AUTHORED BY LORI
With 65,000 km of well-maintained hiking trails, Switzerland has something to offer to anyone wishing to explore this beautiful country by foot. Including themed hiking trails.
Hike 1 – The Wine Trail
If you are a wine aficionado, then this hike should be on your bucket list, or should I say, your wine bucket list!
This 9 km loop hike starts in Weinfelden, in the canton of Thurgau near St. Gallen and is dedicated to the local winegrowers. You will wind your way through the vineyards of Weinfelden, Boltshausen and Ottoberg where along the route a special wine safe awaits you. A secret code opens this treasure trove of reds, whites and rosés.
Upon arriving in Weinfelden, purchase a canvas backpack from the SBB train station for 19 CHF. These backpacks are made especially for this hike and contain a wine glass, some crackers, a bottle of water, a map and most importantly, the secret code.
After about 2 km, you will reach the safe. Once you’ve figured out how to access the wine, (the instructions are in German), you will be rewarded with over 20 bottles of wine to choose from. Take your time sampling the different varieties and enjoy the beautiful scenery that surrounds you. Don’t forget to thank the local vignerons by signing the guest book, before continuing your journey.
Note: If you want to hike mostly downhill and access the wine safe early on, follow the brown and green signs. If you want to hike mostly uphill and access the wine safe towards the end of your hike, follow the white and green signs.
More information about the hike: https://www.weinweg-weinfelden.ch/
Hike 2 – The Barefoot Trail or Barfussweg in German
Do you like walking around barefoot? Do you want to experience sensory overload for your feet? Then this 5 km family friendly trail is for you.
Winding its way through the meadows from Jakobsbad to Gontenbad in Appenzell, you literally walk barefoot across soft and springy grass, through some gooey mud; some very cold water; pavement; gravel; and at the beginning of the trail, a series of wood boxes filled with wood chips, pinecones and river rocks. Along the trail, there are two washing stations where you can give your feet a rinse before continuing. Halfway along the trail is the Toobeschopf Museum. This museum is housed in a replica of a peat hut and showcases tools from this era. Here you can give your arms a bath based on Dr. Kneipp’s method of hydrotherapy.
Note: You can also do this hike from Gontenbad to Jakobsbad. It doesn’t really matter where you start.
More information about the hike: https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/hiking-in-switzerland/routes/local-routes/route-0987.html and Dr. Kneipp’s method: https://www.kneipp.com/us_en/kneipp-magazine/water-cures/
As is the case in all of Switzerland, there is so much to do in this area. I recommend a staycation where you can spend a few days exploring this picturesque area steeped in history.
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/.
Lucie Dean said:
Looks fantastic! What a find!!
Thank you, Lucie! The Barefoot trail is so clever and would be great for kids, too.