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Hike along the French border

Goodbye Basel!

I’ve left Basel, and its famous point where three countries meet, behind me on my Tour de Suisse along the Swiss border. Up next is the first leg along the French border. The transition from Basel-Stadt to Basel-Land is seamless. The hip city extends far into the countryside. Again and again I cross the cantonal borders between Basel-Land, Solothurn and all the way to the Jura.

Customs in the middle of the city of Basel. ©Heinz

On tour

I continue to make good progress with daily stages of 25 to 30 km. Depending on the location of my accommodation, the route may be somewhat shorter. A little digression for all those who wondered how much luggage I carry around with me every day. My 35 litre backpack weighs a bit under 10 kg. That’s easy to manage on a hike like this. The fascinating thing is that despite carrying few utensils, I hardly miss anything. A really liberating feeling!

Quite compact the backpack. ©Heinz

Basically, I have two T-shirts, underpants and socks with me. Also a long-sleeved shirt and a warm, light jacket. And of course something to keep the rain off… Despite the trip being close to civilisation, I packed reserves, but I haven’t actually needed them.

A special youth hostel

The next youth hostel on my tour is on Rotberg. The Mariastein youth hostel with its authentic charm is something very special. If you want to spend the night in an idyllically situated castle, Rotberg Castle is just the right place for you. A paradise for children – it’s best to leave your mobile phone at home. But the youth hostel castle is usually very full. I’m in luck!

The youth hostel is proudly enthroned on the Rotberg. ©Heinz

On towards the Jura

It’s exciting to walk on the country’s border. To a large extent, the paths and trails run directly along the border (e.g. around Rodersdorf). Some of the trails aren’t even marked on the map.

The best view can be enjoyed from Remelspitz. ©Heinz

Finally I reach the canton of Jura. I take the “entrance gate” via the “Remelgrat” – it’s simply fantastic! This is followed by an asphalt section and finally rain sets in on a beautiful hiking trail along the “Lucelle”. But I don’t let this dampen my happy border walking mood. Because soon the sun’s rays will take over again – and with them the almost explosive colours of spring. Bienvenue dans Jura!

There is plenty of variety on the hike. ©Heinz

The youth hostel in the cantonal capital of Delemont is very flexible in accommodating my travel plan. Thank you very much! I use it as a base to get to know the youngest Swiss canton a little better. The brand new Saignelégier Youth Hostel is also a must on my tour. In addition to the youth hostel rooms, there are also hotel rooms at the Franches-Montagnes recreation centre. As a member of the Swiss Youth Hostels, you benefit from a concessionary price for youth hostel members here. I’ve treated myself to this luxury!

Ancient Swiss forest in the Jura

Next, I enter a kind of ancient forest with algae, moss and ferns, rotting tree trunks and streams everywhere. The hike along the River Doubs which marks the border is another highlight and a fitting conclusion to my Tour de Suisse border experience with the youth hostels.

Primeval forest in our beautiful Switzerland. ©Heinz

Instead of the pleasant and simple accommodation of youth hostels, I will now switch to tents for most of the remainder of my tour in the remote areas. However, I am already looking forward to continuing to find shelter in a youth hostel on my tour of the Swiss border.

700 km behind me

Since starting in Balzers – St. Luzisteig about five weeks ago, I have covered about 700 km. Around 2,000 km are set to follow by autumn in my journey round Switzerland. During my Mediterranean hike last year, I covered 1,000 km. It’s crazy how convoluted a border can be.

A few more impressions from the hike along the French border. ©Heinz

So far, my Tour de Suisse has taken me along four neighbouring countries and ten cantons. Hiking along the Swiss border is exciting. An exploration tour is always worthwhile!

If you would like more information about my Tour de Suisse, please feel free to contact me. Guided tours or hiking along a section on the Swiss border are also possible.

You can find out how Heinz got here and what he experienced in his articles.

Heinz began in the lowlands, more precisely at our Schaan-Vaduz Youth Hostel. The starting point and return point of his long-distance hike is the St. Gallen Youth Hostel. Find out how he fared at the start here.

He continued along the Swabian Sea, from the Stall Rheintal to Stein am Rhein. In part two of the series, you will learn what impresses him so much about Lake Constance and what beautiful spots can be found along the shore.

From Stein am Rhein to Basel, past countless exciting little towns and many more border stones. There’s lots to discover between Stein am Rhein and Basel.

If you want, you can also follow my route at www.stadt-land-spirit.ch and www.polarsteps.com/HeinzEgli (which can also be used via app).

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autumn Spring Summer Uncategorized Uncategorized Uncategorized Uncategorized

Hiking from Stein am Rhein to Basel

Stein am Rhein, the hidden gem on the High Rhine

Stein am Rhein is the ultimate picturesque little town. Not only because of its historic charm but particularly due to the delightful painted façades in the town centre.

Quite charming this Stein am Rhein. ©Heinz

Surprising natural and cultural landscape

I leave the hostel in Stein am Rhein invigorated by the delicious dinner and the hearty youth hostel breakfast. The next stage of my journey takes me further towards Schaffhausen. After visiting the German enclave of Büsingen, where I cross the German/Swiss border that runs through the middle of a garden restaurant, my zigzag route begins in earnest. The path along the Schaffhausen stretch of the border leads me to the northernmost point in Switzerland, the “Schwarze Staa” (Black Stone). In earlier times, this is where people were deported to the neighbouring Grand Duchy of Baden.

