8 of Switzerland’s best sandy beaches to visit this summer

If you’re looking for summer, sun, and sandy beaches this summer, you don’t need to travel abroad. Here are 8 of the best sandy beaches in Switzerland, from Geneva to Lucerne.

8 of Switzerland's best sandy beaches to visit this summer
Are these the best sandy beaches in Switzerland?(Photo by GABRIEL MONNET / AFP)

Plage des Eaux-Vives

If you live in the Geneva area, chances are you’re already a Plage des Eaux-Vives regular.

After being made partially accessible to the public in 2019, the 400-metres-long public beach opened to the public fully on August 22nd 2020.

The beach offers swimmers a spectacular view over Geneva’s harbour and being situated in the heart of the city, is perfect for those looking for a quick lunchtime dip.

The resort can accommodate between 6,000 and 8,000 people and includes a two-hectare park adjoining a nature area with a magnificent water garden.

The good news is that access to the beach is free, however, swimmers should note that swimming is unsupervised.

READ MORE: How to keep safe when swimming in Switzerland’s lakes and rivers

Strandbad Biel

Open from mid-May to early September, Biel’s beach resort offers a springboard, a playground, table tennis, beach volleyball courts, a water park and a play area for children as well as a large lawn for lounging.  for only 5 Swiss francs a day.

The water park is open every day (June 1st to August 31st) from 2 pm and closes one hour before the resort’s closing time. Children under the age of ten may only use the water park when accompanied by an adult supervisor.

Access to the beach resort costs 5 francs for adults, 4 francs for students and the elderly, and 2.50 francs for children aged 7 to 15 years.

Note that in bad weather, the resort can close early so always check the current opening times before travelling.

Gäsi Sandstrand

Located on the edge of a forest in eastern Switzerland, the Gäsi beach resort is ideal for swimmers looking for a quieter getaway.

The public resort is surrounded by a protected forest which makes for a fun exploration activity with kids, and includes a beach volleyball field and playground area.

While access is free and it is advised that you arrive by bicycle, paid parking spaces are also available for those who might be bringing along picnic tables, chairs, or other equipment.

Lido Lugano

First opening doors in 1928, its sandy beach, (heated) swimming pools of various shapes and sizes, and generous green spaces make the Lido Lugano an ideal destination for the whole family.

Further to the staple Swiss beach resort features like playground, tennis table and beach volleyball court, the resort also includes a football field and free Wi-Fi throughout the lido area.

This year, Lugano’s lido is open from May 1st until September 17th (9am – 7pm/7.30pm) and charges adults 10 francs for a ticket. Children aged 3 to 13 years pay just 3 francs, while those older (up to the age of 20) pay 6 francs to use the facilities.


If you’re looking for gently shelving beaches, fine sand, and turquoise water, look no further than the beaches of Yvonand. This is where you’ll truly feel like you’re bathing at the seaside.

Thanks to Lake Neuchâtel’s low current the resort is ideal for families with children who wish to unwind for the day completely free of charge.

In addition to swimming in the lake, water rats can also enjoy their day pedal boating, windsurfing, paddle boarding, kite surfing, sailing, or renting a water bike or motorboat.

All of Yvonand’s beaches are within walking distance from the main train station.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Switzerland’s outdoor pool culture

Lido Ascona

Situated on the shores of Lake Maggiore, Lido Ascona is one of Switzerland’s longest and most beautiful beach resorts.

While the lido is ideal for families looking to enjoy the rows of relaxing sunbeds and restaurants, the sports on offer are where the resort really shines.

Gym rats can choose from several sporty activities, such as five-a-side football and table tennis to beach volleyball, bocce, and numerous water sports, while those wishing to take it easy can practice yoga and Pilates, or enjoy a relaxing on-site massage or spa treatment.

Admission is free for residents of Ascona provided they have their VivoAscona card on hand.

If you are visiting Lido Ascona from elsewhere and have booked an overnight stay in a hotel, youth hostel or campsite, you will be eligible for a reduced entry fee thanks to the Ticino ticket.

General admission for adults is 9 francs and for children 6 francs.

Strandbad Rive-Bleue

The Rive-Bleue resort lies in the idyllic Valais village of Le Bouveret on Lake Geneva and has opened its doors to visitors for free since 2022.

At the popular beach resort swimmers can enjoy sandy beaches with shallow access to Lake Geneva and rent various sports equipment, such as surfboards and pedal boats, at the on-site water sports centre.

The beach resort does not employ a lifeguard, so caution is advised when swimming.

