Fälensee is a beautiful mountain lake squeezed between mountains. The hike to this lake is really nice and rewarding in the end.
Fälensee is sitting at 1,446 m and you can actually do much more there if you have time: sleep in a beautiful hut which is right on the lake shore; do a three lake hike; hike to Saxer Lücke and have a glimpse to Liechtenstein from high above. It’s a place of many hiking possibilities.
Where is Fälensee
Fälensee is in Appenzell canton, just few hundred meters from St. Gallen canton. Closest bigger city next to it would be Brülisau and actually Fälensee is very very close to Liechtenstein.
If talking about bigger cities: it is 105 kilometers from Zürich, 189 kilometers from Basel and just 30 kilometers from St. Gallen. From Geneva it is quite far, over 400 kilometers. If you would like to visit Fälensee on your trip to Switzerland, Zürich airport is the best choice.
How to get to Fälensee
As mentioned before, you need to get to Brülisau, this is the closest bigger location to Fälensee. Brülisau is a small Swiss Alps village with couple of restaurants and hotels. But it’s very small, do not expect too much services in there.
You can reach Brülisau with a train/bus connections from Zürich or any other location in Switzerland.
Brülisau doesn’t have a train connection, so you will have to cover the last kilometers with buses. You will have to leave the train in Appenzel and go to Appenzel Steinegg bus stop and once again from there go to Brülisau, your final destination. The whole trip from Zürich should take around 2h 20 minutes, but always be sure to check the latest information, time schedules and prices here: Swiss trains and buses connections. Once you get there, head to the forest, hike begins there.
Now, with a car, it’s much easier. You need to go to Brülisau and then go to the total end of this village, right to the forest. Right next to the entrance to the forest, there’s a private parking lot where for 5 CHF you can park for the whole day. Address: the end of Pfannenstielstrasse. Be aware, that you need cash, no card payments. You just put 5 CHF into the provided box there and leave the car.
Hiking to Fälensee
I must mention, that right next to the parking lot there’s a cable car station which can take you 400 meters higher. If you wish to get faster to the mountains and hike up there, you can definitely use it.
The station works from May till the end of October, every day from 8.00 till 18.00. The price for back and forth is 25 CHF and as I find out from their official information: you must have cash for this as well, no card payments. Check all their latest information here: AlpsSigel cable car station.
I personally didn’t use this cable car and headed straight to the forest. Now, in the beginning, the hike is very steep, so be ready to chose the pace accordingly. The hike in the beginning is by a very beautiful mountain river/stream where you can make some beautiful pictures.
In the first 2 kilometers you are going to gain more than 300 meters in elevation, but once you reach the Plattenbödeli hut, it gets easier. I was lucky enough to meet some donkeys up there.
Plattenbödeli is a hotel and restaurant place, so if you want to refresh or have some rest, it’s a good place to do it. After a long hike it’s a perfect place to sleep as well. All information about this mountain house you can find here: Plattenbödeli Berghaus.
Afterwards the hike gets easier and you will have to hike down a bit until you see the first lake which is called: Sämtisersee. It’s a bit smaller lake than Fälensee and is more in a meadow than between huge peaks, but still a great place to rest and enjoy the view.
After the Sämtisersee the hike gets a bit steeper, but it’s not that hard, you will have to gain around 300 more meters in elevation and it is just 4 kilometers from lake to lake.
Don’t be surprised to meet many cows on the way as they rest and feed over there to make wonderful Swiss Alps milk in the future.
On the way to Fälensee you will see one more accommodation possibility called Furgglenalp. They offer more basic services, sleeping on a mattress and so on, but come on, basics are amazing once you are in the Swiss Alps. All you need up there is the views, the mountains, the fresh air and maybe a fondue or raclette to eat 🙂 All information about this place is here: Furgglenalp info. You should as well there check out the Alpsegen which is made by the local every evening. I haven’t seen it there, but I really hope they do it, as they say on their website: no matter if it rains, or storms, we do the Alpsegen – in english that would be like Alps Blessing, like a prayer. You can see it here: Alpsegen.
Ok, so from there, you are very close to Fälensee.
Just 10 minutes and you are going to see the full picture of it. Right on the lake shore, there’s a restaurant called: Berggasthaus Bollenwees, there you can as well have a dinner or spend the night right there in the Swiss Alps. All information could be found here: Berggasthaus Bollenwees.
Once you reach the lake, depending on weather condition you can relax right there and have your snacks or coffee (there are some benches and a small beach where you can actually sit) or you can take a swim if you are brave enough (it is always cold up there) OR you can continue your hike around it, but you will have to climb and on the way you are going to bump into Hundsteinhütte. This is a Swiss mountain hut in a pretty cool location, where you can spend a night for 32.5 CHF and have a meal as well. Check all the information here: Hundsteinhütte info. You should reach the hut from our beginning place in roughly 2.5 hours. I think it’s an amazing destination to do hut to hut hiking in Switzerland.
Once you reach the Fälensee, you can continue your hike to two destinations: to Saxer Lücke or to Seealpsee.
If you choose to go to Seealpsee you will make a very nice 3 lakes hike: Sämtisersee, Fälensee and Seealpsee. Isn’t that cool? On your way to Seealpsee you are going to see couple of more huts and there’s even possibility to buy Swiss Alps cheese right by the lake.
I chose to hike to Saxer Lücke as from the down it looked too tempting. The hike up to it is not that long, but pretty steep. You will have to conquer that wall, but the views are rewarding in the end. Saxer Lücke is at 1649 meters elevation, but it’s a famous location as there is one pretty cool looking rock. You can actually see Liechtenstein from up there. Not that far from it there’s another mountain hut: Roslenalphütte and even a bigger one a bit further: Zwinglipasshütte. The more I travel around, the more I am surprised how they manage to squeeze those huts in such amazing locations. Fälensee hike is one of those hikes where Switzerland surprises you once again.
After Saxer Lücke I chose to go back to my car, so overall Fälensee hike have such statistics:
Distance Brülisau-Fälensee-Saxer Lücke-Brülisau is 15 kilometers.
Elevation gain in total: around 900 meters.
Time: 5 hours.
Once I was there, I made a hiking video. Here you can see my first struggles conquering the first stretch of the hike as it was very steep. Later on we see more and more cows and the Fälensee appears in the end. I think from the video you can see how beautiful the lake is and the overall location. I hope you like my video 🙂
In my opinion Fälensee is a great weekend destination. Once you hike up there, you can visit not just this lake, but couple of more lakes, many accommodation possibilities, many swiss huts and many other destinations all around.
Be ready to spend at least 4 hours if you are willing to do the whole hike and some more hours to enjoy the lake, the views, the restaurants and any other places you wish to visit.
Fälensee hike is really worth doing in summer, on the other dates I would suggest to check the weather conditions and maybe grab a pair of snowshoes.
If you have any questions about Fälensee hike or any other destinations mentioned in this article, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.
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