The Columban Way ‒ Stages in the Zurich Region

Long-distance hikers can follow in the footsteps of the Irish pilgrim monk, St. Columban, along Lake Zurich.

A long-distance hiking trail, the Via Columbani, covers a total of 8,000 kilometers (approx. 5,000 miles) from Bangor near Belfast to Bobbio in Italy. The European pilgrimage route is dedicated to the monk, St. Columban, who founded countless monasteries along this route and was thus instrumental in building Christian Europe.

Three stages are particularly recommended in the Zurich and Lake Zurich region:

  • Baden – Zurich, 27 km (16.8 miles), approx. 300 meters (984 ft) altitude difference, hiking time approx. 7 hours
  • Zurich – Wädenswil, 25 km (15.5 miles), approx. 360 meters (1,181 ft) of altitude difference, hiking time approx. 6¼ hours
  • Wädenswil – Rapperswil, 15 km (9.3 miles), no altitude difference, hiking time approx. 3¾ hours

On these stages, hikers not only experience wonderful natural landscapes, but also see countless Christian places of interest. In Zurich, these are, of course, the Grossmünster and Fraumünster churches. Between Baden and Zurich are Wettingen Abbey and the Fahr Convent, the latter of which belongs to Einsiedeln Abbey. And just before Rapperswil, the route is the same as that of the famous St. James Way, and leads over the unique wooden footbridge from Hurden to Rapperswil.

Routes and details