Switzerland Facts

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Switzerland

Panoramic view of the Swiss countryside and Alps

Switzerland

Switzerland is known for it breathtaking natural beauty, whether it be the snow covered Alps, pristine lakes, alpine villages or fields of edelweiss. If chocolate is truly an aphrodisiac, then the Swiss have perfected it and is reason alone to consider this mountain paradise for a honeymoon.

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Highlights
Switzerland may be neutral but it is certainly not flavorless. The fusion of German, French and Italian ingredients has formed a robust national culture, and the country's Alpine landscapes have enough zing to reinvigorate the most jaded traveler. Goethe summed up Switzerland succinctly as a combination of 'the colossal and the well-ordered'. The untamed majesty of the Alps and the tidy, just-so precision of Swiss towns prevent Switzerland from ever being as one-dimensional as some pundits like to try and make it.
Geography/Environment
Switzerland sits squarely in the stomach of western Europe, landlocked by France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria and Italy. The Alps occupy the central and southern regions of the country and the modest Jura Mountains straddle the border with France in the north-east. The Bernese Mittelland - an area of hills, rivers and winding valleys - lies between the two mountain systems and has spawned Switzerland's most populous cities. Over 60% of the country is mountainous and a quarter of it is covered in forests. Farming of cultivated land is intensive and cows graze in Alpine meadows as soon as the retreating snow line permits. The Dufour summit (4634m) of Monte Rosa is the highest peak, though the Matterhorn (4478m) is more well known.
Activities
The mountains and lakes of Switzerland are a natural playground. There are dozens of ski resorts throughout the Alps, the Pre-Alps and the Jura. Zermatt and Verbier have the best combination of slopes, scenery and nightlife. Hiking is the number-one activity in the country, with 50,000km of designated footpaths and regular refreshment stops en route. There are well-established mountaineering schools in Pontresina and Meiringen, though Zermatt is perhaps the most famous destination for experienced mountaineers. Ski mountaineering is popular along the Haute Route in Valais. Many of the resorts also offer paragliding and hang-gliding and hire out the gear. Water-skiing, sailing and windsurfing are common on most lakes. Rafting is possible on many alpine rivers, including the Rhine and the Saane. Canoing is mainly centered on the Muota in Schwyz canton and on the Doubs River in the Jura.
Climate and Weather

Other Important Information
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Destination Wedding Information
Residency - no
What's legal - civil
Documents - in German, French or Italian
Medical - no
Approval valid - 6 months
Switzerland Reviews
Romantic Austria, Germany & Switzerland
by Judy Faust last updated on 03/30/2009
My whole life has been involved in all things German. My grandparents spoke fluent German and instilled the German culture in our family life. This influenced me to major in foreign languages in college (German and French). My travels have taken me to...
Honeymooning in Switzerland
by Debra Rubio last updated on 07/08/2008
Switzerland is a great choice if a European honeymoon is your dream destination. In a time when the Euro is so high that most of us cannot afford Europe, Switzerland is affordable because they use their own currency, the Swiss Franc, which is a much better...