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Appenzellerland mit Alpstein und Saentis, Kanton Appenzell Innerrhoden, Schweiz, Bild: Conny Pokorny / shutterstock

Appenzellerland: a fantastic destination at any time of the year

The Appenzellerland is a place of longing. The Swiss foothills of the Alps are characterised by rolling hills, alpine pastures and rural settlements. In the north, the beautiful city of St. Gallen is only ten kilometres away from the town of Appenzell. The canton of the same name encompasses the entire area. In the south of the Appenzell region, the Appenzell Alps with the 2,501-metre-high Säntis and the almost 1,800-metre-high Hoher Kasten invite you to winter sports and climbing. The unique region is bordered by the St. Gallen Rhine Valley in the east and Toggenburg in the west. Gentle, sparsely wooded hills merge into the alpine landscapes of the Alpstein region and promise plenty of variety for young and old. The Ebenalp in the south of the Appenzellerland is a unique mountain range against the backdrop of Ice Age rock formations. There, the magnificent Seealpsee also attracts visitors to enjoy refreshing bathing in summer.

Unique customs paired with a lot of humor

The Appenzellerland is known for its lively customs. This can be discovered and admired in many places. The inhabitants of the region, whether the Catholic in Innerrhoden or the Protestant in Ausserrhoden, are said to have a very special sense of humour, which is also transferred to the visitors. The Witzewanderweg should not be missed on a holiday in Appenzellerland. In a humorous way, it connects the villages of Heiden, Walzenhausen and Wolfhalden. The Kronberg puzzle trail offers similar hiking pleasure. Of course, these are by no means the only hiking trails in the region. The Laternliweg, which leads over the Schwägalp with its nature adventure park, is also widely known. A winter hike through snow-covered forests in the romantic glow of kerosene lamps is a very special pleasure on this trail. Of course, catering is provided after such an experience. The famous Appenzeller cheese will not be missing from any snack and an Appenzeller Alpenbitter can round off many a meal.

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Hikes from Lake Constance to the Säntis

Varied and versatile hiking trails of more than 800 kilometres lead through the gentle hilly landscape of the Appenzellerland. They stretch from Lake Constance to the Alpstein, where the Säntis is enthroned as king. The well-maintained paths are lined with meadows, fields, forests, streams, clear lakes, waterfalls and bizarre rocks. You can discover mythical places, prehistoric places of worship and moorlands. The spectrum of hiking options ranges from relaxing walks and easy day tours to difficult alpine tours and multi-day stage hikes with overnight stays in cosy hotels and guesthouses. The Appenzellerland is a true hiking paradise, where guests can also expect many themed hiking trails and circular hiking trails. Here you can follow in the footsteps of the exciting history of the region, climb the rock faces around the Hochalp, roam through gorges and enjoy magnificent views of Lake Constance and five countries. From hiking in hilly terrain through the summer or autumnal Appenzellerland to mountain hiking and snowshoeing in the snow-sure winter, there is something for everyone.

Time out from everyday life in Appenzellerland

Aescher mountain inn in the Appenzell Alps at sunset
A popular photo motif: The Aescher mountain inn, Image: sofinitaa / shutterstock

Wellness and spa are also not neglected in Appenzellerland. In every larger town there are excellent wellness hotels and spa hotels with swimming pools, sauna areas, opportunities for sports and trained medical staff. The houses are usually a manageable size, offer excellent culinary delights, are family-run and handicapped accessible. Such but also simple accommodations can be found in Appenzell, Gontenbad, Schwende, Weissbad, Heiden and other villages in the Appenzellerland. E-bikes can be rented everywhere. Motorized in this way or in the classic way on foot, you can reach the excellent mountain inns, for which the region is also known. In addition to the excellent traditional cuisine, rustic inns also offer wonderful views and not infrequently samples of local customs. A break from everyday life is guaranteed in Appenzellerland at any time of the year.

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Customs, art and cultural events

The Appenzellerland also offers art and numerous cultural events. The region is known for its traditional carvings and peasant paintings. There are numerous museums, local history museums and galleries that familiarize you with history, but are also completely rooted in the present. Around Christmas time, Appenzellerland is transformed into a fairytale world. Nativity scenes, Christmas exhibitions, magic lights and Advent windows bring light and colour into the dark season that shines in the snow here. The highlight of the year is the famous New Year’s Eve celebration, where the residents mask themselves according to old custom and thus welcome the New Year. It takes place in various villages from 31 December to mid-January and can crown a skiing or tobogganing holiday in the region. But art, music, culture, customs and hut magic also come into their own at any other time of the year.

Enjoy and discover the Appenzellerland

Seealpsee, Appenzell
Simply fantastic: The Seealpsee, 1142 m above sea level, Image: KK imaging / shutterstock

In February, the traditional carnival is celebrated with enchanting costumes, parades and the “Ommetrommere“, which captivates every visitor. This is followed by alpine pastures, the Appenzell Music Days, music festivals and impressive mountain services. In September, the “Chölbi” and the market days take place in Appenzell. The event offers many attractions that captivate young and old. The autumn cattle show is also not to be missed. There is always something new to discover in Appenzellerland. Last but not least, it is the unique nature that makes up this unmistakable stretch of land and offers a high recreational value. Gentle hills, high mountains and enchanting lakes invite you to go hiking, cycling, snowshoeing, climbing, mountaineering and other sporting activities. A refreshing swim in the idyllic Seealpsee or another clear body of water and a hearty stop round off a day of your holiday perfectly.