The bent, almost banana-shaped Lake Zurich is framed on the southern side by the Albis and Zimmerberg hills and on the north by the Pfannenstiel chain of hills. The lake is bordered by the cantons of Zurich, St.Gallen and Schwyz. At the western end lies Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city.
Whereas, in the past, the lake was above all a route for traffic and transport, today it is a popular place for excursions, and homes along its shores are much sought after. Gently rocking waves, peace and quiet, relaxation and fine food: the best way to discover the Lake Zurich area is by taking a boat trip. Most of the places around the shore are served by a regular boat service all year round. The undisputed favourites with the public are the two historic paddle-steamers. From the “Gipfeli-Schiff” (early mornings) to the “Sonnenuntergangs-Schiff” (sunset sailings), there are all kinds of special excursions available. Musical trips and special tours on public holidays are all part of the programme offered by the Lake Zurich shipping company.
The famous “golden coast” extends along the northern side of the lake, from Zollikon to Feldmeilen. This sun-soaked region is famous for its low rates of taxation and high property prices, and is therefore the stretch of coast where you can seen the magnificent houses and villas of the upper echelons of society.
At the eastern end of the lake is the “rose town” of Rapperswil. In the public gardens here you’ll find over 15,000 rose bushes blooming, of more than 600 different varieties. The lakeside promenade with its Mediterranean charms, the picturesque Old Town and the medieval castle make this harbour town a popular place for excursions. For young visitors, Knie’s Children’s Zoo is high up on their wish-list.
Popular places to visit around Lake Zurich include the numerous swimming areas, the Alpamare in Pfäffikon – the largest covered water park in Europe – the sunny islands of Ufenau and Lützelau near Rapperswil, the wooden footbridge across the lake between Rapperswil and Hurden, the Baroque church in Lachen, the famous Lindt & Sprüngli chocolate factory in Kilchberg and, of course, the dynamic metropolis of Zurich, with all its many sights, the famous shopping mile of the Bahnhofsstrasse and its vast range of cultural amenities.