Lakes, beaches, swimming pools and rivers. Water in all its forms in the canton of Vaud

Spend relaxing moments in water, either in verdant nature or in the city

Recreational sports, a day at the beach basking in the sun, hiking in our gorges, relaxing in hot thermal waters, taking a boat cruise on Lake Geneva… The canton of Vaud abounds with possibilities for everyone looking for fun or recharging their batteries in water. There’s something to suit all tastes and moods in breathtakingly beautiful natural landscapes, be it in the heart of our cities or in modern wellness facilities. Apart from the must-visit places that have made the region’s renown, there are many highly appreciated sites off the beaten track throughout the canton. Our selection of lovely water sites in the plain and the mountains is refreshingly appealing!

a respectful bathing

Infographie Activités aquatiques

Water, the source of life, provides an unparalleled sense of calm and freedom. It is an integral part of the multiple atmospheres on offer in the canton of Vaud as it washes away everyday worries. There’s nothing like it! Spending energy, having fun, taking a stroll, meeting others, tasting specialties: everything is possible under the Vaudois sun at one of the many recreational water facilities.

a respectful bathing

Infographie Activités aquatiques

An oasis of cool in the heart of our cities

Several Vaudois towns draw their charm from the lakes surrounding them. Lake Geneva, Europe’s largest lake, is a major source of freshness and recreational activities. On sunny days, Lausanne city dwellers meet for an aperitif in the refreshment bar at the jetty, from where you can also take a dip. In Vevey, on the Vaudois Riviera, gourmets flock to Bains Payes to enjoy a glass of local wine and a few tapas against the stunning background of the Lavaux UNESCO vineyards. The rounded hills of La Côte and the Alps enhance the beach of Nyon with an equally pleasant setting. At the beach of Prévérenges, there’s even sand to be had in the lofty shade of poplars. Yvonand near Lake Neuchâtel also boasts sandy beaches and offers an immediate change of scenery.

Gorges de l'Orbe

The most beautiful rivers

The canton of Vaud boasts beautiful rivers and other bathing areas that are easily accessible with the family, friends or on your own. In Vuiteboeuf, follow the rapids of the Arnon river and cool down in the Covatannaz Gorges featuring spectacular cliffs. In Croy-Romainmôtier, discover the Dard waterfall with its impressive height of 19 m. The nearby Tine de Care is just as magical. In this grandiose rocky cirque, you can have a swim in the waters of the Venoge and Veyron rivers that join here. In Vallorbe-Ballaigues, the gorgeous staircase waterfall of Saut du Day offers the idyllic setting of a natural beach that is appreciated by all. And the wild beauty of the Chauderon Gorges above Montreux could even make you forget that you're on the Riviera.

Beaches and invigorating activities in the Jura

It may seem strange, but Vallée de Joux is a must-visit region in terms of recreational water activities. Indeed, the region’s undisputed natural emblem is Lake Joux, the largest expanse of water in the entire Jura massif. Lake Brenet, another water gem in Vallée de Joux, is slightly less well-known but is just as popular with regulars. In summer, vacationers enjoy the much appreciated cool it offers. Beaches for swimming and relaxing, windsurfing, stand-up paddling, water skiing, pedal boating, canoeing, kayaking or even kite surfing: You're spoilt for choice here! As old as the world itself and back in favour: fishing can be practiced on lakeshores and riverbanks. A permit issued by the Tourist Board amongst others is the only prerequisite.

Lac Lioson - summer - Les Mosses

How good it feels to be in the mountains near an expanse of water

The mountains featuring privileged river sites and high-altitude lakes are an inexhaustible source of well-being. Natural or artificial, they offer a paradise of cool in the summer heat. Several legends surround the mystical atmosphere of their shimmering water. As a destination of bucolic hikes, the mountain lakes also provide a range of invigorating leisure activities. Stand-up paddling, fishing, canoeing, swimming or simply relaxing: There’s something to suit everyone’s taste. Some rivers tempt the most adventurous to have a go at the exhilarating challenge of canyoning. This adrenaline-packed sport in the water of a river and its corridors, falls or gorges is practiced in a coverall and in the company of an experienced guide.

Discover more water activities

Our selection of recreational water activities will provide all the freshness you need to enjoy the summer in the canton of Vaud. If you’re looking for more ideas to satisfy your wish to relax or try out thrilling activities, look at our theme topics: baths and swimming pools, sport centres, boats, and events. They list all water activities available in the canton, be it for a few hours or all day. You will come to realise that the places where you can have a dip, in town or nature, are as original as they are convivial. Countless are the ways to relax on – or in – water in the Alps and the Jura. And the choice of the best one for you will be yours.

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What if our personalised recommendations don’t suit you?

you can choose to base the recommendations displayed on your own requirements and interests. Whether you’re looking for a solo adventure, family activities or a gourmet trip with your spouse, the suggestions made will be based on your own preferences.

You want to find out what the local tourist attractions are based on your current location?

You can use the map on each page to establish your location and find local points of interest. So you’ll be able to explore the canton, region by region, select the places you’re going to visit along a planned route and get a quick idea of what a town has to offer you.

You want to make your own selection? Just store your top picks in favourites!

If you want to store your selection, print it, export it to your free smartphone app "Vaud:Guide” or share it with your friends, you'll can do all this with “Favourites”.

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