Lai da Palpuogna • Easy walk around the prettiest lake in Switzerland

Easy walk around gorgeous alpine lake accessible by car, voted the most beautiful place in Switzerland. You be the judge.

Lai da Palpuogna is a quiet little lake, voted a few years ago as the most beautiful place in Switzerland. So our family had to check it out and see what all the fuss was about. It is very lovely, although it certainly has a lot of competition for beauty in this country.

The walk around the lake only takes 20-30 minutes, so plan more for a leisurely picnic than a demanding hike. There are several grill pits around the lake, some with firewood, some with benches and tables. The path is not suitable for strollers, but it’s an easy short walk and small children should be ok. If you’re in the area, I would definitely recommend a visit.

Location:   Graubünden Switzerland
Address: Albulapassstrasse, 7482 Bergün/Bravuogn
Car: 2hr15 from Zurich
Parking GPS: 46°35’00.9″N 9°46’53.8″E
Train: Train station: Preda, then 1.78 km walk to lake
2hr50 from Zurich
Trail: 1.6 km loop, about 20 mins
Condition: dirt path, no strollers
Skill: easy
Open: best April to October
Prices: free
Services: fire pits with wood
More info:


Lai da Palpuogna is located in southeast Switzerland, in the mountains north of St Moritz. You can reach it by car or train.

Trail map

The trail around the lake is about 1.6km, which only takes about 20 minutes. 

Getting there

Lai da Palpuogna is located about 12 minutes south of Bergün, Grisons, in the Graubunden region of Switzerland.

By car: Drive to village Preda, then keep driving a couple minutes to the lake, parking GPS: 46°35’00.9″N 9°46’53.8″E. If you are coming from the north (like Zürich), the map below shows directions starting in Chur.  

There is no parking lot, just a few “spaces” for cars on the side of the road on the northwest side of the lake. We were there on a rainy day and there was only one spot left. There are more spaces further north along the road. You could also park at the nearby Preda train station and walk to the lake.

By train: Take a train to the Preda station just a 1.78 km walk from the lake, as shown below

Photo story 

Arriving at the lake

After leaving the road (shown below), follow the well-marked and well-trodden path to the lake and explore. This helpful sign warns you to steer clear of mother cows and their babies, strangely the first time I’ve seen a sign like this on any Swiss hike.

It’s a pretty as a picture.

Just look at those lovely reflections!

Picnic Areas

The trail mostly follows the lake shore, passing several fire pits and picnic spots with benches along the way. Some fire pits had some wood stacked nearby, but it had rained earlier and all the wood was wet. We managed to make a fire but we wished we had brought some dry wood.

We chose a fire pit in the forest that was slightly off the trail, on a little hill overlooking the lake. There are a few hidden fire pits in the forest if you want to be a little away from other hikers.

Our fire pit was near this little stream, where the boys could climb on the rocks and tempt fate.

Walk around the lake

On the south side of the lake, the trail dips into the forest and uses several wooden walkways to cross small streams and muddy sections.

View from the southwest side of the lake. You can see another bench on a grassy spot, which wasn’t on the main trail. So do a little exploring to find your perfect spot.

At the far west side of the lake, the trail leaves the lake and heads into a field, which is sometimes filled with cows. There is a big enclosed picnic area, with a fire pit and cave stocked with firewood. We wished we had seen this earlier. I think there’s even a table there but I can’t remember for sure.

At this point, the trail turns left, crosses this large stream and returns to the lake.

Then through some flower-filled fields.

Looking across the lake to our picnic spot that someone else took over – we didn’t leave a fire burning!

Than along the north side of the lake back to the road.

You might also like: Most Beautiful Alpine Lakes in Switzerland

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3 Responses

  1. This looks so gorgeous! I just can’t decide between all your favorite lakes!

  2. I love mountain lakes! And this one is not bad! I can imagine the lake even more beautiful when the sun is shining!

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Hi! I’m Tanya and our family has been living & hiking in Switzerland since 2005, collecting dozens of fun hikes and activities for all ages and abilities. More about us…

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