07: From Brunnen to Vitznau

Ups and downs above Lake Luzern

When delving into the depths of time, returning to the heart of the Middle Ages, Switzerland reveals itself as a land of pilgrimage, vibrant with unwavering faith. The Germanic peoples, traversing distant lands, converged towards the tranquil shores of Lake Zurich. Einsiedeln, with its mystic aura, stood as the jewel of this spiritual quest, closely followed by Payerne and Fribourg. Navigation on the lake, orchestrated by devoted boatmen, guided pilgrim souls to Pfäffikon, the gateway to the sanctuary of Einsiedeln, nestled in the Schwyz valley. However, the dawn of the Reformation shook this incessant flow of devotion, imposing a solemn silence on the pilgrimage routes. Navigating between the drops of this doctrinal storm became the ultimate test for pilgrims. To grasp the magnitude of the faith gathering at Einsiedeln, imagine a human tide of over 100,000 souls during the Angelic Consecration Festival in 1603. What a contrast to our era! The first bridge to span Lake Rapperswil, an audacious construction by Duke Rudolf IV in 1360, carried within it the seeds of peril, becoming the scene of unforgettable tragedies.


From Brunnen, the Via Jacobi 4, a traditional Swiss trail of the Way of St. James, unfolds through the majestic canvas of Swiss landscapes, skirting the serene north of Lake Luzern towards historically rich horizons: Stans, then Sarnen, crossing the Brünig Pass to merge into the tranquility of Interlaken. But Switzerland, a treasure trove of nature, is traversed by a myriad of paths, each telling its own legend, whether on a national scale or more intimate routes. Regarding Via Jacobi 4, another route starts from Luzern. Isn’t it curious, the Via Jacobi 4, considering the Way of St. James isn’t connected by the Via Jacobi until Luzern? Nevertheless, just follow from Brunnen, a regional route, the Waldstätterweg Path, which bears the number of Via Jacobi 98. This detour, far from being an obstacle, becomes a delightful escape, caressing the southern shores of the lake until embracing Luzern. From there, a variant of Via Jacobi 4 weaves its way to Bern, reuniting wandering souls with the ancient route just before Fribourg.


The Waldstätterweg Path is an exploration of a world apart, an immersion in the living postcard of Lake Luzern (Vierwaldstättersee), the jewel of Central Switzerland. Like a circular epic, the route hugs the contours of the lake, embracing each of its arms in a panoramic embrace. This journey, inaugurated in 1991 and rediscovered like a forgotten treasure, invites you to Luzern, to discover this track, now marked and cradled by the majesty of landscapes where mountains revel in their reflection in the lake, and where boats dance in the aquatic labyrinth. In three days, challenging distances never exceeding 18 km per day, Luzern reveals itself. The first stop, Vitznau, proudly stands on the lakeshore, but keep in mind: the course is not merely a stroll. It climbs, curves, and plunges, embracing the slopes of Mount Rigi, a meeting point for wandering souls, tourists in search of wonders.

We divided the course into several sections to make it easier to see. For each section, the maps show the course, the slopes found on the course, and the state of the roads. The courses were drawn on the “Wikilocs” platform. Today, it is no longer necessary to walk around with detailed maps in your pocket or bag. If you have a mobile phone or tablet, you can easily follow routes live.

For this stage, here is the link:


Difficulty level: As for the challenge this crossing represents, the numbers speak for themselves: an elevation gain of +601 meters followed by a descent of -600 meters for a modest 15 kilometers. After a flat escape from Brunnen, a first climb sets the tone, then plunges towards Gersau, embracing the lake. The second climb, though less steep, also carves the mountainous flank before returning once more to the lake. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful route, yes, but one that demands its toll in sweat and perseverance.

State of the Via Jacobi: In this stage, road and trail routes are equivalent:

  • Paved roads: 7.9 km
  • Dirt roads: 6.1 km

It’s clear that not all travelers are comfortable using GPS and navigating via smartphone, and there are still many areas without an internet connection. As a result, you will soon find a book on Amazon that covers this journey.

If you only want to consult lodging of the stage, go directly to the bottom of the page.





