Winter activities

km of hiking trails

ski lifts

km of ski runs

Unique winter paradise

The Appenzellerland, a postcard idyll in the east of Switzerland, welcomes you with endless winter sports options. Whether in the family-friendly ski areas, on quiet snowshoe trails, on cross-country ski runs or unwound on the prepared winter hiking trails: The beauty of our landscape will entice you more than once.

For your perfect stay in our hotel you will find here the panorama map  and the winter brochure Appenzell Tourism.

We are happy to assist you in planning your winter day.

Cross country skiing

The cross-country skiing area on the northern slope of the Kronberg in Gonten has a Nordic-like terrain and is therefore made for cross-country skiing. Numerous trails of various lengths and difficulty levels lead through vast forests and the high moor of Gonten with its rare scenic beauty. The cross-country skiing center in Gonten not only prepares the trails, it also offers a rental service.

Upon advance reservation, we will gladly organize a guide/trainer for you for a fee.



Das Skigebiet Ebenalp-Horn, das mit der Luftseilbahn erreichbar ist, verspricht vielseitige Abfahrten für Genuss-Skifahrer wie auch für Adrenalinjunkies. Zudem finden Sie im Appenzellerland zahlreiche kleinere Skilifte, die vor allem für Kinder und Anfänger geeignet sind. Der nächstgelegene Skilift zum Boutique Hotel Bären ist der Skilift Alpsteinblick in Gonten, der sich sehr gut für Anfänger eignet.


What could be more beautiful than hiking through the open field on snowshoes? The Appenzellerland offers a total of twelve marked snowshoe routes. We are happy to provide you with snowshoes and poles free of charge at the Boutique Hotel Bären (limited number). Several tours are located in the immediate vicinity of our hotel.

We are happy to provide you with snowshoes and poles free of charge (limited number)

Winter hiking

Around the Kronberg and Gonten you will find numerous winter hiking trails, the closest one, from Jakobsbad to Gontenbad, is only a few meters away from our hotel. Particularly impressive and a real experience are the lantern paths in Weissbad (Steene- ond Lateene-Weeg) and on the Schwägalp, which are illuminated with numerous lanterns after dark.

Mountain railway excursions

The winter landscape in Appenzell offers something not only for sports enthusiasts. A trip with one of the 4 mountain railroads to Hoher Kasten, Ebenalp, Kronberg or Säntis offers fascinating views over the Bernese Oberland, the mountains of Central Switzerland and the Lake Constance border triangle. At all stations, mountain inns invite you to linger and enjoy.


Fancy a ride on the longest toboggan run in eastern Switzerland? Then let’s go to the Kronberg, the local mountain of Gonten. You can reach the start comfortably with the cable car. Another ideal route for sledging can be found from the Ruhesitz mountain inn in Brülisau.

Praline course

From January 2022, you can no longer just enjoy our exclusive praline collection in the hotel or at home, but also make them yourself under guidance.
In a workshop, all chocolate lovers will learn to cook ganache, fill pralines and make their own favorite tablet themselves.

After a short introduction with coffee and tea, we will taste chocolate together in the Hotel Bären, learn about the peculiarities of making chocolates and create a Bären bar according to our own creativity.
At the end of the course we will pack our self-made chocolates and pralines and of course we can take them home together with a recipe book.

Drinks will be provided during the course and an apron for working will also be provided.
The course will take place with a maximum number of participants of 6 people and will be held by appointment. Participation at short notice cannot be guaranteed. For larger groups or other dates please send us a request.

The course itself will be held under the current Corona guidelines.

The course instructor is pâtissière and confectioner Hanna Karthaus. After training at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Wolfsburg and stations at the star restaurant Aqua of Sven Elverfeld, the Bürgenstock Resort and the Hotel Atlantis by Giardino, the pastry chef has arrived in Gonten, Appenzell. In her manufactory Pustekuchen by Hanna she creates both pâtisserie and chocolates.

Dates praline course

22.01.2022  (Saturday)27.01.2022 (Thursday)29.01.2022 (Saturday)10.02.2022 (Thursday)17.02.2022 (Thursday)24.02.2022 (Thursday)03.03.2022 (Thursday)05.03.2022 (Saturday)

Cost per participant: CHF 65 incl. the above services
Start: 2 p.m.
End: approx. 16.30 h

 Book via or +41 71 795 40 10 

Indoor Tennistraining

  • Exclusive training for maximum 2 persons with tennis pro Bojana Jovanovska
    Training location: Tennis Club Appenzell
    Bring & pick up service on request with the hotel shuttle
    Snack package with energy bar, drink and fruit

    Price: CHF 250 per person and training session (1,5 hours)

    Secure your appointment early and reserve your training session by calling 071 795 40 10. 


