Lake Walen


Lake Walen (Walensee) in eastern Switzerland links the two cantons of St. Gallen and Glarus and forms the western end of the holiday region known as “Heidiland”, after Johanna Spyri’s world-famous Heidi story. On the northern side, the Churfirsten mountain chain rises nearly vertically out of the water. On the other side of the lake is the popular winter sports and hiking region of the Flumserberg.

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Because of the steep cliffs rising up out of the lake, sometimes up to over 1000 metres, Lake Walen has presented a challenge to traffic since ancient times. This is why the roads along the side of the lake are now mainly hewn out of the rock face, passing through galleries and tunnels and allowing sudden surprising views. There are a number of little places around the lake, and they all have their special features, such as Quinten: this car-free little town is particularly popular with tourists because of its almost Mediterranean climate. Well protected from the cold north winds, certain types of grape, kiwi, figs and other southern fruits flourish here. The town can only be reached by boat or on foot.

To the west of Quinten is the little village of Betlis. When the snow is melting, or after a heavy downpour, the mighty Seerenbach Waterfall, nearly 720 metres high, is really impressive, or the Rinquelle gushing out of the rocks, one of Europe’s largest limestone springs. The historic little town of Weesen at the western end of the lake is the starting point for the popular Walensee Walk along the wild, northern bank of the lake to Walenstadt.

On a sunny plateau high above the northern shore of the lake is the spa town of Amden. A massive hiking area in summer, in winter this alpine village above the mists turns into a friendly family skiing area. On the southern side of the lake, we should mention not only the lakeside villages of Mühlehorn, Murg, Unterterzen and Mols, but also the well-known winter sports and walking area of the Flumserberg and the adventure Eldorado of Filzbach/Kerenzerberg.

The boats of the Lake Walen shipping companies run all year round, although in winter the service is limited to the connection from Murg to the otherwise inaccessible Quinten. There are special trips such as brunch, pasta and barbecue tours in addition to the normal service.

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