Sometimes, for reasons of logistics or housing possibilities, these stages mix routes operated on different days, having passed several times on Via Podiensis. From then on, the skies, the rain, or the seasons can vary. But, generally this is not the case, and in fact this does not change the description of the course.

It is very difficult to specify with certainty the incline of the slopes, whatever the system you use.

For those seeking “true elevations” and enthusiasts of genuine altimetric challenges, carefully review the information on mileage at the beginning of the guide.

Section 1: A stroll along the lakeshore before a little hill, just to warm up.

Overview of the route’s challenges: flat terrain, then a steep climb at the end of the section.

The stage begins at the port of Brunnen, where a breathtaking panorama of Lake Luzern unfolds. Following the Via Jacobi 4 requires a boat crossing to Treib on the opposite shore, while the Via Jacobi 98 sets off from the port on the southern shore of the lake.

It winds near the Park of the Swiss Abroad, crosses the Leewasser, a watercourse flowing from the lake, before skirting a picturesque marina. There, sailboats rest to the rhythm of the waves, their masts gracefully silhouetted against the azure sky.

Then, the route moves away from the shores to traverse one of Brunnen’s suburbs, admittedly less enchanting, akin to those outskirts that often struggle to rival the splendor of urban centers. Houses line up, punctuated here and there by verdant gardens where brightly colored flowers thrive, offering a soothing contrast to urban bustle.

The road then unfolds across a vast plain, an ideal landing strip for the paragliders that abound here, like celestial butterflies brightening the horizon. Majestic mountains stand as a backdrop, making this crossing a true ode to nature.

The signposting of the Via Jacobi 98 will often display Waldsätterweg. You will also see Via Jacobi 98 written at key intersections.

Leaving the suburb, the Via Jacobi 98 finds its way back to the lakeshore and crosses the Muota, a fairly significant river we encountered earlier at Ibach, between Schwyz and Brunnen. The crystalline water murmurs softly as the sturdy and reassuring bridge silently witnesses the discreet flow of motorists on this axis.

The Via Jacobi then follows the lakeside road. Here, Brunnen extends along the lake, in a district of fairly new houses. The facades lean under the foliage of the mountain, which leans over the lake, offering an image of tranquility and modernity.

Across the lake rise the impressive cliffs of Seelisberg, where the Via Jacobi 4 passes, the reference route of the Camino de Santiago in Switzerland. Their majesty challenges the sky, seeming to watch over pilgrims and walkers like immutable sentinels, silent witnesses to the passing centuries.

The route follows the road to the Fallenbach marina. There, sailboats line up in a nautical parade, their sails rarely inflated by the wind, seldom ready to challenge the waves and assault the lake.

Near the Fallenbach marina, the Via Jacobi leaves the lakeshore road to climb towards the forest. There, nature gently closes around the walker, enveloping them in its benevolent tranquility, while the paths open up like a trial.

Pure pleasure, with slopes of over 40%, via small stairs set among rocks and grass. Each step is a victory over gravity, each breath a symphony of life in this harmonious ballet between suffering man and nature.

Brunnen gradually disappears at the end of the lake in a breathtaking spectacle. Mountains stand in the background, their snow-capped peaks mingling with the clouds, while the lake shimmers like a mirror, reflecting the majesty of this grand landscape.

The steep climb is not too long, and the path crosses through a woodland of oaks, beeches, chestnuts, and hornbeams, above the lake. The trees tell old tales, immutable witnesses to the raw and wild beauty of nature.

The path runs along a gorge for a while, then descends on stairs carved into the earth to cross the Fallenbach stream. There, the crystalline water sings its melodic tune, carving its way through the rocks with quiet determination, while the stairs, silent witnesses to the passage of walkers, seem to merge with the landscape in perfect harmony.

Here, over millennia, the stream has smoothed the cliff, and the water cascades down in a waterfall. On this side of the lake, where Mount Rigi rises, the slopes are very steep. The same goes for the other side of the lake, on the slopes of Seelisberg. In fact, the lake, for a large part, is like a funnel where the mountains plunge from their full height into the water, often turquoise. This spectacular geography, sculpted by time and the elements, offers a breathtaking spectacle, an ode to the power and beauty of nature.

