Southern Switzerland is a largely rocky area with snowy Alpine mountains and quaint villages in the valleys. The primary languages and cultural influences vary across the region, with pockets of German, French and Italian communities and traditions. Make your way across the country for a sense of its unique range of cultures in Western Europe.
Explore the Jungfrau protected area and ascend to the Jungfraujoch Sphinx Observatory. Head west to the charming village of Zermatt, gaze up at the iconic Matterhorn and hike on the 10-day Matterhorn circuit through Italy and Switzerland.
Go to the country’s Western French-speaking Alpine region and the famous ski resort of Verbier. Travel north to nearby Les Diablerets and Glacier 3000 ski region, which has a bobsled rail track, a bridge connecting two peaks and dogsledding.
Note that the ski season runs from around November until May, depending on the resort and its snow-creating facilities. Otherwise, the temperature varies dramatically according to altitude, with most places receiving natural snow in winter.
Among the region’s largest cities is the scenic lakeside community of Lugano. Enjoy its pleasant micro-climate, with palm trees and charming boulevards beside Lake Lugano. Appreciate the city’s Italian influences with trips to the Cantonal Art Museum, the Casa Camuzzi and the Palazzo dei Congressi. Visit the San Lorenzo Cathedral and note its intricate rose window and impressive interior.
The region comprises the southern half of Switzerland, which is mostly rocky. It borders France and Italy. Fly to the international airports of Lugano, Zurich or Geneva and get around by rail. Visit the northern half of the country for Zurich and Bern and go to the western section for Geneva.
Southern Switzerland is an intersection of Western European cultures spread across the picturesque peaks of the Alps.