When you hear the keyword Route 66, you certainly don't think of mountains at first. But it really does exist, an officially signposted Route 66, which leads through an entire country as a hike. In three day stages you walk across the Principality of Liechtenstein with hiking boots.
Sareis mountain restaurant is 2000 meters above sea level
Rock gate with the Drei Schwestern
The Alps don't stop at Switzerland's border. And not only that: the demarcation often cuts through regions that really belong together in topographical and cultural terms. One perfect example is the Drei Schwestern massif. If they were in the middle of Switzerland, they would certainly be as well known as the Mythen. Similar in rock structure, but the Drei Schwestern (three sisters) are more extensive and slightly more Alpine. Reason enough to pay your respects and head for them on the Liechtensteiner Höhenweg (signposted with number 66).
The first stage starts in the family-friendly resort of Malbun. The Fürstin-Gina-Weg leads up to the Augstenberg at 2359 m above sea level, the highest peak in Liechtenstein that is not a border mountain. After the first summit, the descent to the Pfälzerhütte follows, which invites you to take a rest.
Then it goes comfortably through the Naaftal, over the Alpelti to the Berggasthof Sücka. Since the Berggasthaus Sücka will be renovated in summer 2021, it is advisable to take the bus from Steg to Malbun to spend the night there. A special feature of this hike is the rich flora. On the way, hikers can discover almost all of Liechtenstein's 800 alpine plants.
Two classics await on the second stage. From the Sücka you continue on the ridge, on which most of the tour leads to the Fürstensteig. For hikers who are free from giddiness and sure-footed, the Fürstensteig is a unique experience. The path, opened in 1898 and carved into the rock, is one of the most famous paths in the Rätikon.
The Fürstensteig in the evening light
After the imposing Fürstensteig, the legendary Drei Schwestern mountain range awaits. According to the legend, three sisters were frozen to rock here because they went to pick berries on a Sunday instead of going to church. The Kuhgrat (2,123 m above sea level) is the highest point of this varied stage, which offers an excellent view of the Rätikon, the Swiss and Vorarlberg mountains. This stage ends in the Gafadura hut and the hikers can review their impressions with a delicious snack.
At the end, nature lovers can expect a leisurely hike. From the mountains it goes down to the valley floor. Passing Nendeln and Mauren you pay your respects to Schellenberg. At 626 m above sea level the municipality of the same name is not part of the mountains. Schellenberg is located on the ridge of the Eschnerberg, which as an island mountain extends in a north-easterly direction from Bendern (Liechtenstein) to Feldkirch (Austria). The safe altitude above the Rhine valley made the Eschnerberg a preferred settlement site in prehistoric times. Archaeological excavations have been able to demonstrate settlement continuity since around 5000 BC.
From Schellenberg it goes down to Ruggell, the lowest point in Liechtenstein and thus the end of what is probably the most varied Route 66. In Ruggell, a detour to the Ruggeller Riet is worthwhile. This peat area is a nature reserve of around 90 hectares in which fauna and, above all, flora offer nature lovers a wonderful experience of nature.