Shortly after, the path gently descends on a splendid iron footbridge clinging to the cliff overlooking the road. In these forests, vegetation is sometimes very mixed, sometimes almost Mediterranean with the presence of pines. The traveler is enveloped by this surreal atmosphere, while the footbridge, like a lifeline suspended between heaven and earth, invites escapism and contemplation.

At the end of the footbridge, the path remains in the forest for a while before returning to the lakeside road at a place called Brünischart. It is essential to realize that due to the ruggedness of the mountain foothills, passages had to be found to let walkers through, not all of whom are seasoned mountaineers. Each trail is a delicate balance between preserving wild nature and providing accessibility for all, thus offering travelers an enriching and secure experience amidst these grand landscapes.

Here the Via Jacobi only briefly follows the road before climbing back up the hill. The winding contours of the lakeside road lead the walker through an enchanting dance of shadow and light, offering changing panoramas of the sparkling waters of the lake and the majestic mountains on the horizon.

On this little hill, the ascent isn’t long, and the path undulates above the lake. It crosses an unnamed stream. In these regions of alpine lakes, many small canyons persist, mostly dry except during severe weather.

Quickly, the Via Jacobi reaches a junction at the forest entrance. Here, the brave hikers climb for over 3 hours to the heights of Mount Rigi. Dozens of paths, starting from all around the lake, bring many hikers up there, to 1,800 meters above sea level. The Chinese and other tourists, on the other hand, use fewer demanding means of transportation, such as the train or cable car. Each trail is an invitation to adventure, to discover breathtaking panoramas and moments of wonder facing the splendor of nature.

Section 2: In the woods, well above the lake.

Overview of the route’s challenges: often steep slopes.

However, it’s not just the climb to Rigi that is steep. On the Via Jacobi, the ascent is equally challenging, if not more so. It’s over 200 meters of elevation gain in just over 1 kilometer, with slopes reaching up to 35-45%. Yet, from the start, it doesn’t seem insurmountable. Every step becomes a challenge, a struggle against gravity itself, as the path unfolds like a winding serpent to be climbed, offering walkers a lesson in humility in the face of nature’s grandeur.

Shortly after, there’s an even steeper slope, where stairs happily assist the walker. Each step climbed is a victory over adversity, a step closer to the summit.

The path sometimes progresses over large roots, sometimes over rocky terrain, protected by barriers. However, it’s not a delicate route for those prone to vertigo. Every moment is an encounter with the essence of the mountain, where the harshness of the elements merges with the raw and wild beauty of these pristine lands.

Occasionally, rare clearings offer a view of the lake far below. Magnificent, of course, is this immense horizon that we admire because it’s superb. Especially in good weather, of course. Every glance at the shimmering waters of the lake is an invitation to contemplation, to marvel at the infinite splendor of nature, an embrace between sky and water that carries the soul to unsuspected horizons.

Midway up, the slope eases a bit, and a small oratory by the path allows for catching one’s breath, or offering a brief prayer. It depends… Within this humble sanctuary, pilgrims find spiritual solace, a welcome pause in the dizzying ascent to the heights. The peaceful silence of this sacred place invites contemplation, meditation, offering souls in need of respite a haven of peace amidst the effort.

Because the climb is far from over, not by a long shot. Small stairs again assist the walker, on a path where rocks emerge. Each step is a victory over adversity, each stair climbed a new milestone in this relentless quest towards the summits. The rocks that emerge from the ground are silent witnesses to the ruggedness of the terrain, to the unwavering strength of the mountain confronting courageous walkers.

Turn around, and you’ll see the difficulty of the exercise. The panorama that unfolds is breathtaking, a grand canvas where the changing hues of the sky mingle with the majestic peaks of the mountains and the sparkling waters of the lake, immutable witnesses to the grandeur of nature.

Higher up, a rare, welcoming bench allows for a few moments of rest, in the benevolent shade of trees. The bench, a silent witness to the walkers’ adventures, offers a privileged vantage point on the splendors that stretch as far as the eye can see. Across the lake, Via Jacobi 4 emerges beneath the cliffs of Seelisberg. In this arid nature, the panorama is breathtaking. Steep cliffs rise like immovable ramparts, defying the sky itself, offering courageous adventurers a grand spectacle, an invitation to contemplate the raw and wild beauty of these lands.

