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Adventures

Regions

The diversity of the landlocked, mountainous country is the essence of Switzerland and gives the country its unique identity.
Still, it is best known for its financial institutions, fine cheeses and chocolate, watch making industry, for its scenery and an excellent network of public traffic.


Zurich Region

Zurich is top for leisure and pleasure. Gentle hills, peaceful woods, the unpolluted lakes and rivers, picturesque villages - and all just a stone's throw from the Alps. Zürich is the ideal starting point for all kinds of varied excursions.

Basel Region

The fascinating city. Encounter the best of modern art and architecture at every step. Savour cherries fresh from nearby orchards and asparagus from the Alsace. West of Switzerland

Valais

Finding, enjoying, understanding. Balmly summer warmth bathes the valley. Water gurgles from pond to pond in pine forests and vineyards.

Fribourg / Neuchâtel / Jura / Jura Bernois

From the Jura range to the pre-Alpine hills. Vast elevated plains punctuated with fir trees in lush pastures, farm buildings of light-coloured Jura limestone. - the Jura region is a giant park created by Nature herself, bordering France to the north and crossed by deep canyons to the south.

Lake Geneva Region

One region, four worlds. They came, saw... and stayed. Courbet, Kokoschka, Charlie Chaplin and David Bowie are among those who settled at Lake Geneva, attracted, no doubt, by the Alpine panorama and almost Mediterranean vegetation.

Geneva Region

The world's smallest metropolis. Cosmopolitan Geneva - a world of its own, a world for everyone, quite apart from the rest of Switzerland.

Eastern Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

Eastern Switzerland stretches from the shimmering waters of Lake Constance across the hilly Appenzellerland to the Alpine landscapes of Toggenburg, the Heidiland holiday region and the Glarnerland. Far off in the Rhine Valley is Vaduz with its princes' castle.

Graubünden

Alpine valleys descending from high mountains. Rivers in every conceivable direction. German, Romansh and Italian in a single canton.

Central Switzerland

Unlimited freedom. Switzerland was born when the good people of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden formed an alliance at the Rütli. Here, in Central Switzerland, is the Schöllenen Bridge which made north-south travel across the Gotthard range possible, and here, in 1871, Europe?s first cog railroad up to Rigi marked the beginning of tourism as we know it.

Schweizer Mittelland

Simply grand. A slight haze tints quiet rivers with subtle pastel hues. Impressively vast roofs shelter prosperous Emmental farmhouses..

Bernese Oberland

Where nature and holidays come together. Waterfalls crash down sheer cliff sides. Glacier-fed creeks force their way through th narrow Rosenlaui and Aare canyons.

Ticino

The Italian flair of Switzerland. The Mediterranean region seems to begin on the southern side of the Alps. There is a feel of Italy, with palm trees at clean beaches and lanes and alleyways leading to piazzas and churches.

More about Switzerland's regions and destinations
 
 
 

At A Glance

The diversity of the landlocked, mountainous country is the essence of Switzerland and gives the country its unique identity. Still, it is best known for its financial institutions, fine cheeses and chocolate, watch making industry, for its scenery and an excellent network of public transportation.
Capital City: Berne  
Major Cities: Baden, Basel, Bellinzona, Bern, Biel, Brig, Chur, Fribourg, Genève, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Lausanne, Locarno, Lugano, Luzern, Martigny, Montreux-Vevey, Neuchâtel, Schaffhausen, Sierre, Sion, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thun, Winterthur, Zug, Zürich
Bordering Countries: Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein
Inhabitants: about 7.7 Millions
Flag: flag
Languages: German, French, Italian, Romansch
Climate: Because of its central position, the weather is influenced by the four main European air currents - from the Atlantic, the eastern continent, the northern subpolar region and the Mediterranen south. The climate is temperate on the Central Plateau, otherwise it differs considerably from region to region.
Landforms: Alps and Pre-Alps cover 60%, Central Plateau 30% and Jura 10% of the country.
Land Area: 41,284 km2


Switzerland Stats

Area:
41,293 sq km / 15,936 sq mi

Distance: North to South 220 km / 137 mi.
East to West 348 km / 216 mi.

