Switzerland has its fair share of beautiful mountain lakes and Klöntalersee is undoubtedly one of them. Known for incredible natural beauties and excellent hiking opportunities, this magical lake attracts numerous outdoor adventurers every year.
How to reach the lake, when to visit, and what else you can do in the area are just some of the things included in this visitor’s guide to Klöntalersee lake. Keep reading to learn more about one of the prettiest lakes in eastern Switzerland and start planning your trip!
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How to Get to Klöntalersee
Klöntalersee lake is situated in eastern Switzerland in the canton of Glarus. It’s accessible by personal vehicle and public transport, although the former is the easiest way of traveling to the lake. If you have a car in Switzerland, you can just drive up to the lake and park at one of the large parking lots in the area.
It’s worth noting that there are also several campsites near Lake Klöntal, so it’s a good destination for campers and RVers.
If you are getting around Switzerland by public transport, you can still reach the lake easily, although it will take longer. First, you must get to Glarus, which you can do by the S6 and S25 commuter trains. The S6 runs from Rapperswil to Linthal, while the S25 runs between Zurich and Linthal. Both trains stop in Glarus, and they’re the only two lines that pass through the town.
From the main station in Zurich, it’s about an hour by train to Glarus. It’s important to note that it is possible to reach the town from other destinations in Switzerland, but it will take much longer and include several train changes.
Glarus is connected to Klöntalersee by a bus service that runs only between May and October. It’s approximately 20 minutes on the 504 bus, which runs along the northern side of the lake and stops at both the eastern and western shores.
Attractions & Activities At Klöntalersee
Hiking around the shore of the beautiful mountain lake is the best way to discover it. There are loads of trails in the area that are suitable for both hikers and mountain bikers, and you can explore the northern shore, and the southern shore, or even make a loop trail around the entire lake.
The southern shore of the lake is more popular with hikers because it features several waterfalls. Also, the southern shore isn’t easily accessible by vehicles, so you can discover the more secluded areas of the lake that would otherwise remain hidden.
The more adventurous hikers will be glad to know that there are several mountains near the lake that are accessible by hiking trails. Hikes to Dejenstock are most popular, and excellent if you want to experience a stunning panorama of Klöntalersee and its surroundings.
Visit the lake in the summer months and you’ll be able to enjoy swimming in a Swiss mountain lake. It’s the perfect way to cool off on a hot day, especially when the lake is as beautiful as this one. The western and eastern shores of the lake are most popular with bathers because of easy access, so you might want to go a little farther if you want to escape the crowds of the busy season.
I would recommend hiking along the southern shore of the lake until you find a spot that’s secluded enough. You’ll probably encounter other swimmers in the areas with the best access, but the crowds will be significantly smaller than those at the bigger beaches.
In addition to swimming, you can also enjoy kayaking, riding a SUP, or just messing around in an inflatable boat.
Lake Klontal is very popular for camping thanks to several campsites along its eastern and western shores. The campsites are easily accessible by public transport, plus they’re close to parking spaces so you can reach them however you want. All the campsites near Klöntalersee offer easy lake access and pitches that are just a few steps away from the beaches.
Camping Güntlenau is on the eastern shore of the lake some 850 meters above sea level. It’s close to the trailheads for many hikes in the area and there’s a vast pebble beach just steps away from the pitches. The campsite is open from late April to October and it’s advised to reserve a pitch well in advance because of high demand.
Camping Vorauen is on the western shore of the lake, practically on the beach. It’s a nature camping site, meaning that there’s no electricity on the pitches. They don’t take reservations in advance, so if you arrive at Klöntalersee without a booked pitch, you should head here and try to find a free spot.
Anyone who visits Klöntalersee can go fishing whenever and wherever they want. You don’t have to buy a license or anything, and you’re free to fish as much as you like in this natural lake. The only condition in place is that you can only use one fishing rod at a time and that you can only do it from the shore.
The fishing season at Klöntalersee is from April 1st to December 31st. In the summer, it is prohibited to fish from 11 PM to 4 AM, and during the rest of the year, you can’t do it from 8 PM until 6 AM.
Barbecuing goes hand in hand with camping and fishing, so it’s not very surprising that it’s one of the more popular things to do in the area around Klöntalersee. There are several areas around the entire lake where it’s permitted to light fires, although it’s worth noting that you will need to bring your own grill for a proper barbecue picnic.
