A New Color Every Day: Embracing Autumn in Liechtenstein

liechtenstein october

Tipped off that fall would be the perfect time to visit Liechtenstein, we planned our five-day hike across the country for the middle of October.

This is spot-on advice. Here’s why I’d recommend the same for anyone interested in visiting this (exceptionally underrated) tiny country tucked between Austria and Switzerland.

liechtenstein fall

A New Color Every Day

fall leaf
On our first day in Liechtenstein, a smattering of trees showed a golden color. They stood out like freckles against a forest-green background on the mountainside behind our accommodation. A beautiful hint of fall and what was to come in the weeks ahead.

What we didn’t expect was to literally watch fall descend upon Liechtenstein, one day at a time.

On the second day, a few more green trees teased a golden hue. On the third day, gold began to turn into burnt orange, and a few hints of red appeared.

Day by day, the tree-covered landscape took on the a new palette, each day more jewel-colored than the last.

Because our hike meandered throughout the whole country — in and out of the woods and along the treeline — we watched the scene change beneath our feet and over our heads. Walking through the woods, newly fallen leaves made a carpet but weren’t yet crunchy on our first day. By day five, a few were starting to dry out.

Adopting a slow travel mindset in fall, we were treated to nature’s beautiful, ever-changing autumn display.

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

What better conditions to hike in than mild weather. Temperatures ranged from mid-40s(F) in the morning to mid-60s(F) in the afternoon — mild conditions ideal for long-distance walking.

Mornings sometimes started out a bit crisp, Across the valley, mountains in the distance hinted that winter waited in the wings. We encountered a short rain shower one afternoon, which required a quick run to the bus station. But, other than that, we were comfortable hiking throughout the country, from Liechtenstein’s mountainous corner (called Malbun) to the river bank, along forest paths, and through city streets.

liechtenstein pearsThe Perfect Shoulder Season

Like many European countries, tourism picks up in Liechtenstein during the summer months. We encountered few other travelers when visiting in October, yet pretty much everything appeared open and up to speed. We even ran into a food festival and the start of a drone competition!

Most of the country’s travelers are day tourists who stick to Vaduz’s city center. Because of this, the city is particularly quiet in the evenings.

In addition to visiting in the off season, I believe people should stay more than one day. Longer stays encompassing more than the “must-see” spots help the local economy and offer that “local” experience we seek.

Our favorite moments included eating fresh pastries from a small bakery in Mauren, sipping homemade wine found at a homestead on the trail, and stopping for impromptu exercise at one of the country’s activity parks. None of this would have happened if we weren’t traveling slow.

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