To me, it’s known as Lucerne but doesn’t get confused if you hear Luzern in German and Lucerna in the Italian language. This city is surrounded by the Jagged mountains of the Swiss Alps, most interesting being Rigi and Pilatus. There are many smaller towns surrounding the huge lake and Lucerne is one of the largest city which serves as a transport hub in central Switzerland.
One of the most exciting things you can ever do while you are visiting Lucerne is to visit Mt. Rigi is also known as “Queen of the Mountains”. The mountain rises high above the surrounding lakes and offers stunning views from the hilly landscape in the north to the impressive summits of the Alps in the South.
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How to get to Mt. Rigi
There are different way of getting to Mt Riggi from Lucerne, our trip involved 3 modes of transportation – on the way up there, we took a boat from Lucerne, cross Lake Lucerne to Vitznau (about 60 minutes), and then took a cogwheel train from Vitznau to the top of Rigi (about 30 minutes). On the way down we took the same cogwheel train down only halfway to Rigi Kaltbad (about 10 min), and from there took a gondola/cable car down to the town of Weggis (about 10 min), from Weggis where we took another boat back to Lucerne. Details below.
The mountain rises high above the surrounding lakes and offers stunning views from the hilly landscape in the north to the impressive summits of the Alps in the South
What to Expect During the Trip
It was early August what to expect other than crowded tourist attractions in Switzerland. On the morning of departure to Mt Rigi, Lucerne was hit by heavy fog. We took the 1st boat that sailed at 08:12 to Vitznau, and from Vitznau by cogwheel train up to Mt Rigi. As the boat left the docks of Lucerne, I felt good looking at the weather and the Sun has already come out.
The winds were chilly on Lake Lucerne, and most passengers were smart enough to hide in the warmth of the interior of the boat. Few brave ones, including me, sat outside because could not afford to miss the unbelievable view surrounding the lake. Eventually, the fog started clearing up as we approach closer to Vitznau.
The boat pulled into Vitznau at 9:00 am where we made a transfer onto the next leg of the trip, the cogwheel train, or the Vitznau-Rigi Bahn. The cogwheel train that already waiting at the station. I did not have much time to venture out the Vitznau but still took a risk to walk away from the station and try to explore some of the beautiful neighborhood that was so beautiful and different than what I am used.
The landscape on our way steep uphill was fantastic in fact beyond my expression. I could say the best experience of my life. I had a hard time managing my time between enjoying the moments as well as capturing the moments through my lenses. For best views over Lake Lucerne, take a seat on the left-hand side of the train. I was just standing and moving around to make my shots throughout the entire 45 minutes journey.
After about 15 minutes we reached Kaltbad-First station, which connects to the aerial cableway down to Weggis. That is what we are going to take on our way back. Such a beautiful place sometimes you just need to forget your schedule and about your plan and just try to enjoy the moment.
From Kaltbad, the train continued to the top and at about 10 AM we arrived at Rigi Kulm at an elevation of 1752 meter (5750 feet).
Arrived at Rigi Klum
Soon we stepped out of the train we could feel the Air, so pure and fresh. It was sunny but could see the cloud on the horizon moving toward us so fast. It was a great feeling to be in the cloud and feel them and touch them so unbelievably amazing.
We started to explore around trying to discover the area covered with fog, places that were unknown to us so every moment was precious despite the pain of hike up the hill.
The Sun came out and even though the sun started shining brightly again but still it was pretty cold due to wind chill, time to time the entire area was covered with moving clouds. It was such a beautiful scene.
Mount Rigi offers a wide variety of activities, such as hiking, walking on trails, biking and also mini golfing. There was a number of cafes and restaurants to sit back and relax after a stiff climb.
Having Lunch at The Top of The World
I could not resist but to try out one of the local wine, it was was so delicious you need to try it to believe the great experience.
Time For Us to Head Back Down
I could hear the sound of cowbells coming from the nearby field which was blanketed by moving clouds. As it was still early morning, we could see ‘sea of clouds’ come and go. The scenery from the top was breathtaking. After spending 2 hours up there, we took the 12 pm train down to Kaltbad-First station.
Get the Cable Car from Kaltbad-First station
We arrived at Kaltbad-First station but still need to wait for the next available Cable car down to Weggis. We had some time to explore the surrounds of Kaltbad village. Finally, time for us to take the cable care down. The view from the car down was fantastic. I enjoyed the spectacular view of Lake Lucerne and the villages surrounding the lake.
Weggis by Lake Lucern
We arrived at Weggis little early so needed to wait for the next boat to Lucerne to show up. Weggis is a small town, there are few hotels around and great looking restaurants around the boat terminal.
The view around Weggis was spectacular and undoubtedly the lake was beautiful.
My Opinion and Tips
Have you been to Mount Rigi, Switzerland? Any additional tips to share?
Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge.
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