In the last few hundred meters, the slope hardly eases, reaching nearly 25% on the rocky path. Every step is a struggle against the relentless incline of the terrain, every advance a challenge thrown at the mountain itself, on this rocky path, witness to the ruggedness of the place.

At the top of the climb, under the pines and deciduous trees, turning around, you’ll still see Brunnen at the end of the lake. You are here a 50-minute walk from Gersau. Every step taken has been a victory over adversity, every glance backward an invitation to gratitude, to contemplation of the effort made and the wonders that surround you.

The descent will be quite long, with nearly 2 kilometers to reach the lake. Unlike the ascent, the descent is gentler at the start, but still at nearly 20% gradient on the narrow, zigzagging path. Every step is a constant mastery of gravity, inexorably pulling the walkers toward the depths of the landscape.

It’s a narrow, less rocky path that winds along the mountainside, amidst pines, oaks, and beeches. Occasionally, you’ll see rare lime or chestnut trees. The diversity of flora lining the trail is a true invitation to exploration, offering walkers a palette of changing colors and scents as they descend.

As indicated by the sign, you’re walking through a “dry forest,” a type of dense or semi-dense forest that alternates brief seasonal rainy climates with longer dry periods. It’s the opposite of a “wet forest.” Every step in this forest evokes communion with nature, immersion in a complex and fascinating ecosystem among the trees.

The small forest trail soon joins a wide dirt road. Once out of the clearing, deciduous trees clearly dominate. The thick canopy of trees casts a welcome shadow on the path, offering walkers a shaded refuge. Every step crunches and resonates on the gravelly ground.

The dirt road descends at a regular slope, between 10 and 15%. Further down, it meets a small paved road. Every turn reveals a new panorama, a new perspective on the green valleys where sometimes you catch sight of majestic peaks on the horizon.

The road descends until reaching the first houses of Rüteli. Each house seems to emerge from the greenery like a precious pearl nestled in the mountainside.

The road continues to descend. You could follow the road to the lake, but the Via Jacobi has another plan for you. It doesn’t like roads, even if no cars pass through, or very rarely. So, a little detour above Gersau, for the pleasure of admiring the village from above. The route leaves Rütelistrasse for a path that climbs a hillock. Every step on this alternate path is an invitation to discovery, to exploring new perspectives on the village unfolding below, offering walkers a privileged view of the timeless beauty of these lands bathed by the lake.

From here begins an incredible gymkhana to reach Gersau. First, it’s a steep and slippery path. Every turn is a test of skill, a delicate dance between rock and earth, where every step demands intense concentration and perfect balance.

The path passes by a small oratory. You’re walking in the canton of Schwyz, a Catholic canton. The oratory, a humble testament to the faith that guides the walkers’ steps, offers a moment of reflection in the midst of effort, a connection with the divine in this wild and majestic landscape.

The path opens onto a small road below that leads to Büel, a rather affluent suburb of Gersau. Each house along the road speaks of the peaceful and prosperous life in this alpine paradise.

The road crosses through the affluent village on a slope. The road invites strolling, offering walkers a total immersion in the picturesque and authentic atmosphere of Gersau, where every corner reveals a new hidden treasure.

But the road is a dead end. So, the Via Jacobi continues on a small path above the village of Gersau. Some houses overlook the lake, while others grow dwarf, a coveted object appreciated in the region.

You’re just above Gersau (2,400 inhabitants), in the canton of Schwyz, with its church dedicated to St. Marcel, a baroque church from the early 19th century. The church, majestic and imposing, dominates the landscape, offering travelers a symbolic landmark in this enchanting environment.

The path then opens up by the lakeshore. Across, you’ll see the highway passing through a tunnel towards Beckenried on the route of Via Jacobi 4, the traditional Swiss Way of St. James. The lake stretches as far as the eye can see, calm and majestic, offering travelers a welcome respite after their journey through the mountains.

