When you plan to spend your holidays in Switzerland, you probably firstly think of impressive high peaks like the Matterhorn, tradition-steeped holiday places such as St. Moritz and wild goats in the picturesque idyll of the Alps. The truth is, Switzerland has much more to offer with a diversity of landscapes, cultural regions and cities like Zurich or Basel.
Switzerland is divided into four cultural and linguistic regions: German-speaking Switzerland, the French-speaking part and the Italian and Rhaeto-Romanic parts of the country. The German-speaking part covers the largest territory. It includes the north-west, east and central part of Switzerland as well as parts of the midland and the Swiss Alps. The French-speaking part includes the cantons Geneva, Jura, Neuenburg and Waadt. Bern, Freiburg and Valais are bilingual. The Italian part of Switzerland then are the canton Tessin and parts of Grisons. The Rhaeto-Romans are an own ethnic group in Grisons.
There are three kinds of natural landscapes: the Jura mountains, the midland and the Alps, which constitute the biggest part. The Jura, with a length of about 300 kilometers, is confined by the midland, the Hochrhein and the Burgundy Gate. Lake Geneva and Lake Constance as well as the river Rhine, form the natural borders of the midland. The most famous holiday destinations are in the Alps, which attract skiers in winter, and hikers and mountain bikers in summer. In Grisons you will find the Swiss national park, the oldest one in the Alps.