Wherever you hail from, wherever you go, Switzerland is almost on the way

The main north-south and east, west travel routes cross in Switzerland, in the heart of Europe, where four different cultures form a harmonious whole. So why not take a holiday in Switzerland?
Distance and travel times are short, whether you arrive from Germany, France, U.K., Italy Netherlands or Belgium. The only thing that's any closer is your nearest tourist office.


Languages

The national languages of Switzerland are German (North, Central and Eastern Switzerland), French (Western Switzerland), Italian (Southern Switzerland) and Romansh - a derive of Latin - (South-Eastern Switzerland).
English is widely spoken.

The CH that appears on Swiss cars is the abbreviation of the latin form: Confoederatio Helvetica.


Geography

Switzerland is situated at the heart of Europe. It is surrounded by Germany to the north, Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein to the east, France to the west and Italy to the south.

The geological structure of Switzerland is complex. It forms part of the Alpine arc which stretches almost 1000 kilometres from Nice (French Maritime Alps) to Vienna (Austrian Alps).

Switzerland embraces the centre part of the Alps, with its four main passes - Grimsel, Furka, St. Gotthard and Oberalp; here also spring the sources of the rivers Rhone and Rhine.

Switzerland offers, on a small territory of 15,944 sq. miles, a huge quantity of beautiful landscapes which cannot be seen anywhere else on such a limited surface.

Due to its central position, Switzerland has been, throughout history, an important link in communications and transport between northern and southern Europe.


Climate

The climatic conditions of Switzerland vary considerably and no country in Europe combines within so small an area such marked climatic contrasts. In the northern plateau surrounded by mountains the climate is mild and refreshing. South of the Alps the climate is warmer coming as it does under the influence of the Mediterranean weather. The Valais area is noted for dryness.

Switzerland is affected by Atlantic currents bringing moist air and Mediterranean currents bringing warm air.

Under normal circumstances, summer in all parts of Switzerland should be sunny and warm but unfortunately we have no means of giving long term forecasts.

During spring, summer and autumn it is advisable to take good clothes, including a warm jacket and good walking shoes, as excursions are often to mountains which are snow-covered during summer. A warm jacket, good trousers and shoes are necessary in the winter months.

Switzerland Tourism (Intl)