One of the countless boundary stones on the hike. ©Heinz

Most people probably know little to nothing about the “Randen” (mountain), i.e. the eastern foothills of the Jura, with its exciting, diverse landscape. It marks the start of my route into the winegrowing region of Hallau in Klettgau (Chläggi) and ends at Schaffhausen border point No. 1 near the Rhine Falls.

Actually, it’s a pity I’m taking the direct route along the border. By doing so, I’m not only missing out on a boat trip on what is supposed to be the most beautiful river in Europe, but also the Diessenhofen to Schaffhausen footpath.

The charms of the youth hostel

My aim-point for today’s leg is the Schaffhausen Youth Hostel, where I feel a bit like the lord of the castle. It’s a unique property located in a beautiful park – and the receptionist gives it a real French flair. Waking up to the chirping of birds in the morning reminds me of this special place.

Beautiful little castle in Schaffhausen – the youth hostel. ©Heinz

The Rhine – my faithful companion

Of course I have to catch a ride on the ultra-modern fleet of electro buses in Schaffhausen before I throw myself headlong into the next stages of my hiking adventure. Stages five and six take me all the way to Basel.

The section in Zurich runs along the Rhine and is a mixture of “flat and hilly”. Time and again, I am treated to superb views of the Rhine and all the way to the Alps. The hiking trail, which sometimes meanders to the left and then the right of the Rhine, sometimes directly alongside the water and sometimes above the river, leads me on towards Basel. It runs alongside colourful meadows and through riverside woodlands and forests luminescent with their bright green spring foliage.

Directly along the banks of the Rhine in the direction of Basel. ©Heinz

I take the opportunity to collect my thoughts and barbecue a sausage over the glowing coals of a good fire when the mood takes me. Every now and then, I have time for a refreshing dip in Europe’s longest river. It’s a real privilege to be able to drift like this.

An unknown but tried-and-tested youth hostel

I take a little detour from my border hike to visit a historic little castle which is now Brugg Youth Hostel. It is the perfect example of a hostel of this type. Simple and authentic, from the furniture to the fabulous breakfast, and the icing on the cake is the magnificent weather.

Schlössli Altenburg in Brugg, Aargau. ©Swiss Youth Hostel

It’s precisely this variety that I like about the Swiss Youth Hostels. The hostel in Brugg is a real contrast to my next stop, the modern Basel Youth Hostel. In Basel, old and new structures have been married together in an exemplary, innovative manner. It’s really quite stylish.

Getting more urban

There is still a lot to discover on the way to Basel. Power stations, natural wonders, historic towns like Laufenburg, German Bad Säckingen or Rheinfelden. Last but not least, the wonderful Roman Augusta Raurica (in Kaiseraugst). Passing all these charming little towns, I reach Basel-Birsfelden via the impressive hiking trail that runs through the middle of the Rhine harbour and goods transshipment centre.

The old town of the Zähringen town of Rheinfelden. ©Heinz

Once around Basel

It’s possible to “circumnavigate” Basel along Switzerland’s border in one or two days. As I start out from the impressive locks on the River Rhine at Birsfelden, I’m suddenly caught out by a spring shower. However, the spectacular play of light in the beech forests immediately makes up for the wet weather. I can easily make out the new architectural landmarks of Basel from a distance, first from the north, then from the south, and they help me to get my bearings.

Three-country bridge in Basel ©Heinz

When I cross the Three-Country Bridge, I realise just how intimately the neighbouring towns around Basel are linked with each other. It’s awesome!

The next section of the hike along the border with France will definitely be new territory for me. I’m looking forward to it. Here’s to the next stage of my hike, to you reading about my adventures, and see you soon!

If you want, you can also follow my route at www.stadt-land-spirit.ch and www.polarsteps.com/HeinzEgli (which can also be used via app).

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Couples Destination Experience Families For who Friends Groups / clubs Hostel tips On the water Relax School classes Stories

Our top youth hostels by the lake

Everything is better in summer! Finally, sunbathing is on the cards, along with spending afternoons by the water and enjoying delicious barbecues in the open air with your loved ones. Every day feels almost like a holiday by the lake.

And because the best days are always over far too quickly, why not take an extended break from everyday life by the water? We have numerous youth hostels that not only offer breakfast with a lake view and stand out due to their special location but also plenty of action-packed hours around and on the water.

Kreuzlingen Youth Hostel is the perfect place for holidays by the lake. © Swiss Youth Hostels

An oasis on the shores of Lake Constance

Kreuzlingen Youth Hostel is located in the middle of the largest organic nature park on the deep blue shores of Lake Constance with its white sandy beach. The historic manor house from the 19th century is located a mere 200 metres from the lakeside, and has rooms with balconies facing the lake. Cosy summer evenings around the campfire come with the territory here.

But there is also plenty of fun to be had. Have you ever heard of the kayak roll? A branch of the La Canoa Canoe Centre is located right next to the youth hostel. They will teach you how to get your capsizing canoe back above the water. Or you can cross the border into Germany on a guided tour, which includes a barbecue stop. Or you can set off on your own somewhere else, armed with paddles. It’s totally up to you.

