Close to St.Gallen, a breathtaking hike with culinary highlights and a fantastic view of Lake Constance awaits you (paid partnership).
Text and pictures by Marc Gottwald
Start: Bus stop St.Gallen, Martinsbrücke
Destination: Rheineck railway station
When? All year round, always Wednesday to Sunday
Duration: totally around 8h with dining; 5.5h hiking time
Length & metres in altitude: 17.9km route; 616 metres in altitude up and 786 metres in altitude down.
Cost: 55CHF for 3 courses in 3 different restaurants, drinks not included (meat and vegetarian menus available). Bookable directly on the homepage of St.Gallen Bodensee-Tourismus.
The perfect mix for hiking and gourmet lovers
Do you like hiking and eating? Then we have the perfect experience for you. Because one does not exclude the other. One of the tastiest hikes in Switzerland begins very close to St.Gallen – the culinary hike “from course to course”.
During the 5.5-hour hike (8 hours with dining) you will visit a total of three restaurants and eat appetizers, main courses and desserts. Not only culinary highlights will make you start dreaming, but also the view of Lake Constance and the idyllic grass-green picture book landscape will enchant you.
Start of the culinary hike at the Martinsbrücke
The hike starts at about 9 am at the bus stop “St.Gallen, Martinsbrücke”. It is advisable to arrive by public transport, as the end point of the hike is quite far away at “Rheineck”. You have about 2h15min to the first stop, the Landgasthaus Bären in Grub.
From the bus stop “St.Gallen, Martinsbrücke”, the hiking path first climbs around 300 metres up the hill, along a former lateral moraine of a glacier from the Ice Age around 20,000 years ago. Yes, the landscape reveals an exciting history from earlier millennia. If you enjoy the view, you can also see the many smaller hills, so-called drumlins. These are particularly present in the St.Gallen/Appenzell area and give the region an incredible charm.
Apart from a climb just before the first restaurant, it is mostly flat and comfortable. Arrived at approx. 11.15 a.m. at the Landgasthaus Bären (Halten 112, 9035 Grub), you have the choice between an Appenzeller salad plate with Mostbröckli (dried horse or cow-meat), potatoes, egg as well as cheese or delicious macaroni with Pantle (kind of Landjäger), vegetables and cheese au gratin. If someone is vegetarian, this should be said before ordering so that the meat can be omitted. The food comes very quickly and is an absolute highlight for any foodie.
After the appetizer we go to the main course
Afterwards, it takes about 50 minutes to walk through a beautiful forest up onto the plain to the next stop, the Wirtschaft Rossbüchel (Rossbüchel 416, 9036 Grub). The climb in particular makes you want the main course even more, but the small efforts are quickly forgotten. Because the view which awaits you there cannot be described in words at all. The outlook of the gigantic Lake Constance and the surrounding countries of Austria and Germany will turn anyone into a daydreamer and romantic.
According to the schedule, you should arrive around 13:15. But even if you arrive earlier, you will get your well-deserved main course. You can choose either “Lachsknusperli” with salad and a tartar sauce or the vegetarian version “Käsespätzli” with roasted onions.
Let’s be honest: with this view and delicious food, you could linger all day. But after lunch, dessert is still waiting. Admittedly, especially if you have chosen the macaroni and cheese spaetzli, you can still wait a little with it. But don’t worry, it’s another 1h20 minutes or so to the next stop. The way goes practically only down.
The Fünfländerblick – a dream above Lake Constance
But first you walk along the former glacier moraine from the restaurant in about five minutes in the direction of Fünfländerblick, where a perfect panorama of Lake Constance opens up. You’re probably wondering which five countries you can see here. In fact, the German states of Baden, Württemberg and Bavaria used to be considered separate countries. In addition, they are joined by views of Austria and Switzerland. For me, this section is the highlight scenically speaking. It is definitely worth taking a little time and enjoying the view to the fullest.
The last excursion destination called Steiniger Tisch (Felsenstrasse 4, 9422 Staad SG) can be reached in about 1h20 minutes. Here you are spoilt between a delicious apple strudel with cream or a seasonal cake of the day. In autumn, we had the choice between a nut cake or a cheesecake.
From this place you also have a breathtaking view of Lake Constance and Altenrhein Airport or, on the other side, the municipality of Hengeten.
In the last part of the culinary hike you will follow the trail from “Steiniger Tisch” in direction to Rheineck. From there, trains leave daily during the day to St.Gallen (always xx:24; xx40; xx56 (as of 2021)). To be on the safe side, please check your exact connection on the SBB app.
Conclusion Culinary Hike “From Course to Course
The culinary hike “From course to course” is a hike full of tasty and scenic highlights. The combination of enjoyment and hiking makes the excursion a perfect destination near St.Gallen and Lake Constance. As the region has much more to offer, it is also worth taking one or more overnight stays.
PDF for the “Culinary Hike” route: here
Hiking route on Switzerland Mobile: here