Near the harbor, the shoreline is charming, and the lakeside road is lined with hotels and restaurants. Throughout this lake region, a tourism of superior quality has developed over the years. Each establishment along the lakeside road is an invitation to relaxation and refinement, offering travelers a warm welcome and high-quality services in an enchanting setting.

Boats crisscross the lake, whether regular or private excursions. Many Swiss and foreign tourists thus hop from one shore to another. Navigation on the lake is an unforgettable experience, a unique way to discover the secret charms of this preserved region, by water and through the memories created.

The Via Jacobi then leaves the lakeside road to climb through the village following the inner river Dorfbach (Innere Dorfbach). The road winds through the village, offering walkers an authentic immersion into the daily life of the inhabitants, where the soothing murmur of the river accompanies their steps. 

Hotels and inns abound in the village, even on the heights, and you often see typical Swiss houses with shingled roofs. Each establishment is an oasis of comfort and conviviality, where the Swiss way of life blends with the legendary hospitality of the locals, offering travelers a memorable stay in the heart of the Alps.

Section 3: Another beautiful ascent above the lake.

Overview of the route’s challenges: often steep slopes.

At the top of the village, the Via Jacobi 98 crosses the Dorfbach. Vitznau is announced to be 2 hours and 15 minutes from here. The clock of time seems suspended in the peaceful air of the village, offering travelers a moment of contemplation and reflection before continuing the ascent.

The road leaves the heights of the village, crosses the outer river of the Dorfbach (Usser Dorfbach/Sagenbach). The soothing murmur of the river accompanies the steps of the walkers, guiding them towards the heights.

The slope is about to become very steep over a short stretch. Every step is a challenge, a struggle against the relentless incline of the terrain, where fatigue and determination of the walkers mingle.

Turning around, Gersau gradually disappears from view. In such a postcard-perfect setting, wouldn’t one spend a few days here? Across, the daunting cliffs of Seeligsberg rise, where the Gotthard highway passes through a tunnel. You also understand that, whichever route you take, on the other side of Via Jacobi 4, you will also need courage to pass over the cliffs. Each panorama that unfolds is an invitation to marvel, to contemplate the grandeur of nature and the smallness of man in the face of the immensity of the surrounding world.

Higher up, the road leaves the last houses behind to reach sloping meadows. The atmosphere gradually transforms from the peaceful bustle of the village to the pastoral tranquility of the alpine meadows, once again immersed in wild nature.

The road then enters the forest, crossing a small tunnel. Passing through the tunnel is like a transition between two worlds, between the clarity of day and the mysterious darkness of the forest, offering walkers a fleeting pause before continuing their journey through shaded paths.

You have climbed almost 150 meters since the lake. At the exit of the tunnel, pay attention to the direction. The road continues towards Ober Rängg. That one is the route for athletes heading to Rigi. Via Jacobi 98, yours, goes below the road, towards Unter Rängg.

It’s a narrow trail, as one encounters in the Alps, hesitating steeply between the woods and the meadows. Every step is a delicate dance between solid ground and roots emerging from the soil, offering walkers a sometimes-painful experience in the heart of the wild nature.

It passes by a shed that may serve as a refuge for sheep. The old shack, a silent witness to the pastoral life that has animated these lands for centuries, seems to watch over passing travelers, offering a precarious shelter in this majestic and unforgiving landscape.

Sometimes, the slope becomes even steeper. Then the stairs come to the rescue, wedged against the rock. Each step is a challenge to climb, an ascent to new heights, offering walkers an opportunity to test their endurance and determination in this rugged and wild landscape.

The path runs through several gates to contain the sheep or cows grazing on these steep slopes. Further up, you can join the path that leads to Ober Rengg, but you will wisely follow the path to Unter Rengg. It’s already quite high.

Shortly after, on the steep slope, the path moves from meadows to a grove where an unnamed stream should flow, a discreet canyon, in a way. Every step echoes in the silence of nature, revealing to walkers the vastness and raw beauty of these wild lands, where each turn holds a new surprise to discover. 

Considering the terrain and the merciless slope, one can easily imagine that it’s better to have sheep around here than cows. Each animal grazing on these steep slopes must demonstrate exceptional agility and resilience to survive in this inhospitable landscape, where only the fittest can thrive.

