It is not a big surprise for anyone that Switzerland is a climbing, skiing and hiking paradise.
Most people have surely also heard of the Matterhorn. But also Jungfraujoch or Eiger are very popular with tourists.
But let me tell you, dear readers, if you do not know – about one of the very special highlights in Eastern Switzerland Säntis.
This almost exactly 2,500 meter high giant is visible from afar due to its sheer size and individual shape and it offers an incredible view. And indeed, by standing on top of the Säntis you can look out to 6 countries: Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy and France!
The Giant of Eastern Switzerland: Säntis
There are some extremes about the Säntis, not just his stately height.
For example the weather. A complete turnaround within minutes is possible here at any time. It can also snow here all year round.
In August 1995, at least one meter of snow was measured on the Säntis.
The record, however, is a measurement from the year 1999, where on one of the slopes a fabulous 8.16 meters snow depth was detected. Incidentally, this is the highest value ever measured in Switzerland.
Likewise from the year 1999 comes another record, namely the wind speed of the storm Lothar, which blew there at unbelievable 142 mph (230 km/h).
Hm, it almost seems as if the Säntis has been on record hunting shortly before the millennium turn.
By the way, you can watch the weather or the view 24/7 here on the own Säntis website.
Well, after I hopefully made you curious enough about the Säntis, you’re sure to ask yourself: Ok, how can I get there the quickest way?
Nothing easier than that. The journey is best and most comfortable individually.
The almost perfect Swiss public transport network makes it possible to travel by train to e.g. to Urnäsch or Nesslau and from there it goes with the so-called Postbus to Säntis.
Of course, even more convenient is the journey by car, or motorcycle. Even electric petrol stations are available. So tradition does not necessarily mean denial of the modern, on the contrary. Harmonizing both – that is the motto.
With the suspension railway all the way up
If you arrived now, having a fantastic journey through the eastern part of Switzerland and the Appenzellerland behind you, sooner or later the question comes up:
And how do we get up there now?
In short, you have two options:
Option 1 and the fastest and most comfortable: The ride on the suspension railway.
Almost an actual highlight itself is this ride!
This masterpiece of engineering is in use all year round. The 10-minute drive offers a breathtaking view far into Switzerland. The trips up are daily from 08:00 to 16:30. The descent from 08:00 to 17:00 clock.
To be honest, there is no real reason not to take the monorail.
Only the price should make some think twice.
The ascent and descent currently costs (Anno beginning of 2018) CHF 45.00 ($ 48.60). For Swiss people with half-fare (similar to the Bahncard), the price is reduced to CHF 22.50, or $ 24.03.
For students, it is a bit cheaper with CHF 25.- or $ 37, children under 6 travel free of charge.
Tip: Try to look as young as possible with good anti-wrinkle cream, maybe you will then go through as a passenger of the last category …
However, smart ones will get the BodenseeErlebniskarte, which is available here.
This costs only half and many other attractions around Lake Constance and beyond are also there. Must see!
Climbs to Säntis
And those who have no desire for the cable car or where the price exceeds the budget, of course, can make the climb classic pedestrian. There are different routes, depending on the starting point and difficulty, or time.
- Schwägalp (Post bus) – Säntis (approx. 3,5 h)
- Wasserauen (Train station) – Seealpsee – Mesmer – Wagenlücke – Säntis (approx. 5 h)
- Wasserauen – Meglisalp – Wagenlücke – Säntis (approx. 5 h)
- Wasserauen – Meglisalp – Rotsteinpass – Lisengrat – Säntis (approx. 5 h)
- Unterwasser – (Laui) – (Thurwis) – (Tierwis) – Säntis (approx. 5 h)
By the way, you can find a good overview, incl. planning here on the Bergfex page.
In any case, we opted for variant A, the driveway with the suspension railway.
Not least because it was the end of December and an ascent would probably have been over after 10 minutes or the equivalent of 500 meters.
When we finally arrived on the Säntis, a winter storm raged at 3.2F with cutting winds.
The view was a few meters.
The above-mentioned 6 country prospect was at best guess. But! For a few outdoor shots, it was still enough…
The Säntis murder
By the way, an event of the dramatic kind occurred on the Säntis in the year 1922.
It is the sad story of the weather warden couple Heinrich and Lena Haas.
The contact to them was interrupted due to weather-damaged telephone lines. In addition, there were reports of the unwanted visit of a certain Gregor Kreuzpointner the day before on the Säntis.
He, namely, had applied at the same time with Haas for the post of Säntis warden. However, Heinrich Haas and his wife Lena were hired, because they just fit perfectly for the role of the weather warden. Kreuzpointner had the disadvantage.
Well, just because of those circumstances, the Säntis officer Rusch and his son set off for the Haas couple.
However, the weather conditions were so bad that the climb did not succeed until the following Saturday.
Then, after a devouring and seemingly endless ascent to the observatory, they were first greeted by the family dog. But not as it should have been, but whimpering and restless.
Then Rusch and his son made the gruesome discovery: the body of Lena Haas in the study.
On the following ascent to the summit plateau they finally found a short time later the lifeless body of Heinrich Haas in front of the anemometer cottage.
During his escape; Kreuzpointner was already wanted as a double murderer, he handed over his pistol to a third person, who delivered it to the police.
Why he did that is still unclear.
Later on, more specifically on March 4, the hanged murderer Kreuzpointner was found underneath the Schwägalp in an abandoned barn.
The exact sequence of events could never be completely clarified.
What you only know is that Crosspointner was in financial distress and his motive was obviously dull hatred and base motives.
Yes, a sad story, which incidentally even was filmed. The director Markus Imhoof tells this drama in his film “Der Berg” (The mountain).
The Lanternly way and the hotel
Of course, I do not want to finish my intro to Säntis with such a sad story.
That’s why I finally like to give you one or two information about the so-called Laternliweg (lantern way).
This is located directly at the foot of the Säntis, right next to the beautiful and very stylish modern furnished Säntis Hotel.
The Laternliweg is a kind of mini-labyrinth, which actually unfolds all its magic and full effect only in the evening or night hours.
As the name suggests, there are hanging very romantically small lamps and lanterns everywhere and the way leads through a beautiful winter landscape.
A walk for lovers or even families who pull their kids on the sled across the different pathways – everyone is having a good time here.
One of the highlights of Eastern Switzerland, Säntis attracts numerous tourists every year for reasons.
The beauty of Säntis is that it can be visited season-independent. Every season has its own charm.
When the weather is fine, winter offers a breathtaking view over a wonderful snowy landscape at an altitude of 2,500 meters. Just imagine the gentle play of the glistening sunbeams on the snow-white winter landscape visible from afar.
And of course, the summer is back with completely different charms, not least with great climbs on the trail. And so do spring and autumn like their season siblings and rejoice.
In short, while having a stay in Eastern Switzerland a visit to the Säntis is definitely worth it.
Only the price may be too high for one or the other at least felt.
But since Switzerland is already a relatively expensive country anyway, the inclined visitor should know in advance anyway.
We will most likely pay the Säntis another visit in the spring time.
Then with hopefully noticeably better view.
This, dear readers, was the last part of our winter tips series around the region Lake Constance. Here are all the other articles in the overview:
- Lama Trekking Liechtenstein
- Archaeological Museum Constance
- Sea Life Constance
- Appenzeller Cheese Factory
Next time we leave the wintry Switzerland behind us. There are exciting local tips from the summery Barcelona, be curious!
Ade miteinand ‘- your mountain blogger from Eastern Switzerland Hendrik