A picturesque hike starting at the fjord-like Walensee (Lake Walen) following up a path through an area of massive rock formation connects two worlds within Switzerland. At the top, an impressive sun terrace in the small town of Amden awaits the adventurer. During the first part of the hike along the southern shore of the lake, you will be surrounded by exotic plants and a mild climate. The second part will mark the entrance into the world of majestic mountains. On the south-facing meadows, high above the lake, you will find bright-red colored Tiger Lilies, Orchids and Gentians in different shades of blue, all visible during the early summer months. In the fall, Silver Thistles will shine like bright stars on the freshly-mowed meadows.
The sunny side of Lake Walen has long been known for its mild climate. If you can resist the idyllic sun-bathing spot at the boat dock of Betlis, your climb will take you up a terraced landscape to an open area, passing an old Roman watchtower at the foot of a mighty cliff. It is worth to take a little detour from here to an observation deck, the location of one of the largest karst springs in Europe. Over 30,000 liters of water per second gush down over a 30-meter long ledge. This is very impressive, especially during springtime. Further above, the Seerenbach Waterfalls plunge over 700 meters into the depth of the lake. Don’t be surprised if a fine mist will sprinkle your body, especially if a slight breeze will accompany your day. The end of Betlis also marks the border of two climates, amazingly enough. The Mediterranean vegetation in Betlis is home to Kiwis, persimmons, figs and palm trees while the mountainous vegetation hosts many different plants.
Passing through the rigid rock barrier results in excellent views down to Lake Walen, the Linth Plane and the mountains of the Glarus. This area, depicted by massive lime-stone walls, is home to many insects and reptiles, such as a variety of beautiful butterflies and different lizard species. Behind those gigantic walls, you will find yourself within the beautifully peaceful pastures of Amden. These meadows are home to a variety of plants. A highlight is undoubtedly the Tiger Lily at Chapf and Gandenschamm. During the latter part of the hike, Silver Thistles, Gentians and Orchids beautify the experience.
This nature hike will take you about four hours. I recommend taking the public boat from Weesen to Betlis and to return by bus from Arvenbühl to Weesen.