You can enjoy majestic views all the way to the other shore in Germany. © Swiss Youth Hostels

You can play and climb to your heart’s content at the brand-new playgrounds just a few minutes’ walk from the hostel. Or you can visit the Lake Museum and immerse yourself in the history of the three-country lake, which borders Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

By the way, you can easily get from Kreuzlingen Youth Hostel to Romanshorn Youth Hostel on skates, on your bike or on foot using the wonderful paths along the shore.

The skating route from Kreuzlingen to Romanshorn could not be more beautiful. © Swiss Youth Hostels

Enjoy yourself on the shores of Lake Zurich

Even the journey by train to Richterswil Youth Hostel is a highlight. At times it feels like the wagons are gliding over the water because the tracks are built so close to the shore. A boardwalk leads directly from the train station to the youth hostel entrance.

A highlight of this hostel is the small pub by the lake. There are refreshing drinks, local beers and wines as well as freshly prepared cold and hot dishes with a view of Lake Zurich and the islands of Ufenau, Lützelau and Schönenwirt.

Not only is the building of the Richterswil Youth Hostel an eye-catcher, but the small pub by the lake is a cosy place in which to while away a sunny day. © Swiss Youth Hostels

How about a pedalo tour to work off your meal? You can rent one right outside the front door, and guests and members receive a ten percent discount.

You can also take a boat trip from the jetty where the boats are moored. You should definitely plan a stopover in the historic little town of Rapperswil-Jona and spend some time at the youth hostel.

The scheduled boat service docks virtually on the youth hostel’s doorstep. © Swiss Youth Hostels

Have fun with friends and family at Lake Greifen

Do you want to have fun with your family, your best friends or your club? Our rustic and idyllic group house, Fällanden Youth Hostel, is the perfect place for this. The house was designed by the renowned architect Emil Roth. The accommodation is located in a nature reserve, nestled in a huge garden and surrounded by greenery.

Early in the morning, you can jump straight out of bed into Lake Greifen and tank up on vitamin D on the raft. Or you can take adventurous tours in a rowing boat, chill out on a stand-up paddleboard, and explore the shores on your bike or skates. Finally, after an exciting day, the campfire is the perfect place to share your experiences.

Enjoy unforgettable holidays with your loved ones in the group house in Fällanden on the shores of Lake Greifen. © Swiss Youth Hostels

About the author

Nina works as a PR assistant at the Swiss Youth Hostels. Not only is she always on the lookout for exciting stories but she is also always throwing herself into new adventures outside of work to keep life interesting. When she’s not climbing mountains, partying at festivals or discovering Switzerland, she loves to snuggle up on the couch with her two cats.

Even more reasons for a holiday by the water

Natalie searched the Swiss lakes for the most beautiful beaches and put her findings in a blog post. Read her article to find out which youth hostels offer beach feeling.

Categories
Action & adventure Action & adventure autumn autumn Spring Summer

Switzerland on the sea

What a lovely, sunny, cool morning. And what a gift to walk pain-free. The first stages presented some initial difficulties. After the flat and interesting St. Gallen Rhine Valley I slowly turn towards Lake Constance on my Swiss circular hiking tour. Switzerland is truly by the sea, the Swabian Sea.

Quite idyllic these riverside paths. ©Heinz

Allegedly, Rorschach has one of the most beautiful pools in Switzerland. It does not have a sunbathing lawn, but it is built on piles, just like the pile dwellers in Unteruhldingen. I then arrive in Romanshorn, where I once lived for a short time. Now in the youth hostel. Very well kept and full of memories from my school days.

Lake Constance as a water reservoir

Walking really gives you the opportunity to discover tons. Although I know the area quite well, I see a lot of new things on foot that I haven’t seen before while driving.

A few facts about Lake Constance:

  • Switzerland is not the only country to draw drinking water from Lake Constance; lines reach as far as Stuttgart
  • Just 1/3 of Lake Constance’s precipitation is taken by the lake water works
  • Lake Constance is not the largest Swiss lake only because the national borders have allegedly not been definitively defined to this day

With so much water, a detour in Romanshorn to Friedrichshafen by ferry, which takes only 50 minutes, is an obvious choice. Always a new «seaside atmosphere» and especially recommended at sunrise and sunset (Swiss train season tickets are valid on the ferry). The new restaurants in the harbour area and Romanshorn’s lake and park promenade also evoke Mediterranean feelings.

From the ferry you have a wide view into the Swabian Sea. ©Heinz

Versatility on the road

The lake is great to explore on the national border by boat, e.g. from Romanshorn

to Kreuzlingen. Via numerous stops, such as the almost endless footbridge at Altnau, you then reach the Swiss border town of Kreuzlingen.

If you are travelling by bike or inline skates, you will find magnificent paths along Lake Constance. Leisurely ones following the nose or ambitious ones into the nearby hills. The return journey can then also be made in ultra comfort with the «turbo train».

The Thurbo takes you comfortably from A to B. ©Heinz

Great riverside walk

The section from Uttwil to Münsterlingen especially is ideal for exploring the shore of Lake Constance with its numerous nature reserves, nice bathing houses and swanky establishments – or rather, viewing them from a distance. Numerous campsites and lake access points, some with free bathing areas, invite you to rest. My accommodation is of course the youth hostel in Romanshorn.