When you want to save some effort, you can linger to admire the incredible lake, far below you behind the grass and wildflowers. Every moment spent contemplating the splendor of the lake is a journey through time, where the beauty of nature unfolds in all its grandeur and majesty.

The path still climbs a bit, with some cattle barriers, each crossed barrier being one step closer to the summit…

 …before reaching Unter Rängg, at 650 meters altitude. Unter Rängg is an old wooden house with beehives, probably inhabited, like a landmark in the landscape, in this wild and possibly inhospitable land.

A dead-end road passes over to Ober Rängg, but our route doesn’t go there. It descends from the mountain, about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Vitznau.

Beyond Unter Rängg, a fairly wide path descends slightly into the grass towards a grove… 

…before delightfully plunging into the grove. Every step in the grove is an immersion into a mysterious and enchanting world, on the carpet of dead leaves, in the shade of majestic pines and beeches.

It even ascends slightly under a rocky barrier. The nature is very rugged in the region. Every fold of the earth tells an ancient story, marked by the whims of time and the titanic geological forces that have sculpted this majestic landscape. Lake Lucerne, with its 500-meter walls plunging into the lake, formed during the retreat of the Reuss glacier at the end of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago. The entire region is primarily made of molasse and conglomerates or pudding stones, which the Alemannic people call Nagelfluh. Here is the origin of these rocks. During the long Alpine folding of the Tertiary era, the emerged parts of the Alps were promptly subjected to erosion. More or less abundant masses of Alpine rocks were carried away and accumulated, intermingled with molasse, in a large lake, later the sea, which covered the Swiss Plateau. Tightened, pressed, these materials conglomerated, precisely forming the pudding stones. The continuing Alpine thrust caused them to fold in turn. Thus, were built the molasse mountains of the Prealps, including the Rigi on whose flank passes Via Jacobi 98. However, these materials do not belong to the Alps, even though they were torn from the Alps. They were carried away in the waters bathing the northern foot of the Alps and mixed at the same time with neighboring molasse rocks. There is hardly any molasse in the Swiss Alps. This entire region of Rigi is solely composed of molasse and conglomerates. It thus clearly belongs to the Plateau and the Prealps.

Then the path continues to descend into the meadows. Every step in the soft grass is a descent into the unknown, offering walkers a feeling of excitement mixed with contemplation before the wild beauty of the surrounding nature.

Soon, you will see ahead the narrow pass of Vitznau, a high point of Swiss military defense during the last world war, with the wooded promontory of Unter Nas in the foreground, and in the background, the Bürgenstock. The first promontory was Ober Nas, where the Via Jacobi progresses. Military secret, shh! Every contour of the land reveals scars of the past, where the tumultuous geography of the region has been shaped by human hands and the demands of national defense.

Honestly, what enemy would have dared to violate the Unter Nas, such a promontory plunging into the calm Swiss waters? Every rocky promontory is an impregnable bastion, a natural fortress that testifies to Switzerland’s perpetual vigilance against external threats, offering observers an unobstructed view of the peaceful waters of the lake and the grand landscapes surrounding them.

The path descends into the meadows on the ridge, amidst the tranquil cows.

Fairly quickly, the path reaches the hamlet of Abnet, where Via Jacobi 98 meets the tarmac again. Every encounter with civilization is a reminder of the transience of adventure, offering walkers a smooth transition between the wild nature and the civilized world awaiting them below.

The road then begins a steep descent towards the lake, passing near the small mountain inn of Kuorez. The Swiss are very fond of such mountain inns. Each inn in these semi-alpine panoramas is a haven of warmth and conviviality.

Section 4: Descent to the lake.

Overview of the route’s challenges: sustained slope until reaching the lake.

The road descends further onto Unter Linden, passing by a beautiful Schwyz-style mansion, a testament to local architecture, offering travelers a glimpse into the cultural and historical richness of the region.

The road winds its way down. Soon, Weggis is seen in the distance, and further down, Vitznau. Each turn of the road anticipates the final destination, offering travelers breathtaking views of the picturesque landscapes unfolding before them.

