It’s true that Switzerland doesn’t have sea access but that didn’t deny it from having diverse and attractive beaches. Yay! All these large lake surfaces, countless mountain lakes, crystal clear rivers, ehhh! Switzerland is blessed with many beach destinations were you can dip, jump, do watersports or simply relax and listen to the lake wavelets or river streams around you. Here’s our personal pick of the 10 best beaches in Switzerland that you can enjoy this summer.
Lake Sils and Lake Cauma (Graubünden)
Fishing | Sauna | Massages | SUP | City beach
(Photo credit @anneli_finnomenal)
Known as ‘Lag la Cauma’ in the Romansh language meaning ‘lake siesta’, Lake Cauma is the jewel of Flims. Swimming, chilling out or sunbathing, this is the perfect distinctive spot for relaxing and cooling down. It is surrounded by forest on three sides. There is also a wooded island in the centre of the lake where you can relax in complete tranquillity. Particularly striking is the turquoise-coloured and pleasantly cool water with temperatures of between 17 and 24 degrees Celsius. Who needs sea with such conditions? 🙂
Lake Sils is ideal for an unwinding pause. On top of being one of the chill beaches in Switzerland, it’s also regarded as a fisherman’s paradise as mountain trout, greyling and char abound in lake Sils. During summer months the modern motor vessel “Segl-Maria” ploughs across the lake from Sils Maria to Maloja on the south-western lakeshore and back four times a day. You can check timetable and prices here. The cruise is a must-do!
This is also the lake where in specific weather conditions in winter the black ice is formed! A true experience to do some ice-skating then!
The sandy beaches of Yvonand (Lake Neuchâtel)
Sandy | Kids-friendly | Windsurf | SUP | Reachable by train
Looking for soft sand and turquoise waters? Our recommendation is to head to Yvonand! A real escape and relaxation paradise surrounded by greenery for those who want to unwind and recharge their energy! You can rent pedal boats or water bikes, get onto a wind surf or paddle board, or maybe even a sailing or motor board!
It’s a perfect family destination with its gentle currents and soft slopes. Equipped with play areas and several entertainment and fun activities, the Yvonand beach is safe and suitable for children.
How to get there:
Yvonand has a train station and is reachable by train in 7 minutes from Yverdon-les-Bains, 55 minutes from Lausanne, 1h 30 min from Bern
Valle Verzasca (Ticino)
Pebbles | To combine with a hike
In Valle Verzasca you will be enchanted with the surrounding scenery. We can’t recommend enough the area not only for swimming but also for hiking! Valle Verzasca is one of our favourite hiking trails in Switzerland!
The magical waters of Verzasca river form mini waterfalls and swimming holes of emerald green surrounded by ridges for sunbathing. The river has plenty of these “natural” jacuzzi’s to enjoy. Hard to resist dipping in! The waters beautifully sneak beneath stone bridges and through ancient alpine villages, passing under the picturesque double arches of the Ponte dei Salti in Lavertezzo.
The “Mediterranean” beaches (Ticino)
Sandy | Kids-friendly | City-beach
(Photo credit @anna_scerda)
The ultimate Mediterranean feel and the lively Italian spirit reign here! You are sure to find a spot to dip or dive in as there are more than 160km of shoreline decorated with beaches dotted with palm trees and many luxurious resorts! It is worth checking which one is more to your liking: more secluded Lido San Domenico or more trendy Lido Lugano or under the shade of ancient trees of Lido Ascona. Some of the beaches require reservation, so plan ahead!
Genève Plage (Geneva)
Sandy | Kids-friendly | City-beach
Genève Plage, one of the most popular summer outings for locals as well as tourists. It’s like a big- 2 hectares green park on the banks of Lake Geneva. Very suitable for family and is kids friendly as it offers different sized pools and a variety of water activities. It’s easily reached from the centre even on foot, and the way to and from there is simply beautiful as you pass although by the famous Jet d’Eau of Geneva!
It is open daily but only from June to September. Entrance: CHF 5.
Aare river (Bern)
River surfing | Rafting | SUP | City beach
(Photo credit @camilameier)
A dip in the Aare is the true way to experience Bern as Bernese!
The chilled, blue, clean water of the river, which drives its path into the capital city from the Bernese Alps, presents the perfect cooling on hot summer days. The Aare is the heartbeat of summer life for the residents of Bern. Its activities are not limited to just swimming but include also river surfing, rafting, stand-up paddling and tubing. For the Bernese the relationship with Aare is a love affair, even leveraging lunch breaks for a quick dip on a hot summer day! That’s perhaps why it’s rumored that you might spot bikinis and swim shorts hung out to dry on the Federal Councilors’ balconies.
Sandy shore of Lake Lauerz (Schwyz)
Lake Lauerz is ideal for a family beach outing with its delightful sandy shore. For children there is a specific paddling pool while adults can enjoy a dip in the lake. The beach is well equipped with facilities which include a playground, a lawn area for games and table tennis tables, making it very popular on summer weekends. Entry to the swimming area is free (quite a bonus in Switzerland!). Visitors are welcome to use the barbecue areas or count on snacks from the kiosk.
Seebad Enge (Zurich)
(Photo credit @jeanette.nic)
Seebad Enge is not solely a swimming area right on the Zurich lake but it offers plenty of professional services across the year. From swim coaches, yoga classes, ving-tsun, SUP to a beautician and sauna, you name it. Badi Enge is also a well-known destination for music lovers. It hosts some of the city’s finest acoustic concerts during the summer months! Divided into a mixed and a women only swimming area during the day, it turns into a bar and concert venue after 7pm.
It is open daily but only from May to September. Entrance: CHF 8.
Seebad Luzern (Luzern)
Yoga | City beach
Stylish and moderately luxurious, Seebad Luzern is your destination for some sophistication, “un-touristy” and largely kids-free beach. It opens on the best lake views in Luzern. A vast sun deck with two enclosed pool and open to lake access. A simple yet elegant and somehow retro design makes it radiate with gentle “premiumness”. The entry is reasonably priced (CHF 6) and the Mediterranean & Asian food and refreshing cocktails make it the ultimate plan for a nice relaxing day.
Open daily from May to September.
Lac de Joux (Jura)
Windsurfing | Sailing| Hiking destination | Reachable by train
Lac de Joux is truly a multi-season destination for outdoor lovers! In summer it’s an attraction for swimmers, windsurfers and sailors who are attracted by the warm waters and suitable winds. Hikers and cyclists love the destination as it’s penetrated with many trails around the lake. Although we are talking summer beaches but it’s worth to mention that in winter the lake becomes Europe’s largest natural ice rink! Skating on this large stretch of ice is a true liberating experience. The hiking trails around the lake turn into snowshoeing and cross-country tracks.
In order to reach Vallée de Joux you can take a train from any city in Switzerland. From both Geneva and Bern it will take around 2 hours and from Lausanne – 1h.
Hope now you are equipped with insights about where to plan your next day at the beach 🙂 And let’s admit, Switzerland has so many beautiful lakes with pristine shoreline! You are bound to find a spot to dip in at one of the beaches in Switzerland whenever you are traveling around.