A hike Form Wasserau to Lake Seealpsee and Ebenalp, passing Mountain Restaurant Aescher and Church Wildkirchli. Located in the eastern part of Switzerland are the rolling hills and mountain tops of Appenzell. The Aescher Restaurant gained worldwide fame a few years ago thanks to National Geographic. More about our hike to the top Schafler ridge Ebenalp
This Gorgeous Guesthouse and restaurant are quite literally built into a cliff, and its back wall is made up of the rock itself. Its precarious perch makes it difficult to get to, and it’s only accessible after a steep hike along a mountain path or via cable car. It’s been around for 170 years, and was originally a home for farmers; the guestbook goes back to 1940. Open from May through November, the guesthouse uses only rainwater, and there are no showers. Weekends often bring in rowdy groups of Swiss hikers and live music that plays late into the night. The guesthouse is also just a short distance down the path from the Wildkirchli caves. The caves later became the site of a hermitage.
Originally built as a guesthouse in 1884, Äscher has become one of Switzerland's most widely recognized restaurants as it appears to be clinging to the side of a cliff above the mountain village of Wasserauen. The guesthouse opens its doors again recently for guests to stay overnight. We sleep in the double room it's an amazing experience to stay at this iconic place to watch the sunset and the other morning the sunrise. Book a cave with a view!
This unusual hotel was built by shepherds, who needed a place to stay when looking after their goats. So 170 years ago they carried all building materials up almost to the top of the mountain.
Berggasthaus Aescher offers traditional but comfortable accommodation and a restaurant renowned among local hikers and climbers. Especially for a viewing deck with a 30m drop. Worth every penny!
Most visitors to Äscher arrive via cable car from Wasserauen, but more adventurous diners hike the steep path to the town of Seealpsee and then from there to the restaurant. The restaurant rose to prominence when it was named one of the five most interesting restaurants in the world by the Huffington Post in 2014 and then featured on the cover of National Geographic's "Destinations of a Lifetime" special. Now, Äscher is incredibly popular with tourists from all over the world, as well as within Switzerland.
Tip: If you don’t have a car take the train to the Wasserauen train stop right across the street from the Ebenalp cable car.
If you are driving, simply enter Wasserauen, Switzerland into your GPS and it will lead you right to the Ebenalp cable car. Park near the cable car or in the parking lot across the street. The cable car leaves every 15 minutes and costs 34 Swiss Francs. Alternatively, you can hike up the mountain, which many locals did, from Seealpsee to the Äscher. After the short ride to the top, you begin your easy 20-minute “hike” down and around the mountain to the Berggasthaus Aescher. Just take a right out of the cable car building and start heading down the hill following the signs for Aescher Wildkirchli. You honestly can’t get lost. There are incredible views to the north and east including Lake Constance to the north looking towards Germany and Austria. The area appeared popular for paragliders as there were quite a few riding the thermals nearby.
The reservations were easy to book by emailing the Berggasthaus Aescher, which can be found on their website. You can email them telling them if you’d like your own room or arrange to have your party take a whole room if you have enough guests. Basically, you are just luxury camping as it’s more like a dormitory or a hostel than a full-service hotel. If you are looking for amenities you’ve come to the wrong place. There are no showers, washrooms only! The whole guesthouse has been recently renovated and is very clean. The guesthouse seems to get a lot of press so I expected it to be packed but it was not full when we stayed. Another thing I love about Switzerland is the cowbells (tied to the nearby sheep) that you hear all evening as you drift off to sleep. Very peaceful.
Spend the night alone or with your whole family or friends at the Aescher and experience the simplicity like back in the days. In the morning you'll be served a delicious breakfast, which you can enjoy on the terrace with a delightful panorama in fine weather!
Four-bed Room in the Aescher with duvet: CHF 115.
Group room (6-15 persons) in the Aescher with own sleeping bag: price on request, varies according to group size!
Good to know...
Aescher is located at 1454 m above sea level. It can get cold even in summer, as soon as the sun has gone! It's best to bring something warm and cozy for the evening and night, as the house is not heated!
In the group room, you will sleep in your own sleeping bag! They prepare the beds for you with pillows, sheets, and woolen blankets.
Water is a precious commodity on the Aescher because they don't get it from a "normal" water pipe, but from the reservoir in the Wildkirchli cave, which is fed by rainwater.
Stay overnight in our hermit lodge and experience the simplicity like back in the days. The lodge is situated on the way from the Aescher restaurant and the famous Wildkirchli church and offers, besides a comfy double bed, a lot of room to contemplate about what you really need in life. So to say, a modern-traditional detox Appenzell style!
Please note: At night, you can use the toilets at Aescher.
1 night at the lodge – 138 CHF per person,
including a welcome drink and breakfast at Aescher
Monday to Sunday from 7.30 am
Warm dishes served from 7.30 am to 9 pm
Season from May to 30 November 2021
How To Get There
By Car & Cable Car: From Wasserauen take the Ebenalpbahn gondola to the mountain station. There is a large car park at the bottom of the cable car. From there it’s a 15-minute walk to the Aescher through the Wildkirch caves. See the Cablecar timetable here.
Hiking: You can hike from Wasserauen via Seealpsee to the Aescher and it takes about 2h 30minutes.
Hotels nearby if the Aescher is full
The Hotel Frohe Aussicht hotel enjoys a quiet location in Schwende in the Alpstein Hiking Area. It offers free WiFi, fine regional cuisine, and a sauna.
You can enjoy seasonal, fish, games and mushroom dishes, and fine wines from the hotel's well-stocked cellar. During summer, you can dine outside on the terrace.
It takes you only a 10-minute drive or a 20-minute bike ride to reach Appenzell from Schwede. The station of the Appenzellerbahn is only 200 m away from the Hotel Hotel Frohe Aussicht.