The Sarnersee area is lovely. It’s not on the fast road to anywhere, but it’s quite close to Lucerne and worth a weekend visit for skiing or hiking.

We stayed at the historic hotel ***Paxmontana (built in 1896). It’s in the Jugendstil style, well maintained, a lovely location. Rooms are a bit sparse and food is overpriced and not particularly creative, but I’d stay here again. For people on a budget there’s a family hostel just next door. 

We walked part of historic route 4 (the Camino de Santiago), as part of this loop. It’s called the way of the churches and features an especially lovely one, the ***Kapelle Sankt Niklausen. Dating back to roughly 1350, the church features a choir decorated with a medieval fresco cycle from 1370, and hipped ceilings with rural Baroque paintings from 1704. 

***Alpenblick, a restaurant near the church, was a real find. In a home with a husband-wife cooking and serving duo, the food was near Michelin-star level. Continue up the road and in 10 minutes you’ll be at Melchsee-Frutt, which looks like a big ski destination (lots and lots of parking lots). The lifts run in the summer for hikers.

Sarner itself, and the lake, don’t appear to cater much to tourism. We saw few hotels, nicer homes, particularly in Sarner along the river and near the old town. There’s a hiking/biking trail all around the lake. Near the mid-point of the lake, SE side, there’s a marker for the central point of Switzerland.

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