The Reuss is Central Switzerland’s quintessential river. Starting in the Gotthard region, it steadily flows northward, through Lake Lucerne, and after 160 kiliometers it ultimately flows near Windisch into the Aare River.
At the foot of the Gotthard and Furka Pass several smaller rivers merge and form the Reuss River. At the beginning the river is turbulent: In the Middle Ages, the river impeded the development of the Gotthard Pass in the steep Schöllenen Gorge. Up to the point where it flows into the fjordlike Lake Uri, the Reuss shares the valley with the expressway and the railway line of the Gotthard transit route.
A cruise by paddle steamer from the Belle Epoque era across Lake Lucerne is well worth your while. All around the lake fabled mountains such as Rigi, Pilatus or Stanserhorn tempt you to stop for an excursion to the summit. Canoe rides on the lake are as popular as hiking tours, for example, on the “Swiss Path”. In Lucerne the Reuss resumes its course as a river. Lucerne is the economic and cultural center of Central Switzerland - and a popular shopping paradise for visitors to Switzerland from around the world.
Towards the end of its course, the Reuss becomes a canoe paradise: In the historic town of Bremgarten, in one of Central Switzerland’s largest natural landscapes, you start your paddling tour on the Reuss, that is practically untouched here. Your tour ends at Gebenstorf, shortly before the Reuss flows into the Aare.
- Reuss delta near Flüelen (Lake Uri) – Millions of tons of debris from the construction of the Gotthard Base Tunnel have created idyllic bathing islands.
- Chapel Bridge in Lucerne – the historic covered wooden bridge over the Reuss River is a world-famous photo opportunity.
- Switzerland’s Water Castle – this is the name of the area around Brugg/Turgi, where first the Reuss and then the Limmat flow into the Aare.