Looming over Lake Lucerne and Lucerne itself, Mt Pilatus (2132m; 6995ft) is the myth- and mist-shrouded mountain to the city’s southwest and is supposedly haunted by none other than Pontius Pilate himself, whose body was reputedly hurled into the lake at the mountain’s summit. In medieval times, it was also believed that a dragon lived on the mountain.
Myths aside, one of the most impressive things about Pilatus is the journey to the top. The famous Golden Round Trip runs from May to October and is a classic way to take on Pilatus in a day trip from Lucerne.
From the city, board the steamer to Alpnachstad, and then ride the cog railway to the top. To descend, take one of the new panoramic gondolas (AKA the ‘Dragon Ride’) to the town of Kriens and then bus 1 back to Lucerne. The trip can also be done in the other direction.
There are different summertime activities (such as Switzerland’s longest summer toboggan run) once you’re there, and a recently revamped 19th-century hotel (although we think staying at the top of Mt Rigi is a better experience),