When you think of Switzerland, the first thing that usually comes to mind is snow, but the country is rarely associated with beaches. Switzerland has no sea, but its 175 lakes (not bad for such a small country) and their shores are surrounded by beautiful beaches with crystal-clear water, like the ones I’m showing you in this post.
This year’s extraordinary circumstances have ruined many of our travel plans to remote destinations. It is, however, the perfect opportunity to explore local places which we often dismiss as not exotic enough.
If you are staying in Switzerland this summer or if you plan to come here, here is a list of some of my favorite beaches. It is by no means exhaustive and focuses mainly on the beaches near Geneva where we usually go with the kids, but I guarantee you’ll find them amazing.
1. Gletterens beach, near Neuchâtel
Let’s start with the beach where I took the pictures for this post. It’s the farthest one from Geneva (about an hour and a half by car) but definitely worth the trip. Gletterens beach is located in the Grande Cariçaie, an area which includes eight Swiss nature reserves that extend along the southern shore of Lake Neuchâtel. It is host to about 800 plant species and 10,000 animal species.
As it is located in a natural reserve, it is very well preserved and you can combine your visit with a walk, watching exotic birds and enjoying nature.
To get there you have to walk for a while (10 minutes) on beautiful wooden pontoons which immediately reminded me of those in the Florida Everglades. You won’t find any bar, so remember to bring a picnic.
This is our favorite beach. Although tiny, it has everything you need for a perfect family day. Its small size means you don’t lose sight of the kids easily, which is a big advantage. It has grass, shade, some sand for the kids to play on, a beautiful pontoon with rocks and, last but not least, a beach bar, La Belle Célignote, with some great cocktails and a very friendly owner. You can also rent paddle boards.
3. Crans beach, Crans-près-Céligny
The beach is tiny but it has a huge garden, a volleyball area and a lakeside restaurant with a playground for the children. It’s ideal for eating while the kids play in the park before taking a dip.
4. Prévérenges beach, near Morges
This beach near Morges is truly beautiful: it is large and sandy and has a spectacular pontoon. It’s one of the beaches where I almost feel like I’m at the seaside. It also has a restaurant and you can rent water sports equipment. The sunset is impressive.
5. Hermance beach, near Geneva
This beautiful beach is situated on the left bank of Lake Geneva, almost on the border to France. It has everything you need to spend a great day: a garden with trees which provide shade for those who do not want to be in the sun all day, a playground right on the shore of the lake, a beach bar… Next to the beach, there is a camping site. You can even go scuba diving!
The sun sets right in front of it!
Depending on the time of the day, you have to pay an entrance fee.
6. Promenthoux beach, Prangins
It is small, there isn’t an awful lot of sand and you have to pay to get in, but the bar is open late and boasts a spectacular sunset. It is an ideal place to go for a late afternoon dip followed by dinner.
Another of my recent discoveries. This beach is hidden under a small hill, next to the Schilliger garden center, and the views are spectacular. It has little sand, but the lawn overlooking the lake is ideal for sunbathing.
There is also a restaurant next door and an area with tables to picnic.
This is a Geneva classic, but I didn’t want to omit it from my list because it can be surprisingly quiet at certain times of the day, with very few people around. That’s when it’s great! . A bar/restaurant by the lake serves food all day (something rare in Switzerland) and you can easily get there by bike from Geneva.
This beach on Lake Morat is another of our recent discoveries. It is located about an hour and a half from Geneva and is located inside the Avenches camping site. We particularly loved its very soft sand, its shallow waters (you can walk for many meters – ideal for children), the proper park and the access to all of the camping’s bars and restaurants even if you don’t stay there.
10. Colovray pool and beach, Nyon
There’s nothing nicer than a lakeside pool. In Colovray you will find an outdoor heated pool for children, a 50-metre pool, a playground with water jets for the little ones, a park, a beach-volley area, a ping-pong table, and much more…
In addition, they have family passes that are very reasonably priced.
I hope you will venture to explore the beaches on this list you haven’t yet explored and I would love you to share your secret beaches with me to complete the list.
I also hope you liked the summer photo session that I posted here. The kids are wearing Liewood swimsuits and Tiny Cottons caps, and playing with Liewood beach toys, all from Stadtlandkind.
Would have liked to see some pictures of the actual beaches…
I know!!!! I wish I had had time to do that! You have a link to every single beach website and you will be able to see them there!
Thank you Marta! Not just for the visual feast but also the details of some beaches that I had no knowledge of.
Thank you so much for your kind comment, Lynda!