Length of frontier:
1,881 km 1,168 mi.
Switzerland borders France in the West, Germany in the north, Austria and the principality of Liechtenstein in the east and Italy in the south.

Landscape:
3 main types of landscape - the Swiss Alps, the hilly Swiss Mittelland, which extends from Lake Constance to Lake Geneva, and the Swiss Jura, a long line of rugged fold mountains.

Highest Peaks:
Dufourspitze (Valais): 4,634 m / 15,203 ft
Dom (Valais): 4,545 m / 14,911 ft
Weisshorn (Valais): 4,506 m / 14,793 ft
Matterhorn (Valais): 4,478 m / 14,691 ft

Largest Glacier (Surface):
Aletsch (Valais): 117 sq km / 73 sq ml.
Length 24 km / 15 mi.
Glaciers in total 140

Largest Lakes:
Lake Geneva: 582 sq km / 223 sq mi.
Lake Constance: 539 sq km / 208 sq mi.
Lake Neuchâtel: 218 sq km / 83 sq mi.
Lake Maggiore: 212 sq km / 82 sq mi.
Lake Lucerne: 114 sq km / 44 sq mi.
Lake Zurich: 88 sq km / 35 sq mi.
Lakes in total 1,484

Highest Village:
Juf (Graubunden): 2,126 m / 7,000 ft

Lowest Village:
Ascona (Ticino): 196 m / 690 ft

Largest Cities:
Zurich  366,445
Geneva  177,500
Basel  165,000
Bern  131,600
Lausanne  129,273
Capital:
Berne

Population:
8 million

Population density:
188 per sq. km

Government:
Parliamentary Federal State since 1848, Direct democracy

Cantons:
20 full cantons, 6 half cantons

Kanton Aargau Aargau Kanton Appenzell Ausserrhoden Appenzell Ausserrhoden Kanton Appenzell Innerrhoden Appenzell Innerrhoden
Kanton Basel-Landschaft Basel-Landschaft Kanton Basel-Stadt Basel-Stadt Kanton Bern Bern
Canton De Fribourg Fribourg Canton De Geneva Geneva Kanton Glarus Glarus
Kanton Graubünden Graubünden Canton De Jura Jura Kanton Lucerne Lucerne
Canton De Neuchâtel Neuchâtel Kanton Nidwalden Nidwalden Kanton Obwalden Obwalden
Kanton Schaffhausen Schaffhausen Kanton Schwyz Schwyz Kanton Solothurn Solothurn
Kanton St.Gallen St.Gallen Kanton Thurgau Thurgau Cantone Ticino Ticino
Kanton Uri Uri Canton Valais Valais Canton Vaud Vaud
Kanton Zug Zug Kanton Zürich Zürich

Languages:
(Swiss) German (64%), French (20%), Italian (7%), Romansch (1%), others (8%)

Religions: Catholic (42%), Protestant (35%), others (23%)
 