    The following training dates are available: 

    Thursday, February 10, 2022 from 1 pm to 6 pm

    Friday, February 11, 2022 from 9 am to 2 pm

    Thursday, 17 March 2022 from 1 pm to 2.30 pm, 2.45 pm to 4.15 pm, 4.30 pm to 6.00 pm


    Friday, 18 March 2022 from 9 am to 10.30 am, 10.45 am to12.15pm, 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm

Parlor games

In our tavern various board games are available to our guests free of charge.

Steene- ond Lateene-Weeg

From November 28, 2021 until February 6, 2022, the “Steene- ond Lateene-Weeg” will be illuminated with about 40 lanterns every evening (depending on snow conditions) from nightfall until about 8:30 pm.

The “Steene- ond Lateene-Weeg” in Weissbad near Appenzell invites you during the cold winter days to take a walk on a well-maintained winter hiking trail in an untouched landscape. Around 40 lanterns illuminate the path. When the sky is clear, the stars show the way in some sections.

During Advent and Christmas, a wooden nativity scene with large figures is set up.

More tips for your winter day in Appenzell:

Eislaufen und Hochseilgarten

Depending on the weather and your mood, you can drive to Weissbad to the natural ice rink and practice your skills with rented skates (call ahead). 

Natureisbahn Glandenstein, Weissbad : Appenzellerland Tourismus

Optionally, you can test your balance at the foot of the Kronberg in the high ropes course and then climb the cable car to enjoy the view from the top of the mountain. After that you can dare the descent by toboggan.

Vacations in Appenzell - Come to Appenzell and visit us at Hotel Bären Gonten
Vacations in Appenzell - Come to Appenzell and visit us at Hotel Bären Gonten

Village Appenzell

Take the train to Appenzell and stroll through the romantic town center. You can be enchanted by the Christmas lighting and as a little refreshment in between you enjoy a piece of cake and a hot chocolate in one of the small, typical Appenzell cafes (pastry shop / confectionery / Hotel Appenzell is open until 16h00 on the 24th) Back you take the train again to Gontenbad. From there you walk through the wintry hills to Gonten. (Attention: unprepared, about 1 hour 15) Alternatively, you can take a romantic snowshoe hike through the Appenzell hills when it snows.

Lived customs

Hardly any other Swiss region lives its customs as deeply rooted as the Appenzell. Throughout the year they celebrate the history and the faith of their ancestors: processions to the alpine pastures in spring, alpine dairymen’s festivals in summer, cattle-shows in autumn and Chlausezüüg (pyramid of Christmas sweets) at the turn of the year. Be a part of it!

Alter Silvester

New Year’s Eve is celebrated twice in Appenzellerland. The New New Year’s Eve takes place on December 31, the Old New Year’s Eve on January 13. If the dates fall on a Sunday, then the day before is celebrated. The Old New Year’s Eve, which is celebrated in the Appenzell hinterland mainly in Urnäsch, Waldstatt, Hundwil and Stein, but also in Herisau, Schwellbrunn and Schönengrund, is the last remnant of a self-confident resistance against the Gregorian calendar reform. In Appenzell, the calendar reform had been introduced in 1584 and 1789 respectively. The Silvesterkläuse, however, still appear on January 13 as a protest of a part of the reformed people of Ausserrhoden who did not want to be ordered by a pope when to celebrate their festivities. 

We are happy to offer you a shuttle from the Hotel Bären to Urnäsch or Waldstatt with the hotel bus. Please contact us for details.


Carnival in the Innerrhoden capital begins with the traditional “Ommetrommere”. For this, the small and large drummers and the “Botzerössli” gather on the Landsgemeindeplatz late on Wednesday afternoon. The foolish breed of the “Botzerössli” are wooden horses.

The custom of the “Botzerössli” probably originated in southern Germany. In the second half of the 19th century, riders in military uniforms are said to have recited crude sayings. Today the “Botzerössli” live only in Appenzell Innerrhoden.

The Appenzell carnival takes place from Dirty Thursday to Ash Wednesday.