The northern tip of the Zurich lake is occupied by the city of Zurich, and thus it does not offer a good opportunity to enjoy its shores, despite its pleasant promenade and marina. The green town of Horgen, 13km to the south along the lakeshore, offers a perfect day by the lake. Arriving there is a breeze. Just take one of the S-Bahn trains from Zürich Hauptbahnhof (the ones numbered S2 and S8 for 8.8 Swiss francs, active until 11pm) and soon you will find yourself at the train station of this lake’s traffic hub. The coasts are clear here and a short visit to the supermarket will supply the cheese and bread needed for your early picnic there; that is, if you manage to decide among the hordes of Swiss cheeses available. After your breakfast, you may decide to cross the lake with the specially designed cable pulled boat. That technique sensibly keeps the lake waters unpolluted.
However, the lake is not the only site in Horgen: the town seems frozen in time with houses designed in earlier centuries, its narrow streets and its slow pace in sharp contrast to its northern neighbor. As Zurich, the historic center of the town is a beautifully kept pedestrian zone that allows you to explore its wonders unconcerned by modern dangers. The Reformed Church provides a useful landmark, as well as a point of special interest due to its tall bell tower and unusual architecture. The complex Swiss topography offers a counterweight to the lake: the narrow town is trapped by quite steep hills that provide a nice opportunity for a short hiking along the well-marked paths in the afternoon.
Actually, the place is pleasant enough to contemplate making it the center of your stay in the Zurich area. You can easily reach the city whenever needed while feeling like you’re on a countryside vacation. Accordingly, the town offers some good hotels and my stay in the Seehotel Meierhof transformed the trip to Zurich into one of my best European trips.