Switzerland has more than 70 mountains, which all are over 4.000 metres (13.123 ft.) high and the Swiss have about 50 of these mountains for themselves. The others are shared with the bordering countries; Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Liechtenstein.
If you want to discover the landscape, the mountains while enjoying a relaxing journey, travel by train. With the Swiss Travel Pass you can crisscross the country on its many trains and take in the breathtaking scenery at your own leisure.
Weather and Climate
Best time to visit Switzerland is from December to March and from May to August.
Switzerland have two peak seasons; winter for snow sport and summer for hikers.
Switzerland is located in the temperate climate zone. The mountains provide great differences – particularly the amount of rainfall. In the Jura Mountains to the north and in the Alps to the south there is slightly more rain and snow. On the Plateau between the two mountain areas, where most major cities are located, the rain is more moderate. Temperatures are surely affected by the mountains – when the height increases, the temperatures drops, and vice versa.
The average daytime temperature in Zürich in January is 2°C (36°F) and in July 25°C (77°F). The average of precipitation here in January is 72 mm. (2,8 in.) and in July 135 mm. (5,3 in.)
Switzerland is bordered by Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east, Italy to the south and France to the west. The country has no direct access to the sea.
Switzerland is scenically divided into three geological regions;
- Jura Mountains to the Northwest with 10% of the total area. The highest points in the Swiss Jura Mountains is Mont Tendre with 1.679 metres (5.508 ft.) and La Dole at 1.677 metres (5.501 ft.).
- Mittelland represents the Swiss Plateau. Mittelland is situated at 200-700 metres (650-2.300 ft.) above sea level and rises gradually from the Jura Mountains to the foot of the Alps.
- The Alps are divided into a Northern and Southern part by the Rhône valley. In those parts you will find mountains like Finsteraarhorn at 4.274 metres (14.022 ft.), Dom at 4.545 metres (14.911 ft.), the highest point in Switzerland which is Dufourspitze at 4.634 metres (15203 ft.) and the well-known Matterhorn with its 4.478 metres (14691 ft.).
Where there are mountains, there are lakes. The two largest lakes, lying entirely on Swiss territory is Neuenburgersee with its 215 sq. Km. (83 sq. Miles) and the Lucerne lake with 114 sq. Km. (44 sq. Miles). Lake Geneva at 580 sq. Km. (224 sq. Miles) is shared with France and the Swiss occupy 60% of the lake on their own territory. Lake Constance at 536 sq. Km. (207 sq. Miles) is shared with Germany and Austria. The borders in Lake Constance have not been determined, but about 25% of the lake’s shore is located in Switzerland.
5 things Switzerland is known for, outside Switzerland
- Watches (started in the 16th Century with brands like Rolex, Omega and Tag Heuer)
- Red Cross (Founded in 1863 in Geneva)
- Cheese (Emmental started around year 1293)
- CERN (European Research Center, founded in 1954)
- Swiss Banks (Began in the 18th century. Works without any government interference)