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Hiking holidays: Via Jacobi Rorschach - Geneva

Hiking: Via Jacobi

The Jacobs trail in Switzerland

Lined by churches, monasteries and chapels, this hiking tour offers a unique experience on historical paths through varied cultural landscapes. Switzerland's most beautiful lakes, chapels and churches are strung like pearls along the Via Jacobi. The high peaks of the Central Swiss Alps and the Bernese Oberland will guide you on your way through Switzerland. Change of scenery in the endless forests of Jorat in the canton of Fribourg. Now the snow covered peaks of Mont Blanc and the sparkling Lake Geneva come into view before the pilgrimage ends in the charming city of Geneva.

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Itinerary

As a medieval traffic hub and lake port of St. Gallen, Rorschach is mentioned as a pilgrimage station around the year 1300. Highlights of the hike to Herisau: visit to the Stift Library in St. Gallen and the bridge landscape in Bruggen.

approx. 4 h
approx. 15 km
550 m
280 m

By train to Herisau. Herisau, oldest Appenzell parish seat has been known since 907. The path leads past the former hostel, zum Goldenen Sternen, then on through the varied hilly landscape of Appenzell and Toggenburg to Wattwil. By bus to the neighbouring village Liechtensteig, where you will spend the night.

approx. 7 h
approx. 23 km
1'000 m
1'125 m

By bus back to Wattwil. Between Wattwil and Rapperswil, the landscape is dotted with individual farms and marked by gently rolling hills and various-sized woodland areas. Some beautiful sunken paths turn the hike into a special experience.

approx. 6.5 h
approx. 25 km
665 m
865 m

The hike leads over the wooden footbridge from Rapperswil to Hurden built in 2001 and then over the Etzelpass to Einsiedeln. Particularly impressive views of the Zürichsee on this trail to Switzerland’s most important place of pilgrimage.

approx. 4.5 h
approx. 16 km
760 m
260 m

The trail over Haggenegg leads through the beautiful high valley of Alp towards the two Mythen peaks. The stately Au Convent and panoramic views of the Glarner Alps and the valley basin of Schwyz and Brunnen are feasts for the eyes.

approx. 6.5 h
approx. 24 km
635 m
1'095 m

This section includes a boat trip from Brunnen to Treib, the ancient refuge harbour at the point where cantons Uri, Schwyz and Nidwalden meet. The chapels along the way and the Winkelried memorial in Stans are worth seeing.

approx. 6 h
approx. 20 km
650 m
670 m

Following the first ascent after Stans, impressive views open up to Stanser Boden, the Vierwaldstättersee and the Innerschweiz mountain peaks. Highpoint at the end of the section is the hermitage of Niklaus von Flüe and the Ranft chapels.

approx. 5 h
approx. 17 km
760 m
480 m

Flüeli affords outstanding views. The varied route follows the shores of the Sarneree and Lungernsee lakes and from Lungern church along the Brünigweg which, as a pilgrimage pfennig (coin) shows, was once a pilgrims’ path.

approx. 6.5 h
approx. 23 km
820 m
560 m

Brünig offers a magnificent mountain panorama with the high Bernese Oberland summits and eternal snow. The trail leads along sunny slopes above the Brienzersee lake, allowing you to experience an exceptionally lovely landscape.

approx. 8.5 h
approx. 30 km
860 m
1'300 m

The section leads alongside the River Aare to the Weissenau nature reserve on the Thunersee lake. From Neuhaus it continues through woodland, often with clear views of the lake and the Bernese Alps. The Beatushöhlen (caves), former place of pilgrimage of St. Beatus are particularly impressive. From Merligen by boat to Spiez.

approx. 4 h
approx. 13 km
445 m
445 m

In peaceful countryside, with the Stockhorn mountain chain in the background, past several lakes and 2 of the «1000 –year-old churches on Lake Thun»: The oldest, built by King Rudolf II of Burgundy, is in Einigen. Romanesque church in Amsoldingen with an impressive crypt by the same builder.

approx. 5.5 h
approx. 21 km
665 m
440 m

The Rüeggisberg Monastery ruins and Wahlern Church, seen from afar enthroned on a sandstone ridge, are cultural highlights on the route to Schwarzenburg. The hike is also enhanced by the unspoiled pre-Alpine landscape.

approx. 5.5 h
approx. 21 km
585 m
645 m

The trail leads along the Sensegraben, popular recreational area and nature reserve. After the Sodbachbrücke bridge, numerous religious symbols along the wayside are a clear indication that you’ve crossed the border into the Catholic canton of Fribourg.

approx. 5.5 h
approx. 21 km
390 m
560 m

The city of Fribourg with its numerous historic references to St James and the St James pilgrims would be worth the journey on its own. The pilgrims’ path leads over the St Apolline bridge and through the varied landscape of the Glâne to Romont.

approx. 7 h
approx. 28 km
610 m
500 m

The stage of the Via Jacobi that links Romont to Moudon has some beautiful viewpoints and no particular difficulties. Both little towns share the fact of having once belonged to the Duke of Savoy.

approx. 3.5 h
approx. 15 km
180 m
440 m

Along the River Broye to Bressonnaz an area with bridges crossing both the Broye and the Carrouge rivers. The trail to Vucherens has open views of the Freiburger Alps and the forested Jorat region.