Along the shore of Lake Constance, somehow almost a bit meditative. ©Heinz

On this journey, I am once again accompanied by a local friend. I think hiking alone is great, but it’s also nice when there are two of you. We finish the joint section with a beer in Konstanz on the lake. Although only sparsely populated at this time of year, it isn’t called the «Ticino of Germany» for nothing.

Art on the shore of Lake Constance. ©Heinz

Speaking of the border, what’s it actually like in the settlement area? Do people notice it at all? The now widely known «COVID-art border». between Kreuzlingen and Konstanz is truly «green». Between the residential areas, the border sometimes can only be recognised by the colour change of the road markings or a «Grenzketteli» chain shop. Elsewhere, relics of wire mesh fences still remain. Customs stations are partially lifted and mostly unguarded.

What a bread landscape

I stay overnight for the first time in the youth hostel villa in the border town of Kreuzlingen. After the river, lake and mountain landscape, I now also discovered the bread landscape. And this is just one of many specialities in this particular youth hostel.

The bread selection in the youth hostels in Kreuzlingen. ©Heinz

On the following hike along the beautiful Seerhein and Untersee, for me one of the most beautiful lakeside landscapes in Switzerland, I can’t help but seize the opportunity for the supposedly best «Osterchüechli» north of Cape Town. I devour it in the evening with the last remaining Christmas beer – somehow fitting for this particular youth hostel location!

The villa directly on the lake. ©Heinz

Ah yes, and there is the «Blumen & Kaffee» by Marianne in one of the so pretty Thurgau See villages, Ermatingen. Flowers are not exactly suitable for carrying, but coffee and grandma’s XL Mailänderli Christmas cookies give me a fresh boost. And of the life wisdoms on display, I find that I am «on my way» with many of them.

Quite historic

My path next takes me along the Untersee with a view of «Napoleon’s Arenenberg Castle», where you can experience dreamlike sunsets. Then to Arbon, another place steeped in Roman history: Eschenz with the «Golden Cup», known as the most valuable Thurgau find of this period. Then the extraordinary site of the Inseli Werd monastery, with access to the long wooden footbridge over the shallow waters of the Rhine.

Until next time – around the Hochrhein …

If you want, you can also follow my route at www.stadt-land-spirit.ch and www.polarsteps.com/HeinzEgli (which can also be used via app).

Rast-auf-dem-Dreiländereck-Grenzstein

Heinz has already completed a part of his border hike. Read more about the start and what he experienced in the first part of the blog series.

Categories
Castles & palaces Castles & palaces Friends Spring

On the Easter Bunny’s trail in Burgdorf

The long Easter weekend was coming up and Katrina and I wanted to go on an outing again. While studying our youth hostel card, we opted for Burgdorf Castle Youth Hostel – a convenient journey, cool location and good starting point for various activities convinced us.

A relaxed start to the Easter weekend

On Easter Saturday we set off towards the Emmental. After about a ten minutes’ walk from the station through the quiet town of Burgdorf and a short ascent, we reached the castle. We were curious to see which themed room we were assigned and were delighted to find the spacious «hole» room, which fortunately did not live up to its name. We were also able to take a peek into the «ski room», which we would also have liked very much.

We started the evening with an aperitif in the castle courtyard and enjoyed the great view of the region. Afterwards we went to the restaurant, where we were spoiled by the delicious cuisine.

 

Time for plan B

After a restful night, a magnificent Easter brunch awaited us, leaving no culinary wishes to be desired. Fresh bread, croissants, fruit, cold cuts and cheese platters, muesli and scrambled eggs – and that wasn’t all. A tender pot roast with fine potato gratin and a dessert buffet rounded off the brunch.

Refueled, off we went to rent scooters. Unfortunately, we hadn’t paid attention to the opening hours beforehand and found ourselves facing closed doors at rent trotti. It was time for plan B! At brunch, a member of the castle staff had tipped us off to go to the Lueg. From there, you could see as far as the Alps. So we spontaneously decided to take the bus to Lueg.

After a short, steep ascent, we reached the monument, where we had a breathtaking view over hills and fields to the Bernese Alps.

 

We didn’t want to get on the bus again, so we decided to walk the way back to Burgdorf. It took us around 2-and-a-half hours through beautiful landscapes and past picturesque houses.

Back in Burgdorf, we were in the mood for Italian cuisine and decided on Restaurant Piazzetta. We were overcome with a desire for pizza with raw ham, rocket and mascarpone, but it wasn’t on the menu. Nevertheless, the friendly waiter fulfilled our wish and we really enjoyed it. We finished off our evening with good pizza, friendly service and a cosy atmosphere.

 

E-bike tour – a must

If you go to Burgdorf, an e-bike tour is basically on the agenda. During our little hike we already noticed why everyone here rides an electric bike. We had already planned to rent one back at home.

 

On Easter Monday, after a hearty breakfast, we checked out and made our way to the bike rental shop Rent-a-bike Burgdorf. We had hired two e-bikes there online for our journey to the Kambly factory shop. Those who are members of the Swiss Youth Hostels can pick up a CHF 10 voucher in advance at the reception and redeem it at Rent-a-bike.

