Walking Via Jacobi, Rorschach to Einsiedeln is part of a pilgrimage route from Lake Constance to Geneva. This 6-day tour takes you from Europe’s third-largest lake, Constance, to the most important place of pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Switzerland – the Benedictine Einsiedeln Abbey.
This tour is perfect for both those looking for a spiritual journey or a scenic hike along the magnificent Swiss valleys. You will be captivated by the magical alpine scenery, delicious food and the Swiss hospitality.
- Lake Constance
- Einsiedeln Abbey
Click to view map
*This map is only for general reference; detailed route maps will be provided in your pre-departure package.
Day 1: Arrival in Rorschach
Between the gentle hills of Appenzellerland and Europe’s third-largest lake – Constance, lies Rorschach, the picturesque harbour town with Latin flair. In 947, Rorschach received the right to hold markets and developed itself into the most important trading place on the southern side of the lake in the Middle Ages. The prosperity of these times can still be seen today in the stately homes in the heart of the locality and the “Kornhaus”, the emblem of Rorschach and the most beautiful grain silo in Switzerland.
- Accommodation: Hotel Mozart or similar
Day 2: Rorschach – St Gallen | 15km
The Via Jacobi winds its way to St Gallen through wide fields and small villages. In the South of St Gallen, you will cross the Sitter and wander through the recreational area Gübsensee. From here, it is only three kilometres to your destination, Herisau. The place welcomes you with a historic marketplace, medieval streets and a good selection of hotels and inns.
- Walking for the day: 15km, ↑550m ↓280m, duration: 4h
- Accommodation: Sorell City Weissenstein or similar
Day 3: St Gallen – Herisau – Wattwil – Liechtensteig | 23km
Your day starts with a 10min train ride from St Gallen to Herisau, the oldest Appenzell parish seat that has been known since 907. The path leads past the former hostel, zum Goldenen Sternen, then goes on through the varied hilly landscape of Appenzell and Toggenburg to Wattwil. After, you will travel by bus to the neighbouring village Liechtensteig, where you will spend the night.
- Walking for the day: 23km, ↑1,000m ↓1,125m, duration: 7h
- Accommodation: Cafe Huber or similar
Day 4: Liechtensteig – Wattwil – Rapperswil | 25km
In the morning, travel by bus back to Wattwil. Between Wattwil and Rapperswil, the landscape is dotted with individual farms and marked by gently rolling hills and various-sized woodland areas. Some beautiful sunken paths turn the hike into a unique experience.
- Walking for the day: 25km, ↑665m ↓865m, duration: 6.5h
- Accommodation: Hotel Speer or similar
Day 5: Rapperswil – Einsiedeln | 16km
The hike leads over the wooden footbridge from Rapperswil to Hurden built in 2001 and then over the Etzelpass to Einsiedeln. Enjoy a stroll to the shores of Lake Sihl and admire the Benedictine Einsiedeln Abbey, located within the village. It’s considered one of the most important Roman Catholic pilgrimage sites in Europe. The monastery complex and the abbey’s library are well worth visiting.
- Walking for the day: 16km, ↑760m ↓260m, duration: 4.5h
- Accommodation: Drei Könige or similar
Day 6: Departure
Return home or individually extend your stay.
What to expect
Accommodation is in 2/3-star hotels, local guesthouses and inns, in double or twin private en-suite rooms. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
Show our default hotels for this trip
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.
Accommodation is on a bed & breakfast basis. Picnic lunches are optional at an extra charge and can be ordered locally. You can have dinner at your hotel or at nearby restaurants.
Difficulty and terrain
Moderate hiking tour, mostly on comfortable forest trails (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. Your holiday information pack will include more detailed information on route navigation.
When to go
This trip is available from mid-March until mid-October. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season. The best time for walking Via Jacobi is between June and mid-September when the wildflowers are in bloom, and the weather is generally good. Earlier in the season, there may be some residual snow patches, but this will not require any special equipment or skills.
Click to view travel options
Our recommended airport for this tour is Zurich (ZRH).
By train or bus
- By train: Both Rorschach and Einsiedeln are reachable by rail at the start and end of this journey, with great connections into the European rail network.
- You can also travel by train from Zurich airport via St Gallen. Duration approx. 1.5h.
- For more information and timetables, please visit SBB or use the Omio travel planner above.
- Return travel by train via Wädenswil to Zurich airport. Duration approx. 1.5h.
- 5 overnights with breakfast as detailed in the itinerary
- Luggage transfer when changing hotels (one piece of luggage per person, max 20kg)
- Visit to the abbey library in St. Gallen
- Detailed route notes (1 x per room), navigation app & GPS tracks
- SwitzerlandMobility-Plus subscription for one year
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Train from St Gallen to Herisau
- Bus to / from Lichtensteig
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme
Options, extras and supplements
- Extra charges may be applicable for last-minute bookings for this specific tour
- Single room supplement for members of a group
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights in Rorschach and Einsiedeln available upon request
- Go digital – Discount available for opting out of printed travel documents