Lakes in Interlaken

Lakes in Interlaken Overview

Interlaken, Switzerland, is blessed with stunning lakes that captivate visitors with their crystal-clear waters and breathtaking surroundings. The region is nestled between two magnificent lakes, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, offering a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Lake Thun, the larger of the two, stretches for approximately 17 kilometers and is surrounded by picturesque mountains. Its turquoise waters create a mesmerizing backdrop against the Alpine peaks, inviting visitors to partake in a variety of water activities such as boating, sailing, and swimming. The lake is also home to several charming lakeside towns, including Interlaken itself, where visitors can stroll along the promenades, indulge in lakeside dining, or simply relax while taking in the scenic beauty.

On the other hand, Lake Brienz is known for its deep blue hue and postcard-worthy vistas. Its shores are adorned with lush forests, quaint villages, and cascading waterfalls, making it an idyllic spot for nature lovers. Travelers can explore the lake's beauty on a leisurely boat ride or try their hand at water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding. The Giessbach Falls, located on the eastern shore of Lake Brienz, adds an enchanting touch to the already stunning landscape. With its charming lakeside villages and awe-inspiring natural scenery, Interlaken's lakes provide a serene and captivating setting for all who visit.

Lakes in and around Interlaken

Lake Thun

Located to the west of Interlaken, Lake Thun is the largest lake in the region. With its turquoise waters and majestic mountain backdrop, it provides a picturesque setting for various water activities such as boating, sailing, and swimming. The lake is also dotted with charming lakeside towns, including Thun and Spiez, where visitors can explore historic castles, lakeside promenades, and enjoy delightful culinary experiences.

Lake Brienz

Situated to the east of Interlaken, Lake Brienz is renowned for its deep blue color and stunning natural surroundings. Surrounded by lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and charming villages, it offers a tranquil and serene atmosphere. Visitors can take leisurely boat rides, try their hand at water sports, or simply relax on the lake's shores, soaking in the beauty of the Alpine landscape.

Lake Lungern

Located south of Interlaken, Lake Lungern is a hidden gem nestled in a peaceful valley. Surrounded by rolling hills and quaint Swiss villages, it offers a serene and secluded ambiance. Visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, or simply take leisurely walks along the lake's shoreline, admiring the tranquil beauty of the surroundings.

Lake Sarnen

Situated to the northwest of Interlaken, Lake Sarnen is known for its crystal-clear waters and picturesque setting. Surrounded by lush meadows, dense forests, and charming villages, it provides a serene escape for nature lovers. The lake offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and lakeside picnics, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquility of the Swiss countryside.

Lake Oeschinen

Located near Kandersteg, a short distance from Interlaken, Lake Oeschinen is a breathtaking alpine lake surrounded by towering peaks and lush meadows. The lake is known for its stunning turquoise waters, and visitors can enjoy hiking trails, picnicking, and even ice skating during the winter months.

Lake Gelmer

Situated in the Grimsel Pass region, Lake Gelmer is a hidden gem that offers a serene and untouched natural environment. Accessible via a scenic cable car ride, the lake boasts pristine blue waters and dramatic mountain scenery. It's a popular spot for hiking, fishing, and nature photography.


What are the two main lakes in Interlaken?

The two main lakes in Interlaken are Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Lake Thun is the larger of the two, stretching for approximately 17 kilometers. Its mesmerizing turquoise waters are set against a backdrop of majestic Alpine peaks. Lake Brienz, on the other hand, is known for its deep blue color and postcard-worthy vistas. Surrounded by lush forests, charming villages, and cascading waterfalls, it offers a serene and picturesque setting.

Can you swim in the lakes in Interlaken?

Yes, swimming is allowed in both Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. The lakes have designated swimming areas and public beaches where visitors can enjoy a refreshing swim in the pristine waters. The lakes' clean and clear waters make for a delightful swimming experience, especially during the warmer months of the year.

Are there any water sports available on the lakes?

Absolutely! Both Lake Thun and Lake Brienz offer a range of exciting water sports activities. Visitors can engage in boating adventures, whether it's renting a motorboat, sailing boat, or even a paddleboat. Additionally, kayaking and paddleboarding are popular options for those seeking a more active experience on the lakes. Windsurfing enthusiasts can also take advantage of the favorable winds in the area.

Are fishing activities allowed in the lakes?

Yes, fishing is permitted in Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, attracting anglers from around the world. Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck at catching various fish species, including trout, perch, pike, and whitefish. Fishing permits may be required, so it's advisable to check local regulations and obtain the necessary licenses before casting a line.

Are there boat tours available on the lakes?

Yes, boat tours are a popular and highly recommended way to explore the beauty of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Several companies offer scenic boat trips, allowing visitors to relax and admire the stunning landscapes from the water. These tours provide a unique perspective, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, charming lakeside villages, and the shimmering waters beneath.

Are there any lakeside villages worth visiting?

Absolutely! While Interlaken itself is a lakeside town and worth exploring, there are other charming lakeside villages that add to the region's allure. Spiez, located on the shores of Lake Thun, is a delightful village known for its medieval castle and picturesque lakeside promenade. Brienz, nestled along the shores of Lake Brienz, offers a captivating blend of traditional Swiss charm, featuring quaint wooden chalets, a picturesque harbor, and the famous Ballenberg Open-Air Museum showcasing Swiss rural architecture and culture.

Are there any waterfalls near the lakes in Interlaken?

Yes, there are stunning waterfalls near the lakes that add to the natural beauty of the area. One notable waterfall is the Giessbach Falls, located on the eastern shore of Lake Brienz. This breathtaking cascade tumbles down a mountainside, surrounded by lush greenery, and drops into the lake's turquoise waters. Visitors can witness the falls' majestic beauty while exploring the area, either by taking a boat tour or hiking along the shores.

Can visitors take scenic hikes around the lakes?

Absolutely! The lakes in Interlaken offer a plethora of scenic hiking trails for visitors to enjoy. There are options for all skill levels, ranging from leisurely lakeside walks to more challenging mountain hikes.


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