Lido Luzern

Lucerne’s oldest and biggest lido offers mesmerising views of the Pilatus, Stanserhorn, and Bürgenstock mountains and the city of Lucerne.

While the resort and its 300-metre sandy beach can get understandably busy on the hotter days, the lido has plenty of shady lawn areas and quiet spots for swimmers hoping to sit back and take in the scenery.

If you fancy dropping by on a cooler day to avoid the masses, then you’re welcome to swim in the (heated) 25-metre pool or play a round of beach volleyball on one of the lido’s six pitches.

Adults pay 8 francs for entry to the lido from Monday to Friday, and 10 francs on the weekend days. Children younger than six can enter for free.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


Wolves to lynx: Where in Switzerland could you come across predators?

Switzerland’s natural spaces are truly breathtaking and are one reason the country is considered a world-class destination for outdoor sports. It is, however, a space shared with a wide variety of what we consider predator species. 

Wolves to lynx: Where in Switzerland could you come across predators?

Let’s be clear: The odds of being threatened, much less encountering a wild animal in Switzerland are incredibly slight. 

That said, it’s always good to know where large carnivore species can be found across the country.

This picture is made much clearer with the publication this week of the Kora Foundation for Predator Ecology and Wildlife Management‘s annual report, which describes the distribution and abundance of several types of predator.


Much like many European countries, native species of wolf – in particular the dominant grey wolf species – became virtually extinct in Switzerland in the early twentieth century.

This was due to increased clearance of their native habitats, as well as culls to protect livestock.

The last known wolf killed for over a century in Switzerland was shot at Irigna in the canton of Ticino in 1871.

Switzerland’s proximity to Italy would lead to a revival in their fortunes. After grey wolves received protection from the Italian government in 1971, their numbers were able to increase on the far side of the Alps. 

After a few scattered sightings of single grey wolves throughout the mid-twentieth century, wolves began to cross the Alps in pack groups into Switzerland in the mid-nineties – and they were placed under protection. 

In 2023, evidence of 313 wolves in Switzerland was found, with 232 of the samples originating from live animals. 122 wolf pups have been observed. 

Genetic testing in the same year has revealed that there are approximately 37 wolf packs distributed across Switzerland, with by far the largest concentrations to be found in the cantons of Valais, Ticino Graubünden and St Gallen. 

This resurgence of wolves has been met with some resistance, however. Farmers have long campaigned to protect livestock, although a proposed recent cull was abandoned due to concerns over its scope.

Hikers heading into these regions needn’t fear, however. The Kora Foundation suggests that wolves are timid creatures who generally attempt to avoid human contact. In fact, the last fatality caused by a wolf anywhere in Europe occurred in Spain over fifty years ago. 

READ MORE: How volunteers are scaling the Swiss Alps to chase wolves away from livestock


The population of lynx in Switzerland – a member of the wildcat family – have also seen growth over the same period that wolves reemerged.

Like wolves, the destruction of lynx habitats and the elimination of several of their favoured prey species meant that the last lynx spotted for several decades was documented at the Simplon Pass in 1904. 

In the 1970s, as environmental concerns began to inform government policy, an attempt to restore lynx populations was undertaken. 

In 1971 a breeding pair of lynx was taken from the Carpathian mountains and released into the wild in the canton of Obwalden, with subsequent releases in Jura. 

The most recent data from 2019 indicates that there are approximately 250 lynx currently living in Switzerland, with the highest concentrations in Vaud, Jura, Bern, Solothurn, and Aargau. Other significant populations can be found in Bern, Lucerne, Schwyz, and Graubünden.

The Kora Foundation notes that lynx present no danger to humans, only rarely attacking livestock.

READ MORE: Swiss and Italians butt heads over border bears


Finally, some may find it comforting to know that there is almost zero chance of encountering a bear on their next Swiss hike. 

After the last brown bear in Switzerland was killed in Graubünden in 1904, there have been few sightings over the next century, with none until 2005. No native populations have been detected.

To this day, bears are usually only observed migrating to and from Switzerland through the canton of Grisons, with none establishing a permanent presence for breeding.

Occasionally, single individuals do wander further. There have been reports of sightings over the years in the cantons of Bern, Grisons, Lucerne, Nidwald, Obwald, Schwyz, Ticino, Uri, and Valais. 

While the Kora Foundation states that brown bears are particularly drawn to forage near human settlements, the sheer scarcity of bear sightings annually suggests that those enjoying the Swiss outdoors have no cause to worry. 

And what about Golden Jackals?

The golden jackal, a wolf-like carnivore, is incredibly rare in Switzerland. There have only been confirmed sightings in the cantons of Zurich and Graubünden.