Berne, Basel, Geneva, Interlaken, Lausanne, Lucerne, Lugano, Zurich.
Climate and Geography
Switzerland is surrounded by huge mountain ranges such as the Alps, which make ski holidays in Switzerland very popular with tourists. Switzerland’s climate varies with its altitude and ranges from cold, cloudy and snow to warm and humid at different levels. Precipitation reaches a peak in April and November, whilst the driest months are May, September and October. Higher precipitation is witnessed near Rochers de Nave and the west of Switzerland, which is also generally cooler than the east. Summers in Switzerland can be hot and temperatures can reach up to 30⁰C.
Switzerland is most well-known for its total independence and neutrality, which have been honoured and used to advantage by all the major European powers. Switzerland prides itself on maintaining a neutral presence in European affairs, although it has been politically and economically integrating itself into the EU in recent years. Switzerland is popular with many different types of tourist as it represents three very distinct cultures influenced by the countries it borders. The northeast is dominated by Germanic culture, the southwest has been highly influenced by the laissez-faire style of the neighbouring French and the southeast owes much of its culture to nearby Italy.
The Swiss speak a wide variety of different languages and there is no specific Swiss language. You will hear Swiss-German, French, Italian and Romansch spoken in various parts of the land and all four are considered Switzerland’s official languages. A vast majority of the Swiss will speak English as a second language to varying levels, but it’s considered a great sign of respect if you attempt to speak, or even learn, the native tongue of the area you are staying in.