Melchsee-Frutt – A beautiful hike (walk!) discovering 2 stunning Swiss mountain lakes!

Hiking, Switzerland27 comments

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!

We didn’t have Melchsee-Frutt high on our radar for a long while. We had often seen signboards for it during our drives through central Switzerland and I had always been intrigued by it! We finally got a chance to visit the place this summer and it so far exceeded our expectations that I couldn’t wait to write about it!

Melchsee Frutt

Continue reading below for all you need to know to visit Melchsee-Frutt and walk to the two beautiful Alpine lakes here.

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Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland

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Where is Melchsee-Frutt located

Melchsee-Frutt is a little mountain resort village located at ~1900 m in central Switzerland in the canton of Obwalden. It is a favourite amongst locals for fantastic hiking, fishing, biking and skiing & sledding.

Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland

The two highlights of the place are its picture-perfect mountain lakesMelchsee 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.!

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

Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland
Melchsee Frutt MAP
Melchsee Frutt (Google Map data ©2020 ) – Click to expand map

Best time to visit Melchsee-Frutt 

The summer season runs from June to October. Visit during the early summer months for some beautiful views of flower-covered grasslands and snow peaks. 

Hiking at Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland

Check the Melchsee-Frutt webcam before you visit. Aim for clear blue skies!

How to get to Melchsee-Frutt

By public transportation: Take a train to Sarnen and from there the post-auto bus to Stöckalp. The Melchsee-Frutt gondola station is located at Stöckalp. This bus runs only hourly so it’s good to sync up with the train connection as much as possible so you do not spend time waiting. 

On weekends it tends to get quite crowded (even with the early morning connections!) since a lot of locals head up to the mountain for hiking. In such instances, there might be more buses operating. During our visit, there were 3 buses arranged for the scheduled time of 8:44 am to accommodate all the hikers!  

By car: Take the A8 to Sarnen and the cantonal road to Kerns – Melchtal – Stöckalp. There is a large parking lot at the gondola station at Stöckalp.

Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland

Melchsee-Frutt cable car schedule & tickets

The summer season runs from June to October with the gondola operating from 8:25 am till 5:20 pm. Check the latest schedules here

A return ticket on the gondola for Stöckalp to Melchsee-Frutt costs CHF 33 per adult. The SBB half fare card is valid on this ticket. Check the latest ticket prices here. You can buy the tickets at the counter or on the SBB app (though you will need to show the app tickets at the counter to get the physical tickets in order to access the turnstiles).

The gondola runs continuously and you can hop into the first available one.

Where to stay at Melchsee-Frutt

There are a few hotels at Melchsee-Frutt so you can stay right next to the slopes and amidst spectacular panoramic views!

You can also stay nearby at Kerns or Sarnen.

Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland

Hiking at Melchsee-Frutt

Hike (walk) at Melchsee-Frutt Overview

The route from the cable car station at Melchsee-Frutt, via Melchsee to Tannensee is ~4 km on a wide, paved road with very little elevation. At Tannensee, you should walk around the entire lake for some beautiful views. The entire walk would take about an hour.

You can walk the whole way back or if you get tired, you can hop on board the cute little “train” that runs on this route, the Fruttli Zug.

Fruttli Zug
Melchsee-Frutt walking map
Melchsee-Frutt walking map (Google Map data ©2020 ) – Click to expand map

Hike (walk) at Melchsee-Frutt Details

As you emerge from the Melchsee-Frutt bergstation, take a left and walk down towards the Panorama lift. When we visited, there was a lively market set up on this route with lots of little stalls selling sweets, cheeses, honey and woollens. There was also a few cute little Alpacas around here. Not to mention the sound of cowbells all around – amplified somehow here!

Melchsee

From the Panorama lift platform, you get a spectacular view of the beautiful Melchsee surrounded by sharp peaks on one side and a lovely walking path on the other.

Melchsee Switzerland

You can continue walking on this trail if you’d like a “hike” hike to the second lake. Or if you’d like something easier, take the Panorama lift down.

