The Rigi
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The Rigi, at 1798 metres, offers a magnificent panorama over the lakes of Luzern and Zug. (©_Switzerland Tourism)
There are hiking routes all over the Rigi, most starting from Rigi-Kaltbad or Rigi-Klösterli, the first accessible from both Weggis and Vitznau, the second a midway stop, barely a hamlet, on the Arth-Goldau train. Kaltbad is a peaceful traffic-free resort on a terrace of pastureland high above Weggis; there’s a handful of hotels here, as well as relatively easy two- or three-hour hiking routes through the pine trees out to the Känzeli viewpoint, up onto the ridge at First, or to the Rotstock peak above Kaltbad (1659m). The Vitznau and Arth-Goldau train lines meet at Staffel for the final stretch to Rigi-Kulm, home of the Hotel Rigi-Kulm (041/855 03 03, fax 855 00 55; closed Oct & Nov), a bald 1950s creation replacing earlier incarnations dating back more than a hundred years. It’s a rather dull place in itself, but has the incomparable selling point of offering a highly memorable sunrise over the Alps. The summit is a 200m stroll from the hotel, and gives bird’s-eye views over Luzern and the Vierwaldstätterseeon one side, and Zug and the Zugersee on the other.

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