According to COUNTRYAAH, Switzerland is a Central European State (41,285 km²). Federal capital: Bern. Administrative division: Cantons (23). Population: 8,136,689 (2013 estimate). Language: French, Italian, Rhaeto-Romansh and German (official). Religion: Catholics 38.6%, Protestants 28%, non-religious / atheists 20%, Muslims 4.5%, Orthodox 1.8%, other religions 7.1%. Currency unit: Swiss franc (100 cents). Human Development Index: 0.917 (3rd place). Borders: France (W), Germany (N), Austria and Liechtenstein (E), Italy (S). Member of: Council of Europe, EBRD, EFTA, OCDE, UN, OSCE and WTO.
The vegetation reflects the climate conditions: Switzerland largely belongs to the phytogeographic region of the Middle-European forests, however there is no lack of transition territories with the neighboring areas; thus at relatively short distances Mediterranean, alpine and subalpine species can be found. The upper limit of the vine and fruit trees (chestnut, walnut, apple, pear, cherry) is approx. 600 m (but you go up to 700-800 m in the Canton of Ticino and in the best exposed areas of Valais and Grisons). The limit for cereals is 1200-1300 m (1500 m in the Canton of Ticino and Valais). The woods cover approx. one third of the territory. Deciduous species such as maples, beeches, and oaks are the prevalent essences up to approx. 1300 m. Above this limit there are coniferous forests (fir, pine and larch). The latter rise up to 1600-1700 m in the Alps and in the limestone Prealps, but can reach over 2000 m in the Engadine. Finally, before the snows and perennial glaciers, the alpine pastures extend. The presence of more temperate and humid microclimates near the lakes makes possible the presence of Mediterranean trees, plants and flowers such as magnolias and almond trees. At the highest altitudes, on the other hand, there is a purely alpine flora with the typical edelweiss, anemones and mosses. The alpine regions and woods are populated by chamois, red deer, roe deer, marmots, squirrels, badgers and foxes; there are numerous species of birds (several of which are at risk of extinction), including the eagle; trout and salmon live in Swiss rivers and streams. Switzerland and its residents are particularly attentive to issues of sustainable development and environmental issues. Swiss legislation has for some time been committed to the conservation of its biological heritage and its wooded, fauna and floral ecosystems. The policies of safeguarding and protecting ecosystems can be traced back to the establishment of the first game reserves in 1875 and the Engadine National Park in 1914. Also known as the Swiss National Park, it is one of the oldest protected areas in Europe. it was used as a model for setting up other parks. With this in mind, for example, eight sites have been designated, within the framework of the Ramsar Convention, on the protection of wetlands. These host biomes such as marshes, swamps and reserves for migratory water birds in which careful sustainability and environmental protection policies are applied. A biosphere reserve has also been established which is part of the UNESCO MAB program (Man and the Biosphere, man and the biosphere). Finally, nine sites have been declared biogenetic reserves by the Council of Europe. All this means that national parks, protected areas, special and natural reserves currently cover 28.6% of the country’s surface. The major environmental problems in Switzerland are the progressive deterioration of natural systems generated by urban expansion, tourist development and industrial activities. The main damage to the environment is that of the destruction of forests due to acid rain; the loss of biodiversity in river systems as a result of the construction of dams for hydroelectric plants; of nitrate pollution, chemical compounds and pesticides for agricultural use and air pollution caused mainly by increased road traffic. For these reasons, very strict standards have been adopted to measure vehicle emissions, bans have been imposed on the use of fuels with lead and CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), a national wastewater treatment program has been launched and investments have been made both in education and environmental communication. The quality of the air and water has significantly improved in recent years.
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Optimal travel time for the regions
In the following overview you can see the best travel time depending on the region (Switzerland).
|Place||Best travel time|
|Zurich||May, June, July, August and September|
|Geneva||June, July and August|
|Saint Moritz||every mon|
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Zurich (Switzerland)
|Daytime temperature||2 ° C||4 ° C||8 ° C||12 ° C||17 ° C||20 ° C||22 ° C||21 ° C||18 ° C||13 ° C||7 ° C||3 ° C|
|Night temperature||-3 ° C||-2 ° C||1 ° C||4 ° C||8 ° C||11 ° C||13 ° C||12 ° C||10 ° C||6 ° C||2 ° C||-1 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||69||70||70||89||105||125||118||135||94||69||82||75|
|Hours of sunshine||1||3||4||5||5||6||7||6||5||3||2||1|
The average annual temperature in Zurich is 8.5 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is July (17.6 ° C), coldest month of January with mean values of -0.6 ° C.
The annual precipitation is 1101 mm on 134 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. There is no rainy season, i.e. months with more than 175 mm of precipitation. In the months of January, February, March, April, November and December snowfall is possible.
As our climate table shows, July is the sunniest month with an average of 6.8 hours of sunshine per day. On average over the year the sun shines for 4.1 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
The following larger towns are nearby and have a similar climate: Winterthur and Basel.