From the industrialized Rhine plain, it’s only a short drive up to a mountain idyll. Herbs and wildflowers sprinkle lush meadows, and despite a temperature of 30°C in the valley, the snow line is within reach up here at the beginning of June.

From the center of the country, you can see the borders of the principality in all directions – and far beyond. Surrounded by the Alps lies the small state of Liechtenstein, too rarely appreciated by (world) travelers.

View of Liechtenstein
View of Liechtenstein

Every way from the valley and up into the mountains leads along serpentine roads, often narrow and with only one lane. Conifers and mixed forests nestle on the mountain slopes, with tranquil little villages in between. Every now and then a vantage point offers a wide view over the small country.

Almost every path invites to a hike, leads past small streams and sometimes ends in an alpine pasture with a hearty lunch in a mountain hut.

Small stream, Liechtenstein
In the mountains, Liechtenstein

Mountains have always enchanted people. For thousands of years, they were glorified and revered as the residence of gods. When humanity’s thirst for adventure was exhausted in the search for ever new continents, it saw new challenges in mountains. They were conquered by people climbing them, erecting crosses on their peaks, blasting tunnels through granite and conquering them with sporting ambition and hiking boots or bicycles.

For us it is enough to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding Alps. A fresh wind brings cooling, the spicy scent of herbs is in the air. A small fire has broken out in the village not far away. Rescue workers and firefighters are running around between the rows of wooden huts, looking for smoldering fires.

Kirche in Triesenberg, Liechtenstein
River in the mountains, Liechtenstein
Mountain hut near Steg, Liechtenstein
Mountains in Liechtenstein
River in the mountains, Liechtenstein

On a Sunday, downtown Vaduz is filled with Indian tourists. They snap selfies in front of the town hall and the art installations. The capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein has not even 6,000 inhabitants. A short walk leads to the Old Rhine Bridge from the previous century. On the other side lies Switzerland, with which Liechtenstein shares not only the currency but also part of the administration and public infrastructure.

Old Rhine Bridge in Vaduz
Sculpture in Vaduz
City Hall in Vaduz
Gutenberg Castle in Liechtenstein

We leave the Principality of Liechtenstein in the south towards Switzerland. One last stop for a photo of Gutenberg Castle. What the picture doesn’t show: the hill on which the castle stands is surrounded by factory buildings and industrial areas.

Info about our trip