Located in the heart of old Switzerland, Lake Lucerne borders on and is surrounded by the three original Swiss cantons: Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden. The area around the lake played an important role in the national and political myths and legends, among others those of the Swiss national hero Wilhelm Tell. Due to the reflection of the Alpine mountains in the water, Lake Lucerne is widely regarded as the most beautiful lake in Switzerland. The best way to experience the cross-shaped lake, originally formed by a glacier, is by taking a ride on one of the paddle steamers or cruise boats that connect Lucerne, Brunnen and Flüelen. A number of marked hiking paths of varying length and difficulty are located on the southern side of the lake at the foot of the Alps. Highly recommended are the cable car or cogwheel railway to one of the viewpoints on the summits of Mount Pilatus, Rigi or Stanserhorn.
Mountain panorama and cheese tasting
From Rigi Kulm, the hike leads to the Alpkäserei Chäserenholz, an alpine dairy, where a total of 15 different types of cheese are produced. The farm can be visited individually or as part of a guided tour with the owner, which, however, must be booked in advance. After the tour, a cheese platter awaits for tasting, accompanied by a glass of white wine. The next stop along the way is the BärgGnuss restaurant, which is open in summer an offers mainly local specialties. After a good meal you can continue the hike. The trail leads in a loop to Rigi Kaltbad. The culmination of the tour is a stop at the Chänzeli, a vantage point high above Lake Lucerne.
(04:00 hrs, 10.6 km, elevation change: 550 m)
Hiking and skiing paradise near Lucerne
Although located just 25 km south of Lake Lucerne, the Alpine town founded in 1120 exists in a completely different world and is suitable for longer stays. Mount Titlis soars above the picturesque mountain valley to the south, while Mount Hahnen dominates the skyline to the east of the town, creating a fork in the valley. Numerous cable cars and ski lifts lead up the mountainside, especially in the area around Titlis. During the summer months, a network of marked trails of various levels of difficulty await hikers. Other possible activities include mountain climbing and paragliding.
Traditional glassblowing craft at Lake Lucerne
In 1817, the Siegwart brothers founded the Hergiswil glassworks on Lake Lucerne. The excellent location ensured that the glassblowing business flourished in the following decades. Under pressure by the competition of automated glass production abroad, in 1975 the glassworks were scheduled for closure. Luckily, the employees' protest found support throughout the country and the artist Roberto Niederer, who had been working in Hergiswil since 1956, did anything he could to save the Glasi. Henceforth, they turned their backs on mass-production and focused on limited pieces in special perfection of form. Thus, the former industrial company now is a working museum.
One thousand steps and Marian mysticism
A thousand steps lead to the pilgrimage chapel in Hergiswald, which was consecrated in 1662. It is simple on the outside, but unique on the inside. The picture of the Black Madonna and a vaulted wooden ceiling with 324 sections amaze and enthuse art historians. Kaspar Megglinger, the creative artist, was particularly known in the Baroque period for his Marian symbolism. After all, the more than 300 images of the Virgin Mary are regarded as the only cycle in the world to have been designed in this form.
Switzerland's most famous panoramic summit
The rugged mountain massif south of Lucerne is Switzerland's most famous vantage point. From above you have a fantastic view of Lake Lucerne, Lucerne and the Central Alps. Earlier generations regarded it not as a sublime local mountain, but as an uncanny place of dragons and ghosts that sent weather plunges and mudslides into the city. No wonder there are so many tales and legends about Pilatus. From Kriens a cable car leads up the mountain, from Alpnachstad a rack railway. The historic Hotel Pilatus-Kulm awaits you at the top.
“The Queen of Mountains”
The Rigi is a mountain massif in central Switzerland surrounded by three lakes: Lake Lucerne, Lake Lauerz and Lake Zug. It's summit is about 1,800 meters high, boasting spectacular views over the nearby Alps and to the Swiss Plateau. In the 18th century Rigi Kulm became the “pioneer mountain of Alpine tourism” and ist attracted travellers from all across Europe. Goethe was here, as well as Mark Twain and Tolstoy. In addition to numerous hiking trails, the Rigi is served by several cogwheel railways as well as a modern cable car.
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A stroll along the old railway line
The panoramic trail leads along the former railway line between Rigi Kaltbad and Rigi Scheidegg, which was in operation from 1874 to 1931. Accompanied by a magnificent view over the Alps, Lake Lucerne and the Schwyz basin, you hike over old railroad bridges and through shady woods. The route remains quite flat most of the time, only towards there is a gentle ascent.
(03:50 hrs, 10.1 km, elevation change: 360 m)
Discoveries between earth and space
The Swiss Museum of Transport presents its permanent exhibition on an area of around 20,000 square meters. It provides information on various topics related to transport, logistics and mobility. Interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations, e.g. a virtual space walk in the planetarium and a flight simulator, offer a fun experience for the whole family.
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