Switzerland is a landlocked country comprised of the Alps, Jura and Swiss Plateau regions. There are four primary language and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh, where over 60% is German-speaking. The country is divided into 26 cantons or states which all have a high degree of independence. Switzerland holds one of the oldest constitutions--from 1848, is not part of any alliance, such as the EU, and has a 500+ year legacy of international neutrality.
The country has a high living standard, and so you will find expenses here to be higher than in neighboring countries. Mountains, lakes , waterfalls and glaciers interconnected with an incredibly sophisticated road system make Switzerland a perfect country for riding!
Roads and Riding
Roads in Switzerland are near perfection. Engineered high into the mountains, snaking their way up to the highest summits, those ribbons of tarmac are just perfect. There are many high-speed sections, but beware of melting snow on the road. Technical skills are required here. Roads on some parts are rarely bordered by fences or safety rails; usually there will only be a block of stone every few meters. There are many tunnels along Swiss roads, and so navigate them with caution. We strongly recommend that you not exceed speed limits, as the penalties are harsh and without compromise.
Climate and Environment, When to Go
Most of the country has a central European climate, with daytime temperatures around 18° to 28°C in summer (64°F - 82°F). At any time, as you travel around the country, you'll hit many different climatic conditions. The continental climate in the Alps tends to show the greatest extremes between summer and winter. Summer tends to bring a lot of sun, but also the most rain. It lasts roughly from June to September and offers the most pleasant climate for outdoor pursuits. The best time to ride the Swiss Alps is from July to October.
Sights, People, Food and Drink
The roads we ride in Switzerland take us to amazing places. Interlaken is one on the top of the list. The city between lakes is also a great gateway to the Jungfraujoch region, where the train takes you to the very top of Europe. In Montreux, you will experience the 11th century as it is embodied in the iconic Chillion Castle. Jump forward 1000 years into hip, luxurious St. Mo ritz, known for great skiing, luxury, and nightlife.
The Swiss are very self-reliant, serious, precise and peaceful people. Their traditional dishes tend to be plain and made from simple ingredients, such as potatoes and cheese. Don’t miss the national sausage, cervelat, and the popular drink, Rivella – a carbonated drink based on lactose.
Facts for the Traveler
|Land area:||41,285 sq km
|Official language:||German, French, Romansh, Italian|
|National currency:||Swiss franc|
|Religion:||42% Roman Catholic, 35.5% Protestant, 4.5% Muslim|
|Time zone:||Central European Time (GMT+1)|
|International dialing number:||Country code: 41, international access code: 00|
|Visa:||Tourists from most countries (EU, USA, etc) do not need visa. A valid passport is required only.|
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