The Alpine Panorama Trail traverses some of the most beautiful landscapes in Switzerland over a distance of 510 kilometres (317 miles). Alpine mountain peaks, rustic huts, Mediterranean vineyards and magnificent lakes await as you hike from Lake Constance to Geneva in 29 stages. As the trail’s name suggests, the snow-covered Alps, the hills of the Mittelland and the Jura mountains are visible the whole way.
On this wonderful long-distance hiking trail, you hike through Appenzell, Toggenburg, Central Switzerland, the Emmental valley, Schwarzenburg and Gruyère to the Lac Léman Riviera, before reaching your final destination in the vibrant city of Geneva.
A large chunk of the route runs through the colourful Swiss alpine foothills where traditional Alpine farming is still practised today. Grazing cows, flower-filled Alpine meadows and spiced cheese are therefore your omnipresent companions on the Alpine Panorama Trail. When you reach Lake Geneva, the landscapes, climate and language change: the region is defined by sun-drenched vineyards, sandy beaches and stately chateaux.
You can walk all stages of the Alpine Panorama Trail without prior alpine experience. However, the stages differ in length and altitude gain. You have the option to take the bus or train to shorten the longer stages (e.g. stages 6, 10, and 27). The Alpine Panorama Trail is well-connected to public transport so you can easily split the trail and just walk some stages. At the end of each hike, you spend the night in an idyllic town or place with ample accommodation such as cosy mountain huts and hotels.
So if you fancy a panoramic long-distance hiking adventure with a varied mix of nature and lively towns, then the Alpine Panorama Trail is just the thing for you.
The starting point of the Alpenpanorama-Weg is in Rorschach on the beautiful Lake Constance: From the harbor, you first walk along the lake promenade before you walk through the eastern foothills of the city into the hinterland. The path leads steadily uphill and leads you along the railroad tracks to Heiden. The ascent to the climatic health resort is rewarded …
At the beginning of the second stage you hike from Trogen to the summit of the Hohe Buche. Here you can make yourself comfortable on one of the rest bench and enjoy the great view of the Säntis, Lake Constance and the Appenzellerland. Or treat yourself to a second breakfast in the Gasthaus Hohe Buche.You then go down to …
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On the third day it will be alpine: From Appenzell you climb up to Alp Wasserschaffen. Colorful meadow flowers and wide views accompany you on your way to Scheidegg, where a rustic inn invites you to stop. Put your feet up and let the sun shine on your face on the large terrace. Strengthened it goes along the Kronberg ridge - parallel to the Alpstein with a correspondingly fantastic panorama.
A lot of peace, nature and silence await you on the fourth stage: After a night on the Schwägalp, you first hike towards the southwest. Over the stilt floor and the dark floor it goes down to Lutertannen into the valley. You cross an alpine landscape like from a picture book with flower meadows, grazing cows and rushing streams.After …
At breakfast on the fifth day, it is better to pack an extra sandwich for provisions, because the long ascent to the Vorderen Höhe begins right in Stein. The path winds parallel to the babbling Dürrenbach along the slope. After a good three kilometers you will reach a picturesque rest area in the forest, which invites you to take a breather.
The sixth stage is tough and not just because it is 26 kilometers long: You walk through three cantons and past two lakes. You will switch from eastern to central Switzerland. If you want to shorten the long stage a bit, you can take the bus from Amden down to Weesen. The incredible views of Lake Walen on the descent down to the lakeshore make this section particularly beautiful.
With 22 kilometers and more than 900 meters of altitude, the seventh stage is one of the most challenging of the entire Alpine Panorama Trail. At the beginning it goes from Siebnen on flat paths through settlements and residential areas towards Lachen am Obersee. This is where the hearty climb up to the Stöcklichrüz begins. With every meter of altitude …
After a night in Einsiedeln, you start on the morning of the eighth day on the hill of the Chatzenstrick. From there you continue to Altmatt, where you hike through the interesting flora of the Rothenthurm high moor. After you have crossed the Biber stream, you follow the pilgrimage route to the picturesque St. Jost chapel.You can enjoy the …
On this stage it is called Lake Hopping Deluxe: From Unterägeri on the beautiful Ägerisee you hike to the wonderful Lake Zug. At first you leave Unterägeri to the south and march through a green landscape that is crossed by several streams. After halfway through, the Brunegg alpine restaurant awaits you with a large sun terrace and delicious dishes on the eastern flank of the Zugerberg. By the way, this area is known for the delicious Zug cherry cake.