Saddling up our bikes, we pedalled off. However, for unclear reasons, we took the wrong route and reached the pastry specialist in Trubschachen after 50 km instead of the planned 32 km!

The path first led us through the forest. It was steep uphill and just as steep down again. With our great support, however, this was the least of our problems. But the almost 20 km detour was beautiful and the biscuits we were able to try also made up for the effort 😉.

We decided to travel back to Burgdorf from Langnau i. E. by train. Our energy and the bike battery weren’t exhausted, but our butts just didn’t want to sit on the saddle any longer after 3-and-a-half hours. We were glad that we could spontaneously drop off the bikes at Rent-a-bike at the station.

Relaxed, we started our journey home to Zurich and the Fricktal. It certainly wasn’t the last time we will be in Burgdorf, as we didn’t manage to visit the castle’s own museum.

 

The authors

Frau sitzt am Seeufer

This post was written by Katrina, our star marketing assistant. How can she best be described? The editorial team isn’t in complete agreement on this. But the truth probably lies somewhere between expert handball player, Gen Z representative, cooking enthusiast and crêpe connoisseur. She is an excellent addition to our editorial team and counters with humour not only when playing table football, but also when jokes are made about her home canton.

Frau schaut in die Ferne

Katrin is our sports enthusiast department manager of the Swiss Youth Hostel Booking Center. When she’s not in the office, you’ll find her in a hostel or on hiking trails. Fascinated by traveling, she explored Switzerland last summer and shared her unique experience with us.

Categories
Destination Experience Families For who Friends Hostel tips In the mountains

Flatland can be quite versatile

Die andere Tour de Suisse

Mein Name ist Heinz und vor rund zwei Jahren habe ich Beruf und Wohnung im Hinblick auf eine Weitwanderung in den USA gekündigt. Diese konnte ich jedoch coronabedingt nicht antreten. Stattdessen bin ich die letzten beiden Sommer durch die Alpen ans Mittelmeer nach Ventimiglia bzw. an die Adria nach Triest gewandert.

Provisions are a must on such a hike. The border stone at the border triangle also serves as a bench for taking a break. ©Heinz

Dieses Jahr beabsichtige ich, zu Fuss auf rund 2’800 km entlang der „Schweizer Grenze“ unterwegs zu sein. Über Stock, Wiese und Stein, jedoch immer auf Wegen, möglichst nahe an der Grenze. Oft entlang von Gewässern und auf Kreten, meist in der Landschaft, aber auch immer wieder durch Dörfer und Städte.

Entlang der fünf Nachbarländer, durch 16 Kantone und vier Sprachregionen, sowie vorbei an zahlreichen Zöllen, über unzählige Brücken und vorbei an über 17’000 Grenzsteinen. Bei einem Tagesdurchschnitt von 22 km wären dabei jeweils rund 1’300 m Auf- und Abstieg zurückzulegen.

One of the countless border stones Heinz has walked past, here the very first border stone. ©Heinz

First, I travel along the Swiss, Liechtenstein, Austrian and German borders. Overnight stays in Swiss Youth Hostels are a perfect choice. I look forward to taking you along on this hiking tour and reporting on my experiences, impressions and tips.

Die Rheinbrücke zwischen Lustenau und Widnau befindet sich auch auf Heinzs reise.

St. Gallen – Ostschweiz, ganz schön Schweiz!

Ausgangs- und immer wieder Rückkehrort während meines ersten grösseren Wander-Abschnitts ist St. Gallen mit der stadtüberblickenden Jugendherberge. Betriebsleiterin Ariana geht mit ihrer sympathischen und liebevollen Art auf jeden einzelnen Gast individuell ein. So auch auf mich, vielen Dank!

Schweiz. ganz natuerlich.                          Blick vom Dreilindenweg auf die Stadt St.Gallen.

Best view of the city of St. Gallen. ©Swiss Tourism

St. Gallen hat noch viel mehr zu bieten

Flach muss nicht langweilig und öde sein

Ich starte meine Tour an der schweiz-lichtensteinischen Grenze zwischen Balzers und St. Luzisteig. Gleich zu Beginn heisst es, 300 Höhenmeter in Richtung Fläscher Berg zu bezwingen. Damit habe ich meine Tour de Suisse Bergpreis für die nächsten Tage bereits verdient. Danach geht es vorerst meist dem Rhein entlang abwärts. Die durchschnittlich anstehenden 1’300 Höhenmeter zur Umrundung der Schweizer Grenze scheinen noch in weiter Ferne.

At the top of Fläscher Berg, this breathtaking view of the Bündner Herrschaft awaits you – it’s definitely worth the effort. ©Heinz

Die zuletzt neugebaute Schweizer Jugendherberge mit besonders feinem Frühstück gib es im Ausland. Vor einem Jahr hat sie in Schaan-Vaduz wiedereröffnet. Nahe der Schweizer Grenze und dem Hauptort Vaduz steht sie. Bereits im letzten August durfte ich hier einige Tage verbringen.

Ausflugsempfehlungen im Ländle Liechtenstein

The modern youth hostel in Schaan-Vaduz is a wonderful fit for this small country. ©Heinz

Hoher Kasten oder Fürstensteig?

