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Lucerne Historic Trail: Guided Day Hike

Explore the Swiss countryside around Lake Lucerne and learn about the Swiss national hero, Wilhelm Tell

Tour Overview

From $220 | Guided Private Day Hike | All Year Round

Join us on a Lucerne Historic Guided Day Hike. During this private day hike you will follow a landmark path around Lake Lucerne that documents the beginnings of Switzerland. Learn about the story of Wilhelm Tell while hiking the plateau panoramic national Swiss Path trail overlooking Lake Uri, surrounded by Swiss Alps and majestic scenery.

On this guided trip, you’ll enjoy the assistance of our local English-speaking Guide. The guide will relay the story of the founding of Switzerland, share local legends and myths, and explain what it means to be Swiss. This is a quite, easy private hike through the magnificent Swiss scenery that also allows you to learn more about the country’s culture and history.


william tell trail

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Lucerne Historic Guided Day Hike Itinerary

This Lucerne Historic Guided Day Hike is one of the most unique things to do in Lucerne.  has been designed to let you explore the Swiss countryside around Lake Lucerne along the historic paths featuring important sites from the Swiss history. Learn more about the Swiss legends and myths, the role of Wilhelm Tell, the country’s national hero, and marvel at the beauty of the Swiss nature.

hike around lake lucerne

Your guide will pick you up at 8:30 a.m. at your hotel. If you’re not staying in Lucerne, you will meet them at Lucerne Torbogen.

Hike details:
This is a 2,5 to 3,5 hour hike depending on walking pace over a distance of 6,2 kms / 3,9 miles.

From Lucerne we’ll take a local train and bus to reach Seelisberg.

After arriving at the village of Seelisberg enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding Alps with the deep turquoise waters of Lake Uri down below.

The historic “Swiss Path” hike follows a signposted walking trail, formerly a centuries-old mule path, along a plateau taking you to the very heart of where Switzerland and its 700 year old democracy began. Spectacular mountain scenery and age-old rural scenes accompany you along this historic route.

Make a quick stop (weekdays only) at the family-run Aschwanden Cheese Dairy and hear about the award-winning cheeses they make on site, and then taste a few of them. This is a great place to buy locally made “Alp” cheese.

Here we begin the actual walk parallel to Lake Uri with great views of the Ruetli meadow down below. This is Switzerland’s “place of birth” in 1291; your guide will give you the fascinating story of the beginnings of the country’s unique direct democracy.

After about 30 minutes we enter the “Tannwald – pine forest” where verses of the “Lord’s Prayer” are on signs along the way. The trail is level on hard packed dirt with protruding rocks and roots yet very pristine with a special spiritual feeling. The hike continues on a level gravel path which links with a country road and takes us up an incline with steps leading us to the 16th century “boutique castle” of Beroldingen where we can view the little house chapel. It is the home of an artist and sometimes she invites people passing by to come in and enjoy a coffee with her.

After lunch, we begin the descent down to lake level, hiking from the 800 m / 2400 ft plateau level down to the 440 m./1320 ft lake level level via 850-odd stone steps that lead to the picturesque village of Bauen. There are many benches for great vista rest stops along the way.

A stop at the rustic Zwyssig Restaurant (open Wed-Sun) is worth it to experience the typical village architecture with low ceilings and also take refreshments on the balcony with its glorious sweeping lake views. The place is also where the composer of Switzerland’s national anthem was born and brought up.

We depart this idyllic setting by boat for a 2,5 hour cruise back to Lucerne with ports of call at the Ruetli and a number of Swiss villages. As you cruise along, look up at the steep cliff faces where you walked.

The Swiss Path was created in 1991 to commemorate Switzerland’s 700-year anniversary. The rationale to why and how it was built provides an interesting snapshot into Swiss life.

The 35 km / 22 miles trail recognizes each of the cantons making up Switzerland with markers announcing each canton along the route. The length of route for each canton is proportional to the population at the time of building and the order is determined by the order in which the cantons joined the Swiss federation.

The Swiss Path is built so that every 5 millimeters / 0.2 inches represents one Swiss citizen and also shows the 26 different cantons in chronological order. One literally walks through the history of the country.

On our hike we will see the stone plaque of the Canton of Zurich with the 1351 date when it joined the Swiss confederation. Also you will hear the 13th century historical context of how the opening of the Gotthard Pass, then and still today, the shortest North-South European trade route affected the local farmers in the valley and the relationship with the then Holy Roman Emperor, The Habsburg monarchy.

Maharishi European Research University

For Transcendental Meditation fans, we walk past the Maharishi European Research University founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the organization. It is located in a former grand hotel of the Belle Epoque era.

If the entrance is open one can enter and ring the bell of enlightenment.

We return to Lucerne by boat and we’ll be back around 4 pm.

Book the guided hiking tour today!

Details and pricing

The price of the trip depends on the number of participants and starts at $220. 

Price reductions for children, teens, and Swiss Travel Pass holders may apply.

  • Outdoor Swiss-style picnic lunch
  • All transportation from and return to Lucerne (second class)
  • English-speaking local guide
  • Taxes & fees
  • Wine & Alcoholic Beverages
  • Items of personal nature

See our Cancellation Policy for more details.

Visa, Maestro, and Mastercard are commonly accepted in Switzerland. American Express is not so popular and many businesses don’t accept it. The country is becoming more and more cashless with contactless and mobile payments (Google and Apple Pay). Still, it’s useful to have some cash on you while travelling. All banks provide currency exchange services at a favorable rate.

  • Refillable bottle of water
  • Comfortable shoes or trainers
  • Wind and waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat and sunscreen
  1. Click on any of the “Book now” buttons on the page.
  2. You will be redirected to our dedicated booking platform.
  3. Choose a desired date for your trip and add number of participants. Select departure time, if applicable.
  4. Fill out the form with all travellers’ details and click “Confirm booking”.
  5. Once we receive your booking request you will be sent an email with payment instructions from our partner Flywire.
  6. Follow the instructions in the email.
  7. Once the payment is processed, your booking is confirmed.

Book the guided hiking tour today!