Enjoy a more relaxed multi-day hike from Lake Constance to Lake Zurich
Explore everyday Swiss life around its northern lakes
Hike across farming pastures and through peaceful woodland paths
Visit some of the most beautiful baroque cathedrals and medieval abbeys
Admire the white Alps against the green hills
Relax in comfortable accommodations in historic towns on the way
Welcome to Rorschach, the starting point of your Via Jacobi Highlights trek! Upon arrival, check into your accommodation and spend the rest of the day exploring the charming lakeside town at your leisure. The town of Rorschach was once the most important trading hub on the south shore of Lake Constance. Get a good night’s rest for the exciting journey ahead.
Today, you’ll be embarking on a scenic journey to St. Gallen, passing by Sulzberg Castle and the village of Untereggen. After about 4 hours of walking, arrive in St. Gallen and admire its baroque cathedral and world-renowned abbey district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After checking in at the accommodation, explore the old town that boasts ornate oriel windows, and visit the Abbey library holding 140,000 historic documents.
15 km; 550 m of elevation gain and 280 m of elevation loss
Continue to Herisau, a regional center of the Appenzell hinterland, either by foot, or saving a few kilometers with a 10-minute train ride. After strolling through its old town, hike through pastures and wooded areas, taking a break at the Sitz inn with great views of the Säntis mountain. Walking on some asphalt, pass through the idyllic St. Peterzell before ascending and descending over farm pastures to Wattwil. Don’t miss the Franciscan St. Mary the Angel Convent, before returning to your hotel.
23 km; 1000 m of elevation gain and 1130 m of elevation loss
Today’s hike is a little longer but equally rewarding. Start at the railway station of Wattwil with an ascent to the Iberg Castle, a 1240 fortress built to protect the rights of the Abbot of St. Gallen. Hike across rolling green hills to Laad, then to St. Gallenkappel. End the day’s hike in the lake town of Rapperswil, known for its panoramic views of the Glarus Alps and the Zurich Oberland, the imposing castle, and over 15,000 roses that bloom in its monastery and rose garden.
25 km; 670 m of elevation gain and 870 m of elevation loss
The last full day of walking begins at the railway station on the shore of Lake Zurich and takes you over the 841-meter wooden footbridge to Hurden, the longest of its kind in Switzerland. Enjoy the panoramic views of the lake, before continuing up to the Etzel Pass, reaching an altitude of 1000 meters in just under 2 hours. On the way, you’ll see the Etzel Chapel and stop at the baroque St. Meinrad Inn for lunch.
The gentle downhill hiking leads you slowly to Einsiedeln, the most important pilgrimage site in Switzerland. There you can explore the richly decorated old town and visit the impressive monastery complex with the Black Madonna.
16 km; 760 m of elevation gain and 260 m of elevation loss
Today marks the end of your Via Jacobi Highlights trek. After a memorable journey, it’s time to say farewell to Switzerland and head home. We hope you have a safe and comfortable journey back and that you’ll carry with you fond memories of your Swiss adventure.
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5 x accommodation with breakfast
Tour design and organization
A booklet with a detailed itinerary
GPS navigation with an easy-to-use app
24/7 service and support during your holidays
Introducing the Via Jacobi Highlights — a journey through the heart of Switzerland and discovering the hidden gems and breathtaking scenery of the country’s northern lakes.
This walking holiday offers a unique perspective on Switzerland, exploring the regions where most of its population lives. With the rolling green hills as your playground, you’ll experience the true essence of this magnificent country.
It’s part of Camino de Santiago or Way of St James, a pilgrimage route network leading to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. We chose the best days of its Swiss section, taking you from Lake Constance to Lake Zurich, exploring the stunning regions in between. Along the way, you’ll discover hidden gems, such as baroque cathedrals, historic monasteries, and delicious local cuisine.
