Alpenpanoramaweg Appenzell

On the Alpine Panorama Trail from Appenzellerland to Lake Constance

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A multi-day hike on the Alpine Panorama Trail without a heavily packed backpack and overnight camp in a shared room – is that even possible? But of course! Based on our good experiences, we on the bike tour around Lake Constance once again tested an offer from Private Selection Hotels: this time the one that can be booked all year round Multi-day hike on the Alpine Panorama Trail from Weissbad via Heiden to Horn on Lake Constance. Thanks to luggage transport and stopovers in first-class wellness hotels, a hiking experience that is both relaxed and enjoyable.

Starting point Hotel Hof Weissbad

The starting point of our multi-day hike on the Alpine Panorama Trail is the Hotel Hof Weissbad in the middle of the extensive lovely Appenzell Innerrhoder hilly landscape. Even though today’s hotel has only been built since 1994, Weissbad’s history as a health resort with national appeal began in the 18th century. At that time, whey cures developed into a fashionable remedy and accordingly bathhouses and then spa hotels were built and operated. Around 20 years after the closure of the former spa hotel, the “new” Hotel Hof Weissbad was opened in 1994. After just a few years, it was able to establish itself as a model company in the industry. The success story continues to this day – but a lot is invested in this. Latest achievement: A two-story bath and sauna house made of spruce wood, which has been harmoniously integrated into the garden with its classic elegance.

And this is exactly where we spend a few relaxing hours after our arrival at Hof Weissbad to start our hiking weekend. Simply wonderful!

Hotel Hof Weissbad Wellness

Later we’ll take a closer look at our room. The floor plan is spacious, the materials used are of high quality and local craftsmanship is integrated where possible. There is also a “bar” on every floor where guests can help themselves to tea, coffee, water and drinks from the local hero “Goba”.

Room in the Hotel Hof Weissbad

The hiking package from Private Selection Hotels not only includes luggage transport and overnight accommodation, but also a 4-course meal every evening. But first we don’t miss a quick bar check – a plus point is for the aperitif appetizers served with the drinks and the live piano music. And later, dinner also managed to meet our expectations. And these were set high – after all, chef Käthi Fässler, who has been awarded 16 Gault Millau points, is responsible for the creations of the two restaurants at Hof Weissbad.

Drinks at the Hotel Hof Weissbad
Fine Dining at the Hotel Hof Weissbad

Stage 1: On the Alpine Panorama Trail from Bühler to Heiden

We start our first day of hiking with a hearty breakfast. The breakfast buffet at Hof Weissbad leaves nothing to be desired. My highlight is the warm ginger turmeric shot; This means we are prepared to withstand the dreary November weather. Although: It is surprisingly bright outside. Overnight Ms. Holle has the Appenzellerland white sugared. This means we can effectively test the hike on the Alpine Panorama Trail for its suitability all year round.

Breakfast at the Hotel Hof Weissbad

After breakfast we leave our luggage at the reception. The Private Selection Hotels work with Eurotrek for luggage transport. We have known that this works perfectly since our bike tour around Lake Constance.

The Alpine Panorama Trail, which leads from Lake Constance to Lake Geneva, does not run directly through Weissbad. The starting point of the second stage (Appenzell – Trogen) is in the cantonal capital of Appenzell, an hour’s walk away. The route suggested by Private Selection Hotels skips the first 6.5 kilometers and starts at Bühler train station – so we add the kilometers saved at the beginning back at the end, since our destination is not in Trogen, but in Heiden.

From Bühler we follow the signposts through the white-covered landscape up into the hills. The weather is not ideal – at least not for enjoying the great view of the Säntis. This is hidden behind a thick layer of clouds. But we enjoy the peace and quiet that this wintry landscape radiates.

After a good hour of walking, we reach the Hohe Buche restaurant at the highest point of the first hill. On this day we can only imagine that it is one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Appenzellerland. But we take the opportunity to warm up briefly with a cup of coffee.

Alpenpanoramaweg Bühler-Rehetobel
Appenzell Hiking on the Alpine Panorama Trail

The hike then takes us down the Wissegg to Trogen. The hiking trail leads through the middle of the historic village center, where you can admire stately wooden frame buildings along the way. Then we go steeply up to Rehetobel via Chastenloch. And when we wander past here again, we’ll take the opportunity to have one Of course you can’t miss a stopover at the Gasthaus zum Gupf. This is not directly on the Alpine Panorama Trail, but can be reached with a five-minute detour. Be sure to reserve a table by phone in advance – the Gupf is usually well attended.

Strengthened and warmed up, we tackle the last kilometers in the late afternoon. We have already completed the remaining route from Gupf via Kaienspitz to Heiden in the opposite direction. A great, entertaining game that, weather permitting, offers a phenomenal panoramic view from Lake Constance over the Alpstein to the Säntis.

