No other country does the great outdoors quite like Switzerland. Whether you're walking through scenic alpine meadows, scaling tough mountain passes, taking on the ski slopes or kayaking on crystalline lakes, Switzerland offers stunning scenery, panoramic views and the chance to commune with nature in one of its purest forms. With rich chocolate and fine cheese waiting as reward, Switzerland is the place for the active and the indulgent.
Switzerland Tours & Travel
Articles on Switzerland
Monte the mountain dog
Posted on Wed, 12 Dec 2007 by Sue Elliot
Intrepid’s Kate McLean is a massive animal lover. She travelled to Uganda to see the gorillas, trekked in Thailand to reach an elephant camp and even searched Spain to spot [...]Read more
At a glance
|Capital city:||Bern (population 130,000)|
|Language:||German, French, Italian, Romansh|
|Time zone:||(GMT+01:00) Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna|
|Electricity:||Type C (European 2-pin) Type J (Swiss 3-pin)|
Best time to visit Switzerland
May, June, September and October are wonderful months for seeing Switzerland, as the weather is typically mild, the mountain passes are still open and the country is less crowded than in the peak holiday months of July and August. It tends to rain more in the months of March, April, October and November, and with snow fall usually present from December, this is the perfect time for skiers and snowboarders.
Geography and environment
Top 5 Culinary Classics of Switzerland
While not enjoying the same worldwide popularity that it did in the 1960s and 70s, this Swiss classic is still alive and well in Switzerland. Although not to everyone's taste, travellers should experience sitting around a communal pot of rich, melted cheese at least once.
Who knew that a plate of grated, fried potato could taste so good? Considered to be Switzerland's national dish, Rosti was once relegated to the breakfast plate but is now served as an accompaniment to dinners too.
3. Bircher Muesli
This Swiss-German classic has taken off worldwide as a breakfast food, although it was originally created for hospital patients by a Swiss physician. Commonly eaten in the evening in southern Switzerland, it's a nutritious mix of oats, fruits and seeds.
This brioche-like, plaited bread is a traditional Sunday morning treat in Switzerland. Dating back to the 15th century, this delicious bread can be found in bakeries all over Switzerland, especially on Sundays.
Making hundreds of varieties of cheese, Switzerland is one of the best places in the world to indulge in a dose of calcium. Whether it's a chunk of hard Gruyere, a slice of Emmental or a bit of fruity Appenzeller, Switzerland has enough cheese shops to satisfy everyone.
FAQs on Switzerland
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 5-7 Fr
Simple lunch in a cafe = 10-15 Fr
Dinner at a restaurant = 30-50 Fr
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 2 Berchtold's Day
Mar 29 Good Friday
Apr 1 Easter Monday
May 9 Ascension Day
May 20 Whit Monday
Aug 1 National Day
Dec 24 Christmas Eve
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day
Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/switzerland/public-holidays
Health and Safety
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
Switzerland Travel Tips
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Switzerland
1. Be considerate of Switzerland’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
4. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
|The White Spider||Heinrich Harrer|
|Swiss Watching: Inside Europe's Landlocked Island||Diccon Bewes|
|Belle du Seigneur||Albert Cohen|
|The Swiss and the Nazis||Stephen Halbrook|
|The Magic Mountain||Thomas Mann|