Cooling and refreshing

8 lakes in which to take a cooling dip amidst a mountain panorama

Summer in Valais means long days of sunshine, memorable hikes and strolls through historic old towns. If you start feeling hot, there’s only one thing to do: go for a dip.

Domaine des Iles


This paradise for bathers is situated in the western part of the cantonal capital Sion, in an area known as Domaine de la Bourgeoisie.

What's there:
A man-made lake whose waters are a shimmering turquoise. Ideal for bathing. Restaurant with terrace, a fishing pond and a volleyball court.

Getting there:
By local bus, postbus (Nendaz line), on foot or by bike.

lake, mountains, valais, outdoor

Le Bouveret

Le Bouveret
Valais even has its own harbour and lake access! The Rive-Bleue beach in Le Bouveret is the ideal spot for bathing in one of Europe’s largest lakes.

What's there:
Lido with restaurant, activities and sandy beach. Children will love the nearby Aquaparc!

Getting there:
Roughly 10 minutes on foot from Le Bouveret station.

mountain lake, outdoor, valais, nature lover

A lake inside a cave

St. Léonard 
The temperature in the St. Léonard grotto is a constant 15 degrees throughout the year. You can’t swim here but it’s a nice way to cool down – and you can dip your hand in the water. With a length of 300m, this is the largest underground lake in Europe.

What's there:
30-minute boat ride during which multilingual guides explain all sorts of fascinating details about the cave. 

Getting there: 
By car or bus number 411 from Sion station.

Ice-cold glacial lake

The Ferpècle Glacier marks the southern end of Val d’Hérens. Like the other glaciers, it has been retreating more and more each year, creating this small lake at the foot of the gigantic body of ice.

What's there:
Ice beautifully reflected in the water. Wonderful and tranquil natural landscape.

Getting there:
The area can only be reached in summer on foot from Salay.

Gletschersee, Berge, Wallis, Outdoor

Lac du Louché

Vallon de Réchy 
The mountain lake lies above Vercorin, at a point where the Vallon de Réchy opens out into a wide expanse.

What's there: 
Peace and quiet in an untamed, austere landscape above the tree line. The lake is an inviting way to cool down during a hike.

By cable car to Crêt du Midi, then hike in the direction of L’Ar du Tsan. The view opens out here, revealing Lac du Louché.

Montain lake, Valais, outdoor

The Japanese Garden

Small streams that meander their way through the scenery, surrounded by flower-strewn mountain meadows: that’s the “Japanese Garden” at Nendaz. Zen in the Valais Alps.

What's there:
Lots of water-based fun for young and old. Cool feet at the end of the hike and a wonderful picnic in the great outdoors.

Getting there:
This uniquely beautiful landscape – and the peace it brings – can only be reached on foot. It is situated at the far end of the Tortin valley, on a glacier moraine.

The Rhône and the forest

Pfyn-Finges forest
This nature park extends all the way from Leuk to Sierre. The Pfyn-Finges forest is its best-known conservation area. You’re not allowed to bathe in the ponds there, but it’s possible to cool down by the Rhône.

What's there:
Kilometre after kilometre of well-maintained hiking paths; nature all around. The forest is also where the Bhutan Bridge (suspension bridge) is to be found.

Getting there:
It’s just a short hop from Sierre station to the Rhône and the Pfyn-Finges forest.

Lake Biotope natural park Pfyn Finges, Salgesch, Valais


There is no other lake in which the Matterhorn is better reflected. Pictures of the Stellisee above Zermatt and the most-famous of mountains have been beamed around the world.

What's there:
The most spectacular sunsets, green meadows dotted with splashes of white cotton grass and the wonderful reflections in the lake.

Getting there:
By cable car via Sunnegga to Blauherd, from where the Stellisee can be reached in around 20 minutes on foot.

Text: Monique Ryser

mountain lake, Valais, outdoor, nature