The golden age of travel to Switzerland was the Edwardian era, when the great palace hotels reached their zenith of grandeur. Today, health resorts are being replaced by contemporary spas, and the calorific influence of Escoffier has long since been banished from menus. Switzerland comprises three main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Italian, plus the Romansh-speaking valleys. Around 100 Swiss peaks are higher than 13,000 feet; Monte Rosa (15,203 feet) is the highest, but the Matterhorn (14,692 feet) and the Eiger (13,025 feet) are the most famous. The country is home to the Montreux Jazz Festival (July) and the Locarno International Film Festival (August). Per capita, the Swiss are the world’s largest consumers of chocolate. Milk chocolate was invented by Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter in Vevey in 1875.
The warmest and wettest area of the country is around the southern lakes of Lugano and Maggiore, where year-round temperatures are 5 to 10 degrees warmer than those in Zurich. All of the major cities of Switzerland are on the central plain, with the climate typified by Zurich; mountain resorts are typified by St. Moritz.
Six hours ahead of New York (EST).
To phone hotels and restaurants in Switzerland, dial 011 (international access) + 41 (Switzerland code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
Swiss franc (CHF). Fluctuating rate valued at CHF0.96 = US$1.03 as of October 2017.
Bern, Tel. 31-357-7011. U.S. Consular Agents: Geneva, Tel. 22-840-5160, and Zurich, Tel. 43-499-2960.