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Lake Lungern: A Beautiful Lake in Obwalden, Switzerland

(Last Updated On: October 26, 2023)

Lake Lungern is a serene and picturesque lake surrounded by forests, mountains, and the towns of Lungern, Kaiserstuhl, and Obsee. It is a natural lake and reservoir in the canton of Obwalden that receives its supply of water from the Melchaa, an outflow of Lake Melchsee of the mountain resort Melchsee-Frutt. The water of Lake Lungern then flows into the Sarneraa, a 10-kilometer-long tributary of Lake Lucerne.

If you’re interested in Lake Lungern and its activities, this article is for you.

Image of Lake Lungern from the Luzern-Interlaken Express
Image of Lake Lungern by TouringSwitzerland.com

Lake Lungern, with its turquoise color and scenic surroundings, is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Overview: Lake Lungern

Lake Lungern, also known as Lungerersee, Lungernsee, and Lungerensee in German, is named after the town on its southern shore, Lungern. It is a picturesque body of water approximately 689 meters above sea level.

Altitude (meters)689 meters
Surface Area2.01 km2
Maximum Depth68 meters
InflowsGrosse Melchaa, Kleine Melchaa
OutflowsSarner Aa
SettlementsLungern, Kaisterstuhl, Obsee
Overview of Lake Lungern

Lake Lungern is surrounded by lush forests and nearby mountains such as Wilerhorn (2,005 meters), Höch Gumme (2,205 meters), Chingstuel (2,118 meters), and Giswilerstock (1,825 meters).

Brünig Pass, the mountain pass that connects Bernese Oberland with Obwalden is only 7 kilometers away. It was likely formed as the glaciers receded after the last ice age.

In the southern banks of Lake Lungern lies Lungern, historic because it is the place where the Habsburgs solidified their alliance between the cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden. It is in this charming town that you will find an ancient church dating back to 1893.

Lake Lungern is famous for its stunning natural beauty, turquoise color, and tranquility. Furthermore, it was also featured in the popular television series Crash Landing on You, thus attracting this show’s fans.

Today, Lake Lungern is slowly gaining in popularity among visitors from all over the world. Those who come can enjoy a perfect backdrop during a relaxing day out, take a leisurely stroll around the lake, or go for a swim in the refreshing waters. It is an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


Things to Do in Lake Lungern

Lake Lungern is a popular tourist destination in Switzerland, offering a variety of things to do for visitors. Here is a list of all the various things to do in Lake Lungern, Switzerland:

1. Visit one of the Photo Spots

Image of Lake Lungern from the Photo Spot near Brünig Pass by TouringSwitzerland.com
Image of Lake Lungern from the Photo Spot near Brünig Pass by TouringSwitzerland.com

Lake Lungern is surrounded by breathtaking scenery, and the locals know the best photo spots for this. I highly recommend the Aussichtspunkt Chälrütirank near Brünig Pass. This stopover area is right after the Brünig Pass if you are coming from Meiringen. Here, you can stop the car quickly and take a picture. Signs will be present on the road ahead of the shoulder, so please be attentive to them. From the panoramic photo spot, you can see the lake, Pilatus, and Lopper.

Lungern offers numerous other photo spots, including locations like Chäppeli, Tschorren, and the vicinity of Kaiserstuhl. The views from the water tower in Kaiserstuhl are among the best views of Lake Lungern. However, capturing stunning pictures around the lake is generally effortless due to its picturesque nature.


2. Experience the Refreshing Waters of Lake Lungern

Image of Seepark Lungern by TouringSwitzerland.com

Lake Lungern is a fantastic place for swimming and paddleboarding. Seepark Lungern (Loppstrasse 16, 6078 Lungern) is a lido with a beach, springboards, a diving platform, a water trampoline, and a slide. You may also choose to rent pedalos and Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Boards here. The lido also has dressing rooms, a playground, and a minigolf area on the premises.

The lido is open when the weather permits, typically between mid-June and mid-September.

Alternatively, you may also head over to Seebad Bürglen (Bürglenstrasse 42, 6078 Lungern) near Kaiserstuhl. It is a simple seaside lido that you can visit for free.


3. Cast Your Line and Fish in Lake Lungern

Image of Lake Lungern by TouringSwitzerland.com

Fishing is another popular activity in the Fisherman’s Paradise of Lake Lungern, with the lake being home to a variety of fish species, including rainbow trout, whitefish, egli, and pike.

Fishing in Lake Lungern is permitted exclusively with a SANA fishing license or in the company of someone who possesses one.

To fish in Lake Lungern, you have to follow certain rules about how to catch the fish, record statistics, and store it afterward. This ensures that those who fish in the lake know how to handle fish correctly and ethically while fishing.

You have the option to rent a boat from Fisherman’s Paradise for one hour, half a day, or the entire day and a rental deposit will be necessary. Please note that the boat rental is unavailable from December until Christmas.


5. Ride the GoldenPass Train

Image of Lake Lungern from the Luzern-Interlaken Express by TouringSwitzerland.com

The Brünig railway line takes you from Interlaken to Lucerne or the other way around. This is a railway line that links Interlaken with Lucerne.

The train route runs through Brienz, Meiringen, Brünig-Hasliberg, Lungern, Kaiserstuhl OW, Giswil, Sachseln, and Sarnen, and Lucerne. As such, you can choose to ride it all the way to Lucerne or to Interlaken from Lungern.


6. Hike around Lake Lungern

Image of the Swiss Countryside near Lungern by TouringSwitzerland.com

The area around Lake Lungern is ideal for hiking and biking. There are numerous trails around the lake, and most of these are easy walks and moderate paths.

