See six of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the world
Prepare for the sensational – to the power of six!
Would you like to visit a truly large lake or even a sea? Well, you're out of luck there when it comes to the Valais. But, to make up for that, we can offer you lots of truly beautiful mountain lakes alongside the route taken by the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn. Each lake is unique in its own special way. Some will impress with their magnificent location, others by the sporting activities that they offer. Experience them at first hand and discover six of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the world: the Tomasee, Oberalpsee, Geschinersee, Bettmersee, Schalisee and the Riffelsee.
The Tomasee (Lake Toma)
A rewarding climb
In Romansh, it is known as the "Lai da Tuma" and considered to be the source of the Rhine. You will firstly need to earn the vista which the Tomasee affords, since reaching the lake will take some real effort on your behalf: it will take you about a two-hour hike to reach the lake. Having conquered the steep climb, the lake invites you cool off with a refreshing dip. But please note: this is only for the hardiest of swimmers, since the temperatures of the Lai da Tuma don't climb above ten degrees Celsius – even in summer.
How to get there: Travel to the Oberalp Pass with the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn after which a steep climb of around 500 metres will take you to the Tomasee. Time required, around two hours.
Our recommendation: The lake is especially beautiful in August. Because that's when the cotton grass all around the Tomasee starts to flower, transforming the surrounding fields into a white carpet.
Hiking, fishing, relaxation
It is frequently admired when it is passed by: the Oberalpsee. However, making the effort to alight from the train to see the lake will always be worthwhile. A lakeside stroll offers you relaxation and a stunning vista, and you can even fish in the lake between June and September. A fishing permit for this can be obtained directly from the Piz Calmot restaurant, right next to the Oberalpsee. May you have bountiful trout bites – happy fishing!
How to get there: Take the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn to the Oberalp Pass, then alight and you will already find yourself at the eastern end of the lake.
Our recommendation: In addition to obtaining a fishing permit, you can also hire fishing equipment at the lake.
The swimming lake in the Goms region
The Geschinersee is something quite special. Up until the year 2000, this lake didn't exist at all. But within the space of three years it came into being and managed to solve four problems all at once: 1. A vital dam was constructed from the excavated material. 2. An almost forgotten marsh was rediscovered. 2. A sizeable chunk of the former military airfield was rebuilt. 4. A swimming lake that had long been sought after in the Goms finally came into being.
How to get there: Take the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn to Geschinen station. You will already be able to see the lake from the train station.
Our recommendation: Try stand-up paddling (from early June to early September).
A particularly idyllic spot
The Bettmersee invites you to simply linger and stroll. This is a beautiful spot that is just a short distance from the village centre of Bettmeralp. Here, you can not only picnic and walk around the lake at your leisure, but you can also enjoy a refreshing dip in the lake, paddle or simply glide across the lake in either a boat or on a stand-up surfboard, or simply cast your fishing rod and try your luck at fishing (from 9 June – 20 October 2018).
Arrival: Take the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn to the Betten valley station, then transfer to the cable car. The cable car journey from Betten to the Bettmeralp only takes around 10 minutes. Having arrived at the Bettmeralp, a further 10-15 minute walk will then take you to Bettmersee.
Our recommendation: The path leading to and around the lake is suitable for pushchairs, making the lake a perfect daytrip destination for families.
A place to linger
It's the largest lake in the Nikolai valley: the Schalisee, in the vicinity of Täsch. And best of all, the lake isn't only sizeable, it also lends itself to being used in all manner of ways. Apart from all the activities that can be undertaken around the lake like hiking, walking, picnicking and simply having fun, the Schalisee is also perfect for swimming, and even water skiing and wakeboarding.
How to get there: Simply take the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn to Täsch station. Having alighted, head in the direction of Camping Alphubel where you will firstly need to cross the tracks of the MGBahn and then the bridge that passes over the Vispa river. Next, you will need to walk in the direction of the train station again. Follow the beautiful path for about 15 minutes, after which you will be able to see the Schalisee on your left.
Our recommendation: This lake is the ideal getaway for families and water sports enthusiasts.
A landscape photo subject that will take your breath away
When conditions are perfectly calm and the surface of the Riffelsee is completely glassy, a magical image forms: the majestic Matterhorn will be reflected in the lake, making the lake, the Matterhorn and its surroundings meld into an absolutely stunning photo subject. Visitors who are particularly lucky will also encounter rare alpine flowers like the Edelweiss and black Wormwood (Artemisia genipi).
How to get there: Travel from Zermatt to Rotenboden station with the Gornergrat Bahn. From there, it is just under a 10 minute walk to reach the Riffelsee.
Our recommendation: Visit the Riffelsee early in the morning or late in the evening. That's when weather conditions will usually be calm and give you the perfect conditions in which to admire and photograph the reflection of the Matterhorn.