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.

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What makes Switzerland’s Alpine pasture season worthy of global recognition?

Switzerland's Alpine pasture season has been included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. But what makes it so special?

What makes Switzerland’s Alpine pasture season worthy of global recognition?

Why are Swiss Alpine pastures in the news?

On Wednesday, UNESCO announced it had inscribed 45 elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its annual session held in Kasane (Republic of Botswana).

The list comprises cultural “practices and expressions [that] help demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance.” 

Among this year’s new elements were two Swiss entries, one of which is the country’s popular Alpine pasture season.

What is Switzerland’s Alpine pasture season?

As an exemplary tradition of the Swiss mountain areas, the Alpine pasture season combines traditional skills, customs and rituals related to Alpine farming in Switzerland.

The Alpine pasture season takes place from around May to October in Switzerland when various cattle, sheep and goats are relocated to high-altitude pastures (between 600 metres and 2900 metres) to graze on fresh forage and herbs that thrive in the summer months.

The Alpine farmers, or Alpacists, then look after the livestock and their surroundings, produce different dairy products, and even invite visitors to observe the animals and farming practices.

“The practice contributes to the preservation of natural landscapes and creates economic and social ties between the local populations and the Alpine farmers. It has given rise to the knowledge and skills needed to maintain the sites, as well as to a variety of social and religious practices such as rituals, prayers and blessings, traditional clothing, livestock competitions and local festivities,” UNESCO writes.

Some of these practices also include “traditional clothing, livestock competitions and local festivals” like the Alpine cattle ascent (inalpe) and the Alpine cattle descent (désalpe) where – depending on the region – the most beautiful cow of the herd is crowned.

Festivals to celebrate the herd animals heading to their summer pastures play a vital role for farmers and locals as they highlight craft practices that are otherwise rarely observed in Switzerland.

“The knowledge, skills, and customs of the Alpine pasture season, including farming and cheesemaking, are often transmitted informally, within families and their seasonal employees or among members of Alpine societies and cooperatives. They are also transmitted through regional training centres, cultural events and tourism,” UNESCO says.

READ MORE: Why are cows so important in Switzerland?

UNESCO also recognises Swiss irrigation technology

Switzerland’s cattle weren’t the only ones to join UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity this year.

Its centuries-old irrigation technology from Bern and Lucerne also made the cut.

The multinational agricultural technology was proposed for inclusion on the UNESCO list by Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Germany, zentralplus reported.

According to UNESCO, traditional irrigation involves temporarily digging small ditches and channels to distribute water from as springs, rivers, streams, and glaciers to meadows.

This sustainable form of water supply, which serves to cultivate dry areas, also has a positive effect on biodiversity.

In Switzerland, this technology is celebrated with various social gatherings and other festivities to mark the start and ending of the water season.

UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity also includes six other Swiss entries.

These include the Craftsmanship of mechanical watchmaking and art mechanics (2020), the Holy Week processions in Mendrisio (2019), Alpinism (2019), the Avalanche risk management (2018), Art of dry stone walling, knowledge and techniques (2018), the Basel Carnival (2017), and the Winegrowers’ Festival in Vevey (2016).

Since 2020, the craft techniques and customary practices of cathedral workshops, or Bauhütten, in Europe, know-how, transmission, development of knowledge and innovation – which include Switzerland – also joined UNESCO’s Register of Good Safeguarding Practices and falls within the agency’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.

READ MORE: The 13 world heritage sites in Switzerland you need to see