TRAVEL GUIDE TO LAKE CAUMA (CAUMASEE)
Lake Cauma and Lake Creta are two absolutely stunning lakes in Switzerland, that are must-sees in the country.
They might be less popular amongst international visitors in Switzerland, but whether you come here in winter, spring, summer, or fall – this place is always worth a visit. A day trip to Flims is all it takes to get to see Lake Cauma (Caumasee), the Rheinschlucht (Rhine Gorge), and Lake Cresta (Crestasee), and so it is the perfect easy hike in Switzerland for beginners.
As you might know, I have extensively traveled within Switzerland, and it is my favorite travel destination. So, I do have high expectations – and Graubünden never disappoints. You should know that the state of Graubünden is one of the most scenic places in Switzerland. It has the incredible Valposchiavo and train riding in Graubünden is one of the highlights of a Switzerland trip. And also, a day trip to Flims is a must-see in Switzerland.
My spontaneous trip to Flims was an incredible day, and I cannot stop recommending the same trip that I took. I got to see the Rhine Gorge, the drop-dead amazing Caumasee (Lake Cauma), and the stunning Crestasee (Lake Cresta). And at the same time, I took a hike among some amazing scenery. Sounds great? Then read on as here are tips for visiting Lake Cauma.
But this post is also about the other impressive sights nearby.
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Important Travel Information for Caumasee
Here are some quick tips for your trip.
Names of CaumaSee
- In German, it is known as Caumasee
- It is Lake Cauma(see) in English.
- In Romansh (the fourth official language in Switzerland that not many people speak, though), it is known as “Lag la Cauma,” which means “lake of siesta.”
How to Get to Flims Caumasee
- Public Transportation: You can take a train to Chur, and from there, take the yellow Postauto (those buses drive in the mountains) to Flims Waldhaus and get off at the Flims Caumasee bus station. The Swiss Travel Pass covers all of the costs.
- Car: If you get there by car, find a parking spot near the Flims Caumasee bus station (there is paid parking available, so do not forget some change as the machines do not give change, and I have not seen free parking). Close to the street: Rudi Dado
From the car parks and bus stop, follow signs to Caumasee, which is an easy walk.
Where to Stay in Flims
In Flims are a couple of nice-looking hotels. Since I did not stay overnight in Flims, I cannot actually give any first-hand advice, but here are some other well-rated hotels for every budget in Flims:
- €€€ – Waldhaus Flims Wellness Resort is a 5-star wellness hotel about 1km from Caumasee
- €€ / €- Hotel Cresta is more affordable and yet offers great amenities (to be fair, there are no real budget hotels in Switzerland)
Where to Eat in Flims
In Flims, there is a promenade, and there are also lots of different restaurants and bars for every taste and budget. If you hike down, you´ll find restaurants at Caumasee offering snacks and drinks.
At the lake is a restaurant with a Botanic Lounge and a large sun terrace where you can satisfy your hunger. The restaurant is open from mid-May to mid-October.
Entrance Fee for Lake Caumasee
There is no entrance fee to look AT Caumasee. However, if you want to spend time at Lake Cauma, you most likely have to pay for it. And not little. The entrance fee (if you want to get swim there, e.g.) depends on the time of your visit.
When I visited (twice so far) the weather was nice, though the weather forecast had predicted rain for that day. So I was lucky in two ways: I enjoyed a great day with some sunshine and no rain, AND I did not have to pay for entry for the lake. On sunny days, you normally have to pay an admission. But there were no guards around and no cashier, so I saved around CHF 19.
During the shoulder seasons (around mid-September to mid-March), there is no entrance fee.
Otherwise, there are several options:
- either you pay the CHF19 and swim and relax at the beach (there is also a restaurant)
- if you are not into swimming, you can hike around the lake, which is quite small, and avoid the entrance fee. If you walk behind the fence, you should not have to pay for the entry
- before 8 am and after 5 pm the entrance is free
- d) the south side of the lake is always free to visit
Children and teenagers pay 50%, Kids under the age of 6 do not pay any entrance fee.
Traveling With a Dog to Lake Cauma
The day I visited in the summer, no one was around. Now, writing this post, I read that dogs are not allowed in the swimming section. That day, I did not see any signs which told me that. So, apparently, dogs are only allowed to the restaurant on a leash.
Best Time to Visit Lake Cauma
I have visited Lake Cauma twice – once in the winter, and once in the summer. Winter is a gorgeous time to visit Lake Cauma. However, summer is an even better time to go there.
Hike Lake Cauma (Caumasee)
Once you are at the Caumasee bus station (or car park), you walk a few meters (5 minutes) down, and you´ll have an amazing view of Caumasee already.Let´s keep talking about that view: Caumasee is a mountain lake in more than 1000 meters above sea level, and mountains surround the lake itself. So it does not come as a surprise that the lake is AMAZING. It is surrounded by forest on three sides, and in the middle of the lake, you can see a wooded island.
The color is just impressive, and looking at it from above made me fall head over heels in love with one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland.
I hope my pictures do justice to the amazing beauty of that lake – seeing it with my own eyes gave me a serious “WOW“ effect.
So before heading straight down, I suggest soaking in the drop-dead gorgeous view because, to be honest, the lake is fantastic-looking, but it does look better when looking at it from the top rather than if you stand right in front of it.
You can either walk down the stairs to get down to the lake or take the lift – which runs 24/7 and is free to use.
Important Tips for Lake Cauma
- Nude bathing is forbidden.
- Loud music should be avoided.
