Think Switzerland and you think gorgeous towering mountains. But what many people don’t know is that Switzerland is also home to more than 1500 lakes and water bodies. In fact, almost all Swiss cities are located on the shores of lakes. Switzerland holds six per cent of Europe’s entire fresh water stock, which the country works hard to preserve.
Here are the country’s five most scenic lakes:
The largest lake in Central Europe, Lake Geneva is a crescent shaped deep lake in Switzerland overlooked by the Swiss Alps. A cruise or a culinary trip will give visitors the chance to enjoy notable sights, such as the emblem of the city of Geneva, the "Jet d'eau", a 140 meter high water fountain that is illuminated at night. It’s also a great place to go rowing, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, wakeboarding and even scuba diving.
Encircled by popular excursion mountains, Lake Lucerne is the lake with the greatest scenic variety in the country. Boat cruises on board five historic paddle wheel steamers and 15 elegant salon motor vessels count among the highlights of this region. A boat trip can be combined with a walk on the Swiss Path, a themed trail on the history of Switzerland. The lake shores also have multiple cycling and skating paths as well as numerous bathing and rest areas.
The turquoise Lake Brienz is set amid the mountain scenery of the Bernese Oberland. Travellers wanting to explore swiss culinary specialities can book special cruises available like the "Fondue boat", the "Breakfast boat", the "Alpine-style brunch", the Halal Cruise", the "Hooked on fish" and the “Swiss BBQ Cruise”. Another destination for a boat trip on Lake Brienz is the Giessbach Falls. The waterfall thunders in a number of different stages down 500 metres into the lake.
Located in Ticino, Lake Lugano is a glacial lake at the southernmost tip of Tessin, the holiday region at the southern end of the Alps. The Lake has many different branches and is surrounded by mountains, Monte Generoso being the highest at about 1700 metres. Stunning views of the lake can be experienced as one goes up the mountains surrounding the lake in Funiculars. There are also numerous parks around the lake.
Embedded within an imposing backdrop of mountains, the deeply-blue Lake Thun lies on the northern periphery of the Alps, between the Bernese Oberland towns of Thun and Interlaken. A cruise on Lake Thun will take travellers along the attractive shore with its romantic villages and majestic historic castles right up to the peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.