Weiter gehts rheinabwärts. Eine wohl einfache Wanderstrecke, doch keinesfalls eintönig. Das weite Tal umgeben von schweizerischen, liechtensteinischen und österreichischen Bergen. Auf die Staubern wäre es auch möglich mit der Bahn zu reisen. Von da aus gelangt man in den Alpstein zum Drehrestaurant Hoher Kasten, zum Fälensee mit Berggasthaus Bollewees oder zum Klettern in die Kreuzberge. Auf der Ostseite erreicht man durch den Fürstensteig die drei Schwestern, talabwärts gelangt man zu Fuss oder mit der Bahn zum Ausflugsrestaurant Karren.

If you need to cool off on the way, the Bruggerhorn lido in St. Margrethen is the place to be. ©Heinz

Trennt oder verbindet die Grenze?

Auf der weiteren Tour frage ich mich, trennt oder verbindet die Grenze? Ich komme zum Entschluss, dass beides der Fall ist. Die Kiesbänke im Rhein, die bei Niederwasser begehbar sind, werden zum Treff- und Erlebnisort beidseits der Grenze.
Ich nähere mich den Altläufen des Rheins in Diepoldsau und Rheineck-Altenrhein. Wahre Natur- und Freizeitparadiese, entstanden durch die seinerzeitige Begradigung des Rheins.

The old course of the Rhine near Diepoldsau is also a magnificent spot. It lies directly between Switzerland and Austria. ©Heinz

For those who want to enjoy more magnificent views of Lake Constance, I recommend a short ride on the Kleinst-Appenzeller-Bähnli. From Rheineck to Walzenhausen or from Rorschach (Hafen) to Heiden, it also offers the perfect starting point for a hike with great views – for example to the Fünfländerblick.

Vielen Dank meinen Freunden für die täglichen Treffen und Begleitungen zum Tourauftakt. Und bis bald wieder mit euch allen!

Glückliche Wege, Heinz

 

Wer möchte, kann meinen Weg zusätzlich auf meiner Website oder über die Plattform Polarsteps (gut auch per App nutzbar) verfolgen.

Categories
Castles & palaces Experience Families For who Friends

Detectives wanted at Burgdorf Castle Museum

This is where you come in. The signet ring must be returned to Burgdorf Castle Museum, but where is it?
Fortunately, the surveillance camera filmed everything and now the inspector is trying to piece together the various leads. And she needs your help doing it.

The commissioner reveals hot information to put you on the right track. ©Burgdorf Castle

Forensics were able to recover a lost notebook. In it, the thief has neatly recorded his or her ideas on what else to steal. The reception desk will be happy to share with you the clues that have been found so far, and to get you started, the inspector will show you a video with tips for your search in the museum.

This family was already on the trail of the thief. Are you the next? ©Burgdorf Castle

On the detective tour you will pass by numerous exhibit highlights and learn interesting background information about the objects. In some of the places you need to be very observant, in others you need patience to find the right solution. After all, you’ll be learning lots about the ancestors of the suspects and the history of the castle.

What role does this cannon play in the case of the missing signet ring? ©Burgdorf Castle

At the end of the tour, the inspector will eagerly be awaiting your new findings, which will hopefully help to solve the case. If your clues lead to discovering the culprit, the inspector will present you with a Master Detective award as a thank you. The Burgdorf Castle Museum is counting on the help of as many sleuths as possible!

Burgdorf Castle Museum is worth a trip even without tracking. ©Burgdorf Castle

The new detective tour is suitable for museum visitors with children aged nine and up. For families with younger children, the family tour with the castle ghost Burdtli and his friends in the museum is an excellent choice. There are also free tour flyers available at the reception for anyone interested in the Middle Ages or globetrotting

Detektivtour_Logo

About the author

Portraitbild von Daniel Furter

Daniel is the museum director at Burgdorf Castle. He really enjoys the unique combination of museum, youth hostel and restaurant, which always makes for exciting encounters. To keep the museum alive, he is always on the lookout for new stories and collaborations. Among the youth hostels, he is particularly fond of the two wellness hostels.

Categories
In the mountains In the mountains

Explore Saanenland in winter and take some time out

Everyone has heard of Gstaad. The place where the world’s rich and famous spend their winter holidays. But during my visit to Saanenland, it wasn’t designer ski jackets that caught my eye. Instead, I felt a wholly unexpected, deep sense of relaxation. After all, the Bernese Oberland region is committed to the motto “come up and slow down”, and it is much more than just a marketing message.

Charming Gstaad shows itself from its best side. ©Christina Ragettli

The view from the Gstaad Youth Hostel in Saanenland alone helps me stay grounded: Cosy chalets dot the landscape in the stunning mountain valley surrounded by peaks. Marianne, operations manager of the Gstaad Youth Hostel, also tells me that there is a strong sense of community in the region. You won’t find any large chain companies here – hoteliers and businesses help one another out and everyone is accepted with open arms. This has enabled the region to retain its original charm, which is missing in some other mountain regions.

The youth hostel in Saanen was newly built in 2014. ©Christina Ragettli

But does Gstaad offer in winter?

