Switzerland for the Independent Traveller

Swiss Lake View
Swiss Lake View

Switzerland, in the heart of Western Europe, is a landlocked country bordered by France to the west and Germany, Austria and Italy to the east. The forested hills of the Jura lie in the northern portion of the country and the Alps, legendary among winter sports enthusiasts, lie to the south. The central areas comprise a plateau region encompassing lovely temperate forests, farmland, cobble-stoned villages and pristine lakes.

The influences of bordering countries are clear in the variety of languages you hear as you move from one region to the next. German is the most common language, but don't be surprised to hear French, Italian or "Romansh", a Romance language still spoken in parts of Graubunden. Neighbouring countries also inspire the wonderful cuisine found in lakeside cafes, mountain inns and contemporary eateries.

Swiss flag Capital: Bern (Berne)
Language: German, French, Italian
Time: GMT +2 hrs
Currency: Swiss franc (CHF)

The glorious shores of Lake Geneva allow visitors to relax in the shadow of snow-capped mountains while swans drift through the reflection of medieval Chillon Castle. Explore the vineyards of Lavaux, mountain bike through the flower-lined trails of Chateau D'Oex or enjoy authentic fondue in the capital city of Berne. Many an adventure-seeker has made his way to the spectacular Swiss Alps for skiing, hiking and white water rafting excursions.

Transportation ranges from scenic train rides through mountains and countryside through to visiting wine villages on horseback or letting a gondola lift you over sleepy villages and red-roofed chalets.

The natural beauty, welcoming citizens and wondrous historical sights of Switzerland will overwhelm your senses and entice your imagination.

Travel links for Switzerland

Swiss regions (Cantons)

Aargau | Appenzell | Ausser-Rhoden | Appenzell Inner-Rhoden | Basel-Landschaft | Basel-Stadt | Bern | Fribourg | Geneve | Glarus | Graubunden | Jura | Luzern | Neuchatel | Nidwalden | Obwalden | Sankt Gallen | Schaffhausen | Schwyz | Solothurn | Thurgau | Ticino | Uri | Valais | Vaud | Zug | Zurich