Switzerland – From the Alps to the Jura Mountains

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1 SwitzerlandSwitzerland is a beautiful country located in west-central Europe and has some of the most spectacular scenes, such as picturesque valleys, rolling hills with grazing herds, magnificent mountain ranges and large lakes. The country is bordered by Austria and Liechtenstein to the east, Italy to the south, France to the west and Germany to the north. Over a hundred of the country’s mountain peaks are higher than 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) and the Matterhorn, situated in the Pennine Alps in the canton of Valais, is the most famous of them all.
The Magnificent Matterhorn
The Matterhorn is an iconic emblem of the Swiss Alps and is located on the border between Italy and Switzerland where it watches over the towns of Zermatt in the canton of Valais and Breuil-Cervinia in the Aosta Valley to the south. The four steep faces rise above the glaciers and point to the east, west, south and north.
The Matterhorn
2 the-matterhornApproximately over five-hundred people died on the Matterhorn since 1865, mostly as a result of falls and underestimating the mountain. The tragic ascent of the Matterhorn can be relived at the Matterhorn Museum in Zermatt. The Matterhorn museum is in the form of a reconstituted mountain village consisting of fourteen houses. You can learn about the history and development of tourism in the Zermatt area, including the story of the first ascent of the Matterhorn by Edward Whymper and party.
The Hornli Ridge is the standard climbing route and involves about four-thousand meters of climbing. The Hornli Hut is situated around 10,700 feet up the mountain and easy accessible from Schwarzsee. It is recommended to hire a guide. The climb typically starts in the early morning hours (around 4.30 a.m.) with a flashlight on your forehead.
The first part of the climb is mostly rock, followed by a steep stretch of snow. Once you reached the top of the mountain, you can see Italy and Switzerland. Going down is not any easier and many climbers felt it was extremely difficult lowering themselves with the ropes. The technical grade for the Hornli Ridge based on conditions of dry, ice free rock on steep sections, is UIAA III which is similar to the U.S.5.4 or British V.Diff.
Popular Tourist Attractions in Switzerland
Switzerland is divided into cantons, but the country is best understood by the regions, such as Lake Geneva, Jura Mountains and Fribourg, Bernese Lowlands, Bernese Highlands, Central Switzerland, Basel and Aargau, Zurich, Valais, North-eastern Switzerland, Graubünden and Ticino.
Railway to Jura Mountains
3 railway Jura MountainsThe beautiful mountain range of the Jura Mountains stretches through the Swiss cantons of Vaud, Neuchatel, Fribourg, Bern and Jura. Northern Jura is well-known for watch-making and the entire area is popular among hikers. Fribourg is a day trip destination for tourists. The medieval center of the city has been well preserved and is now one of the largest in Europe.
This spectacular sight is surrounded by the river Saane (German) or Sarine (French) and the architecture dating back to the Gothic period is absolutely remarkable. The Saane River is the largest river in Switzerland and offers breathtaking views. Make sure to visit the Bern Bridge, which is the only remaining wooden bridge in the city.
Fribourg boasts around two-hundred Gothic-style houses, churches and monuments. After enjoying an excellent meal at the Café des Arcades, Place des Ormeaux 1, you can visit the nearby cathedral. The St. Nicholas Cathedral is beautiful and worth a visit. The famous cathedral is home to thirteen bells in the bell tower of the choir and the western tower. The western tower is open to the public and offers amazing views of the city.
The Bernese lowlands are famous for producing original Emmental Cheese, generally referred to as Swiss cheese. The Emmental region consists mostly of farming with stunning meadows and pastures and is one of the most popular tourist destinations. Bern is the Capital of the Bernese Lowlands and is also the capital of Switzerland. Albert Einstein lived in Bern, which is currently the fourth largest city in Switzerland.
At the foot of the Jura Mountains in the Bernese Lowlands you can visit the small city of Biel (German) or Bienne (French) for breathtaking views of the large Lake Biel. The Neuhaus and Schwab museums are located on the shore of the lake. At the foot of the Brienzer Rothorn Mountain and located in the Interlaken district of the canton Bern lies the small town, Brienz, with spectacular flowers and trees. You can view the Giessbach waterfall by taking the Giessbach-Bahn.
Bernese Highlands:
4 Bernese HighlandsExperience a lake cruise on the Thunersee or Breinzersee. The mountain scenery in this area is amazing. Cable cars are widely available in this region and are an exciting way to explore the valleys and to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Nest to the village of Kandersteg is the mountain lake, Oeschinen. The Bernese Highlands is exceptionally beautiful and many tourists visit Interlaken between the two lakes.
Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city and is a tourist region in its own right. The city is located at the end of Lake Zurich and is home to a great culture, excellent restaurants, more than fifty museums and approximately a hundred galleries. Zurich has more than a million visitors every year during the party rave Street Parade in August.
Other great destinations include the Rhine Falls close to Schaffhausen, Grindelwald resort at the foot of the Eiger, and the lovely town, Spiez. Switzerland can also be explored by train, as it offers some of the most remarkable railway lines. You can travel by train from Davos to Zermatt and enjoy an eight-hour journey in the Swiss Alps.
Travel by Train in Switzerland
5 Travel by TrainThe Bernina Express from Chur to St. Moritz travels over the Bernina pass and boasts fantastic high mountain scenery. The Jungfrau railway from Interlaken will allow you to experience the breathtaking peaks of Jungfrau and Monch in two hours. You can travel the steepest railway in the world from Lucerne to Pilatus or enjoy the beautiful scenery above Lake Brienz to the Rothorn summit with a steam cogwheel railway called the Brienz Rothorn.
Visa Requirements for Switzerland
Entry requirements differ according to the citizenship of travellers. The requirements for entry into the Schengen Area through Switzerland provide no indication of the entry and stay requirements applicable in third countries. For questions regarding entry and stay requirements for other countries, please contact the corresponding diplomatic/consular missions in Switzerland: http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/reps/forrep.html

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