Switzerland may be a land-locked country, but what it lacks in classic coastlines it more than makes up for in picturesque lakes. Indeed, many visitors to Switzerland go solely to see these beautiful stretches of water, many of which are surrounded by golden sand, lush countryside and rugged mountains.
The lakes make for a fantastic driving holiday because you can really explore them properly, which you would not be able to do without a hire car. You can pick up your rental vehicle from Geneva airport – follow this link for more information.
Read on to find out more about Switzerland’s lakes and what they can offer you as holiday destinations.
The lake itself is famous for lying on the border between France and Switzerland, and for being one of the largest stretches of water in Western Europe. It is about 73km in length and 14km wide, providing visitors with plenty of opportunity to sunbathe on one of its many beaches. The Plage d’Avenches boasts fine white sand and watersports, while the Pointe D’Yvonand on Lac de Neuchâtel is a more intimate 200m sandy bay backed by scented pine forests. There is also a campsite nearby.
Keen walkers will be pleased to hear there are a number of picturesque hiking trails to follow around the Lake Geneva region. You can ramble through forests and vineyards, climb mountains and ridges or just seek some solitude along the shoreline.
Kreuzlingen Strandbad Hörnli
Over in the east of Switzerland, near the border with Liechtenstein, lies a beautiful lake with a lovely swimming area. This is a great place for families to enjoy days out, as the little ones can have fun on the flume, splash around in the adventure pool and test their skills on the climbing net. There are also pitches for volleyball games and playgrounds where they can let off some steam. There is a small entry fee to pay but if you want to stick to your holiday budget you can head down the road to Baesi (near Weesen) for a quieter and cheaper lakeside experience.
If it is peace and quiet you are after, a trip to Strandbad Thun is in order. The tranquillity of the scenery is broken only by the gentle roll of the waves breaking against one of the little sail boats that float on the surface of the lake. There is plenty going on in the local village, including yoga retreats and open air theatre performances, then in the winter months the nearby ski area opens up to admit snow sports fans.
However, if you are more interested in buzzing, sophisticated holiday destinations, Lakeside Lido di Lugano is the place to be. Soak up the sun under the palm trees that line the sandy beach on Lake Ceresio, or rouse yourself for a swim in the heated Olympic-sized pool. There is also a five-a-side football pitch, a beach volley court and a diving pool with trampolines for the active.