10 Special Spots to Swim with Kids in Switzerland

In addition to the plentiful neighborhood swimming pools, Switzerland has many lakes, swimming holes and water parks that make you feel like you’re experiencing something special. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Caumasee

Swimming in the Caumasee is one of our beloved summer traditions. It’s a beautiful alpine lake near Flims, with swimming, rock jumping, and paddle boats. This lake is slightly warmer than other icy alpine lakes because it’s fed by an underground spring. But it’s still chilly at about 16C, so you need to wait for a hot day in the height of summer. It’s not a secret but there’s plenty of room around the lake for the crowds to spread out. Put this on the top of your list for next summer! Read more…

2. Valle Verzasca

Valle Verzasca is a special place and hard to describe properly. It’s a beautiful river in Ticino, near Locarno. After walking across the much photographed Devil’s Bridge, you can lounge on the rocks next to the icy river. It can be a dangerous place as there are some big rapids and swift currents. But there are also many small natural pools secluded within the rocks, which are safe for small children. You can easily spend several lazy hours, soaking in the sun, splashing in the icy pools, wandering around the rocks, and watching crazy show-offs doing flips off the bridge. We love this place and hope you do too. Read more…

3. Golzernsee

Golzernsee is a small, pretty alpine lake, in the mountains near the entrance to the Gotthard tunnel, where you can swim, hike, or just take in the view. After a short cable car, the path to the lake is smooth, wide and stroller-friendly. There are a couple restaurants before you reach the lake, with excellent views of the valley, lake, and surrounding mountains. There are several grill pits next to the lake if you prefer to picnic. The lake has several shallow areas where children can wade in and splash around. It’s a lovely, easy day out with the kids. Read more…

4. Pfäffikersee

The Pfäffikersee is a beautiful lake near Zurich with a protected nature preserve along much of the lakeshore. We usually come here to visit Jucker Farm or bike around the lake. But we always bring our swimsuits along so we can jump in the lake afterwards. We’ve also camped at this lake and love swimming at sunset before crawling into our tents. Read more…

5. Ägerisee

The Ägerisee is a small lake southeast of Zug, nestled between beautiful rolling green hills. There are two nice official swimming areas, Strandbad Lido at the west side and Strandbad Oberägeri on the north side. However, we rode our bikes along the south side of the lake and found a nice picnic area, where we built a fire and spontaneously swam to cool off. What a special spot. Read more…

6. Lauerzersee

Lauerzsee is a lovely little lake just south of Lake Zug, overlooking Mt. Rigi. Many lakes have swimming areas, but this lake is often much warmer than other lakes, which makes it ideal for little kids that can get cold quickly. There’s a sandy shallow area for wading, bouncy floats and diving platforms, boats to rent, a big playground, blasio, and a big grassy area for sports separate from the sunbathing area. Plus it has a lovely setting, with green rolling hills and mountain peaks all around. Read more…

7. Walensee

Walensee is one my favorite Swiss lakes and an easy day trip from Zurich. After a short ferry ride and hike to the Seerenbachfälle, the tallest freefall waterfall in Switzerland, you can cool off in the lake at one of several swimming areas, all with great views. Read more…

Since most of the year, it’s not warm enough to swim outside, I’m also including a few indoor water parks.

8. Aquabasilea

(photo from Aquabasilea website)

This spa and indoor water park near Basel is a new favorite. The swimming complex is housed in a large beautiful open space with high ceiling and lots of windows. For the kids, there are lots of water slides, a wave pool, and two wild water canyons similar to Säntispark. For babies, there is a splash pool with sprays. For adults, there are warm relaxing pools with massage jets, a sauna, and pool side bar. Visit their website.

9. Schwarzwald Badeparadies

(photo from Badeparadise website)

Badeparadies Schwarzwald, a big waterslide park in Germany, not too far from Zurich. We like that it not only has big action slides for the big kids, but also a very nice collection of small slides for little kids, especially the under 6 crowd. They also have a wave pool and diving platform. I love that they allow picnics inside, which you can enjoy on comfortable lounge chairs by the wall of windows. On the way home, we always stop in the nearby tourist town of Titisee, to get big cream sundaes at an Eiscafe and enjoy a view of the lake. It’s a bit of a drive from Zurich, but as a special treat, it’s totally worth it! Read more…

10. Säntispark

(photo from Säntispark website)

Säntispark is a large amusement center near St. Gallen with a fantastic indoor water park. The main attraction is the Wildwassercanyon (shown above), which is a long water slide with a huge volume of water rushing through it so it feels like going down a river. Super fun! They also have a wave pool, regular water slides for both big and small, a heated outdoor relaxation pool with bubble jets, lazy river, and waterfalls. They’ve recently added a new wonderful toddler splash pool, with a tiny slide and sprays. Unlike other thermal baths, this Bäderwelt is completely designed for families, loud and fun. Read more…

Perhaps you’re wondering why Alpamare isn’t on the list? Alpamare has its charms but it’s more appropriate for older kids. I find that children 8 and under can have much more fun at the places listed above.

See also Indoor Swimming Pools, Waterslide Parks, and Thermal Baths with Kids.

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Special swimming spots in Switzerland, in lakes, rivers and indoor water parks. Great for all ages, but especially for families and kids.


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  1. Tanya, I wanted to post a comment directly on the Walensee post but couldn't find where to post. Anyway I wanted to thank you for the amazing, amazing work you do in documenting fabulous excursions. Your blog should be subsidized (maybe it is?) by the Swiss tourism bureau…
    We went to Walensee as per your directions and loved the ferry ride, the walk to the waterfall, and lunch in the little restaurant you mentioned. All the tips you gave were useful. And though I read your many warnings about the ferry schedule, I still screwed up because I didn't see there was another schedule for Sundays and holidays. Which means we arrived an hour early in Weesen, but then we rented a pedalo and that was wonderful too.
    Thanks Tanya!!!

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