Säntis Mountain: Epic Views In Eastern Switzerland

Mount Säntis

Santis mountain offers a fun mountain day trip with epic views of the North Eastern Swiss Alps. The gondola ride itself is an enjoyable way to explore the Appenzell region of Switzerland with lots of activities in the area as well as on the mountaintop itself.

We spent the afternoon on top of Santis after a morning snowshoeing in the area and really enjoyed the trip to the top and the epic views it gave. Even after 20 years in Switzerland we had not been to the top and were quite amazed at how great the whole setup was and the 360 views you get from there.

If you are interested in visiting Santis mountain then the following is definitely worth a read.

Where is Säntis Mountain?

Mount Säntis is located in the Alpstein massif in the northeast of Switzerland. The summit can be reached by taking the Säntis cable car from Schwägalp in the Kanton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden. However, the mountain itself is the highest mountain peak in both Appenzell Ausserrhoden and Appenzell Innerrhoden.

Säntis aerial cable car
Säntis aerial cable car

How do I get to Säntis Switzerland?

Santis is most easily reached via the Säntis – Schwebebahn aerial cable car in Schwägalp. There is free parking at the base of the mountain in Schwägalp with lots of space for your vehicle. Schwägalp can be reached from Zurich in an hour and a quarter by car.

Part of the parking at Schwägalp
Parking at Schwägalp

By train from Zurich to Schwägalp takes just over 2 hours and you can plan your route via the SBB website.

What Does A Trip Up Santis Cost?

A trip up Säntis is certainly not cheap, but if you make a day of it, it is definitely worth it. Here are the costs of a trip up Santis:

  • Adult: Return – 54 CHF, One Way – 38 CHF (Half price with half-tax or GA)
  • Students/apprentices: Return – CHF 30.00, One way – CHF 21.00
  • Children (6 and over): Return – CHF 27.00, One way – CHF 19.00
  • Children under 6: Free

Groups of 10 or more can receive reasonable discounts. You can see the offers here.

Things To Do On Säntis

There are a lot of activities around and on Santis to keep you or your kids busy for the day. Of course, it all starts with a trip on the Säntis aerial cable car, however, once you get to the top you have lots to see.

View of the mountains around Säntis
View of the mountains around Säntis

You can take a walk outside on the balcony to see the epic views south and east-west of the summit. Inside you can take the kids to see:

  • A world of ice – see the journey of one snowflake all the way to becoming a glacier
  • The weather mountain – create your own weather conditions
  • History of Säntis – discover the fascinating 90-year history of Santis

Local farm display on Santis
Local farm display on Santis

There are also lots of fun displays around the whole mountain peak area where you can explore what Santis has to offer.

Display of the Alpstein mountains on Santis
Display of the Alpstein mountains on Santis

Hiking Up Säntis

You can also hike up to the top of Säntis via a variety of different hiking trails from both sides of the mountain. This is indeed one of the best hikes in Appenzell.

They are far from the easiest hikes I have ever done in Switzerland, so it goes without saying that such hikes are at your own risk.

The most common and perhaps easiest route is:

  • Wasserauen – Ebenalp – Schäfler Hut – Ohrli – Säntis

However, be aware that almost any ascent of Santis is hard and this one ends in some exposure involving chains for security.

Where in Switzerland can you see 6 countries at once?

You can actually see six countries at once from the summit of Säntis. This includes Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, France, and Italy.,

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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