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Route: Rheineck – Berneck – Heerbrugg – Balgach – Grünenstein Castle – Altstätten

Altstätten (455 m above sea level) is a tradition-rich market town in Eastern Switzerland. It is situated in the middle of the St. Gallen Rhine Valley and at the bottom of the hills of the Appenzellerland – approximately in the middle between Lake Constance and Buchs. The old town with its picturesque alleys is considered one of the most beautiful historic old towns in Eastern Switzerland. Traditions such as Fasnacht (Altstätter Strassenfasnacht, Altstätten carnival) and weekly markets are still maintained today.

Altstätten is a popular starting point for many hiking and bike trips. The Hohe Kasten, a well-known panorama mountain at 1,795 m above sea level, is the highest point in the municipal area.

Also well worth a visit in the Rhine Valley Plain is the Bannriet. The former peat-cutting area is now a nature reserve of national importance with a visitor center in the former Schollenmühle peat factory.

Grünenstein Castle in Balgach is impressive with its majestic square tower, a panorama terrace and its bell canopy.

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