No prizes for guessing, we took the easy route down along the lake! And what a stunning route that was! We spent some time close to the water taking in the tranquil scene – the beautiful turquoise/ greenish waters of Melchsee, tall green mountains behind it, the sound of cowbells, and a lovely cool breeze blowing, it was absolutely heavenly! There are lots of benches and picnic tables along the shore, or you can also just plop down on the grass!

Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland
Melchsee

As you continue walking you also come across an ancient church – stunning against the beautiful background! Lots of space around it too to sit, fish or wade into the water (if you’re ok with the cold temperature!).

Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland

Start walking next towards the second lake, Tannensee.

Tannensee

The route to Tannensee is through rolling hills and green grasslands covered with colourful flowers. Tall snow peaks are visible in the distance and of course, cowbells provide a beautiful soundtrack!

Hiking at Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland

The same route is also used by bikers and the Fruttli Zug (you will come across a few train stops along the way). There are also a couple of restaurants and toilet facilities along the way. 

Tannensee does not become visible until you reach the Tannendamm train stop. But soon as you do, the spectacular blue lake will stop you in your tracks! Do ensure you move to the side of the road so you don’t block traffic!

Tannensee Switzerland

If you had taken the “hike” hike route from the Panorama lift, you will be able to meet this easier route at the Tannendamm train stop.

There is a dam along Tannensee in front of this train stop. Take a right and walk along the dam for some stunning views. The snow peaks reflected in the clear blue water make for some of the best views in Switzerland!

Tannensee Switzerland
Tannensee Switzerland

Continue walking along the dam and then take the path around the lake. There are a few paths that lead down to the water if you’d like a dip or to fish. Along this path, you’ll also get to a few vantage points from where both lakes, Melchsee & Tannensee are visible!

Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland
Tannensee Switzerland
Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland

You can walk a little into the hills away from the lake for some more panoramic views of more mountains and lakes in the region!

An Alpine lake in Central Switzerland

As you continue on your loop along Tannensee, you’ll join the main walking path back. A few clouds had gathered during our visit and they added an almost mystical effect to the scene looking out over Melchsee in the distance!

Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland
Tannensee Switzerland

If you are tired by now, catch the train back from the stop across the dam, Tannendamm. If not, continue walking back towards Melchsee. While the route will be the same that you came on, this time the views will be different (and quite beautiful!) since Melchsee is visible from quite far as you walk towards it.

Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland

Other things to do at Melchsee-Frutt

There are many, many hiking options up here. Check these out here.

Check out biking options here.

Here is the summer hiking & biking map of the region:

Map of Melchsee Frutt
Melchsee-Frutt Switzerland

Practical tips

  • Carry a jacket – it can get windy and chilly! 
  • But at the same time, carry a hat/ cap! There’s no shade along the walk and the sun can be quite relentless.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. You do not need hiking shoes for the easy walk but comfortable shoes are a must.
  • While you do not really need the train (the Fruttli Zug) to visit the two lakes, in case you think you do, purchase the tickets together with your cable car tickets since that will be much cheaper than buying it at the spot.
  • The post-auto bus back from Stöckalp to Sarnen is hourly, so plan your descent so you don’t have to wait too long. If you do end up waiting a while, there’s a small cafe at the bus stop if you’d like coffee or ice cream!

Have you been to Melchsee-Frutt? What did you love the most about the place? 

Are you planning a visit? If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

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27 Comments

  1. If it wasn’t for the church, I would have mistaken Melchsee Frutt for being somewhere in New Zealand! The mountain and lake landscapes are very similar!

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  2. Switzerland is just gorgeous. These lakes and the mountains are just so stunning! Melchsee Frutt looks absolutely beautiful! I’m putting this beautiful place on my to destination list for future trips.

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  3. I’ve never heard of these two lakes and they are so beautiful. The blue water and the green valleys incredibly breathtaking. Good tip on buying a ticket for the train in advance to save money. I probably wouldn’t mind taking the cute train if I was getting a little tired 🙂

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  4. Both the lakes – Melchsee and Tannensee look absolutely gorgeous. The clear blue sky with pristine blue water and green slopes of Swiss Alps in the background – one can forget everything else amidst such a beauty. A comprehensive guide and great photos Smita.

