Once a confederation of independent states, Switzerland has been a federal state since 1848, with each canton retaining its own constitution and various autonomous institutions within the overall framework defined by the Swiss Constitution.
This overall framework preserves the sovereignty and particularities of each canton, allowing very different mentalities and cultures to live in harmony, even if there are many differences of opinion and dissension.
A canton of art and culture, ideal for nature lovers, sports enthusiasts, relaxation and families. A canton of water with the rivers Rhine, Aare, Limmat, Reuss and Lake Hallwil in the Seetal.
Appenzell Ausserrhoden
The two half-cantons of Appenzell are regions with long-standing traditions, such as that of the piquant Appenzeller cheese, whose secret recipe has been handed down for over 700 years!
Appenzell Innerrhoden
The village and the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden are situated in a hilly, green landscape. It is a region known for its rural traditions such as the descent from the alpine pastures as well as for its cultural peculiarities such as music and folk dances.
The canton of Basel-Landschaft (Basel-Countryside) has a wealth of beautiful scenery and cultural highlights. Classical music concerts, discovering Roman civilisation in Augusta Raurica, cruising on the Rhine and strolling through historic towns are just a few examples of this diversity.
The canton of Basel-Stadt, as its name suggests, is just the large city of Basel, one of the cultural capitals of Switzerland. It is a very international city-canton, at the crossroads of Switzerland, France and Germany.
The Canton of Berne is like a miniature Switzerland: to the north, the Jura chain and the vineyards of the Three Lakes region; to the south, the Alps with their wild peaks, some of which are over 4,000 metres high. In between, the Swiss Plateau, or Mittelland, and the Pre-Alps. And of course the magnificent city of Bern, the capital of Switzerland.
The canton of Fribourg is like the world turned upside down: from the invigorating climate of the southern mountains to the mildness of the northern lakes. Two languages and three very different regions intermingle in this territory.
The gateway to French-speaking Switzerland thanks to its intercontinental airport, the canton of Geneva is worth a visit not only for its very international city but also for its vineyards, which produce excellent wines.
This mountainous canton is a region where walkers, mountain climbers, cyclists and amateur geologists will discover plenty of interesting excursions and many ancient traditions.
Valleys north and south of the Alps. Rivers flowing in all directions. Three languages and many dialects. A paradise for snow and ice sports. In summer, 615 lakes, over 900 peaks and 150 valleys to discover. The Canton of Graubünden in south-eastern Switzerland is a world of its own.
The Canton of Jura, the newest of the Swiss cantons, was created only in 1979, after a long struggle for independence. Until then, for historical reasons, the entire French-speaking territory was part of the Canton of Bern. As its name suggests, it is located in the Jura, a mountain range that stretches across northwestern Switzerland, straddling France.
The Principality of Liechtenstein (Fürstentum Liechtenstein) is a tiny landlocked state between Switzerland and Austria. It is a tax haven that has made it a world-renowned business centre. It is not a Swiss canton, although it is closely linked to the Swiss Confederation through a customs and currency union.
One of Switzerland's most famous tourist destinations, the Canton of Lucerne is located in the centre of the country, on the northern slopes of the Alps. The city of Lucerne, with its famous wooden bridges, is built at the mouth of the Reuss River in Lake Lucerne, a large and winding Alpine lake with an incredible diversity of landscapes.
Three worlds in one: the aristocratic lakeside town of Neuchâtel, surrounded by vineyards, the factory town of La Chaux-de-Fonds in the mountains, famous for its workers' struggles, and the valleys and mountains of the Jura, cradle of the distillation of the green fairy (absinthe) and a paradise for hikers.
The canton of Nidwalden lies in the heart of Switzerland, just south of Lake Lucerne, surrounded by mountain ranges, between the cantons of Lucerne, Schwyz, Uri, Obwalden and Bern. It is one of the country's founding cantons.
A canton where you will discover crystal clear lakes, flowering alpine meadows, refreshing waterfalls, historic and religious sites. Ideal for long walks and mountain hikes, bicycle trails, swimming fun and wellness, culture and tradition.
Sankt Gallen
The pre-Alpine landscape of Canton St. Gallen stretches between Lake Constance and the imposing Alpstein massif dominated by the Säntis. Opposites meet here to form a holiday region with countless possibilities.
The Canton of Schaffhausen is the most northerly in Switzerland. It borders Germany, is almost entirely confined to the right bank of the Rhine and has a very tortuous outline.
The small town of Schwyz, which gave its name to Switzerland, is home to the Forum of Swiss History and to important founding documents of the Swiss Confederation. In spring, the beautiful landscape formed by thousands of cherry blossoms attracts many visitors to the region, which is also famous for its kirsch (cherry brandy).
The canton of Solothurn is a very pleasant region for hiking along the river or on the summit of the Weissenstein. Its capital is a beautiful baroque town where Italian grandeur is combined with French charm and Swiss-German bonhomie.
South of Lake Constance, nestled between the lake and the foothills of the Alps, the canton of Thurgau is a lovely green area with rivers running through it. Farm villages, small isolated castles, peaceful forests, orchards, vineyards and the lake are the region's main attractions.
Talk about Ticino to a Swiss citizen and he or she will inevitably think of holidays! It's not for no reason: the southernmost canton in Switzerland speaks Italian and its climate makes the Swiss dream at every weather forecast. What's more, it's where you'll find the best Merlot wines in the country!
Uri and the Gotthard region is a popular holiday destination. Goethe, Lord Byron, Queen Victoria and King Ludwig II of Bavaria all understood this. The canton stretches from the shores of Lake Lucerne to the snow-capped peaks, offering a wide variety of landscapes.
A long valley carved out by the Rhone in the heart of the Alps between towering peaks, with wild counter-valleys, the Valais is one of the country's most fascinating cantons. A paradise for winter sports and summer hiking, it is the sunniest canton in Switzerland and is also a delight for lovers of fine wines.
The Canton of Vaud is like a miniature Switzerland: gentle lakes, rolling hills of the Plateau, heights of the Jura, harshness of the Pre-Alps and the Alps, Rhone lowlands and five wine-growing areas are all found within its borders.
The canton of Zug is the richest in Switzerland, with a capital known as a tax haven. Thanks to its central location between Zurich and Lucerne, it is also an ideal destination for excursions between lakes, valleys and mountains.
Zurich and its canton will appeal above all to city tourists, but its location and the quality of its transport links also make it an ideal starting point for visiting the whole of eastern Switzerland.
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