Most beautiful lakes in Switzerland

Itinerary guides, Switzerland24 comments

Switzerland is home to dazzling natural beauty – from incredible mountains to spectacular lakes. It is difficult to pick the prettiest lakes but here’s my attempt. All of these lakes are breathtaking and as an added bonus, a lot of them do not figure on typical tourist lists! Add these beautiful Swiss lakes to your itinerary to enjoy Switzerland’s natural beauty at its best, without getting caught between hordes of tourists.

Read on to see which lakes made the cut and how to visit them.

Planning a trip to Switzerland? Click here for a detailed travel guide to Switzerland – including the best time to visit, itinerary options (for 3, 5, 7 or 10 days), visa, transportation in Switzerland (including Swiss Pass), accommodation options and more!

Here are more ideas for your trip to Switzerland: 25 best places to visit in Switzerland!

In no particular order, *drum roll please*, here are the 7 8 prettiest lakes in Switzerland!

Bachalpsee

Bachalpsee - the most beautiful lake in Switzerland; Stunningly pretty lake in Switzerland

No list of the best lakes in Switzerland can be complete without this lake. Bachalpsee is a stunning lake nestled in the Bernese Oberland mountains in the Jungfrau region. The sharp snow peaks reflected in its waters make for an incredible sight. Visiting Bachalpsee includes one of the best hikes in Switzerland.

Bachalpsee

The walk upto the lake is just as spectacular as the lake –  the sharp peaks of Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn and Finsteraarhorn are visible on the opposite side of the valley as you hike along it. This is the hike that will get you excited for more hikes in the Swiss Alps!

Have limited time in Switzerland? Here’s a 5-day Switzerland itinerary to take in the best of the country!

To visit the lake you need to head to Grindelwald and take the cable car upto Grindelwald First. From there a beautiful hour long walk will bring you to the lake. This lake is accessible from May to October so plan accordingly.

There’s also a fantastic cliff walk that you should do when you visit Grindelwald First.

Here’s my detailed guide to visiting Bachalpsee.

Riffelsee

Riffelsee is a picture-perfect lake – especially if it’s not too windy! The reflection of Matterhorn in the lake comes out so beautifully that it’s hard to believe it’s not an actual mirror there.

Matterhorn Riffelsee, Zermatt

You will be able to recognise many of the classic pictures of the Matterhorn as being shot here.

The magnificent Matterhorn reflected in Riffelsee
The magnificent Matterhorn reflected in Riffelsee

Riffelsee is part of one of the best hikes in the Zermatt region – the Gornergrat hike.

Gornergrat Hike

The Sun Trail from Gornergrat to Riffelberg descends along the Gornergrat Bahn, the world-famous railway line and takes you along cascading glaciers, stunningly beautiful lakes and lush meadows sprinkled with wildflowers!

The Gornergrat hike is the best to enjoy fantastic views of the mighty Matterhorn and its reflections in the beautiful lake, Riffelsee. It is one of the best hikes in Switzerland and my new favourite!

Here’s my guide on the Gornergrat hike to Riffelsee

Oeschinensee

The spectacular Lake Oeschinen

Oeschinensee is another lake in the Bernese Oberland region. This incredibly blue coloured lake is located between sharp cliffs which make for an amazing contrast with the tranquil waters of the lake.

It’s the perfect spot for a day trip from Zurich, Lucerne or Interlaken. Whether you are looking to relax amidst the tranquil surroundings of the beautiful Oeschinen lake or indulge in a bit more adventure hiking or riding the ‘Mountain Coaster’ (the Oeschinen lake toboggan run), Oeschinensee is the place to be.

Oeschinensee - One of Switzerland's best lakes

To visit the lake, head to Kandersteg and take the cable car up to Oeschinen. From there either take the electrical shuttle bus or walk (highly recommended) the 20-25 min to the lake.

Oeschinensee

Here’s my detailed guide to visiting Oeschinensee.

Lake Brienz

Lake Brienz Switzerland view from promenade

Lake Brienz is one of the prettiest, yet one of the most underrated lakes in Switzerland! The uniquely turquoise blue colours of the lake, the charming Swiss villages around it and the beautiful landscapes of the Swiss Alps make Lake Brienz one of the best places to visit in Switzerland and one of my absolute favourite Swiss Lakes!

