Lakes in Switzerland: the most refreshing alternative in summer

3 min. reading
Learn about Switzerland, What to visit / 24 July, 2021
Lakes in Switzerland: the most refreshing alternative in summer

Leticia Peña Escribano Client Solutions

The lakes, together with the mountains in Switzerland, are the country’s most characteristic natural elements. Skiing, the main sport during the Swiss winter, gives way to water activities in the lakes in summer. Sailing, swimming, or taking part in trendy paddle surfing makes Switzerland’s lakes the most refreshing and fun option to spend the summer in the country. Dive into some of the Alpine country’s lakes.

Lake Zurich

In the city of Zurich, we find the lake that bears its name. In this city and in the rest of Switzerland we find what is called ‘badi’ or outdoor pools. They are usually in the lake itself, or next to the rivers. These places are the best option to take a dip in the lake and enjoy the amenities provided, such as a cafeteria, changing rooms or solarium. There is only one day a year in which swimmers are allowed to cross this lake from one bank to another. This is done in the popular lake crossing called Seeüberquerung in German. During a day in summer, thousands of participants meet on a shore of Lake Zurich to run the 1.5km that separate the banks on either side. The event organisers provide security throughout the race and a comforting snack at the finish line.

Lac Léman or Lake Geneva

This is the largest lake in Switzerland and its waters bathe cities such as Geneva, Lausanne, and Montreux. You can see the French Alps from the Swiss shore, since this side is a natural border with France. Much of the land bathed by this lake is used for vine cultivation, so the landscape of this area turns into hillsides of vineyards and small wineries.  The best-known vineyards are those located in the Lavaux terraces, recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Lake Thun

Lake Thun and Lake Brienz were originally combined; however, the city of Interlaken is now based between them both. In both lakes, as in Zurich, ‘badis’ are found around them. The water in Lake Thun is cooler and more greyish than that of Lake Zurich, but equally appetising for the hottest days of summer.

In addition to bathing in these waters, you can enjoy its views and landscapes by traveling the roads that outline its banks. The country’s public transport network offer boat trips in these and many more of the Swiss country’s lakes. You can use this possibility to sail in Switzerland and take advantage to visit some of its most picturesque cities.

Data on the water in Switzerland

The lakes, rivers, and aquifers of the Swiss country have a great impact on the country’s ecosystem.

  • 4% of the total area of Switzerland is water.
  • 80% of the drinking water is obtained from underground resources such as wells and springs.
  • 6% of Europe’s freshwater resources are in the Swiss Alps.
  • There are up to 1484 lakes; some are of course larger than others. The longest largest lake (in km2) is Lake Geneva.
  • Some of the best-known and most important lakes in the country are Lake Geneva, known as Lac Léman, and Lake Constance, a natural border with Germany and Austria.

Protecting the water and its quality in Switzerland are extremely important. Political measures and citizen initiatives in this matter are meticulously taken care of given their repercussion and importance on the impact that it has for the country’s citizens, visitors and ecosystem.

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