Top Outdoor Adventures in Liechtenstein

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Top Outdoor Adventures in Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is a fairytale sprung to life. This landlocked nation between Switzerland and Austria brims with history and culture – all set against a staggeringly beautiful natural backdrop. Find your way to medieval castle ruins. Hike along epic alpine trails through pristine forests. Visit nature reserves in springtime, when wildflowers are blooming. Ski in a quaint European town, where it’s all about the sport and the apres-ski, without the mega-ski resort prices. These are our suggestions for what to see and do for outdoor adventure in Liechtenstein.

See Liechtenstein’s Top Castles

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Schellenberg Castles
Wander amidst castle ruins and imagine life in the 13th century at Schellenberg, Liechtenstein. The upper and lower ruins are set just off the main road between Vorderer Schellenberg and Mittleler Schellenberg. The larger ruins, the Upper Castle (or Obere Burg), were originally built in 1200 in typical medieval castle style. The Lower Castle (Untere Burg) dates back to 1250. Both castles never made it past the 16th century due to disrepair. The castle ruins are open to visitors and free of charge.
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Schloss Gutenberg, Balzers
Sitting pretty high above the village of Balzers in south Liechtenstein, Schloss Gutenberg is a well-preserved example of a Middle Ages fortress. There have been inhabitants on this hillside since the Neolithic times and it’s possible to see important archaeological artifacts in the Liechtenstein Landesmuseum. The castle was first operated as a church and cemetery, with a ring wall and several additions built over the years. The House of Hapsburg laid claim to the castle in 1314 and in the 15th century, it was renovated following the 1499 Swabian War. Don’t miss the chapel and rose garden and, if you’re visiting during the warmer months, one of the open-air concerts or outdoor theater performances held on the castle grounds. The castle is open to visitors year-round and admission is free. The bailey (outer walls of the castle) are free to visitors year-round. The chapel and rose garden are free to visit every Sunday between May 1st and October 31st (during which time guided tours are also available). This is the only castle in Liechtenstein that is fully intact and that visitors can tour.
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Schloss Vaduz
“The Princely House of Liechtenstein,” as Vaduz Castle is known, overlooks the country’s capital city. The castle is still occupied by the royal family and is not open to the public. However, it’s just as breathtaking from afar.
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Burgruine Schalun
Burgruine Schalun is one of the three castle ruins in Liechtenstein. Also known as Wildschloss, it’s within walking distance of the capital city of Vaduz. The 12th-century ruins are available to the public year-round and there is no admission fee.

Visit Liechtenstein’s Notable Landmarks

While not medieval castles, these important sites are historically and culturally significant and worth a stop on your Liechtenstein itinerary:

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Cathedral of St. Florin
When you’re in Vaduz, you can’t help but notice the recognizable Cathedral of St. Florin. One of Valduz’s most popular sightseeing stops, the Roman Catholic neo-Gothic church was built in 1874 by Austrian architect Friedrich von Schmidt. Notice the beautiful stained-glass windows and the statuary out front.
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The Red House
Another Vaduz landmark, the mountaintop Red House can be seen from a distance. It was owned by the Vaistlis (liegemen) in the MIddle Ages, and since the Rheinberger family since 1807. Today, the house and its notable tower overlooks an extensive vineyard.
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The Old Rhine Bridge
Walk or bike through the wooden Old Rhine Bridge, one of the last of its kind. The bridge, which was built in 1901, connects Vaduz and Sevelen, Switzerland – you can see the border crossing sign halfway through the bridge.

Hike the Best Trails in Liechtenstein

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The Eschnerberg Trail
Hikers who want to immerse themselves in Liechtenstein’s glorious alpine nature should tackle the Eschnerberg Trail, which winds through the prehistoric settlements of Malanser and Lutzengutle. Along the way, you’ll find placards highlighting the archaeology and local legends. As you walk through the forest of Schellenberg, stop and take in the view of the Rhine Valley, the Alpstein summit and the Ratikon mountains. Once you reach Schelleberg, stop by the Biedermannhaus, the oldest house in the country, dating back to the 16th century.
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Princes’ Way Hike
Experienced hikers visiting Liechtenstein love the Princes’ Way Hike, a challenging pathway through the Ratikon Mountains. Start with jaw-dropping views from Alp Gaflei, then climb to more vistas, including a view of the Three Sisters at Gaflei Saddle, Helwangs Peak, Chemi and Bargalla Saddle.
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Ski Liechtenstein
Venture to 5,000-plus feet for a skiing paradise in Liechtenstein. The Malbun ski town near Saminatal Valley satisfies every level of skier with its well-maintained facilities, wide range of groomed trails and fun apres-ski activities. Skiing here is like the old days before lift ticket prices soared. Enjoy the small-town, hospitable feel and focus on getting as much of that fresh alpine air as possible. If it’s summer, you can still visit Mabun for excellent hiking and mountain biking.
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Say “Cheers” to Liechtenstein
Indulge in a tasting at the Prince of Liechtenstein’s wine cellars, the Hofkellerei, set in the center of Vaduz, surrounded by grand mountain scenery. Sample award-winning vintages, from chardonnay to pinot noir to riesling and chat with the friendly staff. They’ll teach you about the area’s long wine-making history, dating back to the 140ss, and allow you to walk the wine trail and learn about the wine-making process. From here, you can see the 12th-century Vaduz Castle.
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Get Back to Nature
Bird-watch, walk, bike and simply enjoy the outdoors at the huge Ruggeller Riet Nature Reserve in northeastern Liechtenstein. You’ll spot endangered storks and have access to a range of landscapes, from moors to meadows. Perhaps the best time to visit is late May to early June, when the Siberian iris are in full bloom. For the avid cyclist, the bike paths here connect to those in neighboring Switzerland and Austria.

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