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Overview

The “great cathedrals of the Earth” cover more than half of Switzerland, and dominate the country in more ways than one. Historically, the steep valleys were isolated from one another, fostering a tradition of regional independence. Today, Alpine tourism is a mainstay of the economy. All four main mountain regions — the Bernese Alps, Graubunden, Valais, and Central Switzerland — offer endless opportunities for winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, sledding and more.

In the Bernese Alps, south of the capital city, Interlaken is the gateway to the Jungfrau region and the mountain resorts of Grindelwald, ...

The “great cathedrals of the Earth” cover more than half of Switzerland, and dominate the country in more ways than one. Historically, the steep valleys were isolated from one another, fostering a tradition of regional independence. Today, Alpine tourism is a mainstay of the economy. All four main mountain regions — the Bernese Alps, Graubunden, Valais, and Central Switzerland — offer endless opportunities for winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, sledding and more.

In the Bernese Alps, south of the capital city, Interlaken is the gateway to the Jungfrau region and the mountain resorts of Grindelwald, Wengen and Mürren. Historic Central Switzerland is the home of William Tell, where the Swiss Confederation was formed in 1291. Today tourists flock to Lucerne’s medieval Old Town and the ski resort of Engelberg. In the southeast lies Graubunden, the source of the Rhine and home to the winter sports resorts of St. Moritz, Davos, Klosters, Lenzerheide, the Surselva and family-friendly Arosa. In the south of the country, the river Rhône runs through the canton Valais (Wallis), Switzerland’s largest wine region and the birthplace of cheese fondue. See the country’s highest mountains and enjoy some of the world’s best skiing in Verbier, Crans-Montana and Zermatt, home of the famous Matterhorn.

Charlie Morris
About the Expert

Charlie Morris is the author of the Open Road guidebooks Best of Honduras, Best of Costa Rica, Best of Belize, and Switzerland Guide.

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Charlie Morris for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Swiss Alps are the central portion of the Alps mountain range that lies within Switzerland, because of their central position they are also known as Central Alps.
  • Language: German, Italian, French
  • Currency: Swiss Franc
  • Research: Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    February is high ski season. January is less crowded.