The region is truly a sledging paradise. There are six sledging routes for different levels and even an option to go sledging at night. You can hire a sledge on-site – and off you go. I tested out the Horneggli Run and was impressed – the trails are in excellent condition and it’s great fun to race down the mountain with a sledge hired in Gstaad.

What are you waiting for? On the sled, get set, go! ©Christina Ragettli

The different ski areas around Gstaad

There are 200 kilometres of trails around Gstaad for skiing and snowboarding fun. I recommend that you choose between the “Oeschseite/Saanenmöser/Schönried” or “Rübeldorf/Eggli/Rougement” regions right in the morning. The Saanenmöser area is slightly larger and there’s more to do. There’s a larger selection of restaurants, you can test your skills at the snow park, and the sledging pass will get a lot of use here, too. The area surrounding Rougement is somewhat steeper and quieter, and several trails pass spectacular cliffs around La Videmanette. If you like, you can even visit the Les Diablerets 3000 ski area – it’s just after Gsteig, but isn’t included in the Gstaad ski pass.

Optimal conditions are in the Bernese Oberland! ©Christina Ragettli

Are you looking for a special experience?

Then I have a great tip for all winter fans in Gstaad. At Saanersloch (above the Saanenmöser mountain station), there’s an igloo village! Here, you can enjoy cheese fondue or do the Mystery Igloo. Mystery Igloo – what’s that?! Mystery Igloo is like an escape room, the popular game you may know from cities. The Mystery Igloo on the Saanersloch is the perfect team or family activity. You have 45 minutes to solve a variety of puzzles – leading you to the hidden ice crystal. Good luck and have fun!

Put a little more effort into your head in the afternoon! ©Christina Ragettli

Catch some rays in the light-flooded Gstaad Youth Hostel

In 2014, the Gstaad Youth Hostel opened its doors as a new building constructed according to the Minergie P-Eco standard. The accommodation merges into the landscape, impressing with its large, open rooms. Practically every room is flooded with light and offers amazing views of the region. This is why the youth hostel in Saanenland has also been awarded the “Watt d’Or” in the category “Buildings and Space”.

By the way, there’s a cosy terrace in front of the hostel – or for waiting for the ski bus that departs near the hostel. Come and put your feet up.

With these conditions, working is directly much easier. ©Christina Ragettli

The Gstaad Youth Hostel also caters to those who would like to work on-site. Fun, relaxation, and work all in one. Because the lobby and dining area are perfect for the “Work`n`snow” offer with wifi, water and mountain views included.

Flooded with light and offering a breathtaking view – the rooms at Gstaad Youth Hostel. ©Christina Ragettli

About the author

Mountain lover Christina Ragettli is from Grison. Besides her job as a marketing & communications manager in the tourism sector, she enjoys hiking and skiing.

On her blog wildmountainheart.ch she takes her readers with her on her adventures. For example, in the summer of 2020, she packed her tent and hiked 2000 kilometres across the Alps alone for almost five months on the Via Alpina.
Her book «VON WEGEN» will also be published in April 2022.

Christina also supports her brother and freeski pro Andri Ragettli in all communication matters, wrote his book “ATTACK YOUR DREAMS” (to be published in spring 2022) and is a volunteer writer for the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) Terri section.

Follow Christina’s hostel stories also on Instagram:

instagram.com/swissyouthhostels
instagram.com/christinara

Categories
Winter

Cross-country excursion to Pontresina Youth Hostel with your dog

The time has come for Nanuk’s first holiday excursion. Nanuk is my no-longer-so-little German Shepherd. And by excursion, I mean a night at Pontresina Youth Hostel. There’s a special reason why I chose this place! The youth hostel in Pontresina isn’t your usual run-of-the-mill youth hostel – it’s also a cross-country skiing centre. The trail is right next to the hotel, and the equipment hire shop is even in the same building. It’s really practical. After all, I’d like to try cross-country skiing with Nanuk

Our cross-country centre at Pontresina Youth Hostel ©Christina Ragettli

A perfect hobby for winter sports fans with dogs

Although I’m still a bit shaky on my skis, I set out confidently on an adventure on this beautiful winter day. After a warm-up lap in front of the hostel, Nanuk and I leave Pontresina and head towards Madulain. It’s home to one of several dog trails in the Engadin. There, I hook Nanuk onto my repurposed climbing harness with his flexi leash and off we go.

Nanuk ready for the track ©Christina Ragettli

Or at least that was the plan. Nanuk doesn’t like the cross-country skiers at all. He barks at them like crazy, and even tries to bite them. The other cross-country skiers watch me and smile. Oh man, this isn’t what I had imagined at all. After a few assertive shouts of “No, don’t bite the skiers, Nanuk!” and lots of patience, we manage our first few metres forwards. Slowly but steadily. Just don’t brake. Nanuk likes the braking sound caused by the skis least of all.

When it runs, it runs! Nanuk is a little cross-country skiing pro after all. ©Christina Ragettli

However, about ten minutes later, everything “clicks” and Nanuk is happily doing laps with me on the trail! Ok, I may have to retrieve him whenever a cross-country skier crosses our path and shorten his radius to keep him at my side. But he seems to really enjoy the dog trail. After a good hour, we’re finished – I don’t want to overtax the little guy on his first time out. And so we return to Pontresina Youth Hostel, feeling happy and tired.

