Swiss Alps, Geography

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Summary

The Alpine region of Switzerland, conventionally referred to as the Swiss Alps (, , , ), represents a major natural feature of the country and is, alongside with the Swiss Plateau and the Swiss portion of the Jura Mountains, one of its three main physiographic regions. The Swiss Alps extend over both the Western Alps and the Eastern Alps, encompassing an area sometimes called Central Alps. While the northern ranges from the Bernese Alps to the Appenzell Alps are entirely in Switzerland, the southern ranges from the Mont Blanc massif to the Bernina massif are shared with other countries such as France, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein.

Details

The Alps cover 65% of Switzerland's surface area (41,285 km²), making it one of the most alpine countries. Despite the fact that Switzerland covers only 14% of the Alps total area (192,753 km²), many alpine four-thousanders (48 of 82) are located in the Swiss Alps and practically all of the remaining few are within 20 km of the country's border.

The glaciers of the Swiss Alps cover an area of 1220 km² (3% of the Swiss territory), representing 44% of the total glaciated area in the Alps (2800 km²).

The Swiss Alps are situated south of the Swiss Plateau and north of the national border. The limit between the Alps and the plateau runs from Vevey on the shores of Lake Geneva to Rorschach on the shores of Lake Constance, passing close to the cities of Thun and Lucerne.

The Alpine cantons (from highest to lowest) are Valais, Bern, Graubünden, Uri, Glarus, Ticino, St. Gallen, Vaud, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Schwyz, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Fribourg, Lucerne and Zug. The countries with which Switzerland shares mountain ranges of the Alps are (from west to east): France, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein.

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External Links

  • WikipediaGeneral timetable of all public transportMySwitzerland.comSuisseMobile.comScenic PostBus lines in the Swiss AlpsMySwissAlps.comWalkingSwitzerland.com

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