In this guide we present you the 11 most beautiful excursion destinations and hikes in the canton Baselland. From well-known places like the Sissacher Fluh to insider tips like the Sormattfall you will find everything.
To be honest, Baselland (or Basel-Land) is an unknown region to many Swiss and tourists. You could even say that it is almost ignored! One man’s grief is another man’s joy. So almost the entire canton of Baselland is an insider tip.
Baselland is part of the Tafeljura. This means that the many hills were not created by folding, but by the glaciers. Accordingly, we have a great landscape to enjoy with many insider tips among them. In the Ultimate Baselland Guide, I present 11 of the best excursion destinations.
1. Oltingen – the romantic farming village
In the middle of the hilly Oberbaselbiet is an incredibly beautiful jewel. No, this time it’s not about pure nature. It is all about the pretty little village of Oltingen.
The landscape is dotted with farming villages. You could be forgiven for thinking that time has stood still here. And so close to Basel. What makes this village in the canton of Baselland special are the old farmhouses.
Because no new buildings destroy the old architectural style, as it is the case in most places in Baselland or generally in the Mittelland. There is still a uniform romantic village image.
I am particularly fond of Oltingen, which is a good example of the typical Basel-Land farmhouse building style. These are the so-called Dreisässen houses. Immediately recognisable are the three entrances to the stable (large round-arched door), the barn (storage of goods such as grain, straw but also machinery) and the living quarters. Thus this type of house is a multi-purpose house. Many of the farmhouses in Baselland were built in the 17th and 18th centuries.
What is the environmental advantage of this? In Basel-Land, everything is and was housed under one building. There is a village centre. Outside the village centre there are almost no houses. If you look at Appenzell, for example, every house there has a stable in a meadow. The landscape is built with houses, even though photographers love these subjects. However, this is not good for, because habitats are cut up.
Mostly the older generation is living in that beautiful village in Baselland
If you look around Oltingen, it is also clear that young people are drawn to cities like Liestal and Basel. Oltingen is home to older generations who continue to implement traditions. Friendliness, for example, is written large in the village, because here people greet each other. It would probably not be an exaggeration to say that everyone knows everyone in Oltingen.
About 50 years ago, there were still over 60 farmers living in Oltingen. Accordingly, almost every of the houses was a farmhouse. But times are changing in Baselland and in Switzerland. Today there are only two farmers left in the village.
The reason is the price collapse, as one former farmer explained: If he used to have the best plum trees, the wholesalers no longer take his high-stem plums. And this despite the fact that the taste quality is better than that of the overbred low-trunk trees. If he took the plums to a distillery, he would only get 20 centimes per kilogram. That is simply no longer worth it.
Oltingen is also worth a visit for photography. Not only the subject with the church is highly recommended. The farmhouses and the cherry blossoms in April are always a highlight.
2. Cherry blossom hike Anwil – Oltingen – Wenslingen
In Switzerland, the cherry blossom walk in Frick is particularly well known. But this has become so overrun, although there are other great alternatives. In Basel-Land, for example, I can recommend the unknown hike from Anwil via Oltingen to Wenslingen.
The “Baselland Hike”, which takes about 3 hours, is not only very pleasant. It is a real insider tip in Switzerland and in the Basel region. With a great panoramic view on nice days, the cherry blossoms make the perfect photo motif. But the charming villages are also a highlight.
It is striking that practically all of these rather remote communities in the canton of Baselland are growing. Many families are realising their dream of owning their own home. As a result, new neighbourhoods with detached houses have sprung up. Many of them commute to Liestal and Basel.
By the way, there are also various benches. This means that the view of the Upper Basel region, the canton of Aargau and Germany can be enjoyed perfectly.
As the cherry blossom season varies every year due to the weather and usually starts between the beginning and middle of April, you should call Baselland Tourismus to be sure.
