The resort of Gersau in the canton of Schwyz is a self-contained area in a hollow on the sunny, sheltered southern slopes of the Rigi. Until the 19th century, Gersau could only be reached by water or over the Gätterli Pass from Lauerz. From the 15th century until 1817, the secluded Gersau was a separate republic, measuring just 24 square kilometres, until the village – against its will at the time – was incorporated into the canton of Schwyz. The museum of local history tells of the long history of its independence.
From the shores of the lake, Gersau stretches along the slopes of the Rigi up to the viewing terrace of Rigi-Scheidegg (1656 m). In 1840 a large sanatorium with 300 beds was built here. On the themed walk called “On the tracks of culture”, walkers can learn about the interesting history of the Scheidegg. Today, two cable-cars lead to the area: on the Gersau side, one goes from Gschwänd to Rigi-Burggeist, about 100 metres below the Scheidegg. The second cable-car goes from the Kräbel stop on the Arth-Rigi railway line up to the Rigi-Scheidegg plateau.
The most well-known way of reaching the Scheidegg is from Rigi-Kaltbad (a stop on the Vitznau-Rigi line), taking the easy footpath along the former railway line from Rigi-Kaltbad to the Scheidegg. Nowadays this route is a panoramic walk with splendid views and popular places for picnics or making a barbecue.
In summer, Gersau is part of the extensive network of footpaths on the Rigi, the “Queen of Mountains”. Being located right by the water, Gersau has two open-air pools. A wide range of accommodation and restaurants, an adventure nature trail, tennis courts, minigolf, outdoor climbing wall, biking routes, pedalos for hire etc. complete the list of amenities that Gersau has to offer. It is worth taking a trip on a stately Lake Lucerne steamer to reach the finest tourist attractions around the lake.
In winter the small area around Rigi-Scheidegg is great for skiing, sledging, winter walks, cross-country skiing or long snow-shoe walks. Larger nearby winter sports centres in the canton of Schwyz include Mythen, Stoos-Fronalpstock, Sattel-Hochstuckli and Hoch-Ybrig.
- Rigi - the "Queen of Mountains" in the heart of Central Switzerland, surrounded by Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug and Lake Lauerz. The sunrises on the Rigi-Kulm are legendary.
- Panorama Way – this gentle walk from Rigi-Kaltbad to the Rigi-Scheidegg has fantastic views and numerous places for picnics.
- Lake Lucerne - historic steamers and launches invite you to discover the landscape from the water.
- Home of the Schwyz Federal Archive and a magnificent village square with parish church, town hall and historic merchant’s houses.
- Crossbow workshop in the style of the 14th century – more about the background to Tell’s single arrow shot through the apple, and the opportunity to became an archer yourself.
- GersauART – open-air art exhibition with a different programme every year and artists from all over Switzerland (May to October).
- Gersau in Autumn – Gersau cultural festival with a particularly diverse programme, national and international, classic to rock (November).
- "Chlausätriichlä" – bell-ringers old and young carry their bells through the village in honour of St. Niklaus (December).
- New Year’s Eve Run – the only New Year Run which actually takes place on 31 December, a good opportunity to finish the old year in a sporty way (December).