Classic Swiss walk: the 5-Seen Wanderung

One of the classics in Swiss walking, the 5-Seen Wanderung (Five Lakes Walk) takes in some of eastern Switzerland's finest scenery. It winds around the Pizol (2,844m) in Canton Glarus and, en-route, five turquoise lakes follow in quick succession. A circular route, it offers the possibility of doing either more downhill or more uphill - guess which one Tim was keen to do!

From Wangs above Sargans, we took a gondola up to Furt, continuing from there by chair lift to a height of 1868 metres above sea level. Here, a cacophony of cow bells echoed within the basin created by the steep valley and a cool breeze touched our cheeks. We climbed steeply uphill through meadows of pastel-coloured, fairy-like flowers, reaching our first lake - the Baschalvasee (2174 metres above sea level) - after an hour. An ethereal shade of pistachio, its glass-like surface reflected the surrounding low summits.

Climbing yet further, we wound up a shoulder into cloud, where temperatures plummeted, and descended to the Schwarzsee. By this point we were hungry and, although the air was so cold we had to put on all our layers (including gloves), we decided to stop for lunch. The lake was impossibly turquoise and so clear that, even in the day's low temperatures, it looked inviting. Unfortunately the route is extremely touristy and a lot of people shared our lunch spot, somewhat ruining the peace and quiet.

We continued, winding up and over a coll to the Schottensee. The 'lake of Scots', this was perhaps the most beautiful yet. The turrets of the Hochwart mountain (2671m) were mirrored in its surface which, in a rich turquoise hue, looked at once in no way natural and yet completely at home. Beyond, the scenery became more spectacular. The view opened up to reveal irregular rocky towers leading to the Pizol, beneath which the scant remains of the Pizol Glacier retreated ever further. In the foreground, the cerulean Wildsee created, as in the other lakes, a perfect reflection.

Tim and I finished the day with a slice of plum cake at the Pizol Hut, to our left the fifth and final lake, the Wangsersee. We watched paragliders dance in the air against the backdrop of eastern Switzerland's Alps and, at the height of summer, enjoyed the cool breeze on our faces. Although the walk was too 'busy' for my liking, it was beautiful and challenging, and left both Tim and I feeling relaxed, healthy and ready for bed!

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