approx. 7.5 h
approx. 29 km
740 m
720 m

In Lausanne, the ViaJacobi leads from the Notre Dame Cathedral down the Escaliers du Marché. In Vidy it crosses an idyllic park with Roman ruins and then follows the popular lakeside promenade along Lac Léman to Morges.

approx. 7.5 h
approx. 31 km
280 m
420 m

Caesar founded Nyon, intellectuals gathered in the salon of Madame de Staël in Coppet and the rich and famous still love Lac Léman. As a pilgrim, you can reflect on all this or simply enjoy the inspiring landscape.

approx. 7 h
approx. 29 km
400 m
360 m

This hike leads through villages with a French ambiance to cosmopolitan Genève. Highlight and end point is the impressive St. Pierre Cathedral. One magnificent stained glass window depicts St James wearing a purple cloak trimmed with ermine.

approx. 4.5 h
approx. 17 km
200 m
240 m

Tour character

The hiking trails mostly lead along wide forest and field paths, only on the stage to Stans you have to reckon with narrower paths along Lake Lucerne. Very good basic fitness is required for the long stages.

The Via Jacobi at SwitzerlandMobility

Prices & Dates

All data for 2023 at a glance
Place of arrival: Rorschach
  Season 1
18.03.2023 - 31.03.2023
15.04.2023 - 12.05.2023
23.09.2023 - 15.10.2023

every day except Sunday
Season 2
01.04.2023 - 14.04.2023
13.05.2023 - 22.09.2023

every day except Sunday
Via Jacobi Rorschach - Geneva, 21 days, CH-OSWRG-21X
Base price
3'039.-
3'119.-
Extra night single room (BB) 989.- 989.-

Category: 3* hotels & small B&Bs

Season 1
Mar 18, 2023 - Mar 31, 2023
Apr 15, 2023 - May 12, 2023
Sep 23, 2023 - Oct 15, 2023
every day except Sunday
Season 2
Apr 1, 2023 - Apr 14, 2023
May 13, 2023 - Sep 22, 2023
every day except Sunday
Via Jacobi Rorschach - Geneva, 21 days, CH-OSWRG-21X
Base price
Extra night single room (BB)
3'039.-
989.-
3'119.-
989.-

Category: 3* hotels & small B&Bs

Season 1
Mar 18, 2023 - Mar 31, 2023
Apr 15, 2023 - May 12, 2023
Sep 23, 2023 - Oct 15, 2023
Season 2
Apr 1, 2023 - Apr 14, 2023
May 13, 2023 - Sep 22, 2023
Rorschach
Extra night double room (BB)
Extra night single room (BB)
Geneva
Extra night double room (BB)
Extra night single room (BB)
125.-
180.-
95.-
150.-
125.-
180.-
95.-
150.-
Additional nights
Place of arrival: Rorschach
  Season 1
Mar 18, 2023 - Mar 31, 2023
Apr 15, 2023 - May 12, 2023
Sep 23, 2023 - Oct 15, 2023

every day except Sunday
Season 2
Apr 1, 2023 - Apr 14, 2023
May 13, 2023 - Sep 22, 2023

every day except Sunday
Rorschach
Extra night double room (BB) 125.- 125.-
Extra night single room (BB) 180.- 180.-
Geneva
Extra night double room (BB) 95.- 95.-
Extra night single room (BB) 150.- 150.-
Prices per person in CHF

Services & Information

Services

Included:

  • Overnight stays according to the itinerary incl. breakfast
  • Daily Luggage transfers
  • Costs for luggage drop-off at the station (for direct arrival and departure)
  • Subsidy for travel by train
  • Visit to the Abbey Library in St. Gallen
  • Boat ride Brunnen – Treib
  • Boat ride Merligen – Spiez
  • Carefully elaborated route description
  • Travel documents (1 x per room) incl. SwitzerlandMobility Plus subscription
  • Service hotline

Note:

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price!
  • Train ride St. Gallen – Herisau not included in the tour price. Approx. CHF 10.- (option Rorschach – Einsiedeln)
  • Return ticket for the bus ride Wattwil – Lichtensteig not included in the tour price. Approx CHF 10.-
  • Reservation fee of CHF 15 per adult (incl. legally required customer money protection) 
Information

Arrival/Departure:

  • Arrival by public transport to Rorschach. Drop off your luggage at the luggage counter by 10:00 a.m. at the latest.
  •   Departure by public transport from Geneva. Luggage will be returned to the luggage counter by 5:00 p.m. at the latest. 

Other important information: 

  • The distance travelled is approximate and may differ from the actual distance. 
  • Travel cancellation insurance, including travel interruption insurance is recommended. 
Travel documents

Travel documents "digital”

In future we will reduce the amount of printed documents. You will receive instructions to help you find your way around using the SwitzerlandMobility app.  We will provide you with further information online. In advance you will receive a small package of documents with the following contents:

  • Description of how to use the necessary apps
  • Detailed programme for the individual stages
  • Annual subscription to SwitzerlandMobility Plus
  • Luggage tags
  • Any vouchers

On the way, you can easily find your way with the SwitzerlandMobility app and other freely accessible aids. Background information and all other documents are delivered electronically and can be downloaded to your mobile phone in advance.

Let us know if you don't want to do without maps. We will send them to you free of charge.

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Do you still have questions about the tour? We are happy to help and look forward to your inquiry.