The tenth stage begins with fantastic views over Lake Zug, at 28.6 kilometers the longest on the Alpine Panorama Trail. If you want to shorten the route, you can, for example, take the train from Zug with - yes, you guessed it - the train to Hünenberg. Otherwise you follow the long-distance hiking trail along the shores of Lake Zug. …
The eleventh stage is a comparatively relaxed 13 kilometers. From the shores of Lake Lucerne, you initially pass the many ornate bridges that span the Reuss in the direction of the small town of Lucerne. Soon you will leave the lively city behind you and hike up to the Sonnenberg, from which you will overlook Lucerne, its suburbs and Lake Lucerne.
The twelfth stage runs along one of the main strands of the Camino de Santiago along its entire length. After a night in Malters, you start on the banks of the Kleine Emme, which leads you to the southwest. On almost flat paths, you hike relaxed to the Schwellisee, where a nice rest area invites you to take a break in the countryside.
Today 1,000 meters of altitude are waiting for you, so pack an extra portion on your plate at breakfast. From Wolhusen you follow the river on the north bank out of the community before you climb the Steinhuserberg. The first wonderful views of the day await you there. Passing meadows, fields and scattered farms on the Chruzhübel. Along the way you will always find beautiful resting places with great panoramic views over the Emmental hills.
The 14th stage starts with a wonderful mountain panorama on the Napf - here you can take in the landscape of the Emmental in peace. After a hearty breakfast at Hotel Napf, you hike down through the forest to the Eiflue. You leave the summit behind you and will soon pass the Niederänzi mountain restaurant. Then it goes a little downhill to the Änzisattel before the steep climb up to Hochänzi begins.
After a relaxing night on the Lüderenalp, you hike on scenic hiking trails down into the valley of the Emme. The descent is easy and leads through a mosaic of forests and alpine meadows, which are peppered with traditional farms. After a good six kilometers you will reach the Dürsrütiwald, which is characterized by mighty silver firs that are up to 350 years old.
The 16th stage starts at the Hotel Moosegg and initially leads you into the shady bubble forest. On soft forest paths you climb up to the Blasenfluh, at 1,118 meters a summit with great views. You see Langnau and the soft hills of the communities of Oberthal, Signau and Lauperswil. It goes comfortably down to Grosshöchstetten, where you will find several refreshment stops.
Day 17 of the Alpine Panorama Trail challenges your calves: More than 20 kilometers and 860 meters of altitude are waiting for you. From the center in Münsingen it goes to the banks of the Aare, which you cross immediately. From the valley you climb up the Belpberg. Once at the top, a wide view and the traditional Chutzen restaurant await you. Past estates and farms, it then goes to the Gürbetal vegetable country and the town of Toffen.
The 18th stage starts in Rüeggisberg. Over a knoll with a view of the Bernese Alps, it goes down into the Schwarzwassergraben, where you cross the Schwarzwasser river on the oldest concrete arch bridge in the world. Depending on the season and the weather, the gravel banks and green banks of the river change. Afterwards you hike through smaller settlements …
On this stage, you switch from the Bernese Mittelland to the Freiburg Pre-Alps - first a gentle hill and then an impressive mountain landscape awaits you. You start in Guggisberg and first walk downhill into the valley of the deciduous brook. Then the path winds up a wooded ridge crossed by streams and at the hamlet of Martisgraben you reach the highest point of this day.
The stage begins with a wonderful section along the shore of the Schwarzsee: Surrounded by the idyllic nature of the Freiburg Pre-Alps, you walk past the Dankes grotto, which is worth a detour. From the lakeshore you then climb up to the small Hubel Rippa alpine hut, where you can enjoy refreshment and an impressive view of the Schwarzsee. Further uphill you will pass the Unteri Rippa alpine hut and hike into the Breccaschlund formed by glaciers.
Hiking Collection by Vanessa Kopp
Road Cycling Collection by Schwarzwald Tourismus