I had first visited Lake Brienz several years ago when I was an exchange student in Paris and had fallen in love with it and with Switzerland! I had then dragged my husband for a holiday to the lake a few years later. Fortunately, I’ve now been able to make innumerable visits to Lake Brienz since we moved to Switzerland!

Lake Brienz promenade in Brienz Switzerland

Lake Brienz is located amid the stunning landscapes of the Bernese Oberland region in the heart of Switzerland. Lake Brienz is one of the two lakes which border Interlaken, the other being Lake Thun.

Brienz wood carvings at Lake Brienz promenade

14 km long and ~3 km wide, the glacier fed Brienzersee is one of the deepest lakes in Switzerland. The village of Brienz, which gives the lake its name, is located on its northern shore. It is one of the best places to visit to enjoy Lake Brienz.

Here’s my guide to visiting Lake Brienz

Caumasee

Caumasee - best places to visit in Switzerland

Dazzlingly turquoise waters are the highlight of this lake – the kind where you have to see it to believe it! Caumasee translates to Lake of Noon Rest and that’s quite literally what people do here – it’s the perfect spot for a lazy Sunday.

Caumasee - Hidden gems in Switzerland

To visit the lake, simply head to Flims Waldhaus and walk about 15 min to a lift that takes you directly to the lake.

Flims was the first area in Switzerland that we hiked in and though the hike may not be as spectacular as some in the Bernese Oberland region, it was still absolutely amazing. Tall mountains, beautiful forests and wild flowers made the trail supremely beautiful.

Here’s my detailed guide to visiting Caumasee.

Bannalpsee

Bannalpsee - one of Switzerland's stunning lakes

Bannalpsee is a mountain reservoir in Central Switzerland near Engelberg. A hidden gem, this lake has brilliant green waters surrounded by high mountains.

While there are several hiking options, if you are a more laid back traveller (like me!) you can reach Bannalpsee taking a very short walk. 

Bannalpsee

While this may not be my absolute favourite lake, it’s one I’d happily go back to for more visits since it’s usually so empty. It’s one of the most peaceful places I’ve come across in Switzerland.

To visit Bannalpsee, head to the Fell station in Wolfenschiessen from where regular cable cars run-up to the lake.

Here’s my detailed guide on visiting Bannalpsee

Melchsee & Tannensee

Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland

Melchsee-Frutt is a mountain resort village which boasts of 2 absolutely spectacular Alpine lakes – Melchsee & Tannensee. An easy walk through beautiful rolling hills covered in flowers with tall snow peaks visible in the distance and the melody of ringing cowbells make for a fantastic experience up at Melchsee-Frutt!

Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland

The two highlights of the place are its picture-perfect mountain lakes – Melchsee and Tannensee. Surrounded by mountains and grassy meadows these lakes are worth a visit even if you do not plan on doing any hiking/ biking/ etc.!

Hidden gems Switzerland - Melchsee-Frutt

To get to Melchsee-Frutt head to the gondola station located at Stöckalp and take the short cable car ride up.

Here’s my guide to visiting Melchsee-Frutt

Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne)

Lake Lucerne - Switzerland's most famous lake
Lake Lucerne - Switzerland's most famous lake

This famous lake, also known as Lake Lucerne is the fourth largest lake in Switzerland. It’s irregular-shaped structure lying across several valleys makes it a delight to both cruise on and admire the views from a high vantage point.

Some of the best ways to enjoy the lake include,

  1. Taking a dip in it – there are several parks along the lake in Lucerne from where you can enjoy a swim
  2. Taking a cruise on the lake – several cruises start from Lucerne to neighbouring towns. You could either do a round trip which would last ~2.5 hours or head to one of the towns to visit some of the famous mountains – which brings me to,
  3. Head to one of the mountains around the lake for jaw-dropping views – Mt. Rigi and Mt. Pilatus are two of the most famous mountains around Lucerne. Here’s my detailed guide to visiting Mount Rigi.

Which of the Swiss lakes is your favourite? Which one do you feel deserves a place on this list? Comment below and let me know.

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TRAVEL RESOURCES

Planning a trip? Here are some of my go-to travel resources to make it more efficient for you, while staying within budget!

ACCOMMODATIONBooking.com is my favourite platform for hotel or apartment bookings. I love their map interface (I prefer to stay within walking distance of major attractions!) and they have an excellent customer service

FLIGHTS – I prefer to use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights. I often use their monthly view of prices to decide my travel dates!