The Via Jacobi Highlights offers a change of pace from the more strenuous Alpine hikes, taking you on a scenic journey through charming lakeside towns, pastures, and wooded areas. Everyone can experience the culture and beauty of everyday Switzerland while marveling at the stunning backdrop of the white Alps. Even off-season (available from March to October), when the higher mountain passes are fully covered in snow.
At Walking Holidays Switzerland, we strive to provide a hassle-free and delightful experience. To accomplish this, we handle all the logistics for you, including booking your accommodations, providing a comprehensive itinerary booklet, and GPS routes. Additionally, we are available for 24/7 support, so you can fully immerse yourself in your walking journey without any worries.
Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to experience the beauty of Switzerland like never before. Inquire now to learn more about the Via Jacobi Highlights and start planning your adventure today!
Hiking in light rain can be done comfortably with the right clothing, but it’s important to understand that hiking during a storm can pose serious risks. To avoid the threat of thunderstorms, it’s advisable to plan your hikes for early in the day during the summer. If the weather forecast predicts extreme conditions, it’s recommended to either change the hike date or seek alternative tour options, which we’d be happy to help you with.
Most of the accommodations offer vegetarian and vegan options for breakfast. You also will not have any trouble finding such menus at restaurants. When you eat at mountain huts, though, they might not serve vegan meals. In such cases, it is best to bring your own food. Either way, tell us in advance and we’ll find a solution together.
Yes, children are welcome to participate in our walking tours, provided they are physically fit and have good footing. To guarantee the safety and enjoyment of young participants, we suggest a minimum age of eight years old to join the tours.
Having the right footwear is crucial for hiking in Switzerland. We highly recommend wearing sturdy hiking shoes with ankle support for all of our tours. The terrain in the Swiss Alps can be uneven, rocky, and slippery, so it’s important to avoid wearing sneakers, which could increase the risk of injury, especially if you are not experienced in hiking on such terrain.
Having a car can be a convenient way to get around, but it’s definitely not necessary. The public transportation system in Switzerland and the entire Alps is really well-organized and makes it easy to travel from place to place, even across different countries.
Plus, using public transportation is a great way to support sustainable tourism and help preserve the beautiful environment of Switzerland. So don’t stress too much about having a car – the options for getting around are plenty.
It’s important to keep in mind that the Swiss Alps are a highly sought-after tourist destination year-round, and accommodations can fill up quickly. Booking early is essential to secure the housing of your choice, but we will always do our utmost to find the best possible lodging for you based on your preferences.
Getting to Switzerland is relatively easy, as the country is well-connected to the rest of Europe by air, train, and road. The two main international airports in Switzerland are Zurich and Geneva, which serve as hubs for several major airlines and connect to cities across the world. Trains are another popular mode of transportation, with several international trains arriving daily in major cities like Zurich, Geneva, and Bern. Driving to Switzerland is also an option, with several well-maintained highways connecting the country to neighboring countries. Regardless of your preferred mode of transportation, getting to Switzerland is convenient and hassle-free.
Our tours are well-organized and in an easily navigable country, so a guide may not be necessary. Our detailed handout along with the GPS routes will equip you with all the necessary information to enjoy your stay in Switzerland. However, if you prefer the comfort of having a guide, contact us, and we will arrange it for you.
Those who like a good adventure and limitless flexibility should go on a self-guided tour. We prepare the itinerary and book your accommodations while you enjoy the journey without our guide, being fully in charge of all the daily decisions. While you’ll have the full support of our team in case of any emergencies or concerns, a certain level of self-reliance is required.
Experience the great outdoors on a private guided tour tailored just for you. The tour is for those who want a hastle-free adventure and enjoy the flexibility of a small private group and not stress about the details of everyday planning. The guide will be fully at your disposal to make this experience as personalized as possible, maximizing the enjoyment during and after the tour.
For solo hikers or hikers who wish to meet other like-minded souls, don’t want to stress about tour-planning and other annoying details. We’re going to find you a group of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts and take care of all the other details. The tour will be led by our guide, who’ll make sure everything runs smoothly, ensuring maximum hiking enjoyment.
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