In winter, some Swiss villages and mountain areas host winter walks that are lit by lanterns and other festive illuminations. On weekends, there is usually food and drink and/or restaurants nearby for fondue. Here are the best lantern paths near Zürich to visit.
- What to wear for a lantern walk
- Lantern paths open in January
- 1. Baar Lichterweg – thru 8 Jan 2023
- 2. Laternenweg Unteriberg – thru 6 Jan 2022
- 3. Zugerberg Lichterweg – thru 8 Jan 2023
- 4. Sattel Hochstuckli – thru 4 Mar 2023
- 5. Schwägalp Lanternliweg – thru March 2023
- 6. Appenzellerland “Stars and Lantern” Path – thru 12 Feb 2023
- 7. Lichterweg Gisikon – thru 6 Jan 2023
- 8. Pizol Liechtliweg – thru 8 April 2023
- 9. Chumenwald – sold out
- Lantern paths open during Christmas season
- Elsewhere in Switzerland
- Map of Lantern Paths
Note: Depending on current conditions, the trails may be icy, slushy or not covered with snow at all. Trails may not be lit on bad weather evenings, particularly with high winds or rain. Check current conditions and weather forecast before heading out.
What to wear for a lantern walk
Dress warmly, appropriate to the weather forecast. I would suggest warm underclothing with wind and waterproof outer layers. For more info, see: What to wear for a winter hike.
If there is snow, most of the lantern paths below are prepared so you don’t need snowshoes, just sturdy waterproof winter boots. Since the paths can get icy, you may like to bring traction cleats just in case.
Lantern paths open in January
1. Baar Lichterweg – thru 8 Jan 2023
Over 1000 LED lamps illuminate this short path in the forest near Baar. The path past the Heiligkreuz chapel to a fire pit where you can socialize with friends. On some evenings, they have small programs with music and other activities.
Path: 1.5 km path loop
Open: 25 Nov 2022 to 8 Jan 2023. Lit every evening 17:00 – 22:00.
2. Laternenweg Unteriberg – thru 6 Jan 2022
This Christmas themed path along the river is illuminated with 40 decorative lanterns designed by local artists. It leads to a nativity scene in the woods.
Location: path starts near Waagtalstrasse 27, 8842 Unteriberg.
Path: 1.3 km
Open: End of Nov to 6 Jan 2022 / Daily from 17:00 – 22:00
3. Zugerberg Lichterweg – thru 8 Jan 2023
Ride the Zugerberg funicular train up the mountain to reach this easy path lit with candles and other lights. The path leads to a nativity scene in the forest, where there are Christmas programs on some nights. At the nearby playground, there is a fire pit, groups often make a fire and socialize.
Location: Schönegg-Zugerberg funicular – Schönegg 31, 6300 Zug. Limited parking at the funicular station.
Path: 1.2 km each way
Date: 11 Dec 2022 thru 8 Jan 2023. Lights go on at 16:30. The funicular runs every 15 mins from 17:00 – 21:00.
Cost: Funicular CHF 11.50/adult. Discount for children & SBB Half-fare. Free with GA.
4. Sattel Hochstuckli – thru 4 Mar 2023
Fifty lanterns light the way on this loop trail around the Sattel Hochstuckli ski resort. Starting at the top of the gondola, you’ll walk through fields and forest, crossing over the 374 long suspension bridge at the end. For after the lantern walk, you can reserve a fondue dinner at the Mostelberg mountain inn.
Location: top of Sattel-Mostelberg gondola – parking and bus stop at valley station
Path: 2 km loop
Dates: Every Saturday through 4 March 2023.
Cost: CHF 26/person to ride the gondola. Fondue separate.
5. Schwägalp Lanternliweg – thru March 2023
A winter walk through a snowy forest lit with oil lamps near the Säntis mountain peak. On weekends, the trail leads to the Gasthaus Passhöhe restaurant where you can enjoy a fondue dinner. You can also get hot drinks at the Lanterlibar on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Location: start at Säntis Schwägalp parking, southeast of Zürich
Path: 40 min loop
Open: Nov to March / Evenings Thurs, Fri and Sat / daily during the Christmas holiday break.
6. Appenzellerland “Stars and Lantern” Path – thru 12 Feb 2023
This lantern path along a river and into the woods is lit with 40 lanterns. During Christmas season, there is a nativity with large figures made out of wood. You can reserve for dinner at Hotel Hof Weissbad or another restaurant near the start of the trail.
Path: 1 km
Open: 27 Nov 2022 to 12 Feb 2023 / daily from sunset to about 20:30
7. Lichterweg Gisikon – thru 6 Jan 2023
This path is illuminated with 250+ lanterns and candles, leading to nativity scene and fire pit in a park. On weekends, there is a kiosk selling drinks and snacks.
Location: Gisikon . Parking on Feldhofstrasse
Path: 1 km loop
Open: first weekend of Advent to 6 Jan 2023 / daily 17:00 to 22:00
8. Pizol Liechtliweg – thru 8 April 2023
At the top of the gondola, an illuminated snowy path leads to a viewpoint where you can enjoy a hot drink. Then back to Panoramarestaurant Edelweiss where you can eat dinner, using the voucher included with your gondola ticket.