TOURS & ACTIVITIESGet Your Guide is my go-to choice for fun tours and activities. They have a wide range of options and a great interface.

TRAVEL INSURANCE – Travel insurance is absolutely essential for all your international travels. I’ve been saved by it a few times when I fell sick while travelling and I swear by it since then! World Nomads is an excellent choice for travel insurance.

24 Comments

    • Thanks! Most of Switzerland is like a postcard or a painting, it’s so beautiful! 🙂

      Reply
  1. Switzerland is on up travel bucket list in the next few years! I Pinned and followed! I want to see ALL of these!

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    • Thanks, Debra! Stay tuned for more guides to spectacular destinations in Switzerland 🙂

      Reply
  2. I enjoyed reading your post. The pictures are mind-blowing. I would love to Visit Switzerland.

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    • Thanks, Sonia! The pictures don’t do justice to how beautiful Switzerland is 🙂

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  3. These lakes are amazing! I can’t believe you got to visit all of them. That’s wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

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    • Thanks! We can’t believe our luck either at times!

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  4. Thank you for taking me back to Switzerland with your stunning photographs! I first visited Lake Lucerne as a teenager and later returned with my husband. Of all the places we have visited around the world, Switzerland is still our favorite trip of all time. I’ll be adding the other lake spots to our bucket list for our next visit.

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    • Lake Lucerne is pretty awesome. I too had visited it during my college days and had later brought my husband there on our honeymoon!

      Reply
  5. I have never seen anything as peaceful looking as these lakes. I think once in a while, we need to get close to nature by visiting places like these instead of those chaotic tourist attractions that is packed and stuffy.
    Thank you for sharing

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    • So true! I prefer peaceful scenic places over busy city locations too.

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  6. I love all your piccys. This look amazing and super beautiful. I would love to visit these lakes for sure x

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    • Thanks! You should definitely add these places to your list. ?

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  7. These spots are truly pleasing to the eyes and soul ? I am bookmarking this blog post for future reference! ☺

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    • Thanks! These really are amazing places.

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  8. Smita,

    Thank you so much for this awesome post with fantastic imagery! I love traveling, but hate hordes of tourists. Haha! This nature is breathtaking!

    I usually travel with my family without any tours and groups. We rent a car and go. I am definitely bookmarking your website. I haven’t been to Switzerland yet, and last time we traveled to Europe, we were short on time to visit Vienna as I got food poisoned in Prague. We should plan our next trip to Austria and Switzerland…

    I noticed the links to the detailed guide to each of these beauties. They will help a lot in planning our trip. Thank you very much!

    Warm regards,

    ~ Julia

    Reply
    • Thanks Julia! Our preferred way to travel is the same as yours – we get scared if we see huge tour buses where we are going ? Sorry to hear about your illness, hope it wasn’t too bad. Absolutely give Switzerland a go, it’s a breathtaking place.

      Reply
  9. These views are breathtaking, I normally don’t like getting in the water especially if I can’t see what is in the water under me. However these spots look perfect and like a place I’d actually get in the water.

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    • These lakes were indeed incredibly clear! Looked super inviting…except for being really cold 😛

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  10. Wow! Your pictures make the article come to life. I want to see Blausee – it looks truly amazing. Something about statues underwater amaze me. I look forward to more articles!

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    • Thanks Gina! Yea Blausee was stunning – very intensely blue, and extremely crystal clear. We could see the underwater statue, multiple logs and tons of trout fishing around clear as day!

      Reply
  11. I have never been to Switzerland before, but after reading this, I really want to jump on a plane tomorrow and go! Forget packing, just get me there! My favorite from this list is Lake Oeschinensee. It is simply stunning. Your pictures have enticed me to add this to my travel list. The fact these are not the standard/stereotypical tourist destinations is even better. They are the unspoiled beauty of Switzerland.

    Reply
    • Glad you liked it! Agree on these places being unspoiled beautiful Switzerland. I feel lucky I’ve got the opportunity to live in Switzerland and find out about these places which are really difficult to visit as a time-bound tourist. My motivation behind this blog was really to highlight these places 🙂

      Reply

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About me

Gruezi! My name is Smita, a part time traveller and a novice travel writer, currently living in Switzerland. So far I’ve been what you might call a serendipitous traveller! I got a chance to visit several amazing places more by chance than by design. I would love to put all my extensive travel planning to good use by sharing it with you and hope that these inspire you to visit all those famous, and not-so-famous locations! Read More

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