Majestic peaks hunch conspiratorially around Vierwaldstättersee – which twists and turns as much as the tongue does when pronouncing it. It's little wonder English speakers use the shorthand Lake Lucerne!
To appreciate the views, ride up to Mt Pilatus, Mt Rigi or Stanserhorn. When the clouds peel away, precipitous lookout points reveal a crumpled tapestry of green hillsides and shimmering cobalt below, with glaciated peaks beyond.
Apart from its mountain viewpoints, the lake offers tucked-away resorts, all accessible by boat. The far eastern reach of Lake Lucerne – Lake Uri or Urnersee – is home to the Rütli Meadow, where the country was legendarily born.
The lake's northern and eastern coastlines are easily accessed and if you've got your own wheels, you can drive from Lucerne to Weggis to Brunnen to Flüelen more or less beside the water the whole way.