Mount Säntis

We like Säntis because it’s high impact with little work and a lower price tag compared to other popular options like Rigi or Pilatus. I think it’s particularly good for visitors who don’t want to hike but still want to get some amazing mountain views. Säntis is great even in winter because it doesn’t require a trail to enjoy the scenery, a nice option when your kids are still too small to participate in winter sports. 

Location:   Eastern Switzerland
Address: Säntis-Schwebebahn, Beieregg, 9107 Schwägalp CH
Car: 1hr15 from Zurich
Train: 2hr from Zurich
Open: year round
More info: www.saentisbahn.ch

Getting Here

Drive to Schwägalp and park in the lot next to cable car base station.

Impressions

At the top, you arrive at this big complex, which has a cafe, gift shop, and other services.

You can wander all over the roof of the enormous complex to get a view on all sides

On a clear day, you can see forever

One of my favorite views from Säntis: the Churfirsten mountain range with Toggenberg on the near side and the Wallensee and Flumserberg on the other.

There are a couple restaurants/cafes both at the top and at the gondola base, but we always eat at the little mountain hut on the southeast side of the top. To get there, you either walk down lots and lots of stairs or walk through a windy covered walkway. In nice weather, you can eat on the patio, with an amazing view. The menu is small but hearty. Bring cash – they don’t take credit.

This shows the stairs leading down to the restaurant, shown on far right.

 

Alternatively, you can take the covered walkway shown in this pic – warning: it can get super icy in winter!

my unexpectedly yummy lunch

I must mention that I think the walkways are dangerous for very small children. There are lots of stairs and the barriers on some of the walkways are pretty minimal (widely spaced cables that small children could easily slip under), with sheer cliffs on the other side. In some areas, I keep a very short rein on my kids. However, there are lots of areas that are properly fenced in and are perfectly safe for any child. So just use your best judgment.


example of ridiculously inadequate barriers


some of the many steep stairs with lousy handrails


slightly safer stairs up to the highest (and safest) lookout area

The danger factor is especially noticeable during winter when the pathways are often covered in snow and ice and it’s a little tricky to walk on.


snowy, icy sidewalks in February


remember to bundle up

In winter, there is a sledding hill (with a lift for a small fee) at the gondola base, so bring your sleds for some extra fun. If you’re into snow-shoeing, there are some paths for that down there as well.


sledding hill
Santis

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