Switzerland is very, very beautiful. It has no access to the sea but does not miss it because it has wonderful lakes of all shapes and sizes. We have told you about the glaciers for the summer but in autumn the lakes are one of the best destinations. Switzerland’s lakes are well managed and well maintained and it is worth taking the time to see them and also to see the towns that stand on their shores.
From Lake Lugano to ‘our’ Lake Maggiore, from Lake Constance to Lake Geneva and on to Lake Zurich, Lake Murten, Lake Walensee, Lake Thun, Lake Brienz and Lake Neuchâtel. In short, there are many. Here are some travel tips.
Lake Neuchâtel is the largest lake in the country. 38 kilometres long and 8 kilometres wide, it is Swiss only. On the north-western shore of the lake is Neuchâtel, the largest city in the region. There are boats to the other towns on the lake, all of which are worth seeing. Yverdon-les-Bains, for example, (located at the western end) has a long tradition of spas and wellness and has a beautiful historical centre.
Switzerland shares Lake Geneva with France. It offers a mild climate. Large and with historic liners crossing its 582 square kilometres. In French, the lake is called Lac Léman. There are many things to see in the area and also Lausanne, a special city, in the evening, the fountain with its 140-metre high water jet is one of the lake’s tourist attractions. Here in the canton of Voud, from Lausanne to the Lavaux vineyards, there are wonders to be seen and enjoyed.
Lake Murten is the smallest of the lakes in the Jura region. It lies between the medieval town of Murten and the ‘Fribourg Riviera’ with its vineyards on Mont Vully. It is shallow and warm and therefore suitable for bathing. You can make a nice tour because via the Broye Canal, boats sail from Lake Murten to Lake Neuchâtel and then on to Lake Biel/Bienne.
Biking and sailing are the most popular sports with many popular events throughout the year.
Lake Thun lies to the north in the middle of the Alpine landscape. The water is turquoise and sailors and surfers appreciate it because a gentle breeze always blows here. There are romantic villages lining the shore, small restaurants and historic castles. Spiez, with its castle and Romanesque church, is one of the towns definitely worth visiting.
Shaped like a bean, Lake Zurich is overlooked by this fascinating city. There are historical boats that cross it, including some very popular paddle steamers. North of the lake is the ‘Gold Coast’ Zollikon in Feldmeilen. Beautiful buildings where you can see the wealth. From Zurich you can see a lot of the lake and reach other places. There are also numerous beaches, the Alpamare in Pfäffikon, Europe’s largest indoor water park, the sunny islands of Ufenau and Lützelau near Rapperswil, the wooden footbridge over the lake between Rapperswil (the rose city 15,000 roses of 600 different varieties) and Hurden.
Located in the eastern part of Switzerland, Lake Constance (Europe’s third largest lake) lies between Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Plied by boats from every country, it can be conveniently cruised far and wide. On the south-western shore of the lake, the towns of Romanshorn, Arbon and Rorschach with their charming old town centres are worth a visit. But there are also the picturesqueUntersee villages such as Gottlieben, Ermatingen and Stein am Rhein.
It is a place for all kinds of sports, but the Lake Constance cycle path, which tours the lake, is worth mentioning.
Lake Lugano is in the south and is the warmest as it is influenced by the Mediterranean climate. Here you can find lemon trees and bathe under palm trees. Surrounded by mountains that ‘plunge’ into the lake, it is a popular destination for those seeking relaxation and the good life. Monte Generoso is the highest peak overlooking Lake Lugano (1700 m). There is a rack railway that connects Capolago to up to the most scenic peak. It is also easy to get to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Monte San Giorgio thanks to the cable cars with which these mountains are well equipped.
Lake Maggiore unites Switzerland and Italy. Mediterranean climate with 2300 hours of sunshine per year and an average annual temperature of 15.5 °C. Locarno has a ‘southern’ charm and is very popular. A breathtaking view of the lake can be enjoyed by reaching the vantage point on the Cimetta. Here the names become Italian: Ascona, Briddago.
Ascona has colourful houses, a romantic lakeside promenade and gourmet food. Close to the border is the delightful Brissago, the lowest point in Switzerland, only 197 metres above sea level. There are two islands here: Isola di San Pancrazio or also Isola Grande, which is home to the Ticino Botanical Park, and Isola di Sant’Apollinare or Isola Piccola and also Isola dei Conigli, with spontaneous vegetation.