Photo courtesy of swiss-image.ch/Roland Gerth
This Alpine area in Appenzellerland sits at an altitude of more than 5,000 feet and is home to the much-photographed Aescher-Gasthaus, Switzerland’s version of the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The 19th-century guesthouse was constructed directly into a jagged cliff face and while guests can no longer stay overnight, it's a popular place for a meal. The cable car to Aescher departs from Wasserauen, and then a 20-minute hike passes ancient Wildkirchli caves that were once home to prehistoric bears and, later, 16th-century hermits. There's also a grotto chapel built right into the stone, a small museum, and a sheep farm on some seriously steep meadow terrain.
By Adam H. Graham, AFAR Contributor
Ebenalp, 9057 Schwende District, Switzerland