Top 10 Facts about the Rhine Falls in Switzerland
The Rhine Falls is a waterfall located in Switzerland and the most powerful waterfall in Europe.
The falls are on the High Rhine on the border between the cantons of Schaffhausen and Zürich, northern Switzerland.
It is 150 metres wide and 23 metres high. This is one of Europe’s biggest waterfalls. Several water activities happen here such as boat trips and walk around the romantic landscape.
As you plan to visit Switzerland, here are the top 10 facts about this falls that you have to check for yourself.
1. It was formed during the last ice age
These waterfalls have been around for more than 15,000 years. All this happened during the tectonic shifts in the Ice Age.
The Rhine River was pushed into a new riverbed consequently, the Rhine Falls was formed at the transition point of the hard chalk to soft gravel. The waterfalls is about 150 meters tall.
Fun fact is that the Rhine River used to flow westwards to Klettgau, unfortunately, after the glacial activities, it was filled with gravel. This happened 132,000 years ago.
2. One of the largest waterfalls in Europe
Well, you may think Niagara Falls, Iguazu Falls, Victoria Falls, are some of the largest waterfalls. In Europe, the Rhine Falls are usually considered to be the largest waterfall.
Compared to those other waterfalls, the Rhines Falls have smaller and shorter drops with few cataracts.
Water flow here is low during the winter months.
3. The Rhine Falls show off during the summer
The spring and summer months have the highest flow rates. This is when the Rhine River gets fed by the melting alpine snows.
You will find the Rhine River Falls on the river with the same name at a stretch known as the High Rhine. As the water flows down to the lower level, it creates the picturesque Rhine Water Falls.
This Falls flow all year round and does not lose its lustre. However, to see the Rhine Falls in its full glory, you will need to visit during the summer.
Tourists and locals always get blown away by the beauty and splendour of the falls in summer. About 600,000 litres of water per second gush down the falls.
4. There are viewing platforms
If you are wondering if you can get a perfect viewing point to capture the moment at the falls, yes, there are several.
Most tourists would get on a boat and get close to the falls while others prefer being on a platform.
There are viewing platforms on either side of the falls that give perfect views of the falls. Expect to get wet from the water spraying from the falls.
One of the viewing platforms charges an entry fee, the northern platform is free. The second platform, Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall, is closest to the falls.
5. There are several ways to get to the Rhine Falls
One can either use the road or rail to get to the Rhine Falls from Zurich. If being in a group is a preference, then one can join one of the organised tours.
The tours allow you to relax and let the planning and other travel arrangements get done by someone else.
The train gives a much better experience as the rail crosses the Rhine a few metres from the falls.
6. Wörth Castle is found at Rhine Falls
There are two castles located near these falls. Laufen Castle is located on the left bank of the river and Worth Castle on the right bank.
The Worth is also known as Water Castle is built on a small island in the Rhein river at the municipality of Neuhausen am Rheinfall in the Canton of Schaffhausen.
Wörth Castle was first mentioned in the 13th century AD. It served as a major transhipment point on the east-west trade route in the 19th century.
7. There are boat rides around the Rhine Falls
When you arrive at these falls, you can choose to either take a boat ride or go for a walk. These boats are colour coordinated so it is easy to find one.
The yellow boat trip goes to the middle viewing platform. You are able to climb the viewing platform and look down into the falls. The Castles will be on either side.
Be sure not to miss out on your slot.
8. Eels at the Rhine Falls climb up the rocks
There are marine animals at the Rhine Falls. The fishes in the water cannot climb these falls up but eels are an exception. They can climb up over the rocks.
The eels swim closely in the waters along with the ducks. They all seem to be getting along well as they brush through them.
If you have a pair of binoculars, it will come in handy when spotting birds. Most of the bird species can be found during summer in the morning hours.
9. There are several fun activities to do around Rhine Falls
Other than boat rides and walking along the falls, there are other fun activities to engage in.
There is a zip-line following an aerial route on the treetops. You can also experience a free-fall drop too.
10. Schloss Laufen offers a more intimate view of the falls
For a more intimate and magnificent view of the falls, head over to Schloss Laufen. This Castle is perched above and adjacent to Rhine Falls.
It provides the closest and most intimate views of the waterfall. there are numerous overlooks that give both top-down views of the Falls as well as riverside views.
The castle is a tourist attraction and has a restaurant and a youth hostel.