A Swiss friend told me that he thought the Oeschinensee ("Oeschinen Lake" in German) was the most beautiful lake in Switzerland. What do you think?
That picture does not even show you the coolest feature of the lake, which I shall reveal in time. After having the endorsement of a Swiss citizen, I decided to visit the Oeschinensee in the summer of 2008 (I would later return, under much cloudier conditions, during the Hohtürli hike). As it turned out, the forecast for the day I picked was beautiful in the morning, with increasing clouds in the afternoon, so I hopped a very early train to Bern and switched to the BLS line to Kandersteg. Kandersteg is situated in the beautiful Kandertal:
From Kandersteg I took a chairlift up about 400 m to a path leading to the Oeschinensee:
The farthest point of my hike was a mountain restaurant, where I had some sausage and leek soup, and from there I descended rapidly among cows happily lounging in the sun (a pretty common sight when hiking in Switzerland):
Overall, it is a relatively short hike, unless you link it up with something else, but the scenery is magnificent. There are a number of hikes that start or finish in Kandersteg as well, several gems in Swiss hiking, including the famous Gemmipass. I highly recommend visiting the lake, even if you do not hike around it.
If you want to see more pictures of the Oeschinensee, check out my photo set.