Summer vacation. Family time. Outdoor fun… With clear blue skies, warm days, beautiful weather, relaxed Covid-related restrictions with over 45% percent of the population in Switzerland vaccinated, we look forward to a safer 2021 summer. And a healthy dose of fitness.

Switzerland boasts of mountains to scale and lakes to plunge into. What better retreat in summer than walks and bicycling around the lake and hiking in the mountains.

According to,, there are 1500 lakes in Switzerland. Lake Geneva -the largest lake in the country, is shared with France. Lake Neuchatel is the largest lake completely within the Swiss territory.


These clear lakes, dotting the Swiss landscape, add to the natural beauty of this country, and are the reservoir of 6% of freshwater in Europe. The quality of water is so good that 40% of water reaches the consumers without any treatment. All lakes are clean and well maintained. You can swim at any time of the year and water sports are extremely popular.

It’s common to see parasailers gliding above the blue waters, jet boats whizzing on the gentle waves; the more relaxed water lovers can be found swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding in all lakes across Switzerland.


Every lake has ‘Badis’ (public bathing areas) – many are free, and many have a small fee to access the area. You can pay for a single entry and enjoy the place for the day. Most Badis in Zurich charge CHF 6-8 for a day. Alternatively, you can choose multiple entry tickets or season passes to visit the same Badi over and over again. These are quite reasonably priced and perfect for a family day out.


According to, , there are 98 outdoor Schwimmbads in the Canton of Zurich alone. No matter where you are in Zurich, you can never be far from a Badi or a lake.

  • Some of the popular outdoor Badis along Zurich Lake are:
    Seebad Enge
    Strandbad Mythenquai
    Horn Richterswil
    Kilchberg Badi
    Seebad Utoquai
    Strandbad Tiefenbrunnen

All Badis are well equipped with facilities like changing rooms, kids’ pool. Most of them also have diving planks, restaurants, temperature-controlled outdoor swimming pools, and slides opening in the lake.

Swimming is popular and part of life , so most schools have swimming lessons as part of the school curriculum. In primary schools, children have weekly swimming lessons where they start with the basic crab and frog levels to get comfortable in the water, and then, over a couple of years, they can reach proficiency levels of polar bears, dolphins, and sharks. In some schools, they hone their skills in every style of swimming, brushing every stroke and moving to finesse.
Those interested can also do specialized courses for sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, wakeboarding, wake surfing, and other water sports on a private basis.

During vacations many sports, academic camps are organized all over the country. There are private and group swimming lessons for kids and adults. There are even specialized swimming camps for competitive swimmers. There swimmers master their skills, technique and work on improving their timings for competitions.

Kids in Switzerland have some special advantages. During the summer vacation, they can opt for a ‘Ferienpass’ for the Badis from any ZVV office for CHF 25. The pass is valid through the summer vacation. Find more information on:


For some, swimming is like a life skill that the Swiss are very passionate about. Many events are organized through summer to enjoy life around water. The Lake Zurich Marathon Swim, for instance, is organized in August every year. It is the world’s longest swimming ‘lake marathon’ and participants are required to swim 26 .4 km from Rapperswil to Zurich. Athletes can participate in solo and relay swimming competitions. It is organized by Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team and it is one of the most popular open water swims in the world.
Another popular swimming event is the “Lake Zurich Crossing”, or ‘Seeüberquerung’, where, as the name suggests, swimmers cross the lake from one side to the other. In 2019 about 9000 swimmers participated, crossing the distance of 1,500 meters between Mythenquai and Tiefenbrunnen.

To know more about such events, you can explore the swiss sports website.


And if you are not a swimmer, a boat ride on the lake is always a wonderful way to spend your day outdoors.

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