My favorite place on earth is definitely somewhere at the sea and you most likely never see me in an indoor swimming pool as I just don’t like the smell of chlorine and they are most the time super crowded and it’s noisy, just not a place where I can calm down and relax.
As we could not travel outside Switzerland during the lockdown in March, April and parts of June we took the possibility and explored our beautiful country. Luckily the weather was amazing most the time and our country has a lot to offer when it comes to beautiful sceneries, lakes and mountains.
Lake Cresta – Flims/Trin
One of the most beautiful lakes in the Swiss alps and very very similar to the famous Lake Cauma who’s just a stone’s throw away. The lake is situated in a forest between Flims and Trin, 850 meters above sea level and is a protected natural landmark. You can hike around the lake, there is also a mountain bike trail or you can just look for a nice spot and settle down. There is also the possibility to rent standup paddles or small boats. The lake is not accessible by car only by foot, a big advantage from my point of view.
The lake is mainly famous for its crystal clear water, reflecting the mountain landscape around. There is also a restaurant serving food from May to October but as it was closed we couldn’t test it.
It is possible and allowed to swim in the lake but you have to pay a very small fee to enter the bathing area (CHF 7 for adults).
There are different parking places available, we parked our car next to a playground called ‘Punt Suraua’. From there you will cross a crystal clear river (5th picture) which is called Flem. You have to walk about 25 minutes, before you enter the forest, the walk offers you a nice view over the Flims area and the mountains it is surrounded by.
Located in the canton of Glarus, also around 850 meters above sea level you can find the Lake Klöntal. Already the ride from the village Riedern up to the lake is amazing. The lake is accessible by car, public transport (only from spring to autumn), by feet of course and by bike. Even though it’s an alpine lake it is quite big, one of the biggest in the canton of Glarus. We were quite lucky to find a good parking slot even though there is a big parking place available but right next to the campsite so it’s filled quite fast. If you want to go there in summer by car I suggest to arrive early (before 12/11am). Around the lake you can find many places ideal for a pick-nick and also to take a swim (mainly on the east side). There are many fire places and also a hiking trail that leads you around the whole lake (the hiking trail is not suitable for buggies and wheelchairs). One of the campsites (Vorauen) includes a nice little Kiosk that offers ice creams, meals and drinks – it has recently been renovated and is really nice for a break or just to grab something. From Lake Klöntal you also have the possibility to go for a longer hike, leading you to the not so famous but beautiful Pragelnpass.
What I like the most is that the mountains are so close to the lake that on sunny days it feels like you can touch them and the sky gets incredibly blue, creating a beautiful reflection on the lake’s surfaces.
Very close to the Lake Klöntal but separated by mountains there is a smaller lake, Lake Waegital. If you want to swim or if you are looking for nice paths right next to the lake you will be disappointed. It’s really not a lake where you can swim at and you will not find many nice places to sit down and enjoy a pick-nick. The lake is not easy to access due to the hilly terrain. We just took a towel with us and sat down in the middle of a field. It was nice but it’s not the way you want to spend a whole afternoon.
The lake itself is beautiful and the area is picturesque. There are some hiking trails to different destinations, there is also a circular trail leading you once around the lake. It’s a path where you have good views and it is also not very heavy but unfortunately the whole way is asphalted which kind of destroys the whole experience and doesn’t fit the picture. Lake Waegital is a nice place for a stop when you “drive by” the area or if you want to see something for two or three hours but I don’t recommend it for a day trip (except for hikes).
An artificial lake very close to Einsiedeln, 890 meters above sea level, who is also feeding a power station who’s supplying the Swiss Federal Railway. It’s the largest artificial lake in Switzerland. The project to create the lake and the power station started already in 1932. There is an official bathing area (for free) but when there is not much water in the lake you can basically swim everywhere, some areas are just a bit muddy as they are usually covered by water but despite that the water is clear and refreshing. There is quite a lot you can do like fishing, sailing, surfing, rowing or windsurfing. If you prefer a relaxing day you can also go for a little cruise. You can find food & drinks around the lake and of course in Einsiedeln. If you have time you might combine your trip to the Lake Sihl with a trip to the beautiful monastery in Einsiedeln (you can also visit during winter, they also have a nice Christmas market right in front of the monastery but usually it’s very very cold there during winter so you might prefer summer/spring season).
As usual during summer: Arrive early as parking possibilities are limited and filled quickly. Alternatively you can also park your car in Einsiedeln but than you have to walk for at least 30 minutes to the lake, to the official bathing area at least 40 minutes – the way is under the blazing sun too so it’s quite exhausting depending on the time you arrive. Public transport from Einsiedeln to the bathing area is also available but takes you 30 minutes too as the bus needs to drive around the lake (one-way road). I suggest getting up early and travel by car.
There are hotels available in all mentioned locations so you might go for a weekend trip where you can do more than just go for a swim. Especially around Lake Cresta, around Flims you can find a lot of other activities so if you can spend a night or two there it’s definitely worth it!
What is your favorite place to for a swim?
Let me know and enjoy summer! ☀️🐬🐠