Ten stunning Swiss lakes to visit this summer

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Caroline Bishop - [email protected]
Ten stunning Swiss lakes to visit this summer
The Riffelsee near Zermatt. Photo: Christof Sonderegger/Swiss Tourism

It’s known as the country of lakes and mountains with good reason.


Switzerland has several thousand lakes, from the biggest and best known, such as Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) and Lake Zurich, to tiny mountain lakes you may never have heard of.

Offering stunning scenery and an escape from the city heat, here are some of our favourite Swiss lakes you should put on your to-visit list this summer. 
While some are suitable for swimming, always check the weather and water conditions beforehand and heed all warning signs.
Photo: Caroline Bishop
This magnificent lake near Kandersteg in the Bernese Oberland makes the perfect picture postcard image of Switzerland with its turquoise waters and backdrop of snow-capped mountains. In summer it attracts tons of visitors who come to take a dip, rent a rowing boat or hike the stunning trails around the lake. 
Deborence, Valais
Photo: Caroline Bishop
This beautiful lake was formed in the 18th century by two huge landslides. Now it’s a nature reserve and the start of some fantastic hikes. Taking the postbus to get there is an experience in itself – the road winds up from the Rhone valley and cuts through the rock in a series of nailbiting cliff-edge tunnels that you wouldn’t think a postbus could negotiate... but somehow it does. 
Taney, Valais
Photo: Caroline Bishop
The water in this small lake is wonderfully clear – but also pretty chilly. However you’ll be gasping for a dip after a steep hike up the nearby Grammont mountain, the summit of which offers a mindblowing view over Lake Geneva. 
Schwarzsee, Fribourg
Photo: Caroline Bishop
In the Fribourg prealps, the ‘black lake’ is so named because in certain light its waters can appear very dark. In summer it’s a popular spot for swimming, fishing and stand-up paddleboarding, and the starting point for many beautiful hikes and mountain-biking trails.
Champex-Lac, Valais
Photo: Valais Tourism
A natural ice-rink in winter, in summer this picturesque lake is a popular spot with everyone from families to serious high alpine hikers, since it’s on the route of the Tour du Mont Blanc. The lake itself has crystal clear waters that have helped give the area the nickname ‘Little Canada’. 
Leisee, Valais
Photo: shaochu7588/Flickr
This lake near Sunnegga in the mountains above Zermatt is a great place for cooling off during a hike along the so-called Five Lakes trail. Starting at Blauherd, this stunning hike also takes in the lakes of Stelli, Grindji, Grun and Moos, with views of the Matterhorn along the way. 
Saoseo, Graubünden
Photo: Graubuenden Tourism
In the Poschiavo valley in the Engadine, this peaceful spot with its deep blue glacial waters is part of a nature reserve and is a photographer’s dream in all seasons. From here you can hike to a second lake, Viola. 
Trübsee, Nidwalden
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Located below the Titlis mountain in the Engelberg region of central Switzerland, this is an idyllic place to relax. Take a rowing boat out on the water, light a barbecue in one of the fire pits or spot marmots on a walk around the lake. From here you can take series of cable cars (including the revolving Rotair) up to Mount Titlis for a spectacular view at the top. 
Chavonnes, Vaud
Photo: Gabriel Garcia Marengo/Flickr
This little lake above the town of Villars-sur-Ollon is a tranquil spot, reachable via a 30 minute walk from the mountain train station of Bretaye. In summer you can swim, have lunch at the lakeside mountain restaurant or hike trails around the lake. 
Sils, Graubünden
Photo: Jan Geerk/Swiss Tourism
The largest lake in the Graubünden, this 1,800m altitude lake boasts Europe’s highest ferry service, taking passengers from Sils Maria to Maloja. There are also many biking and hiking trails including the beautiful Four Lakes hike. 



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