Total: 41,285 sq km, Water: 1,520 sq km, Land: 39,770 sq km
Mount Monte Rosa – “Dufourspitze” – 4634 metres (15200 feet)
Lake Maggiore – “Lago Maggiore” – 193 metres above sea level (633 ft)
Temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers. The area South from the Alps enjoys almost a Mediterranean climate.
Mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes. The terrain of Switzerland is divided into these three major geographical areas: The Alps 60%, the Middle Land 30% and Jura 10%
Switzerland is located in the Central European Time zone (CET), and it is one hour ahead of Greenwich Time (GMT +1). Switzerland observes the daylight saving time.
About 20% of the Alps lie in the Swiss territory, and circa one hunder peaks reach the height of over 4000 metres or close to it. The Valais region hosts quite a number of the famous mountains: the Matterhorn (Le Cervin in French), the Monte Rosa, the Weisshorn, the Dent-Blanche, the Dom (Mischabel) and the Grand-Combin. The Jungfrau, Mönch, Eiger and Titlis lie in the canton of Bern, some bordering with the Valais.
The Mountain Passes
Switzerland hosts many Alpine passes which connect the northern and southern parts of Europe. It is a good idea to check the road conditions (online) before traveling as many of the passes are closed certain times of the year, and also due to adverse weather conditions.
The glaciers feed the rivers and lakes, many of which in the mountains have been harnessed by dams. They play a major role in power production, currently generating over half of the electricity in Switzerland. The largest glacier in Switzerland (and in the Alps) is the Aletschgletscher, being 23.6 km long and covering an area of 118 sq km. You’ll find the Ferpècle Glacier in La Sage in Evolène. The Theodul Glacier in Matterhorn enables snow sports to be enjoyed even during the summer.