Fribourg’s Schwarzsee is one of the natural places in the Swiss Alps and is peculiar for its black waters. The legend explains that a giant named Gargantua dipped his dirty foot in it, making its waters totally black.
Whether this story is true or not, the truth is that Schwarzsee is a feast for the eyes of shades that make the kilometres to get there worthwhile.
How do you get to Schwarzsee?
The most surprising thing about this lake is its easy access and its location next to the road.
The most usual way is to come from Fribourg, 29 km away, via a road leading south-east. If you are coming from Gruyères, you can drive up the road by Lake Gruyère towards Fribourg. It is a beautiful road surrounded by green fields, full of farms and the famous black spotted white cows and it is known as the Gruyères Route.
When you arrive at the lake, you can park your car in a large car park equipped for this purpose. However, we recommend you to arrive early, especially during summer time, as during the weekends it is difficult to find a space.
Activities in the Schwarzsee
Below we describe some of the activities that can be done at this place of recreation.
Swimming in the lake
It may seem obvious, but few people do it because the water is more than fresh. The lake lies at 1,046 metres above sea level, surrounded by a beautiful mountain world thanks to these pre-Alpine peaks of the Fribourg region, including the Spitzfluh (1,951 metres) or the aesthetic Kaiseregg (2,185 metres). The peaks, which are barely more than two thousand metres high, allow vegetation to grow so that they are completely green. Two shades dominate these peaks, the dark green of the firs and the intense green of the meadows where farms and cows graze.
Next to the car park is the version of the lake closest to the beach. You could say that this is the liveliest part of the lake and where you can find more services such as a bar, deckchairs, a beautiful wooden jetty for sunbathing, a children’s playground, an inflatable castle or canoe and paddle-surf rentals. There is even a swimming pool with goals where you can play a kind of football with surfboards and some sticks to throw the ball.
The space is very small and fills up soon, so if you want to occupy a good spot, you would better arrive soon.
Just off the shore, at about 25-30 metres, is the classic floating wooden platform, ideal for swimming, lying down and sunbathing while the current shakes the floating structure. It is a moment of total relaxation.
If you want less fuss, less noise and more space, we recommend that you take the path that comes out of the lake on the right and walk for about ten minutes until you reach the frog fountain. There you can turn right and reach a large green area where you can enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere.
In any case, these are beaches with stones, so it is quite painful to go in barefoot. Water shoes are ideal for these occasions, especially if you go with children.
Take a walk in the lake
An easy circular walk lasts only one hour. The path is made of gravel, so it is ideal for prams and wheelchairs and has hardly any bumps. Great views and panoramic on a walk to take with the family, which you can quietly combine with a dip in the water.
An ideal time for this walk is in the afternoon, when the light is better and you can take some memorable photos. The attractions of the lake walk include a cave, a small waterfall or the witch’s path, a themed path for children to have fun while walking. You can find out more information at the tourist information office.
The epitome of attraction for young and old people in the Alps also has its place here. At the lake, you can take the 40 km jump through the devilish curves of the circuit. The descent costs CHF 5 for adults and CHF 3 for children under 16. If the child is 7 years old or younger, he or she can ride in your sledge and does not pay.
If you plan to spend the whole day at Negersee, it is highly recommended to climb the Riggisalp (1,490 m). Thanks to the chairlift, you can do it comfortably in roughly 15 minutes. Once at the top, you will have a wonderful view of the Fribourg Alps, Lake Negersee itself and some fantastic views.
As always in these places, a terrace restaurant will test your resistance to temptation in the form of the smell of grilled sausages.
Those of you in the mood for strong emotions can ride down the mountain on the fun Monster Trotti Kick, bikes with giant wheels without pedals.
There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking and mountain biking. Moreover, Lake Negersee is the ideal place to spend a day at the beach in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Its low altitude allows for high temperatures in summer.