Combining many of the best elements of its neighbouring countries, Switzerland is a stunningly attractive summer and winter destination, ripe for those interested in the outdoors, walking or other activities. A complex and culturally mixed country, Switzerland has four languages, a wealth of unique attractions including medieval towns, colourful festivals and of course the Alps.
To explore the country or access the mountains in style, ride the rails; the Jungfrau Region railways in the Bernese Oberland snake their way up to Schynige Platte, where you get unforgettable views of the Jungfrau, Eiger and Monch.
The capital Bern is one of Switzerland's most charming cities. Squashed against the River Aare, it's a quiet place that looks as if it hasn't changed for years. In contrast the commercial and financial centre, Zurich, has undergone a renaissance and is no longer simply a dour banking hub but a hip and happening city full of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Geneva acts as the gateway for many tourists but is worth pausing in to see Lake Geneva and the vineyards that sweep around its shores and up the slopes of the surrounding hills.
For Alpine splendour at their most enchanting, head to Lucerne or Zermatt, where the mountains loom large and there is a culture of activity and adventure. Lucerne is lapped by the lake of the same name and has some iconic timber bridges whilst Zermatt is dominated by the Matterhorn, on whose slopes you can ski. Alternatively, head to any of the celebrated ski resorts, including St Moritz, to try this sport in the country it first took off in.