Available: May - mid October.
Swiss Travel Pass: FREE rail travel to Unterterzen
Half Fare Card: to Unterterzen from Bad Ragaz 12 Sfr, from St Gallen and Appenzell 20 Sfr
A day ticket for lake cruises is 29 Sfr. Cable car to Tannenboden 6 Sfr
This beautiful blue lake (one of the clearest and deepest in the country) is stunning in itself, but with the mountain backdrop it makes for Swiss perfection. You can enjoy a cable car ride high above the lake or take a boat trip on the water. The resort in Unterterzen offers a beach, bathing and a restaurant. Naturally there are plenty of walking and cycling trails.
Lake Walen cruises
Cruises depart from several points around the lake and make for a very enjoyable afternoon. You might like to cruise to the Seerenbach waterfall at 720m high, which is particularly impressive after rain. The Rinquelle linestone spring gushes out of the rocks and is one of Europe's largest of its kind. If you would like to walk, cruise to the historic town of Weesen at the western end of the lake. You can then enjoy the Walensee Walk along the wild, northern bank of the lake to Walenstadt (7 hours for the whole walk, or 1 hour to Betlis/2 hours to Quinten from where you can pick up the boat again).
You can enjoy drinks and snacks on board as you cruise past the spectacular scenery - or book one of the special brunch or barbecue cruises available on certain dates through the season.
Quinten can only be reached by walking along the lake from Weesen or Walenstadt or by boat. This picturesque car-free village is located on a small headland with the lake on one side and the mountains behind. It is a popular place to visit thanks to its almost Mediterranean climate - grapes, kiwis, figs all flourish here - and is a lovely spot to stop for launch.
Murg lies on the opposite bank to Quinten. Another delightful village, Murg also features historic buildings such as the old spinning mill, which has been restored with careful detail so that you can visit it today. Nearby is the the third largest chestnut forest in Switzerland. The mild climate and acidic soil are perfect for growing sweet chestnuts, which are used in local dishes.
Enjoy a fantastic lake and mountains view from the gondola cable car as you journey from the valley station at Unterterzen to Tannenboden in the beautiful Flumserberg mountains. There are other cable cars from Tannenboden to take you higher if you wish. This is a wonderful area to visit, with some delightful walks in splendid scenery. You can try the summer toboggan run (payable locally) for a thrill, or simply relax in one of the mountain restaurants.
Cable cars are generally available from mid June to mid October.
There are several towns from which you can access Lake Walen.
One of the best starting points is Unterterzen as it has plenty of tourist facilities and the cable car to Flumserberg. From Bad Ragaz take the train via Sargans (about 30 minutes). From St Gallen there is a direct train which takes 1 hour 15 minutes. From Appenzell, travel via Herisau in about 1 hour 40 minutes.