The country’s most traditional region, Appenzell Innerrhoden is often included in private tours of Switzerland to showcase its rural customs, folk music and natural beauty. It is a world apart from the glitz and glamour of many other cantons in the Swiss Alps and is perfect if you want to see the authentic side of the country. Here is our list of suggestions on what to do in the Appenzell.
Listen to traditional music
This part of Switzerland is renowned for its many folk music festivals where visitors can see locals dressed up in traditional costumes, singing and dancing. Yodelling, Ratzliedli teasing and joking songs, amazing alphorn performances, Schölleschötte (musical chords created with cowbells), Talerschwingen (music created by a group of people spinning coins inside of a bowl) are all part of fascinating musical traditions of the Appenzell.
You can immerse in local life and visit one of many Alpine farms in the region. Some of them organize cow milking and cheese making for visitors, whey hot baths in wooden barrels, hay making days. If you are feeling adventurous you can even sleep in a hay barn and have a hearty farm-fresh breakfast in the morning.
Appenzell is paradise for outdoors enthusiasts all year round. There are 1200 km of well-maintained hiking trails for any level of fitness to explore in summer. In winter, visitors avail of 200 km of cross-country ski trails. If you want to admire Alpine views without breaking a sweat head to one of many cableways that will take you the summits of the Säntis, Ebenalp or Hohe Kasten mountains.
Gorge on local delicacies
The region has many delectable specialties to devour while visiting or take home as edible souvenirs. Take Appenzeller Bärli-Biber soft gingerbread with an almond filling or Landsgmedchrempfli pastries filled with hazelnuts to snack on during spectacular hikes in the area.
Try the famous Appenzeller cheese in a sandwich or melted in fondue washed down with an excellent local beer.
Photos via Flickr by: Bo Stern, Alphorn-Weltrekord Gornergrat, Prescott Pym.