Alternatively, you can go for more challenging hikes up the nearby mountains to enjoy the pleasant views from above.

Here are some easy and moderate hiking trails around Lake Lungern:

Hiking TrailDistance (kilometers)Description
Lake Lungern Circular Trail9.8 kmCircular tour around Lake Lungern from Lungern or Kaiserstuhl.
Dundelsbach Trail3.8 kmTake the cable car from Lungern to Turren. From Turren, take the path towards the direction of Lungern while enjoying views of Lake Lungern and the Alps.
Nature Trail Lungern2.5 kmAn archeology-themed trail on the old Brünig mule track starting from Obsee.
Old Brünig Mule Track3.7 kmA panorama trail passes by the old Roman street and the small chapel.
Chapel Trail5.9 kmA panorama trail that passes by the old Roman street and the small chapel.
Fluonalp4.6 kmAn easily walkable route in Fluonalp, where they have an alpine cheese dairy. From here, you will see Lake Lungern, Lake Sarnen, and Lake Alpnach.

7. Bike around Lake Lungern

Lake Lungern also offers a multitude of biking trails, catering to various skill levels and preferences. The bike paths offer stunning vistas of the beautiful lake and surrounding meadows. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or riding with younger children, you will find a biking trail around Lake Lungern that will suit you.

For those seeking a leisurely ride, cycling around the lake is a good option, taking approximately one hour to complete. Along this scenic route, you’ll be treated to mesmerizing views of the tranquil lake, verdant meadows, and the grandeur of the surrounding mountains. It’s a perfect way to soak in the natural beauty that defines Lake Lungern.

For those craving more adventure, the trails leading to Turren and the routes encircling Fluonalp provide exciting opportunities. These paths wind through a more diverse landscape, offering glimpses of the lake below while being surrounded by the Alps.


8. Head Towards Turren

Image of Hiking Trails, Turren from wikimedia

The Lungen-Turren cable car transports you from the charming village of Lungern to the enchanting heights of Turren, nestled at an elevation of 1,532 meters above sea level. Turren is truly a hidden gem, perfect for those seeking a tranquil haven in the heart of Switzerland.

During the summer months, you’ll discover an abundance of hiking and biking trails, offering endless opportunities to immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural surroundings. In the winter season, you can embrace the snow-covered landscape through activities like snowshoeing and ski touring, making it a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

From Turren, you can head over to Alp Breitenfeld in one hour, Brünig Pass in 3 hours, or to Brienzer Rothorn in four hours. There is also a circular panoramic trail from Turren to Dundelalp, Dundelegg, Mändli, Biet, and Schönbuel that you can complete in 3.5 hours.

At the mountain station, a welcoming guest house awaits, complete with a restaurant that boasts panoramic views of the majestic Bernese Oberland Alps. It’s a place where you can savor not only delicious cuisine but also the awe-inspiring beauty of the Swiss landscape.


9. Get to Know Lungern Better with the AudioTour

Image of the Audio Guide about Lungern by TouringSwitzerland.com

You can download an Audio Guide that provides information about Lungern, including details about the village chapel, Kaiserstuhl, and Dundelsbach. It offers diverse ways to explore Lungern based on your fitness level and interests. Plus, it’s available in three languages: German, French, and English.

This app is absolutely free and can be easily obtained by following the provided link: https://www.obwalden-tourismus.ch/de/nuetzliches/news/audiotour-lungern/.


Best Time to Visit Lake Lungern

The best time to visit Lake Lungern is during the summer months, from June to September when the weather is warm, the days are long, and the water is not too cold.

Lake Lungern is best visited during the summer months, as it typically boasts higher water levels. In winter, water is utilized for electricity generation, resulting in reduced water levels. Nonetheless, visitors can also enjoy the lake’s beauty during the winter months, when the surrounding mountains are covered in snow.


How to Get to Lake Lungern

Lake Lungern is located in the heart of Switzerland, easily accessible from Meiringen, Interlaken, and Lucerne, by both public and private transportation.

How to Get to Lake Lungern by Train

Image of Luzern-Interlaken Express by TouringSwitzerland.com
  • You can take the Luzern-Interlaken Express train from Meiringen to Lungern (22 minutes) or from Interlaken to Lungern (59 minutes).
  • You can take the Luzern-Interlaken Express train from Lucerne to Lungern (44 minutes).
  • You can go from Zurich to Lungern via Lucerne (1 hour 40 minutes).

How to Get to Lake Lungern by Car

There are several parking lots around Lake Lungern. These are:

  • Near the Lungern-Turren Cable Car – Hinterseestrasse, 6078 Lungern
  • Near Camping Obsee – Obseestrasse, 6078 Lungern
  • Near Seepark Badi – Loppstrasse, 6078 Lungern
  • Near the Cemetery – Gräbliweg, 6078 Lungern
  • Near Kaiserstuhl Train Station

Final Thoughts: Lake Lungern

Image of Lake Lungern by TouringSwitzerland.com

Lake Lungern, nestled along the picturesque Luzern-Interlaken Express train route, is a true gem. Its turquoise waters paint a stunning natural portrait that’s sure to captivate you.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Lake Lungern offers a plethora of hiking trails and access to the nearby Alps, providing ample opportunities for adventure. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a tranquil escape away from bustling tourist hubs like Lucerne or Interlaken, Lake Lungern is an excellent choice. Its serene surroundings offer a peaceful retreat.

Don’t miss the chance to visit this breathtaking destination, especially if you find yourself in the vicinity. Summer is the ideal time to experience it fully, with the bonus of being able to take a refreshing swim in its inviting waters.


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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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