and looking at Lake Palü on the one side and Palü Glacier, on the other hand, made me realize it is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. I know, it is an artificial lake and yet, I just love it.
Disclaimer: I have seen the lake several times. The lake color looked incredible the first time. The second time, I visited after some heavy rainfalls – and the lake color was quite disappointing. That can happen if you visit after some rainy days. You can check out my full guide on Valposchiavo for the best vantage points, activities, and more.
READ MORE: What to do in Valposchiavo
Lai da Palpuogna
GRAUBÜNDEN / GRISON
Tucked away in the Swiss Alps is a hidden gem known as Lai da Palpuogna. This lake, sitting at an awe-inspiring 1918 meters above sea level and boasting views of lush forests and massive mountains, should be on everyone’s bucket list!
If you’re lucky enough to take a drive-by car along Albula Pass – keep your eyes peeled for this incredible spot; if not, don’t worry – public transportation takes you close too then it’s just all about putting one foot in front of the other until paradise awaits.
Get ready for some unbeatable fall vibes or clear summer skies…trust me when I say that seeing really is believing with Lai de Palpuogna!
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: This lake is amongst my top 3 lakes in Switzerland. I was absolutely blown away by its beauty and really believe it is one of the most amazing lakes in the country.
If you’re looking for a unique backdrop to your hiking adventure, how about Lake Wildsee at a lofty 2,438 meters above sea level? Nestled in the stunning Pizol Glacier with azure waters and breathtaking views – trust me when I say it’s well worth wheezing up that steep hike!
Unlike many Alpine lakes though this one is definitely off-limits for swimming so take some pics instead to remember why mountain air doesn’t get much better than this. But if walking uphill isn’t quite your thing then have no fear – check out my comprehensive guide on tackling the Pizol Hike like an absolute champ!
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: The lake color is insane – it really is insane and out of the world. I have seen quite some glacier lakes but none like this. So, another one for my “top 5 of lakes in Switzerland. Why is it not in my “top 3”? Because it is not easily accessible and also there is not so much to do around it.
It’s time to hit the trail! Your next incredible lake awaits you at Pizol Hike – Schottensee. With an altitude of 2,335 meters, it is a true stunner that offers so much more than just picturesque views.
This Swiss glacier lake invites you for some fun in the water on those hot days and would make a great spot if you’re looking to take a longer break after your difficult hike up here.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: The color of this Alpine lake is insane – especially if you look at it from above. The backdrop is not as gorgeous as the Wildsee but it is still a top lake well worth the hike.
If you want a tranquil escape in the Swiss Alps, Lake Bannalpsee is your spot. First built back in the 1930s, this reservoir located just outside of Lucerne has become one of Switzerland’s most stunning lakes!
Reachable by cable car from Oberrickenbach or through an adventurous hike up to 1.586 meters above sea level – there are lots of options for exploring and relaxing around the lake.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: This lake is absolutely stunning. It reminds me a bit of Lake Oeschinen though the lake color is different. I am not sure it is in my “top 5” but it is for sure one of my favorites. Check out my dedicated post on Lake Bannalpsee for more info.
Underground Lake of St-Léonard / Lac Souterrain
Get ready for a legendary adventure! Head to the amazing, underground lake of St-Leonard in Valais – you won’t want to miss it. It’s Europe‘s biggest natural subterranean lake at around 3.00 meters (985 feet) long, 20 meters (65 feet) wide, and 10 meters (32 feet) deep – plus there are boat rides with guides who will tell you all about this hidden gem of Switzerland.
Warning: These boats fill up quickly so don’t forget to book one ahead if your heart is set on exploring the beauty that awaits beneath. A 30-minute trip only costs 10 CHF; definitely worth doing before somebody else takes off in *your* spot!
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: This lake is one of the most unique lakes I have come across in Switzerland. Not only because it is an underground lake but also because of its striking color. However, getting there might be time-consuming because it is not close to regions like Lucerne, Interlaken, or Zurich. I, however, highly recommend visiting this lake if you are a lake chase like me.
Visit Lake Sils and get ready for an immersive nature experience! Surrounded by beautiful larch forests, you’ll be mesmerized no matter what time of year it is – autumnal gold, wintry black ice, or snowy cross-country ski trails that will make your adventure truly magical.
Uncover a kaleidoscope of shades and hues as you take on the 16-kilometer trek around lovely Lake Sils. Map out your adventure – wander through shady forests, bask in colorful meadows – however long or short you want it to be! Lake Sils is for sure one of the most beautiful Swiss lakes.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lake Sils is definitely in my top 10 of the most gorgeous Swiss lakes. This really is a beauty – my favorite time to visit this lake is in the fall.
Lake Silvaplana´s crystal-clear waters make it a popular destination for swimming, windsurfing (!), water skiing, and other water sports. The lake is also surrounded by stunning mountain scenery and lush forests, making it the perfect spot for tranquil reflection or outdoor adventure.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Lake Silvaplana is definitely in my top 5 of the most Swiss beautiful lakes. The lake color is as mesmerizing as Lake Brienz´and seeing all the windsurfers on Lake Silvaplana makes it extra special. Check out my St.Moritz guide, to find out about the best views and more of Lake Silvaplana.
FINAL WORDS ON THE TOP SWISS LAKES
From crystal-clear glacier lakes to the serenity of subterranean wonders, Switzerland has a wide range of stunning lake destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for unbeatable fall vibes or just searching for some tranquility – there’s something for everyone in this alpine paradise!
These are my favorites – the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. Okay, maybe I have named more than “3 favorites as my top 3 lakes” but it is really hard to choose only 3 lakes. Some are not easily accessible – some you will see while sitting on a train. Some are small and charming, some are gigantic and impressive.
Each lake is stunning. Each lake is special! Each lake is worth a trip! So, whichever lake you end up visiting, you cannot go wrong!