Four languages, five borders, a vast inventive history and plenty of exhilarating outdoor fun, a national day for everything Swiss.
This small central European country shares borders with Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein. The capital is Bern and two of the largest cities are Zurich and Geneva. The people of Switzerland have four official languages of German, French, Italian and Romansh. The currency is Swiss Francs and the population is currently around 8.57 million.
Attracting visitors to the hiking trails in the warmer months and the ski slopes in the winter the country has plenty of lakes and mountains with Alpine peaks.
Throughout the year Switzerland has something for everyone in search of some exhilarating outdoors fun. The mountainous areas offer not only skiing, leisurely walking, ambitious hiking and mountain biking trails but the opportunity to paraglide, go white water rafting along the Lütischine River, jet boat at Interlaken or toboggan down the 750 metre long Alpine Slider at Oeschinen Lake.
Rural areas are dotted with traditional architectural landmarks and housing whilst cities still home their medieval quarters.
Switzerland’s attraction not only lies with the natural beauty and outdoor adventures. The country boasts an attractive, interesting and historical culture that has led the way over time with a number of renowned inventions.
The Swiss Army Knife
The Swiss army knife is a well-known multi tool. It consists of small tools that pivot out from one main body. They originate from Ibach during 1891 when manufacturing began for the Swiss army, prior to this date they had been manufactured in Germany. A true Swiss army knife is red with the swiss cross symbol on.
The Red Cross Society
The Red Cross Society was founded in 1863 by Henry Dunant and Gustave Moynier in Geneva, Switzerland. This now famous international first aid symbol was created by reversing the colours of the Swiss flag.
The Swiss have a long, pioneering history in watch making which began in Geneva during the second half of the 16th century.
Over the centuries they have specialised in different aspects and created new inventions, although sometimes a rocky ride they are still known world-wide for their quality and reliability when it comes to watch making.
Rolex and Tag Heuer are just two of the well-known Swiss brands.
The Swiss produce more than 450 varieties of cheese with two of the most commonly known worldwide being emmental and gruyere.
Everything you would like to know about Swiss cheese, including information on the five stages in the conversion from milk to cheese can be found at Cheeses from Switzerland.
Chocolate in solid form was invented by Rodolphe Lindt in 1879, starting with his chocolate fondant. Although chocolate was consumed all over Europe by that time, it was only so far enjoyed in liquid form.
Lindt are still well-known and much-loved chocolatiers today.
Nginious Swiss Blended Gin
Made in small, 100 litre batches Nginious gin is perfect for a summer evening poured over ice and mixed with cool tonic.
On the nose the gin releases zesty, citrus scents before giving way to sweet blackcurrant leaves. The botanical notes of chamomile and juniper are released on the pallet along with verbena and cardamom.
The Swiss have excelled again with the creation of this gin, their range also includes smoked & salted and Vermouth cask finished expressions.
Switzerland have good reason to rejoice and celebrate their National Day on 1st August each year.