The village of Appenzell and the Canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden are situated in a singularly beautiful landscape of rolling hills. The region is known for rural customs and traditions such as the ceremonial descent of the cattle in autumn and cultural events such as folk music and rustic dances, as well as hiking tours in the Alpstein region
With about 7,000 inhabitants, Appenzell is the political, economic and cultural center of Appenzell Innerrhoden, the smallest Swiss canton. The car-free village beckons with pretty lanes and a myriad of small stores and boutiques that are ideal for shopping and browsing. The facades of the buildings are decorated with frescoes. Appenzell Museum, which is in the town hall, shows a cross section of Appenzell’s history and culture.
A cableway operates between Wasserauen and the Ebenalp (1644 m) – the gateway to the hiking region of the Alpstein – and the “Wildkirchli” cave chapel, which appears to claw dramatically to the rock, can be reached on foot in only 15 minutes by walking through an initially gentle landscape and two caverns. But the position of the Aescher hostelry, captured a thousand times on postcards, is even more spectacular, having been built precariously into the rock face. The Ebenalp is also a paragliding paradise and starting point for the hike up onto the Säntis summit. Mind you, the ascent up onto the Säntis by cableway from Schwägalp is far less strenuous!
Appenzell benefits from a particularly dense network of rambling trails, including ‘experience trails’ such as the barefoot trail near Gonten, a trail which enables you to experience nature, and the circular chapel trails. Further walking regions in Appenzell: the Kronberg (1663m), which can be reached by cableway from Jakobsbad, and the Hohe Kasten (1795m), whose summit offers magnificent views down into the Rhine valley.