Mountains of the Liechtenstein Alps

The mountains account for 60% of the land area of Liechtenstein, and apart from foggy conditions, are ever present - indeed you can almost sense their presence at all times. They rise to a height of 2,590 meters above sea level, with the highest peak, the Grauspitz (grey peak). But Grauspitz and its neighbour, Naafkopf are not very approachable for the average mountain visitor as it involves climbing and scrambling to the peak. The other peaks in Liechtenstein are, however, accessible, and very popular with visitors and locals alike.

The Fürstensteig path in the mountains of LiechtensteinOne of the most spectacular paths is the "Fürstensteig" which cuts across the cliff face above Vaduz and Schaan. The walk is not for the faint-hearted as it has shear drops , but the views are wonderful, and many walkers continue onto the "Drei Schwestern" above the village of Planken. This walk is so popular that it is known locally as the 'Grüeziweg' (Grüezi is the Swiss greeting, so the name is translated as the 'hello path') as people are continually greeting one another.

Gentler walks include the ascent of Schönberg (2104m) from Malbun and/or Steg provides alpine scenery and a good fitness workout, but without the climbing, scrambling or sheer drops. The best way to approach it is from Steg upwards, and then return via Malbun - the path to Steg is incredibly steep, so it is better to ascend than to descend.

Gafadura hut and restaurant above Planken, Liechtenstein

Other popular paths are to the mountain restaurants such as Gafadura (left, above Planken, and part of the Drei Schwestern walk) or to Pfälzerhütte on the Austrian-Liechtenstein border near the Naafkopf in the south of Liechtenstein. Pfälzerhütte is reached from the top of the chair lift in Malbun and the first restaurant stop - Sareis, and then along the Fürstin Gina Weg, named after the mother of the current Prince.

For gentler walks, forest walks along the Fürstenweg, from Dux, above Schaan and up to the Prince's castle in Vaduz still offer great views across the Rhine valley, and a chance to spot the woodland wildlife. In the Unterland, the Eschnerberg provides gentle walking and gives great views up and down the Rhine valley. The historic Hohenweg is particularly worth trying.