3. Cherry blossom walk Arboldswil to Titterten
Another insider tip in Baselland is the stroll from Arboldswil to Titterten. The walk, which takes about 30 minutes, is a highlight, especially in spring. For then cherry, plum and apple blossoms are in bloom. With the hilly landscape and the farmhouses, this is a dream. But the walk is also worthwhile at any other time of the year.
Anyone who wants can visit the newly opened village shop Arboldswil (opening was in December 2020). For me, the wooden building is beautifully done and peps up the remote village. It shows how a village meeting place can be created. Because the previous village shop only had a very small area.
Another insider tip is to visit the three ponds in Titterten. These artificially created ponds are an amphibian paradise and are under nature protection. Afterwards, you can reach the Titterten March bus station in about 5 minutes on foot. There is a bus every hour in the direction of Liestal, at peak times even every half hour.
4. Hike to Giessenfall – the most beautiful waterfall in Canton Baselland
Another recommended hike in Baselland is a visit to the Giessenfall. It is the most beautiful waterfall in the canton of Baselland and a highlight in spring. Because then the waterfall is particularly idyllic thanks to the melt and rain water.
The hike starts at the Sommerau railway station. From there you go leisurely in the direction of Rünenberg until you come to a beautiful large pond. Here you will find very rare animals as well as plants such as orchids.
Then we continue our trip. Hidden in the woods, there are wonderful, unspoilt natural beauties. One of them is the Giessenfall, which you will reach after about an hour.
The water splashes, the wild garlic smells wonderful. That is one of many arguments to visit this great waterfall in Baselland in spring. Because in summer or winter, there is a good chance that practically no water is flowing.
By the way, bathing should not be done in the Giessenfall, as the water comes from the sewage treatment plant. Faecal matter has been measured here in water samples.
Getting to Giessenfall by public transport: Get off at Sommerau station, where the hike starts. Return by post bus from Rünenberg to Gelterkinden or Tecknau. From here you can change to the train.
By car: Parking is available at the Volg in Rünenberg, Baselland. Then you reach the destination in about 20 minutes. When it rains good shoes are a must.
5. Chilpen – the nature reserve like in another world
The Chilpen is one of the most beautiful insider tips in Baselland. More than 20 different species of orchids bloom in the nature reserve in spring. That’s a lot when you consider that there are a total of 70 species in Switzerland. As it is a nature reserve, it is forbidden to leave the paths and pick any plants. Please keep to this in order to save our species from extinction.
The forest in the Chilpen reminds of a mediterean area. This is because the marly soil makes for dry terrain. Only when it rains becomes the ground very marshy, depending on the location. That’s why, in addition to marsh plants, there are also aridity specialists.
The area, which belongs to Pro Natura for more than 70 years, is a worthwhile walk in Basel-Land. A true place of power that you won’t find anywhere else in Baselbiet.
6. Panorama dream hike Chellenchöpfli
A fantastic one-hour circular hike awaits you from Wasserfallen or Waldweid to Chellenchöpfli. You can start at either place and hike in the direction of “Chellenchöpfli”. Take the cable car to Wasserfallen and park in Reigoldswil. Or you can drive to Waldweid by car.
This “Baselland Hike” leads to the highest point of the canton. From Waldweid you can reach the beautiful view of Chellenchöpfli in around 30 minutes. There are even a few fireplaces waiting for you during the hike. But it’s also worth stopping off at the Waldweid restaurant.
The views over the Jura Mountains of Basel-Landschaft and Solothurn are gigantic and make that place a top tourist attraction in Switzerland. Even Mont Blanc can be seen on nice and clear days.
The hike up the “Chellenchöpfli” is highly recommended. As this is one of the most touristy regions in the canton of Baselland, it can be crowded, especially on a weekend.
7. Panorama walk Schmutzberg – Challhöchi
The walk above Läufelfingen is a top insider tip in Canton Baselland. The panoramic view over the Basel region, the Diegter valley and the Belchenflue is fantastic. There is even a bench where you can take a rest.
There are still relics from the World War on the Challhöchi. The tank traps were left here and are still preserved.
