About Switzerland

Sara and John say...

There aren’t many countries in the world that are as synonymous with mountains than Switzerland! And, from the lush lowland valleys to the Alpine peaks, the climate of this small central European nation is almost completely determined by altitude.

Many of the major towns and cities, including the capital Bern, lie to the north of the Alps, on a flat lower-lying plateau. Here, summers are warm and pleasant, with typical highs in the mid-20s Celsius. However rain showers occur on roughly half the days. Autumn and spring see an unsteady transition in temperatures, but they’re close to freezing through the winter months, and overnight frost fairly routine. Rain and snow alternate at this time of year, although Geneva is somewhat milder, due to the warming influence of its neighbouring lake.

To the south of the Alps, the lakeside towns of Locarno and Lugano are notably warmer, enjoying a more southern European feel to the weather. Winter snowfall is relatively rare, with temperatures mostly staying above freezing, even at night. Summers can get hot, with temperatures regularly reaching the high 20s Celsius by day, and into the 30s during heatwaves. Rainfall often comes in short, sharp bursts, especially during summer thunderstorms, with winter the drier time of year.

The Alps are, of course, a different world - weatherwise at least. In summertime the mountain valleys present a lush playground for hikers, cyclists, paragliders and kayakers. Days are warm and comfortable, with occasional thunderstorms. Winters are routinely freezing and snowy for many months. However, it’s often the case that the Alps enjoy much more sunshine in winter than the surrounding lower-lying regions to the north and south. The blue sky and crisp mountain air make Swiss resorts some of the most popular venues for winter-sports fans anywhere in the world! Helped out by some warming glühwein!

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