A Swiss flag is planted on the cliffs of Rigi. Vitznau boasts a military fortress. The cliffs and the pass are peppered with artillery positions, once the great secret of the “Swiss Redoubt.” All of this has changed: you can even stay in the fortress! Each element of military history is a reminder of troubled times past, offering visitors an immersion into the strategic defenses that have marked Switzerland’s history during the last two world wars.

The winding road continues its descent amidst sheep. It’s a descent into humility, offering walkers communion with the natural elements that populate the green hills and tranquil valleys.

The Via Jacobi follows the road for a while before branching off onto a path that descends towards the Flora Alpina Hotel, facing the Unter Nas.

On the horizon, Weggis is visible, and even further, Luzern. Vitznau is just below. This panoramic view is an invitation to wonder, offering walkers endless contemplation of the natural beauties stretching out before them.

The FlorAlpina is wonderfully located, facing the wooded knoll of Unter Nas, in the locality of Bürglen. Sometimes outdoor concerts are held there. The view of the lake at sunset is divine. Over there, on the other side of Vitznau, is the “Park Hotel Vitznau” and its five stars, on a green promontory overlooking the lake. Today, it remains one of the most prestigious hotels in Central Switzerland, a worthy heir to a tradition of excellence dating back to the origins of tourism in Switzerland, an oasis of luxury and refinement, offering travelers an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Swiss Alps.

From the FlorAlpina, just follow the road to reach the entrance of Vitznau, just steps away. Every step on this sidewalk, in a kind of canyon overlooking the lake, is a journey between rock walls and tranquil waters.

At the entrance of the small town, you leave the road for a path above the locality. But soon, the pavement becomes a priority, and the road passes by neat villas and the local campsite, on the outskirts of the non-touristic town.

Further on, the road passes the discreet Altdorfbach stream, in the rejuvenated old village, which meanders through its alleyways.

Vitznau, like Greppen and Weggis, is part of this portion of the Lucerne territory, enclave in the canton of Schwyz. Only the waters of the lake connect them to the rest of the canton of Lucerne. Lucerne is wealthy, Schwyz is not. Vitznau (1,500 inhabitants) is situated in an idyllic bay on Lake Lucerne at the foot of Mount Rigi. This resort town is a highly appreciated starting point for numerous excursions around the lake, and of course primarily towards the Rigi, the emblematic mountain of Central Switzerland, where there are more tourists than cattle. A half-hour train ride separates Vitznau at the lakeside, at 435 meters above sea level, from the summit of Rigi at 1798 meters. In the past, wealthy guests were carried up in sedan chairs. With the opening of the world’s first cogwheel railway in 1871, the most comfortable way to reach the summit of Rigi is to take the Vitznau-Rigi cogwheel train, Europe’s first mechanical lift.

Accomodation on Via Jacobi

    • Gasthaus Tübli, Dorfstrasse 12, Gersau; 041 828 12 34; Hotel, dinner, breakfast
    • Seehotel*** Riviera, Route du Kac 24, Gersau; 041 828 19 19; Hotel, dinner, breakfast
    • Gasthaus Platten, Plattenweg1, Gersau; 079 881 32 69; Hotel, dinner, breakfast
    • Hotel*** FlorAlpina, Schibernstrasse 2, Vitznau; 041 399 70 70; Hotel, dinner, breakfast
    • Hotel*** Terrasse am See, Banhofstrasse 2, Vitznau; 041 397 10 33; Hotel, dinner, breakfast
    • Hotel*** Rigi Vitznau, Seestrasse 65, Vitznau; 041 399 85 85; Hotel, dinner, breakfast


    This region is highly popular among tourists, filled with numerous vacation apartments and Airbnb rentals, whose addresses remain elusive. We have only mentioned mid-range hotels, which already have quite high rates. In Switzerland, low-end hotels are rare. A few high-end luxury hotels also dot the region, but they are infrequently visited by pilgrims. Along the route, you will find only a few places to have a drink or eat something, except in Gersau. Gersau and Vitznau have all the necessary shops. In the high season, it is imperative to book at any cost, as accommodations are in high demand.

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