How Many Lakes Does Switzerland Have?

Caitlin Dempsey

Updated:

Switzerland is a landlocked country, sharing a border with five countries: France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, and Italy.  While the country has no access to a coastline, Switzerland is home to thousands of lakes and rivers.  Lakes and rivers make up approximately 4% of the surface area of Switzerland [1].

With more than 1,500 lakes, Switzerland is also home to 6% of Europe’s freshwater stock [2].  Of those lakes, 103 have a surface area of at least 30 hectares.  With an area of 580.03 km2 (224 sq mi), the largest lake in Switzerland is Lake Geneva (known as Lac Léman in French) which is shared with France (59.53% of the lake is within Swiss territory and 40.47% is within French territory).

The largest lake completely within Switzerland is Lake Neuchâtel with a surface area of 218.3 km2 (84 sq mi).

The lowest point in Switzerland is Lake Maggiore with an altitude of 193 meters.


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Map of Swiss lakes and rivers. Source: Tschubby, MediaWiki Commons.
Map of Swiss lakes and rivers. Map: Karte Schweiz by Tschubby, under license CC BY-SA 3.0, MediaWiki Commons.

References

[1] Geography of Switzerland.  Presence Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

[2] Geography Facts and Figures.  Presence Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.