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  5. So, Smita, you’re always saying you’re not much of a hiker…then you walk to the most beautiful places in the world!

    These lakes (and the scenery around them) is seriously stunning! I actually think I like the views even more when the clouds came in a little – it looks like something from a dream.

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  6. Loving all the photos you included. Those views are stunning!
    What a great hike.

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  7. This is beautiful! I love the color of the water and the mountains in the background only add to the beauty. The view alone would be worth visiting, but I would love to spend some time hiking the area. I could spend hours just sitting by the lakes.

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  8. Oh my gosh. Those views, the water – simply stunning! You’ve just added to my already expanding Swiss bucket list. Would you suggest a summer trip to Switzerland or a fall trip? For a first timer? 🙂

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  9. I worked in Switzerland for 3 years and visited many beautiful spots but unfortunately, did not get to this one. It looks lovely – I am hoping to get back to Switzerland soon to visit friends – will have to consider this for hiking!

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  10. What a beautiful hike! I have never been to Switzerland, and honestly I’ve mostly only seen photos of the mountains and outdoors in winter / covered in snow. This looks like a lovely summer hike, and I can’t wait to get back and travel more through Europe.

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  11. Oh my gosh I love all your photos!!! The swiss Mountains look beautiful. We love hiking so this would be perfect for us x

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  12. Switzerland is at the top of my travel bucket list, because the views and scenery are simply stunning! I’m ready for things and places to open again, even though I know that international travel is still a long way away. Thanks for taking me on a trip that I can’t make myself yet!

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  13. Thanks for this write-up, it’s a great idea for something to do with my family this summer. I will be visiting them later this week in Switzerland and we definitely want to do a few day trips to different places within the country. Your images are stunning, so this is for sure a place to consider going to.

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  14. Wow-what a serene hike! I’d absolutely love to d this if I ever visit! The color of the grass and water is just gorgeous!

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  15. I love hiking and being outdoors so naturally Switzerland has been on my bucket list – I will definitely have to remember this hike!

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  16. This place looks so so beautiful! I know how beautiful Switzerland is, and looking at the amazing pictures plus reading the experience, never gets boring!

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  17. Wow it looks absolutely incredible! The colour of the water is insane! I hope I manage to get the chance to visit and take a hike one day!

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  18. Switzerland is at the top of our bucket list and these gorgeous mountain lakes are the number one reason why we want to visit so badly!!! Gorgeous!!!

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  19. This looks like a beautiful hike and it sounds like it would be epic all year round. Have you been to visit during other seasons? I bet the air quality is amazing there as well.

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  20. Stunning views and the colours are so bright. Looks like a wonderful place to go hiking.

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  21. Wow, these pictures are stunning. I love the green and blue colours. This looks like a must visit destination. I’m putting these Alpine lakes on my to destination list!

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  22. The views are so incredible – just look at those stunning waters! I love that there are so many different hiking options. It looks like a great location for my husband and I to travel to. I could definitely see finding a place to stay in the general area and trying out each of the hiking trails available!

    Reply
  23. Melchsee Frutt looks so beautiful. I’ve been to Interlaken but have not been here. I would like to visit Switzerland again and when I do– I will be sure to come back to this post for guidance.

    Reply
  24. Oh my god!! this lake is absolutely beautiful – it looks like a mix of Irish and Appalachian lakes 😀 Colours are unreal! thanks for sharing the map to get there, that’s really great to prepare the trip. I can assure you this is going straight to my travel bucket list!!

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  25. Oh my goodness this place is beautiful! I absolutely loved all of the photos. So beautiful, I would love to take a nice stroll through there.

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  26. Wow! The colours in your photos are spectacular. It looks like a beautiful place to go hiking.

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  27. Melchsee Frutt looks absolutely beautiful! I love the idea of walking out of the bergstation into markets with food and Alpacas. Even if I didn’t do any of the hikes, I’d definitely go for a stroll around the lake to take in the views.

    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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