If there was an idea of the perfect family day trip, then a trip to Wasserfallen is the perfect answer. I live in Basel and getting to Wasserfallen is very convenient. There is always enough and more to do any given the time of the year. Today, I'm going to take you a day-long itinerary for Wasserfallen.
This piece was originally published as a chapter in 21 Gems Of Switzerland, my free e-book that offers more information about offbeat travel in Switzerland.
A Day Trip To Wasserfallen
So, the first time I visited Wasserfallen I was expecting waterfalls the moment I reached there - but don't be disappointed when you find no waterfalls! What you find is a magnificent view of the mountains and a wealth of flora and fauna coupled with adventure sports which makes the region an ideal family excursion. Between the Basel Area and Solothurn lies the Passwang range of hills and you can reach the Jura heights from the plains in just about 45 minutes making it an ideal spot for a day trip, especially if you're visiting/staying in Basel or the surrounding region.
Getting to the region is very easy and is covered in the TNW pass up until the Gondola/Cable Car ride you take to reach the mountains. If you're coming from Basel, then the easiest way is to take the train (S3, IR27, IC61) up to Liestal which comes under Basel Land, from Liestal you take the yellow bus (#70) to Reigoldswil Dorfplatz and from there is a small 10-minute hike/walk to the cable car station where you need to buy the tickets to go up to Wasserfallen.
If you're travelling by car, then you can take up the car till the Reigoldswil cable car station which has enough parking, it takes about 45 minutes from Basel to get here.
Things to do in Wasserfallen
There is enough and more to do over here, but my absolute favourite thing to do here is: take the cable car just 1-way up to the mountain range and capture the stunning views on the way up. On your way down, either hike or take the scooter down the mountains to reach the cable car station. Going down on foot or by the scooter is a fantastic experience! It's relatively easy to manage the scooter once you do get the hang of it.
Other things to do while you're there, there are several hikes that you can plan based on the difficulty level: one example for a medium-level hike is to explore the rolling hills between Wasserfallen and the Passwang region. More details on that .
Apart from that other attractions include just soaking up in nature, the serenity of the place leaves an impression. In summers, you have the opportunity to use the Forest high wire park , trails as well as sledging and snowshoeing.
There aren't a ton of restaurants on top of the mountain range, however, the Restaurant Heidi-Stübli is right next to the cable car station and has an inner restaurant area along with a sun terrace. You can even organize a special brunch or swiss fondue meal with reservations in advance. There is always an option to pick up snacks or croissants if you arrive in-between meal hours.
There is also the Hintere Wasserfallen which is a guest house as well, with barbeque and fondue specialities. Warm food is available round the clock and there are possibilities to stay overnight. A lot of people eat/stay in Liestal which has many more options, I highly recommend the patisserie called " Finkbeiner Bäckerei Konditorei " located close to the station. The coffee and dessert over here are to die for.
Personally, this region is perfect for a day trip but if you plan to stay then there are options like Hintere Wasserfallen , Obere Wechten mountain guesthouse or other options that you could find right .
The train tickets from Basel SBB to Liestal is round about 7 CHF one way (children below 6 go free), the TNW day pass is the most practical option when planning this trip. The ride on the gondola is not included in the TNW pass or the half fare card, expect to spend 17 CHF for adults and 10.20 CHF for children between 6 and 16 years.
The scooter rent one way is 12 CHF for adults and 7.20 CHF for children. A usual meal in Switzerland is around 40 CHF per person and your stay will depend upon the type of hotel you choose.
Lastly, this is a trip worth doing - it is never too crowded, and it is perfect to experience the beauty and essence of Switzerland in a very short time! I wish you an exciting scooter ride down the hill!
Our team recently put together a travel ebook called 21 Hidden Gems of Switzerland. It was a collaborative travel project led by Pragati Siddhanti where 21 locals came together and shared their travel secrets. You can download it here.