Stay at the youth hostel with your dog

Nanuk is greeted at Pontresina Youth Hostel in the best possible way. Snacks, dog waste bags, a terry cloth towel and a greeting card “Hello Christina and woof Nanuk”. Dogs are definitely welcome here! Tip: Bring your own dog bed if necessary. Youth hostel visitors also need to know that their dog should be registered and is only allowed in private rooms. So, you don’t have to leave him or her alone. Dogs are welcome at almost all Swiss Youth Hostels – with the exception of Baden Youth Hostel.

Nanuk seems to be having a great time at the youth hostel. ©Christina Ragettli

More tips for an awesome winter excursion to Pontresina – with and without your dog

Explore the Val Roseg

A beautiful valley surrounded by the highest of the Engadin’s peaks. The hike to “Roseg” takes two hours. There, you will find a mountain restaurant & hotel. Coaches will also take you back and forth if need be. It’s perfect for everyone whose legs get tired and who find a four-hour hike to be simply too much of a good thing. By the way: There’s also a cross-country skiing trail to Val Roseg.

The Val Roseg in its full glory. ©Christina Ragettli

Val Morteratsch – try pizzoccheri

The trail to Val Morteratsch is a bit shorter than the one to Val Roseg. You can reach the glacier by foot within an hour. Unfortunately, it’s receding further and further, which is being documented with info boards along the trail for some excitement. Just before the glacier, the forest thins out and you can see Piz Palü, Piz Bernina (the eastern most 4,000-metre peak) and Piz Morteratsch. And the Boval Hut is also “within grasp” but closed in winter. So, now it’s back to the Morteratsch mountain restaurant, where I treat myself to a Valtellina speciality common in the Engadin every visit: pizzoccheri.

Pizzoccheri in bright sunshine – what better way to enjoy the day? ©Christina Ragettli

Nanuk seems to like it in the Engadine as much as I do. ©Christina Ragettli

Lej da Staz

Lej da Staz, mentioned once in the St. Moritz blog post, is also just a short hike away. It’s worth a trip, no matter the season.

Ley Staz in St. Moritz im Winter

On her first trip to the Engadine, Christina still experienced Lake Staz in this splendour. ©Christina Ragettli

Coffee and cake break at Gianottis

Back in Pontresina, it was time to do something good for the soul. Right next door to the Zuckerbäckerei bakery, you can make yourself comfortable at the café and enjoy a delicious piece of cake complete with a view of the mountains. The chocolate cake was excellent and the passion fruit cheesecake was also very popular. Tip for Pontresina in spring: The ibexes generally like to visit in late spring (a bit above the valley station). It’s an unforgettable experience to be able to marvel at the animals at close range.

Nothing beats a big piece of cake. ©Christina Ragettli

Skiing in Diavolezza, Corvatsch or Corviglia

You can buy the ski ticket from Pontresina Youth Hostel for a good price. For only 45 francs per person/day, you get the ski pass for the three skiing areas in the Engadin. This makes fun on the slopes in one of the three skiing areas worth it twice over.

Some more impressions of Christina in Engadin

About the author

Mountain lover Christina Ragettli is from Grison. Besides her job as a marketing & communications manager in the tourism sector, she enjoys hiking and skiing.

On her blog wildmountainheart.ch she takes her readers with her on her adventures. For example, in the summer of 2020, she packed her tent and hiked 2000 kilometres across the Alps alone for almost five months on the Via Alpina.
Her book «VON WEGEN» will also be published in April 2022.

Christina also supports her brother and freeski pro Andri Ragettli in all communication matters, wrote his book “ATTACK YOUR DREAMS” (to be published in spring 2022) and is a volunteer writer for the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) Terri section.

Follow Christina’s hostel stories also on Instagram:

instagram.com/swissyouthhostels
instagram.com/christinara

Christina in St. Moritz

Christina has already been to Engadin once, and we also have a youth hostel in St. Moritz. In her experience report on St. Moritz, you can find out what else you can experience in Engadin around our two youth hostels.

Frau auf Steg am gefrorenen See St.Moritz
Categories
In the mountains Presenting... Winter

Our February hightlights for you!

Our getaway tip of the month

TO THE SCHATZALP!

The Schatzalp cable car takes you from the centre of Davos to Schatzalp in just 4 minutes.

The highlight? The view! We thank Walter for this breathtaking shot.

Picture: Instagram @duede

News

Through the winter – without skis or snowboards!

You can still experience the magic of winter to the fullest without your slats or board. Snowshoeing can be quite adventurous and the panorama is just as beautiful!

If you don’t want to miss out on adrenaline completely, you can find our sledging tips here:

Where holidays become accessible for all

Travel should be accessible to ALL. This conviction has always been of central importance to us and is set out in our mission statement. As a result, 25 of our facilities are currently completely barrier-free – and that number is growing all the time.

Learn more about obstacle free stays

 

Celebrate with us

Special occasions should be celebrated as they come! Anniversaries and birthdays deserve to be celebrated properly. Are you still looking for the ideal location for your next event? Let our versatile offering inspire you.

Find out more about exclusive youth hostel rental.

Picture: Sandra Steinmann
Decoration: Hochzyt’s Gugus

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