When we think of Switzerland, we think of snow-capped alps, skiing and cold weather! However, Switzerland offers pristine lakes which are actually warm enough to take a swim in during the hotter months and are perfect for summer getaways.
For those looking to spend their summer away from islands and beaches, Switzerland has some great lakes to swim in while enjoying the stunning scenery around. From the biggest and best-known lakes such as Lake Geneva to breathtaking Alpine lakes, we’ve gathered some of the best lakes in Switzerland to swim in summer!
High up in the alps of Zermatt lies Lake Leisee. At 2,232 meters above sea level, this mountain lake is a real treat in summer. Lake Leisee is fed by the surrounding glaciers that produces amazingly clear water. Despite its altitude, Leisee is not deep and the water warms up in summer, making it a great place to swim. The little stream that flows into the lake is also perfect for children to play in.
There is also a children’s playground, barbeque and picnic areas and a floating raft. With the majestic Matterhorn in the background, swimming in Leisee comes with an amazing view.
Entry is free to Leisi. Click here for more information.
Known as ‘Lag la Cauma’ in the Romansh language, meaning ‘lake siesta’, Lake Cauma is a tranquil lake with turquoise-coloured waters. Lake Cauma is located in Flims in Canton Graubünden and it is not hard to see why it is called The Jewel of Flims. This beautiful lake has been listed as one of the top ten lakes in Switzerland and is probably one of the best lakes in Switzerland to swim in summer.
Lake Cauma is perfect for swimming during the summer with its pleasantly cool water temperatures between 17 to 24 degrees celcius. The lake is surrounded by forest on three sides with a wooded island in the centre of the lake where you can swim to. You can also rent paddle boats and row boats to explore the lake and there’s also a sandbox and play area for the little ones. There is an on-site restaurant, convenience shop, lockers and toilets.
Entry fee is 12CHF for Adults, 6CHF for children (6-16 years), Free for children under 6 years. Entry is free for restaurant patrons who are not using the facilities. Click here for more information.
For those missing the coastal vibes in Switzerland, Yvonand in Canton Neuchâtel, Vaud, is probably as close as you can get to a seaside feel.
The beaches and coves of Yvonand with their fine sand and turquoise waters are truly unique in Switzerland. These beaches are surrounded by greenery and the crystal clear waters of Lake Neuchâtel and offers its visitors a truly relaxing getaway. The gentle slopes down to the water and the lack of strong currents is suitable for children to play and swim around.
Visitors here can also take full advantage of all the entertainments and activities offered on Lake Neuchâtel: pedal boats or water bikes, paddle boards or wind surf board, sailing or motor boats, kite surfing and more.
Entry is free. Find out more here.
The Engadine is known for its lakes. Above all, the Big Four: Lake Sils, Silvaplana, Champfèr and St. Moritz. However, these bigger lakes do not get warm enough for a swim in summer. However, smaller hill moor lakes such as Lake Staz, nestled between St. Moritz and Pontresina in the middle of a wide, open clearing in the vast forest of Staz is great for swimming.
With is dark water and shallower banks, Lake Staz is calm and gets all the sunlight it can during the summer months. The water temperature at Lake Staz rises over 20 degrees celcius in summer and is ideal for a refreshing swim. The swampy meadows, which partly surround Lake Staz, give it its unique character. There are two jetties, a children’s playground and a small beach area to relax around the lake, making it an ideal place to unwind and enjoy the mountains around you.
Free entry. More information can be found here.
LAKE URI – LORELEI BATHING ISLANDS
Experience the enjoyment of swimming in an idyllic archipelago at Lorelei Bathing Islands in Lake Uri. These purpose-built man-made islands, covering 5000 square meters, were created from material excavated from the Gotthard Base Tunnel. The islands are strewn with large flat stones, inviting visitors to sit back and relax. Reefs and shoals were placed in front of the islands to act as wave-breakers.
The calm turquoise waters surrounding these islands in the heart of Switzerland are warm in summer with temperatures upwards of 20 degrees celcius. The area is safe for swimming for all ages. There are no restaurants around Lorelei Islands, however, there is a children’s play area, barbeque pits and public toilets.
Entry is free to the islands. You will need to swim approximately 10 meters from the shore to the islands. Find out more about these sustainable islands here.
Lauerzersee lies just south of Zug and overlooks Mount Rigi. This lake is amongst the 5th largest bathing lakes in Switzerland and with a maximum depth of 14 meters, is also one of the shallowest in the country. The water temperatures average between 23 to 25 degrees celcius making Lauerzersee one of the warmest and best lakes in Switzerland to swim in summer.
The lake has shallow areas for wading, diving platforms, bouncy floats, paddle boats and row boats for hire. A restaurant and kiosk operates around the lake. There is also a children’s play area, toilets and changing rooms.
There are no entry fees. Click here to learn more (site only in German).
The crystal clear natural spring water lake of Lai Bargnan can be found in the heart of Savognin. With water temperatures over 20 degress celcius in summer, Lai Bargnan is considered one of the warmest lakes in the Swiss Alps. Swimming is a joy in this pleasant lake and is popular with families during the summertime.
Food and drinks can be purchased at the on-site kiosk. There is also a beach volleyball court, a mini golf course, pedal boats and a slackline for balancing if you want to do more than swimming. Public toilets and changing rooms are provided in the area.
Entry is free. Find out more here.
GETTING TO THE BEST LAKES IN SWITZERLAND TO SWIM IN SUMMER
Most of the lakes featured in this post can be accessed by public transport within the Swiss Transportation Network. Taking trains and buses are easy and you can plan your journey through SBB. If you prefer to drive, most places provide car parks but they tend to get filled up fast in summer. Click below to search the best car rentals in Switzerland.
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