Switzerland’s stunning lakes and rivers are a perfect summer getaway.
From urban swimming in downtown Geneva, Zurich or Bern, to sandy coves and dramatic Alpine lakes, there is something for swimmers (and sunbathers) of all stripes.
To celebrate the summer, we have a put together a short list of some of the country’s best swimming locations.
Lake Cauma (Graubünden)
This diminutive lake with turquoise waters near Flims in the canton of Graubünden is paradise. Nearby Lake Cresta is also truly beautiful. The magical walk between the two lakes will take you around an hour and is well worth the effort.
Easy to reach by public transport from Zurich, this beautiful lake is a nature reserve and the swimming is magnificent. Parking is limited so make the most of the trains and buses. From the Nänikon-Greifensee train station it's just a few minutes down to the waterfront.
The Greifensee is a nature lover's paradise. Photo: Swiss Tourism
Verzasca Valley (Ticino)
North of lovely Locarno in Ticino, the Verzasca Valley has something for everyone. There are rapids and family-friendly swimming holes aplenty while there is even an extreme bungee jump. Unmissable. But be warned: this area can get very busy.
Drei Weieren, St Gallen
A swim at the Drei Weieren, or Three Pools, above St Gallen is like a journey back in time. The small pools and their Art Nouveau bath houses are a delight, while the surrounding neighbourhood is also filled with gorgeous architecture.
A unique swimming experience just minutes from downtown St Gallen. Photo: Swiss Tourism
Sandy beaches, secluded bays and cool, clear water: the area around Yvonand on Lake Neuchâtel in canton Vaud is about as close as you can get to a seaside feeling in Switzerland. Perfect for people who are seriously missing that coastal feeling.
Get a taste of the seaside in Yvonand. Photo: Swiss Tourism
The Marzili Pool (Bern)
This venue is a true classic and no visit to the Swiss capital in summer would be complete without a trip here. There is a kid’s pool and a lap pool for serious swimmers but for many people the highlight is drifting down the Aare from Eichholz to the Marzili. A word of caution: the trip down the river is for stronger swimmers only.
For the hardy and adventurous there is nothing like swimming in an Alpine lake. At around 2,000 metres above sea level, the waters of the Bettmersee are on the invigorating side. If taking the plunge is too much, there are also boating and pedalo options during the summer months.
The Bettmersee is located in the Aletsch Arena area. Photo: Swiss Tourism
Baby Plage (Geneva)
Lake Geneva is full of beaches and lakeside pools, with the iconic Bains des Paquis the best-known swimming spot. For families, however, the chilled-out Baby-Plage near the La Grange Park is a great place to while away those hot summer afternoons.