• Camilla

Hoher Kasten - Top of Appenzell (AI) | Swiss Tour 2020

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

We discovered the panoramic Hoher Kasten mountain near Appenzell from where you can enjoy a fantastic 360° view over 6 countries. What an experience!

We did some research before our visit to Hoher Kasten but we hadn’t fully prepared ourselves for the amazing beauty of the area.


We packed up the car for the start of our holiday on Friday and the first thing that we immediately noticed as we left the motorway is how green the area is, and how beautifully manicured. We arrived at the guest house Rössli which is located in the village of Brülisau and would be our home for the next few days. They didn’t have a family room available but they had put us in two rooms next to each other at the end of a corridor which could be enclosed with a fire door, so we were able to shut the door and the children were safe in the room next door to us.  The rooms were spacious and clean with large bathrooms and comfortable beds, and ours had views out over the landscape and river.  We set about unpacking our bags and went downstairs for a drink.

There is a lovely spacious terrace at the guest house which was perfect in the warm weather, and the children loved the large play area where they soon discovered some rabbits! Alba loves all animals and was delighted when the manager of the guest house told her she could get inside the enclosure and give them some food!  With the children enjoying themselves and Elio comfortably installed in his pushchair, Jean and I could chat to Fabienne from the Hoher Kasten cable cars who organised our trip, and who popped over to give us some more information about Hoher Kasten and to discuss the programme with us.  Fabienne is lovely and very knowledgeable and passionate about the area so it was great to learn more about the region.  After that we decided to go for a short walk around Brülisau to familiarise ourselves with our incredible new surroundings before dinner.

For our first night, we were eating dinner in the guest house restaurant and we were really excellently looked after.  Special thanks has to go to Nadia who was extremely kind and helpful throughout our stay and did such a wonderful job of making sure we had everything we needed, particularly for Elio who had a delicious meal specially prepared for him.  The food was great and the children were happy to continue playing until we dragged them off to bed.

The next day was Swiss National Day (1st August) and we were going for a hike so we had a good breakfast at the guest house before we set off for the starting point for our hike which was the restaurant Berggasthaus in Ruhesitz.  From here we followed the path through spectacular mountain scenery accompanied by the cows and goats who were happily grazing all around us.  The weather was perfect with warm sun and clear skies enabling us to see for miles across Appenzellerland.  

Our destination for this hike was the lake Sämtisersee, and after about an hour of walking we arrived at the restaurant Plattenbödeli next to the lake where we stopped to fortify ourselves with a drink and a selection of local meat and cheese before descending to the lake.  The path down to the lake was steep and there were lots of gnarly tree roots so we trod carefully and held on tightly to the children but it was worth it when we saw the dazzling view of the lake at the bottom.  

There is a rough path around the lake so we found a nice place to stop and happily removed our hiking boots and socks before running down to the waters edge to dip our toes.  Jude was really excited to see lots of little dark frogs leaping about in the shallows and spent some time watching them while Alba skipped around him. Elio loved splashing his feet then he and I went to sit in the sun while the others enjoyed the water.