Switzerland lakes captivate the wonder of all who lay their eyes on them. The natural wonder and beauty of Switzerland is not limited to the Alps or the deep valleys of Lauterbrunnen. Switzerland is also home to some of Europe’s most breathtaking bodies of water. The awe-inspiring view of Lake Thun, for instance, with the great peaks of the towering Alps, literally reflecting off of its blue waters, is an amazing sight. There are many lakes in Switzerland, some large, and many more, very small. Exploring each of the more notable lakes, including the surrounding towns and regions allows the discerning tourist an inside look at some of Switzerland’s most charming destinations.
Lake Geneva is the most famous of all Switzerland lakes, and is the largest freshwater lake in the entirety of Western Europe. 60 percent of the lake is under the control of Switzerland and 40 percent under the control of France. This gorgeous lake is shaped like a crescent and is often divided up into what people refer to as “Large Lake” (Grand Lac in French) and “Small Lake” (Petit Lac), on either side of the vast crescent.
The waters of Lake Geneva ultimately make their way from the Rhone River, which has its source at the Rhone Glacier. On its course, the Rhone flows through the canton of Valais before it reaches Geneva. Lake Geneva is referred to as an alpine lake. The foothills of the Chablais Alps to the south and the Bernese Alps to the east are covered with alpine foliage before their ascent to the high, snow-capped summits. Travelers who venture Lake Geneva witness a diverse topography on the shores, from rugged rock and alpine cliffs, to sprawling vineyards. Of all the lakes in Switzerland, Geneva is the most famous, and most popular for tourists.
People visit Zurich, perhaps the best-known city in Switzerland, for the luxurious shopping, lodging, and cuisine, and many more for the world-class skiing and other winter sports. Lake Zurich is one of the natural wonders of this northern Swiss canton. It is actually formed by the Linth River, which after being diverted through several canals, ultimately makes its way into the large lake. Tourists visiting Zurich have the double pleasure of viewing the intimidating Swiss Alps as they rise above one of Switzerland’s most picturesque lakes.
Lake Neuchatel is located in a predominately French part of Western Switzerland. It is primarily contained within the canton of Neuchatel, but also stretches into several other cantons including Vaud and Bern. An interesting fact about Lake Neuchatel is that it is the largest lake that is wholly in Switzerland. Lake Geneva is a larger body of water but has shared ownership between France and Switzerland. This is one of the most popular Switzerland lakes for water sports, like wind surfing and water skiing, especially in the summer months, when high temperatures can reach into the seventies.
Lake Constance is on the Rhine River, situated at the northern foothills of the Alps. The lake shares ownership by Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. Besides being stunningly beautiful, of all the lakes in Switzerland, this may be of the most practical importance to the country, as it is a vital source for clean drinking water for many people in the region. It is also an important fishery for Switzerland and surrounding countries.
An amazing feature of Switzerland is the sheer diversity of the landscape. When surveying all of the Switzerland lakes, for instance, you can notice the stark differences. All of them are beautiful in their own way. Certain lakes are surrounded by towering mountains, others are lined by lush vineyards and alpine foliage. An exploration of the Swiss countryside will reveal a multitude of natural wonders. The beauty of the lakes in Switzerland rivals even that of the spectacular Alps.