Golzernsee, 6475 Silenen, Switzerland

From the Bristen station in Maderanertal, the sweet red Golzernseilbahn (cable car) ascends over verdant pasture and vertiginous scrubby trenches before dropping you at the trailhead. Then it’s an uncomplicated, short, and flat 30-minute hike to this Alpine swimming lake, ideal for families and elders seeking easy access and natural summer swims. The trail gently undulates over picturesque, chalet-strewn meadows where the clang of cowbells and smell of wildflowers are a potent reminder of your whereabouts. It’s also lined with honor-system kiosks hawking hunks of homemade Alpkäse (Alpine cheese) and locally quarried quartz and crystal for as little as five Swiss francs.

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