Mt. Rigi Hike & Spa Itinerary
Mt. Rigi is branded the ‘Queen’ of the mountains in Switzerland.
The word “Riginen” describes the rock stratification visible on the north-side of the mountain. In German Riginen is a feminine noun whereas in German the noun mountain / Berg is a masculine one. Therefore the Rigi brands itself as the one of a kind “Queen of the mountains”.
We depart the Lucerne train station on a 22 minute train to Arth-Goldau and then walk underneath the train station and continue on the sidewalk to reach the Mt. Rigi cogwheel station.
We board Europe’s first cogwheel train launched in 1871 and ride 37 minutes through winding forests and pastures.
Mt. Rigi Kulm
Once we reach Rigi Kulm and step out of the Rigi cogwheel train, we are now at 1800 meters/5400 ft and enjoy what seems like eye level views of the surrounding mountain peaks.
We walk a short incline to the top of Rigi Kulm and enjoy a 360 degree view of Swiss alps to the South & East and country view on a clear day to France on the West and the Black Forest in Germany to the North.
The visual displays describe the Rigi Kulm Hotel as one of the first hotels built in Switzerland in 1815. You will also read what Mark Twain wrote in his 1880 “A Tramp Abroad”…”this is one of the most beautiful places I have lived”…
By now it’s late morning and its time to hike towards our lunch stop located by the Mt. Rigi cheese dairy farmer Franz Toni-Kennel called “Chaeserenholz”. We hike on a wide gravel “Wanderweg” sign posted trail and after 20 minutes reach the cheese dairy.
At “Chaesernholz” Franz-Toni Kennel, the 7th generation family member living on Mt. Rigi, will have completed his morning cheese making activities and will be cleaning up. He normally starts around 5.00a.m., fills his 1300 litre copper vessel with milk provided by the 30 cows he houses and feeds and produces approximately 24 cheese rounds daily.
If we are fortunate we may be able to enter the cheese dairy and see his cheese making facility and visit the cheese storage area where the cheeses are kept.
Recently we started grilling local Swiss sausages “Bratwursts & Cervelats” at the public grilling area just below “Chaesernholz” for lunch. This has become very popular.
While the guide cuts the wood, starts the fire and get’s things ready, you have time to walk around, use the WC facilities at “Chaesernholz” and of course are free to purchase further food and drinks. Both wine and cold beer are available.
After Lunch Hike
After our lunch, we hike along a local “Wanderweg” signposted trail through the forest and continue to the Rigi-Staffel train station stop. We continue along the rim path to where we see Lucerne and Lake Lucerne in front of us and enjoy seeing the alps throughout our hike.
Approximately an hour later, we reach Rigi-Kaltbad. You can optionally refresh yourself in the Mineral Spa facility (optional extra at Fr 37 p.p.).
For over 600 years, health seekers from all over the world have been attracted to the healing waters of the ‘Kaltbad’ mineral springs. This tradition has been kept alive by the new facility opened in July 2012 and designed by the internationally renowned architect Mario Botta.
A few minutes walk from the Spa you walk through this narrow path into a small opening. You see a trickle of water coming from the base of these two huge rocks that is the water source for the “Mineral Springs”.
Also at the same spot you can enter the “Three Sisters Chapel”, first built in 1554 that still holds regular scheduled Sunday services.
We descend by an aerial tram down to Weggis to catch a Lake Lucerne boat for a scenic 40-minute cruise back to Lucerne.
There is time to get to your dinner reservation, for example the 8:00p.m. Stadtkeller Dinner-Folklore Show or continue to your homeward bound destination.