Most Visited Lakes & the Swiss Alps Category: Nature, Alps & Lakes
Switzerland if full of Lakes and Alps. There are around 1,500 lakes, and several Mountai Peaks. The largest lakes are at the northern foot of the Jura (Lakes Geneva, Neuchâtel and Biel), on the Plateau (Lakes Constance and Zurich), in the Lower Alps and the Northern Alps (Lakes Thun, Brienz, Zug and Lucerne), and in the Southern Alps (Lakes Lugano and Maggiore). Not just that, there are hundreds of small natural lakes and reservoirs, which can be found mostly in the Alps. The majority of Swiss lakes were once glaciers (nowadays there are around 140 glaciers in Switzerland) and formed during the last ice age. Lake Geneva, which is shared by France and Switzerland, is the largest freshwater lake in central Europe. The largest lake which lies wholly on Swiss territory is the 218-square-kilometre (84-square-mile) Lake Neuchâtel.
These several Swiss lakes are not just part of the landscape, but also useful in daily life of Swiss people. You can enjoy a relaxing swim in our biggest lakes, as well as in smaller mountain lakes, ponds and reservoirs.
Here are 8 Most visited Lakes of Switzerland:
1 . Lake Geneva , Vaud, Geneva & Valais
One of the largest lakes in western europe lake Geneva sits along the rhone and is shared with neighbouring France . Lake Geneva is known not only for it’s the largest lake in the country its sits at an elevation of 372 metres and is completely surrounded by mountain peaks the lake’s northern shoreline is dotted with castles and villages .
2 . Lake Lucerne , Uri , Schwyz , Unterwalden & Lucerne
Lake Lucerne literally translates to the ‘Lake of the Four Forested Settlements’, as its spreads across four Swiss cantons. The lake has an irregular shape that makes it appear as if it sits within four different valleys, although 113.6 square kilometre lake sits in the Reuss Valley.
It’s a truly spectacular lake, being entirely surrounded by mountains and offering sweeping views of their snowy peaks. Still, even though the lake sits at an elevation of 434 metres above sea level, it has a mild climate.
A must for all visitors is a cruise on a historic paddle wheel steamer or salon motor vessel around the lake to admire the views and the historic communities that lie along its shoreline. A walk around the Swiss Path -a loop around one arm of the lake- is also highly recommended.
3 . Lake Constance ; Thurgau , St.Gallen & Schaffhausen
Shared between Switzerland, Germany and Austria, Lake Constance sits in the northern foothills of the Alps along the Rhine and is actually three bodies of water that are connected by the river. At 536 square kilometres, it’s the third largest lake in Central Europe.
Lake Constance boasts a 273 kilometre shoreline, 72 kilometres of which are located in Switzerland. It’s a magical place, with countless walking trails and cycling trails, particularly along the 260 kilometres long Lake Constance circular route (Bodensee Rundwanderweg).
Around 70 million people visit the lake each year to enjoy its surrounding natural flora and fauna as well as its plethora of recreation activities. Swimming, sailing, fishing and diving are enjoyed in the warm months, while skiing is offered in the winter.
4 . Lake Thun; Bern region
Lake Thun sits at an elevation of 558 metres above sea level in the high Berner Oberland region of Bern. The alpine lake was created during the last glacial period between 115,000 and 11,700 years ago.
The lake is known for its clear blue water that reflects its mountainous backdrop. Its shoreline is home to picturesque towns, walking trails and a great selection of accommodations.
Windsurfing and sailing are particularly popular here, although many visitors come to Lake Thun to go canoeing or go on a memorable cruse around the 48.3 square kilometre lake. Some of these scenic cruises even offer a fabulous gourmet dinner that can be enjoyed while watching the beautiful sunset.
5 . Lake Zurich
Being located right in the capital city makes it easy to visit Lake Zurich, which is a must for anyone visiting Switzerland. The banana shaped lake is stunningly framed by the lbis, Zimmerberg and Pfannenstiel hills, as well as the bustling city of Zurich.
The 88.66 square kilometre lake is shared between three cantons, although most of it lies within Zurich. Still, there are picturesque towns and villages in all three cantons surrounding the lake, including the medieval town of Rapperswil and the village of Au.
The lake’s northern coastline between Zollikon and Feldmeilen is known for its magnificent houses and villas, and sunny beaches. There are also plenty of places around the lake’s shoreline that offer swimming, although if there is one thing not to miss it’s riding on a historic paddle-steamer.
6 . Lake Maggiore ; Ticino
The largest lake in Southern Switzerland, the 212.5 square kilometre Lake Maggiore is located on the south edge of the Alps and is shared between Switzerland and Italy. Most of the lake is actually in Italy, although the Swiss side is home to the Brissago Islands.
The Brissago Islands are one of the lake’s biggest draws thanks to the famous botanical garden (Parco botanico del Canton Ticino). The lake is also surrounded by towering snowy peaks, making it a truly spectacular place.
Lake Maggiore is a romantic place to holiday, what with its stunning scenery, mild climate, accommodation options and superb eateries. As well, the Lake Maggiore Express is highly recommended for exploring the lake and its surrounding areas.
7 . Oeschinen Lake; Bern
Located in the Berner Oberland region of Bern at an elevation of 1,578 metres above Sea level, Oeschinen Lake is nothing short of breath-taking. It’s quite a small lake, but it truly is a picturesque one that is nestled between the steep cliffs of the Blüemlisalp.
The lake is part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s not hard to see why. The best views of the stunning lake can be seen high above on the gondola ride from Kandersteg to Oeschinen.
The 25-minute hike to Oeschinen Lake is just as magnificent as the lake itself, passing by waterfalls, melting glaciers and alpine meadows. Once at the lake, take in the amazing views.
8 . Lake Brienz ; Berne
Lake Brienz sits in the Burnese Alps at an elevation of 564 metres above sea level. The lake is known for its views of the high Faulhorn and Schwarzhoren that tower over 2,000 metres above the picturesque lake.
The lake is named after the town of Brienz that sits along its northern shoreline, while the resort town of Interlaken can be found on the south side of the lake. Lake Brienz is known to be one of the most romantic places to holiday in Switzerland thanks to its magnificent colour, and surrounding mountain peaks, waterfalls and cliffs.
There is a hop-on-hop-off boat that traverses the 28.9 square kilometres lake, stopping at each village. There are also renovated steamers that offer cruises around the beautiful lake, some of which offer BBQ cruises, breakfast cruises and fondue cruises.
About Swiss Alps:
A magnet for skiers and hikers, these dramatic peaks – including the iconic Matterhorn – range from 3,000 to 15,000 feet and spread across three-fifths of the country. Abundant glaciers, scenic valleys and gorgeous alpine lakes add to the region’s visual appeal.
Where are the Swiss Alps?
The Swiss Alps are situated south of the Swiss Plateau and north of the national border. The limit between the Alps and the plateau runs from Vevey on the shores of Lake Geneva to Rorschach on the shores of Lake Constance, passing close to the cities of Thun and Lucerne.
Why is Swiss Alps famous?
Within the Swiss Alps lie nearly all of the highest peaks in Western Europe. These stunning peaks have attracted climbers and tourists for hundreds of years. No wonder the Alps is such a popular hiking and trekking destination.
Is the Swiss Alps expensive?
Visiting the Swiss alps can be lowest cost by hiking, but pretty expensive using the mountain transport and visit the most famous places. If you visit places like the Jungfraujoch is the costlier mountain excursion, but there are less costly excursion as well, like Harder Kulm or Mt. Rigi. Switzerland has all type of mountain excursions, where you can admire Swiss Alps