This walk takes about 40 minutes and is also doable with children. Only parking can be more difficult, depending on the situation. Parking spaces are very rare.
8. Bad Ramsach above Langenbruck
Bad Ramsach is a spa hotel above Langenbruck in the canton of Baselland. Here you can not only enjoy a spa treatment and stay overnight in the hotel. The restaurant with its panoramic terrace serves a variety of nice dishes.
The view from Bad Ramsach over the Oberbaselbieter Jura is particularly beautiful. If the view is good, you can see also the German Black Forest. For children, there are animals such as goats and a playground.
Another great Baselland hike goes from Läufelfingen via the Homburg ruins to Bad Ramsach. Here you can have a leisurely lunch or dessert and then take the bus back to Läufelfingen or Rümlingen. From there you can change to the train in the direction of Olten or Sissach. Please note that the buses at Bad Ramsach run very infrequently. The hike takes about 2.5h.
9. Sissacher Fluh (Sissacher Flue)
The Sissacher Fluh or Sissacher Flue is one of the most famous places in Baselland, along with the Wasserfallen with the Chellenchöpfli and the observation tower in Liestal (Schleifenberg). But the view of the Jura and the Swiss Alps is just truly gigantic. You can also see the famous Belchenflue very well.
In addition, a restaurant attracts hungry people to the Sissacher Flue. It won the prize in “My Restaurant – Your Restaurant”, a Swiss TV format. Some of the dishes served in winter are fondue chinoise, table grill and raclette. In addition, a rich brunch buffet is served on Sundays between 9.30 and 11.45 am. With all these benefits, the Sissacher Fluh is the perfect destination.
There was also a defensive wall with a tower and gate from the early Middle Ages. Traces of this are still visible today.
The Sissacher Flue can be reached either by foot from Sissach or by car. Please note that driving is prohibited on Sundays and public holidays.
10. Wildenstein Castle
For me, Wildenstein Castle in Bubendorf is the most beautiful castle in Baselland. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I grew up here. But I think we all agree that Wildenstein Castle is beautiful and grandiose. That’s why it’s another great destination in Baselbiet.
By the way, the castle has been around since the 13th century, although it looked quite different. From the 16th century onwards, new buildings were added, such as the courtyard with barn.
Over 500 years old oak trees
But not only Wildenstein Castle itself, but the whole region has great natural beauty to discover. On the one hand, there is the castle pond, which is about 300 metres away. It is man-made and served as a fish farm for the castle. Also beautiful are the ancient oak trees that are well known throughout the region. The oldest of these oaks are over 500 years old. That is why they have been protected since 1977. The oaks are also the habitat of over 150 species of deadwood beetles and 80 species of fungi.
But the rough pastures in this area are also very species-rich. More than 100 different plant species occur. Among them are rare orchids that bloom around May. Picking the plants and leaving the paths is strictly prohibited.
A recommended hike goes from the centre of Bubendorf over the Murenberg to the ancient oaks. Then you pass the artificial pond and reach Wildenstein Castle. If you like, you can then hike to the Sormattfall, which we will see next. And then we take a leisurely walk to the next bus stop “Grosstannen” or “Bubendorf Industrie Süd”. This “Baselland hike” takes about 2.5h.
The Sormattfall below Wildenstein Castle in Bubendorf is for me one of the ultimate insider tips in Canton Baselland. The nature reserve and wildlife rest area beckons in spring with delicately scented wild garlic. Beautiful benches make the place perfect for lingering. And due to the proximity of Wildenstein Castle, this is the perfect combination of the excursion.
The waterfall is only about 10 minutes away from Wildenstein Castle and is a real place of power.
Closing words Baselland
Baselland is one of the most underrated cantons in Switzerland. Touristically known practically only among the locals, it is worth discovering these destinations. Among them are many insider tips. The canton of Baselland is relatively well served by public transport and invites you to go on unforgettable hikes. Whether castles, beautiful villages, nature reserves or vantage points. This part of Switzerland has a lot to offer.