Location: top of Bad Ragaz-Pizol gondola – Loisstrasse 50, 7310 Bad Ragaz
Path: about 20 mins round trip
Dates: 17 Dec 2022 to 8 April 2023 / Saturdays, gondola running 18:00 to 22:30
Cost: Adult CHF 38, Youth 13-17 CHF 33, Children 6-12 CHF 29. This includes gondola ride, hot drink at the viewpoint, and voucher for CHF 20 at Restaurant Edelweiss. Reservation required.
9. Chumenwald – sold out
This is already fully booked for 2022/23 winter season. This short snowshoe path is lit with candle lanterns, leading to a tiny rustic mountain hut. It’s not a restaurant, just a cozy room you enjoy fondue over a fire. You must reserve in advance for a minimum of 6, maximum 10 people. They suggest this outing primarily for adults, but older children may enjoy it. You can rent snowshoes on site.
Location: Start at parking at Freizeitclub Mullern. The starting point is 7km up a narrow mountain road, where you may need snow chains on our tires to reach it. No bus, but you can arrange a taxi.
Path: 1 km each way to restaurant, gaining 120m elevation.
Dates: December to February / Friday and Saturday evenings.
Cost: Reservations required! Fondue costs CHF 40/adult (ages 13+), CHF 20/child. Drinks extra. Snowshoe rental CHF 7 – cash or TWINT.
Lantern paths open during Christmas season
This path closed in 2022/23 due to the energy crisis. This one way path illuminated with fairy lights leads from the center of the Hünenberg village through the Hubel orchard down to the lake. On weekends, the community often hosts an apéro with drinks and a grill.
Path: 1.5 km one way
Open: Closed in 2022/23 winter season. Typically open from the first Advent Sunday through beginning of Jan. Lights every evening from 17:00 to 20:00.
Cost: Free. Drinks and food available for purchase on some evenings.
11. Thalwil Lichterweg – thru 26 Dec 2023
This path is lit with 1000+ LED lamps along a 1 km path through the Mettli park. On Thurs, Fri and Sat from 17:00, the Wild Boars club host a cheese hut where visitors can enjoy mulled wine, raclette and fondue. On a few evenings, they have musical programs from local choirs.
Location: Mettli nature reserve in Thalwil/Overrieden
Open: 27 Nov 2022 to 26 Dec 2023 / Wed to Sun 17:00 – 22:00
12. Chamer Liechtliweg – thru 26 Dec 2023
This short path along the Zugersee lake shore is lit on weekends during the Christmas Advent season. At Restaurant Villette, you can enjoy mulled wine. On Sundays they have special Christmas programs with music and a Samichlaus visit.
Location: Villettepark near Cham train station and parking. About 15 mins from Zug.
Open: first Advent Sunday through 26 December. Lights on Fri, Sat, Sun from 18:00 (except 24 Dec).
13. Laternenweg Ägeri – thru 1 Jan 2023
This path on this hills above the Ägeri village is lit with 300+ candle lanterns. On weekends the Lanternenstübli is open where you can get drinks and snacks. Reservations required for fondue.
Path: 3 km path, about 45 mins
Open: end of Nov thru 1 January
14. Reindeer Christmas Path – thru 1 Jan 2023
During Advent, this reindeer farm hosts this Christmas themed path lit with fairy lights. On weekends, they have special Christmas programs and food & drink, including a small Christmas market on the weekend before Christmas.
Location: Mühlebachhof Fürst in Dachsen, north of Zürich
Path: 1.2 km
Open: first advent Sunday thru 1 January / lit daily until 22:00
15. Uetliberg – year round
Unlike other paths on this list, this illuminated trail is difficult, hiking up the Uetliberg mountain, gaining 280 m of elevation. The trail is lit with lanterns year round, accessing the restaurants at the top: Uto Kulm and Uto Staffel (reservations recommended).
Because of the trail steepness, this trail is best done without snow. Since Zurich is usually not covered in snow all winter long, so you should have plenty of nights to do this trail. From the top, you can ride the S10 train back to Zürich city (and ride up if you prefer to skip the climb).
Path: 2.3 km one way, gaining about 280m
Open: year round
Elsewhere in Switzerland
Crans Montana – As part of the Etolie Bella Lui Festival, the village has a 2 km through the forest, with 200 lanterns and other artistic light installations. Free to visit, illuminated every night until 22:00 from 2 Dec 2022 thru early March 2023. More info.
Les Pléiades Lantern Path – Ride the train to this mountain overlooking Lake Geneva. At the top, there are two snowshoe paths lit with lanterns on Saturday evenings 6 Jan to 25 Feb 2023. Snowshoe rental available onsite. More info.
Kambly Liechtli-Weg in Trubschachen – The first two weekends of the Christmas Advent season, there is a small Christmas market at the Kambly cookie factory and short lantern path along the river (lit from 16:00-20:00). More info on Kambly site at Christmas time.