Rehetobel Heiden Wandern
Alpenpanoramaweg Rehetobel - Heiden
View Kaienspitz

Key details of the hike Bühler – Trogen – Rehetobel – Heiden

You can see the route of our hike from Bühler train station via Trogen and Rehetobel to Heiden on the following hiking map. This is a yellow marked hiking trail (T1/T2). The length of the hike can be shortened as desired (e.g. by starting in Trogen instead of Bühler). From Weissbad to Bühler you usually have a public transport connection every hour. The journey time takes 40 minutes.

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Starting pointBühler train station (825 m above sea level)
AccessibilityAccessible by public transport
Length15.6 kilometers
Altitude↗ 882 m ↘ 904 m
Duration 5:00 h
DestinationHotel Heiden (805 m above sea level), approx. 5 minutes from Heiden train station
Refreshments availableRestaurant Hohe Buche / Gasthaus zum Gupf

Stopover at the Hotel Heiden

Around 4:00 p.m. we reach the Hotel Heiden in an enviable location Promising location not far from Heiden train station. The minimalist concrete building bears the signature of Heiden-born architect Otto Glaus. He built the hotel in the 1970s. The hotel has recently been extensively renovated and expanded. The result is visible! An airy ambience, stylish 70s design classics and a panoramic view of Lake Constance from almost every corner. Compared to Hof Weissbad, the rooms have a more compact floor plan, but there is a small terrace with a view of Lake Constance.

Hotel Heiden
Hotel Heiden Zimmer

The heart of the building is the ground floor, which looks like a living room, where the lobby, lounge, bar and restaurant are located in the same open-plan space. Here we make ourselves comfortable behind the blazing fire and toast the first successful day of hiking with a glass of Riesling-Sylvaner from the neighboring Thal. Later we try out the restaurant’s daily menu. The Hotel Heiden attaches great importance to regional products. An aspect that we particularly appreciate and that we immediately noticed positively when reading the menu and wine list.

Dinner Hotel Heiden

Stage 2: from Heiden to Bad Horn on Lake Constance

Hats off to the fact that this concept is also implemented at the breakfast buffet. Instead of imported orange juice, there is, among other things, freshly squeezed apple juice and whey. And the breakfast buffet is also a real hit! And since we have a much shorter hiking stage ahead of us today, we use the quiet morning hours to take a swim in the hotel pool with great views.

Breakfast at the Hotel Heiden
Heiden view of Lake Constance

After a rather gray start to the day, the clouds cleared later in the morning. Time to start hiking. Today we follow the first stage of the Alpine Panorama Trail to the starting point in Rorschach. The hiking trail takes us through autumn-colored forests to the Wienacht-Tobel. From there we mostly follow the course of the Rorschach-Heiden cog railway down to Lake Constance. The last section leads along the lake promenade to Horn. A stretch of path that has its charm whatever the weather and scores with sights such as the granary and the bathing hut on the side of the path.

Hiking on Lake Constance

With today’s destination – the Hotel Bad Horn – we have already done so twice Made acquaintance and reported about it in detail in this blog post. The Private Selection Hotel package offers the opportunity to book an additional night at the Hotel Bad Horn in order to end the hiking experience in a relaxed manner. Alternatively, you can collect your luggage here and, after a short refreshment, start your journey home.

Key details of the hike Heiden – Rorschach – Horn

You can see the route of our hike from Heiden via Rorschach to Horn on the following hiking map. This is a yellow marked hiking trail (T1/T2). From Rorschach to Horn, the hiking trail runs mostly along the waterfront promenade. Alternatively, you can also cover this section by train.

Starting pointHeiden train station (805 m above sea level)
Accessibility Accessible by public transport
Length12.1 kilometers
Altitude↗ 122 m ↘ 532 m
Duration 3:00 h
DestinationHotel Bad Horn (398 m above sea level), approx. 10 minutes from Horn train station
Refreshment optionHotel Bad Horn

Practical tips for your multi-day hike with Private Selection Hotels

  • The hike on the Alpine Panorama Trail between Bühler and Lake Constance runs at altitudes of up to a maximum of 1,130 meters above sea level. In winter the paths may be covered in snow. There is usually not too much snow in these locations, so the tour can be undertaken all year round. I recommend taking Grödel and sticks with you in winter.
  • The first stage requires a good basic level of fitness throughout its entire length (Bühler to Heiden). The route length can be individually adjusted using the different access points.
  • The offer «On the Alpine Panorama Trail through Eastern Switzerland – Nature Wellness & Spa» can be booked for three nights from CHF 915 per person. This includes three nights in the Private Selection Hotels with half board, luggage transport from hotel to hotel, train ticket Weissbad – Bühler and route documentation with maps. Additional nights can be booked for an additional charge.
  • Luggage transport is organized by Eurotrek. The necessary documents will be sent with the booking documents from Private Selection Hotels.
  • Both the Hotel Hof Weissbad, the Hotel Heiden and the Hotel Bad Horn are dog-friendly hotels.
  • You can find even more tips for the region collected here: the most beautiful excursion destinations in Eastern Switzerland

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