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West of Hergiswil on the lakeshore rises a grand plateau, atop which is the privately owned luxury business-resort of BÜRGENSTOCK. Buses from Stans stop short at Obbürgen (from where a private toll road serves the resort), and the only way to access the area directly is by boat from Luzern to Kehrsiten-Bürgenstock, way down on the lake; from there, a funicular rises to Bürgenstock itself. This odd little enclave is owned by the handful of business-class hotels who occupy it, themselves mostly owned by a single family. If you want to stay here, or eat here, or play golf here, you’ll need a packet of money (double rooms start at Fr.300; www.buergenstock-hotels.ch; April–Oct only), but it doesn’t cost anything to enjoy the views. Ignore the big cars and the well-cut suits clustering around the hotels, and instead strike out east on the Felsenweg path for a scenic twenty-minute clifftop walk to Europe’s fastest outdoor elevator, which swishes you in seconds to the Hammetschwand summit (1128m), complete with a more affordable restaurant and stunning lake vistas. You can return to Bürgenstock via a steeper path zigzagging down the back of the Hammetschwand (35min), from where another path cuts down to the Kehrsiten boat station, or a four-hour trail heads east across the wooded hilltops down to Ennetbürgen and Beckenried, giving expansive views over the lake and towards the high mountains further south.
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