Switzerland is known for its beautiful white mountain peaks, dreamy meadow landscapes and glittering mountain lakes. Appenzell has not only achieved world fame for its cheese, but the mountain landscapes attract many tourists, hikers and paragliders every year.
The fascination for Appenzellerland does not come by chance but has its legitimation. Even for locals there are always new spots to discover and new adventures to experience. As I received many questions about my last hike, I would like to make a small contribution here, with all the valuable tips you need if you are planning your hiking or bathing trip to Appenzell.
Appenzell definitely has something to offer for everyone. No matter if you are a comfortable swimmer or an adventurous mountaineer!
*Please note: until 8 June 2020 there will be no cable cars in operation, which limits the choice of hiking trails and routes a bit.*
How to get there
The Appenzell Railway runs from Gossau via Herisau to Wasserbad by public transport. In Wasserbad the bus is waiting for you, which will take you on a 10-minute ride to Brülisau up to the cable car station.
By car you can drive directly to Brülisau and there are plenty of parking spaces. There is also another car park at the Alp Sigel Bahn, which will shorten your hike by about 15 minutes.
Option 1: Sämtisersee
This hike is particularly suitable for those who do not want to go far and who would like to be rewarded with a beautiful lake view and swimming opportunities after a steep ascent. Sämtisersee invites you to linger and you can enjoy a great view of the Hohen Kasten, and at the moment the lake is surrounded by a breathtaking flowerage.
The restaurant Plattenbödeli is now open for guests and the playground as well as the donkeys on the meadow are very inviting, especially for families.
Route: 7.3 km; 424hm
Option 2: Fälensee
If you are a little fitter, or basically have more time, you can continue the hike from Sämtisersee directly after a short break to the next beautiful place. The path is less steep, but with a pleasant ascent first over a stream and then through the forest to the mountain inn Bollenwees. The reastaurant is very inviting and the staff extremely friendly. If you wish, you can also stay overnight here (highly recommended). Otherwise, after the strenuous hike, I advise you to take a sunbath on the lakeside, enjoy your picnic and jump into the cold water 🙂 If you don’t want to take a 5-hour hike here, you can of course stay overnight in Bollenwees at the Fälensee or in Plattenbödeli near the Sämtisersee.
Route: 15.4 km; 718hm
Option 3: Saxer Lücke
The Saxer Lücke is already a relatively well-known spot but really worth the effort! If you choose this hike, I would recommend you finding a place to stay overnight, because the whole route in one day is rather demanding. Here you have different possibilities: Bollenwees at Fälensee is very recommendable (but always quickly booked up), the Hundsteinhütte SAC a bit further up the mountain (not recommendable due to bad experience) or the more adventurous variant with wild camping with best view on the Saxer Lücke and free starry sky. For me it was the first time wildcamping and it was really unique and great!
Route: 17.2 km; 1094hm
These are all suggestions as long as the cable cards are not running, but when the cable cars to Hohen Kasten or Staubern start running in mid-June, you will have many more great routes or shortcuts to choose from.
Have you ever been to Appenzell? Which is your favourite route? Click here for more hikes!