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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
  • A photographic journey into the unknown
    In April 2013, Swiss photographers Nico Krebs and Taiyo Onorato, who have worked together for more than 12 years, jumped into an old Land Cruiser and headed east. They had a rough route and stops in mind, with the final destination being Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.  It was a real expedition, a departure into the mystical kingdom of the East: Eurasia, Central Asia, the foothills of the Himalayas, the forests of Siberia, the various “Stan” republics, the gigantic breadth of the former Soviet Union. They covered half a continent, a land mass of which only a few images have stuck in our heads.  The countries and regions they visited are undergoing a shift from the Silk Road, post-communism and religious, territorial and ethic turmoil to the pressing desire to become part of global capitalism. This search for identity is palpable and is reflected in the photo album Continental Drift.  The images also describe a journey along the border between documentation and fiction. The ...
  • Swiss abroad keep yodelling tradition alive
    Some people will go an awfully long way to yodel: the “Wildrose” yodel club, for example, has come all the way from Canada to take part in this weekend’s Federal Yodelling Festival in Brig-Glis, canton Valais. (Julie Hunt, swissinfo.ch) The Wildrose club was formed in Alberta 20 years ago by ten Swiss emigrants. Now there are 15 members of all ages and from all walks of life, some of them second generation Swiss.  Ahead of the festival, the group, together with the local Riederalp yodel club, gathered for a sing-song on the Eggishorn, overlooking the Aletsch glacier. swissinfo.ch talked to some of the Wildrose members about why they love Canada, what they miss about Switzerland, and whether it’s important to keep Swiss traditions alive when living abroad.  Yodelling almost died out in Switzerland when cheese production moved from the mountains to the valleys. Alpine herdsmen and dairymen used to yodel to keep each other posted with the latest news or to drive cattle home, at a ...
  • Building peace with rock bands, orchestras, and theatre
    Could art and culture be the future tools of diplomats and peacebuilders? A Swiss woman’s initiative is helping to make it happen, step by step. People have long turned to stories, painting, music and theatre as a way of coping with hardship and fear. But when it comes to conflict mediation, art is often held at arm’s length, seen as a cultural asset not to be confused with the “real work” that goes on behind closed doors. Lea Suter founded the PeacePrints initiative to show that art can play more of a role in the areas of conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Suter, who comes from Switzerland, wants to show that cultural activities are not merely “decorations” for mediation processes but can be “active tools and agents of peace processes themselves”. Sitting outside the Palais des Nations where she is currently working on a mandate for the United Nations, Suter recalls a recent trip to Kosovo where she visited the School of Rock in the city of Mitrovica. There, young people ...
  • Making money from yodelling
    While some people find yodelling a cacophony of clichés and others consider it a living art form, it is a welcome business opportunity for the people of canton Valais, where the National Yodelling Festival will be held this year. (SRF, swissinfo.ch) The National Yodelling Festival is organised by the Swiss Yodelling Association and takes place every three years in a different location in Switzerland. It is the climax of a series of local yodelling festivals. The Swiss Yodelling Association was founded in 1910 in Bern. Among its activities are training, courses, publications and organising national competitions for yodelling, alphorn playing and flag throwing – all Swiss customs that will feature at this year’s event. The first official National Yodelling Festival was held in Basel in 1924. This year will see the 30th edition held in Brig from June 22-25. Up to 15,000 yodellers, flag throwers and alphorn blowers will be cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd of an expected 150,000 ...
  • The ‘slightly different’ Alpine festival
    Aymann, a Syrian refugee, deftly flips his opponent into the sawdust. But the opponent just manages to turn and land on his stomach rather than his back, which would have meant losing. Urged on by the audience, Aymann tries to turn him over but can’t. Both begin to laugh. They stand up and try again.  Swiss wrestling, known as Schwingen, is one of the many customs that the church charity HEKS wants to introduce to refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea or Sri Lanka who live in Switzerland.  Swiss traditions are explained and passed by professionals and well-known figures, for example champion wrestlers, alphorn players and yodellers.  The highlight of this campaign took place on June 17, National Refugee Day in Switzerland: an old-school Alpine festival outside Bern train station. People yodelled, threw flags, played traditional card game Jass and blew alphorns.  The 700 or so visitors celebrated not only old Swiss traditions, but also intercultural dialogue and solidarity. 
 
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Swiss Benevolent Society
of San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States of America
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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