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Subterranean Lake of St-Léonard (VS) | En

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

We sailed upon Europe's largest subterranean lake! The lake of St-Leonard is located in Switzerland, along the Rhone valley, between Sion and Sierre in the heart of the Swiss Alps.

Copyright @ Lac Souterrain de St-Léonard
Copyright @ Lac Souterrain de St-Léonard

On Sunday we were invited to go to visit the subterranean lake in Saint Leonard in Valais. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s the largest underground lake in Europe and it’s a pretty special place!

We set off early to get there with our picnic and lots of layers and arrived just before 10am. Our SatNav couldn't find the exact address so we headed for Saint Leonard and followed the brown signs for the lake which were clearly indicated. There is a decent amount of free parking not far from the entrance then it’s a short walk up a hill (there are also steps) to get to the reception area. When we arrived it was quite quiet and we had chance to look around the little gift shop before the tour began. There is also a little café and it’s a nice stop for a drink or a bite to eat if you have time.

The steps down to the boat departure are quite steep so the children needed a hand and we put Elio in the front baby carrier so it was easier to manage. It’s apparent as soon as you reach the bottom steps that it’s a unique place and we were impatient to start the trip.

Jude and Alba surprised us by installing themselves neatly on board without any messing about and we set off. The cave, which was discovered in 1943, is a lovely, peaceful, gentle place with magical lighting and clear waters below. You can discover more about the history of the lake here.

Copyright @ Lac Souterrain de St-Léonard
Copyright @ Lac Souterrain de St-Léonard

Our tour guide, Christoph was great. He’s multilingual and did the tour in French and German so that everyone could understand and he gave us plenty of interesting information about the lake which is an awe inspiring place. The water is crystal clear and we could see trout swimming about. Christoph explained that that the fish need to be fed because no life can survive without help in the darkness of the lake.

We reached the end of the lake before heading back in the other direction. The tour takes about 30minutes and it’s really a lovely experience. We apologise to other members of the tour for Elio's shouting and very loud laughing - it was hard to hear above him on occasion:-/.

Christoph told us that it gets very busy in the summer with visitors arriving in their hundreds per day and especially on rainy days when people are keen to escape the weather.


Parking : Yes (100 meters from the entrance)

Toilets : Yes

Baby Change Facilities : Not that we saw

Accessibility : Baby carrier recommended, not possible for pushchairs or wheelchairs

Is there a lower age limit for children?

All kids are welcome. However please remember that the tour lasts 30 minutes and that there is no way to go back once it is started. Therefore we do not recommend to bring children under 2 years old.


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