- There is a barbecue and fire ban on the entire area of Lake Cauma (however, there is a barbecue area above the forest playground in Flims).
- Dogs are not allowed in the lido. However, they are allowed to the restaurant on a leash.
- Drones are prohibited in the entire area of Lake Cauma.
THINGS TO DO AT / AROUND CAUMASEE
During my visit, the sun was shining, but I did not swim (my dog did), so we just stayed at Lake Cauma for about 30 minutes before we took the lift up again, and then headed to the Rhine Gorge – there are definitely more difficult hikes in Europe, but for non-hikers, this is the place to start.
Swimming at Lake Cauma
Swimming is a popular activity at Lake Cauma – on sunny and warm days. Bring your swimwear with you and enjoy the water. But keep in mind, Alpine lakes are quite cold, and though this lake is a bit warmer than other alpine lakes, it’s fed by an underground spring. Even on hot days, it is still chilly.
SuP / Rent Boats Etc
Lake Cresta is a popular place to do any watersports. Besides swimming, SUP is popular.
TIP: Stand Up Paddles are only available for hire during the high season.
Hiking Around Lake Cauma
Hiking around Lake Cauma is another easy and fun activity. I admit that the lake looks the most beautiful from above, but even the easy walk shows you interesting perspectives.
Hiking to Rhine Gorge – Conn Viewing Platform
I loved lake Cauma and think it is one of the prettiest lakes in Switzerland. And if you are into watersports, sunbathing, and swimming, you will probably spend all your day at Lake Cauma. However, I highly suggest hiking around a bit. Add two more places to your Caumasee trip.
I was told the hike down to Rhine Gorge would take about 30 minutes – but either I am an extremely slow hiker (which is probably the truth), or other people are too fast because it took me almost twice that (probably around 50 minutes).However, since it is a hike down, it was pretty easy, and there were several fountains with clean drinking water (so take an empty water bottle to refill).
The hike itself is beautiful. Walking through such an untouched piece of nature is just a pleasant experience – even for non-hikers like me.
Hiking to Crestasee
Highly motivated, I decided to head to Crestasee, which was further down. I could not see in any direction but figured that Lake Cresta would come if I follow the “Wald and Wasser” sign.
I was told that it takes about 30 minutes to get from Conn to Lake Cresta, but I knew that I could not trust this information, and it actually took me about 50 minutes (in all fairness, I should mention that I regularly get overtaken by more ambitious people). P.S. Here are my hiking tips for Switzerland.Lake Cresta is totally different than Lake Cauma and shines a beautiful emerald color. Just when we (my dog and I) arrived at the lake, the rain set in, so we did not stay long. The lake looks incredible – while Caumsee looks better from above, Crestasee looks stunning if you stand in front of it!
Tips For Visiting Lake Crestasee
- You can either hike to Crestasee from Caumasee (my recommendation), or you get to the bus stop “Trin, Felsbach-Crestasee” and walk to the lake for about 20 minutes. If you get there by car, go to Trin Mulin village and get to parking spaces 3 to 5 in the Flimser Grosswald. The walk from the parking lots to Lake Cresta takes 10 minutes on foot.
- There is an entrance fee for Lake Cauma. As with Lake Cauma, because the weather forecast predicted rain, there was no one to sell tickets, which would have been about 7€ (sold at the kiosk normally). If you enter the area, you have to get a ticket. Even if you do not plan to swim, you are supposed to buy one (though I am not sure how strictly they implement and follow this rule).
- It is surrounded by forest on three sides and contains a wooded island in the center of the lake. The water temperate is between 17 and 24 degrees Celsius (so, Crestasee is the better place to swim).
Things to do at Lake Crestasee
At Lake Cresta, you can do a couple of other activities apart from swimming.
- Standup Paddles
- Beach Volleyball field
- Restaurant (open from 24 April until 24 May from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – longer in the summer months)
Puppygak and I headed to the restaurant at the lake, and I had my late lunch. If you sit outside, you have a lovely view of the lake, so having a coffee out there is not the worst idea. The prices are okay by Switzerland standards (around 17€ for a veggie pizza), and though the pizza was not the most delicious highlight of the day, it was a good decision to rest there for a snack.
How to Get Back to Caumasee
If you want to get back to Lake Cauma, you can either hike up again (unfortunately, it is not a circular hike) or take the bus to get “home” or get back to Lake Caumasee.
Bad news for the lazy ones amongst you: the hiking part is not totally over. Even if you decide not to hike up, you need to do a bit more to arrive back at your car/bus, etc.
I decided to take the Postauto to bring me back to my car. From the restaurant to the main street (where the Postauto departs from), it takes another 15 minutes to walk (unfortunately, this short hike includes some hiking up as well), and the bus stop is right in front. I paid about 3.50€ for the drive up to the station and arrived safe and sound back at my car at Lake Caumasee.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Lake Cauma and Lake Cresta
I believe that Flims – including Lake Cauma and Lake Cresta – is totally underrated in Switzerland, and I was surprised to see mainly Swiss there. It seems to be a hidden gem – so visit this place whenever you are in Switzerland.
I had a wonderful day, including some hiking, the most stunning views, and even the option to swim in two gorgeous lakes.
If those are not reasons enough to get a train ticket to Flims, I don’t know what is! Is that something you would be interested in seeing as well? Let me know!
P.S. If you are not convinced that Graubunden is one of Switzerland’s most beautiful areas (I mean, these pictures should be proof enough), then head to my post on Valposchiavo – one of the best-kept secrets in Switzerland.