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Switzerland is the land of large banks, endless chocolates, exquisite watches, rolling hills, plateaus, and large lakes. Surrounded by Germany, Italy, Austria, France and Liechtenstein, it is recognized the world over for its abundant natural beauty. The country is divided into 26 Cantons, and each area is influenced by its neighbours yet retains its own individualistic culture.

Mountains take up roughly 60% of the land area, and provide a large variety of outdoor activities. Some of the best hiking trails are located in these mountains. The country side offers the most beautiful views from June through September. This is also considered the peak summer season. Ski season runs from December through April, and resorts are normally packed to capacity by skiing enthusiasts.

Switzerland’s cities too are beautiful and provide visitors with a lot of entertainment. Berne is an old town listed on the UNESCO World Heritage site. Geneva is renowned for arts and culture, Lugano is situated on a lake side is popular due to its location and Zermatt sits in the foothills of the famed Matterhorn.

Switzerland’s climate depends largely on location. The summer month temperatures range from 14˚F to 84˚F with the hottest areas in the south. Summer also get the maximum amount of rain. Excessive rain is the result of the “Foehn” phenomenon. The rising warm, dry winds rise up from the valleys and are trapped by the Alps, forcing rainfall and providing some of the most picturesque views of the mountains. Winters tend to be milder in the cities with temperatures ranging from 23˚F and 44˚F.

Fast Facts:

Type Of Government:   Federal republic, direct democracy

Capital:   Bern City

Currency:   Swiss franc, euro is frequently accepted in tourist areas.

Area:   41,284 square km (15,940 square miles)

Language:   German, French, Italian, Romansh

Religion:   Roman Catholic, Protestant

Ethnicities:   German, French, Italian, Romansch

Dialing Code:   +41

Official Languages:   German, French, Italian, Romansh


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