Berggasthaus Aescher - Magical Cliffside Mountain House In SwitzerlandBerggasthaus  

This guesthouse was built over 160 years ago by farmers who needed a place to hang out so their goats could graze. This seems like an achievement on par with the pyramids.

I mean, how do you drag that much timber up a mountain and then build it into a mountain ledge in 1846 (when they constructed the original structure)? I guess it’s amazing what you can do when motivated by finding more grass for your goats.

Today, you arrive by cable car, passing over the region of Appenzell, which is so traditional Swiss people joke that when you go there, you can expect to “set your watch back ten years”.

After the cable car, you can take a short hike to the guesthouse.

The hike takes you through some old Neanderthal rock villages or “caves” and through a 400-year-old Wildkirchli cave church where hermit monks escaped the temptations of medieval village life to pursue a holier (and draftier) existence.

Accommodation is comfortable and traditional, and the restaurant is widely regarded among the climbers and enthusiasts who come here regularly.

Try taking your coffee on the deck, which overhangs a 100-foot drop below.

Ebenalp Cable Car

A cable car will take you to Ebenalp upper station, where you can start your scenic hike through winding paths and a set of caves to reach the magical mountain hut, Berggasthaus Aescher.

The famous cable car has been operating since 1955. From the Ebenalp, there is a magnificent panoramic view of the Appenzeller Alps.

Ebenalp Hiking

The steep rock formations in this area make this hiking area a fascinating hiking region.

The highlight of the hiking tours is, without a doubt, the Berggasthaus Äscher-Wildkirchli.

Cave Path Leading To Berggasthaus Aescher

On your way, you will walk through million-year-old caves where prehistoric discoveries took place in 1904.

The Wildkirchli caverns took archeologists by surprise when they found out that Neanderthals used to live in the Alpine region.

As well as giant cave bears - some of their specimens weighed up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lb).

Wildkirchli Church

There is a small church at the entrance of the three interlinked caves of Wildkirchli in the Alpstein mountains.

Berggasthaus Aescher & The Swiss Alps

The Berggasthaus Äscher can be reached from Ebenalp's upper station in just 15 minutes through the Waldkirchli cave.

Berggasthaus Aescher In The Alps

Photo by Herbert Haltmeier

Staircase Leading To Berggasthaus Aescher

The already world-famous and popular mountain lodge became even busier when National Geographic featured it on the front page of the book "Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World's Most Amazing Places".

Berggasthaus Aescher Cliffside Hotel

The Ebenalp in the Alpstein area is the northernmost peak of the Appenzeller Alps and attracts more than 200,000 visitors every year.

Berggasthaus Aescher With Starry Night Sky

Aescher is the only restaurant in the Alpstein without a direct road connection, so transport is complicated.

Berggasthaus Aescher Restaurant

There are 800 kgs of goods delivered weekly, in some cases with the help of a helicopter.

Berggasthaus Aescher Inn Restaurant

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at the restaurant, and they have a list of quality wines and a selection of local spirits to try.

Berggasthaus Aescher Double Bed Room

The guesthouse has double rooms, four-bed rooms, and a Hermit-Lodge.

Berggasthaus Aescher Cozy Alpine Bedroom

Water is a scarce resource at the guesthouse. They collect water from their reservoir in the Wildkirchli cave from rain, but things can get messy during a drought.

When the reservoir is full, it can hold 84,000 liters of water and allows 3,000 liters of water usage per day. So, luxury bathing in here then!

Berggasthaus Aescher Family Bedroom

The guesthouse is located 4770 feet (1454 meters) above sea level, and they don't have a heating system. So, cozy and heavy blankets are provided for the chilly nights.

Berggasthaus Aescher Bunk Bed Room

The inn will give you silk sleeping bags for the night if you stay in the typical Alpine-style room with bunk beds.

Berggasthaus Aescher Inn's Terrace

At the inn's restaurant, Aescher, you get a fantastic panoramic view over the gentle slopes of the Appenzeller country.

Aescher Restaurant's Busy Panoramic Terrace

During the weekends, the restaurant's terrace can be full of people, so reserving a table for the breathtaking views is an absolute must!

Aescher Restaurant Terrace With View Above The Clouds

If you are lucky, you can awake to a heavenly view above a thick layer of clouds.

Aescher Terrace

However, the sunsets are not too shabby either. The sky often gets painted in different shades of orange.

Food At Aescher Restaurant

The food at the mountain hut strongly focuses on local produce and keeping the cultural heritage of the Swiss Alps. The food is simple, filling, and delicious - especially after a long climb!

Ebenalp 1, 9057 Wasserauen, Switzerland