Eastern Switzerland

An adventurous world of valleys and mountains

From Lake Constance to the lovely fruit and wine growing regions of the Thurgau and the hilly Appenzellerland to the Alpstein massif with the majestic Säntis, you will see that the landscape changes constantly.

Like the Rhine Falls, Europe's largest waterfall near Schaffhausen, Lake Constance, also called the "Swabian Sea", is one of the natural sites that is worth visiting.

More mystical but no less enchanting is the Klöntalersee, a natural lake in the canton of Glarus that was formed by a landslide. Gazing over the narrow valleys and steep mountain slopes of the "Zigererschlitz", as the canton of Glarus is also known, the Tödi sits enthroned and eternally covered with ice and snow. However, the Elmer Martinsloch is without doubt the biggest attraction. Twice every year, the sun shines through the 16 metre hole to create a breath-taking natural spectacle in Tschingelhörner.

Not far from here, high above Lake Walensee, one can see the spectacular and charming mountain range with the Churfirsten against the backdrop of the natural paradise of Toggenburg. The Zürcher Weinland with its golden vineyards, idyllic forest lakes, the wetlands of Thur, Greifensee, the panoramic mountains Pfannenstiel and Bachtel and finally the Goldcoast on Lake Zurich complete these scenic sites towards the west.

Cyclists ride along Lake Constance


Boat at Stein am Rhein

In the course of history, humans have also left their mark in eastern Switzerland at an early stage. Fortresses and castles were built in the middle ages. Many of them have been preserved till today and some can also be visited. For example, the Salenstein Castle with the Napoleon museum high above Lake Constance, the Vaduz Castle in Liechtenstein and the Hohenklingen Castle near Stein on the Rhine. The erstwhile monastery in Kartause Ittingen is also worth a visit.

The abbey district of St. Gallen is the architectural embodiment of a history that is older than a 1000 years and is also a UNESCO world cultural heritage site; the Abbey Library in St. Gallen is world famous. Eastern Switzerland has many attractive cityscapes, the best-known ones being Appenzell, Stein on the Rhine, Schaffhausen, Rapperswil and Glarus.

Werdenberg in the St. Gallen Rhine Valley is an insider tip; not only because of its magnificent castle, but also because it is considered to be the oldest wooden settlement in Switzerland and probably the smallest city in the world. Today, eastern Switzerland is making a name for itself because of its modern architecture. Popular attractions also include the suspension railway on the Säntis, the Toggenburg sound trail, a joke trail and various theme trails based on customs.


Two couples out and about in the mountains

People from eastern Switzerland prefer a down to earth approach - and this is reflected in their food as well. Their traditional, natural specialities are known far beyond this region. First and foremost the St. Gallen bratwurst, Appenzell cheese and the "Zürcher Geschnetzelte". The Toggenburg Schlorzifladen (creamy pear flan), the Liechtenstein "Käsknöpfle", the Glarner Zigerhörnli and the Schaffhausen Riesling soup with Riesling-Silvaner from the Schaffhausen Blauburgunerland are the culinary pride of the region.

When it comes to sweet treats, the Biber is the speciality of Appenzell and the Glarner Pastete is the speciality of "Zigerschlitz". The only thing missing is the "cider" from the apple plantations of Mostindien, as Thurgau is also called.

Prisca Jaisli
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Our active tours in eastern Switzerland


Cycling holidays Rhine-Highlights

5 Days | Self-guided tour

Cycling holidays Rhine Route Andermatt - Basel

10 Days | Self-guided tour

Cycling holidays Rhine Route Vorderrhein & Rheintal cat. A

5 Days | Self-guided tour