Camping Güntlenau has grills their campers can use, so consider that if you’re still debating which campsite to stay at while visiting Lake Klontal.
Ice diving is a popular winter activity at Klöntalersee. The best time to practice the niche hobby here is between January and March, and during this time you can encounter quite a few ice divers in the area.
The lake freezes in the winter and the ice sheet is thick enough even for ice skating. What makes this lake special and popular for ice diving is that there is a wreck approximately 40 meters below the surface. It’s estimated that the wreck is some 180 years old, and witnessing it in ice-cold water is definitely an experience you will remember for a long time.
Restaurants in Klöntalersee
The restaurant at Rhodannenberg hotel is the best option for travelers staying on the eastern shore of the lake. It’s the only restaurant in this area, so you can imagine it gets quite popular in the summer season.
Schwammhöhe is a restaurant close to the eastern lake shore, about half an hour away from the campsite by bike. It offers indoor and outdoor seating, as well as spectacular panoramic views of Lake Klontal. Reservations are recommended, especially on the weekends, because the place is packed during peak season.
On the western shore of the lake, both the Vorauen Hotel and Gasthaus Restaurant Klöntal offer an excellent dining experience to guests and other visitors. Just keep in mind that they get very busy during peak season, and if you don’t reserve a table in advance you might have to share a table with other diners.
Accommodations in Klöntalersee
In addition to the multiple campsites in the lake’s immediate surroundings, there are also quite a few hotels and guesthouses for travelers who prefer running water and access to a bathroom in their room.
Rhodannenberg – or the Rhodi – is a hotel and restaurant at the northeastern lake shore. The bus stops directly in front of the hotel, so it’s very easy to reach by public transport. It features traditional double and triple rooms, and it’s open from mid-February to late December. It’s worth noting that the hotel operates with reduced services in the winter and that you should book a room in advance in the summer because of very high demand.
Vorauen Hotel and Guesthouse is the best option on the western shore of the lake. It’s practically on the beach, features a restaurant, and includes paddle boats that guests can rent. The opening times of this hotel are June-August, so it’s an option only in the summer.
Gasthaus Restaurant Klöntal is also a decent option on this side of the lake, but it is a very small guesthouse so call ahead to see if they have any available rooms.
Gasthaus Richisau is an option worth considering if you don’t mind biking to the lake. It’s farther away from the shore, about a 10-minute bike ride (or 40-minute walk) from the nearest beach.
Best Time to Visit Klöntalersee
The best time to visit Klöntalersee is between May and October, mostly because the bus service from Glarus operates only during those months. You will have a much harder time reaching the lake in the winter months, especially if you don’t have a personal vehicle in Switzerland.
Another reason to plan a summer visit to this beautiful lake is that you’ll have more things to do while you’re there. Hiking, mountain biking, and swimming are popular things to do in the area, and none of those are possible in the winter months.
Come winter, the lake freezes and turns into a huge ice skating field when the ice is thick enough. Lake Klöntal is also part of cross-country ski trails in the winter, but there are very few other things to do if you want to stay in the area for a few days.
Is Klöntalersee Worth Visiting?
Yes, Klöntalersee is a wonderful lake worth visiting. The place is special whether you visit in the summer or winter, although most tourists prefer visiting the area during the warmer period.
Nature is absolutely phenomenal, there are plenty of ways to stay entertained while you’re there, and a variety of fun things to do on both water and land. Whether you’re into hiking, mountain biking, fishing, or just lounging in the sun and admiring the views, you can have a great time at Klöntalersee.
Tips When Visiting Klöntalersee
Wait for the summer season to see the latest schedule of bus times. The buses only run from May to October, and there’s no schedule in the winter.
Make reservations for everything months in advance. Klöntalersee is very popular with both local and foreign tourists, which means that most accommodations and restaurants operate at capacity in the peak season. If you just turn up in the area, chances are you won’t be able to get a pitch, let alone a proper room unless you’ve reserved something months in advance.
Explore the surroundings. The area around Klöntalersee is absolutely gorgeous, featuring waterfalls, mountain peaks, and forest trails. Take some time to explore the lake’s beautiful surroundings and experience a different perspective of the stunning Swiss lake.