For once, this is not a round-up of must-see places. Instead, it is a selection of handpicked power spots in Switzerland that are said to emit special vibes.
After this whole lockdown situation, what I truly need is some quiet time away from home. (I am sure many of you feel the same way.) All I want to do is strap on my hiking boots and visit Mother Nature. Be it hidden waterfalls, tranquil forest lakes, scenic peaks or ancient places of worship: thanks to its unique geography and long history, Switzerland has quite a few spots that release a measurable amount of energy.
I have included some spots where I have actually felt some special vibes with my own senses. Other spots are known among energy seekers. As long as you know how to appreciate the moment, you are good to go. But please note that you should only stay at a power spot for as long as you feel comfortable. Your body will tell you when it is time to move on.
Here are the best power spots in Switzerland for you to recharge:
Jakobskapelle at Kronberg, Appenzell Innerrhoden
Here is a 90-minute round trip hike starting at Kronberg, a mountain with scenic views of the rolling Appenzell landscape. Before you join an ancient pilgrimage route, you will pass Jakobskapelle, the former site of a chapel.
Look for the spring and make sure to taste the fresh water coming straight from the source. It is said to be energizing, rejuvenating and even have healing powers. As you continue on, you will be entering a forest with strangely shaped and twisted tree branches. They are a sign for the location's energy source.
(Photograph copyright Kronberg)
The Leuenfall waterfall in Weissbad, Appenzell Innerrhoden
Very near Kronberg is another magical power spot. Hidden away in the idyllic forest near the Waldgasthaus Lehmen is the Leuenfall waterfall. Before dropping 34 meters, the water of the Berndlibach creek travels across a smooth bed of moss. This natural wonder is one of the most beautiful falls around and allows you to feel the power of water.
(Photograph copyright PantaRhei/Wikimedia Commons)
The Echo Cliffs of Alpstein, St. Gallen
Here is a two-hour hike in the Alpstein massif that comes with a seven-fold reward. The echo cliffs of Sennwald will bounce back your voice not once, not twice, but seven times! It is rare to find a natural phenomena such as this. So, collect all your positive thoughts and shout them at the Kreuzberge mountains as loud as you can...
Start your hike by taking the Staubernbahn from Sennwald to the top. The cable car runs at the top of the hour and exhumes good karma: it is fully operated on solar energy. Once at the top, hike across the Saxer Lücke to Roslenalp within two hours. There, place yourself on the cliff about three meters from the hiking path above the mountain hut.
Circle of Stones in Affoltern am Albis, Zürich
Who knew that in a forest not too far from Zürich, there is a circle of nine menhir stones erected during the New Stone Age? My friend Valeria has pointed out this hidden spot in her new book. This "miniature Stonehenge" is unmarked, so the best way to locate it is by using Google Maps.
The reason behind the circle of stones remains a mystery, but some think it played an important part in celebrating summer solstice. So, if you want to unlock the power of this mystical spot, plan your visit for June 20...
(Photograph copyright Valeria Mella/LittleCITY)
Buschberg Chapel in Wittnau, Aargau
The legendary cross atop Buschberg is a place of pilgrimage. At this location, a miracle is said to have spared a miller from losing his legs in an accident. The chapel itself is also considered a power spot with a strength of 22'000 to 34'000 Bovis units. This force can be determined by pendulum and rod, but cannot be measured with scientific methods of physics.
Buschberghof 261, 5064 Wittnau (Google Maps)
Emma Kunz Caves in Würenlos, Aargau
In 1942, a local discovered a source of immense energy in a former Roman quarry in Würenlos. Emma Kunz named the particular rocks "Aion A", a substance which can be bought in most Swiss pharmacies as "Würenloser Pulver". Inside the cave, vibrations of energy can be picked up by those who are sensitive enough. Make an online reservation ahead of time in order to secure the cave for yourself.
(Photograph copyright Emma Kunz Grotte/Facebook)
Creux du Van, Neuchâtel
This massive natural amphitheater in the Val-de-Travers deserves the title of "Switzerland's Grand Canyon". Walking the trail along the 160-meter cliff, you will feel nature's unabridged power. And if you keep your eyes and ears alert, you will surely spot ibex and marmots. Part of the Jura mountain chain, the formation of the Creux du Van is the result of millions of years of erosion.
Enter the Creux du Van by foot from Restaurant du Soliat.
(Photograph copyright kuhnmi/Wikimedia Commons)
Aletsch Arena in Valais
The viewpoints at Moosfluh, Bettmeralp and Eggishorn exhibit measurable positive energy fields. This is where the earth's radiation is particularly strong, allowing you to pick up those good vibes. The UNESCO World Heritage site with its majestic glacier is my favorite spot for balancing mind, body and spirit.
The larch tree of Obergesteln, Valais
A quarter of the canton of Valais are covered by forests. And some of the oldest trees in Switzerland are located there, including several multi-centennial larch trees. Above the village of Obergesteln, there is a larch tree that is estimated to be 700 or 800 years old. Visiting these ancient trees is on the top of my list. I imagine it to be a powerful experience to stand next to a living organism that has seen it all.
For the best experience, it is recommended to embark on a panoramic hike from the Oberwald train station to Obergesteln. How to locate the tree once you get there? I read that it is best to ask the locals...
(Photograph copyright Obergoms Tourismus)
Parc La Mutta in Falera, Grisons
With 400 meters in length, Parc La Mutta is home to the largest setting of pre-historic rocks in Switzerland. The rows of megalithic stones are aligned astronomically, mostly pointing at sunrises and sunsets. It is a very impressive place to visit for another reason, too: there are many peculiar rocks that have been carved and shaped by Stone Age residents between 1600 to 1200 BC.
Most of the rocks are located on a plane above the Falera parking lot.
(Photograph copyright Adrian Michael/Wikimedia Commons)
The Canadian wilderness at Val Mora, Grisons
These days, not many places are off the grid anymore. But once you reach the remote Val Mora valley, you will see your 4G reception bars disappear. This wide, L-shaped valley with its rugged cliffs reminds of the Canadian wilderness. While you will not be meeting any grizzly bears, you might see an occasional hiker or biker. Other than that, it will be you among vast and untouched nature.
The Val Mora borders the Swiss National Park and can best be accessed via Val Müstair. The local Benedictine guest house was built in the year 775 and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. What better way to practice meditation and mindfulness than by staying at the monastery's guest house? It is open to anyone, no matter your confession.
(Photograph copyright TESSVM)
Mario Botta's Church of San Giovanni Battist in Mogno, Ticino
This contemporary church was built on the site of a 17th century chapel which was destroyed by an 1986 avalanche. In this village of stone houses, this church truly stands out: local architect Mario Botta played with essential shapes and used marble, granite and glass.
(Photograph copyright Monster4711/Wikimedia Commons)
The waterfall at Foroglio, Ticino
The remote Bavona Valley is a world of its own. Accessible by public bus or car, start your rejuvenating hike in the stone village of Foroglio. Once you reach the top of the 108-metre waterfall, magnificent views await: is this really still Switzerland? Sync up with the flow of the falls and forget about everyday life back home.
Monte Verità in Ascona, Ticino
Within a stone's trow of the lowest spot in Switzerland is Monte Verità, a pristine hill with quite a past. Starting in 1927, it became a popular destination for those following the Bauhaus movement. In the course of history, the "mount of truth" has also attracted many seekers of alternative lifestyles, including artists and philosophers.
Today, Monte Verità offers a great escape for body and mind. At Casa del Tè, take off your shoes and step into another world. Among a tea garden sits a Japanese tea house which offers tea ceremonies. The matcha green tea is especially foamy and refreshing.