Travel Resources / myswitzerland.com Interests
Travel Digest / swissinfo.ch
SWI swissinfo.ch - swiss news and information platform about Switzerland, business, culture, sport, weather. swissinfo covers Switzerland from every angle in English with news and up-to-date information for a worldwide audience.
Culture - SWI swissinfo.ch
  • Federer named Swiss Sportsman of the Year (again)
    Roger Federer has been chosen as Swiss Sportsman of the Year for the ninth time (including twice as a member of the Team of the Year). The 36-year-old tennis star enjoyed a sensational comeback year, winning the Australian Open, Wimbledon and five other ATP tournaments.  “There should be two categories for the men: one for him and one for the mortals,” said mountain bike world champion Nino Schurter, who had also been nominated, before the event in Zurich on Sunday night. Schurter’s fears were proved right when the winner was announced.  Federer couldn’t pick up the award in person as he was training in Dubai, but he appeared on a giant screen. “It’s been a massive year – perhaps my favourite! If 2018 is half as successful, then I’ll be happy,” he said.  Skier Wendy Holdener was named Sportswoman of the Year, having won the ladies' combined event and  slalom silver at the Alpine Ski World Championships in St Moritz last year.  The male national football squad was chosen as Team ...
  • ‘I am American. I write from my American soul’
    Susan Tiberghien came late to writing, but she’s made up for lost time. The founder of the Geneva Writers’ Group (GWG) is the author of several books and despite living most of her life in Europe, says she is still very much an American writer.  I came to Europe to do graduate work in Contemporary Literature. I was 21, just out of university, with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Literature and a minor in French. I had studied French for three years in high school and four years at college, but when I arrived at Grenoble University in the French Alps, I realized that I couldn’t make myself understood, nor could I understand.  For the first two months I learned more French in intensive classes. And as it happens, suddenly I was able to take notes at lectures in French instead of English! It just switched.   Susan Tiberghien will be retiring in 2018, as the Geneva Writers’ Group celebrates its 25th anniversary. Her story is the sixth in our series on US expats in ...
  • ‘We called it the Horny Tour’
    In the relatively dry winter of 2017, Christoph Moser and I decided to do one of the absolute classic ski tours of the Bernese Oberland, a tour that serves as an endurance test for mountain guides.  We called it the ‘Horny Tour’ as it links up the Wetterhorn, Mittelhorn and Rosenhorn. Combining ski mountaineering with easy alpine skills, the route is never hard but quite long. In the end, we climbed 3600 meters over the course of 26km. Here, Christoph passes through the crevasse and serac zone on the Rosenlaui glacier while on the way to the Wetterhorn.  As a photographer I enjoy working on glaciers and trying to contrast their beauty with the very real danger that is present when moving on them. At work and play We are fortunate to call the mountains our workplace and still marvel at what we get to do on any given work day, be it in the Alps or Himalaya. After all these years, the passion we have for life as mountain sport athletes and photographers hasn't faded.
  • Swiss gun fans blast EU-Schengen restrictions
    A “light” version of the new European Union gun directive aimed at tightening firearms regulations has got Swiss gun fans hot under the collar. Switzerland, which has deep-rooted gun traditions, is expected to fall in line with the EU restrictions but a referendum could be launched by disgruntled opponents.  Christian Richert leans forward on a red counter bedecked with rows of gleaming hand guns. Behind him semi-automatic and antique rifles hang from the walls of his busy stand at 24th International Gun Fair, recently held at the Beaulieu Conference Centre in Lausanne.   “The Swiss are starting to get fed up with all this,” the Geneva gun dealer tells swissinfo.ch. “In French-speaking Switzerland we are perhaps more fatalistic but I don't think in German-speaking regions people are ready to have their laws dictated to by Brussels.”  In September, the Swiss cabinet presented for consultation a softer version of a new EU gun directive intended to tighten up firearms regulations ...
  • Making fun of migration stereotypes
    (To view video subtitles in English, click on the gear icon and turn captions "on"). Tama Vakeesan was born in Switzerland to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka. This week she interviews Arman and Sascha from Austria, who have made a feature film ("Die Migrantigen”), poking fun at migration stereotypes. Omar, a former criminal, and his friends live in the fictional town of Rudolfsgrund. They all eat kebabs and they're all broke, but still drive BMWs. (SRF Kulturplatz/swissinfo.ch) The comedy premiered in January at the Max Ophüls Prize film festival, where it received the Audience Award. The festival, held in Saarbrücken, Germany, has been running for 39 years, with the aim of discovering and promoting young filmmaking talent from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
 
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Consulate General of Switzerland
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United States of America
sfr.vertretung@eda.admin.ch

Tel.: +1 415 788 2272
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Swiss Benevolent Society
of San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States of America
assistance@sbssf.com

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The United Swiss Societies of Northern California (USSNC), founded in 1912, merged with the Swiss House Association of California, which had incorporated on July 21, 1930, the merger created the new name, United Swiss House of Northern California, Inc., which on February 11, 1983 incorporated to its current name. United Swiss Societies of Northern California, Inc., organized as a California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation, 501(c)(4), tax ID 23-7126939