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Five things you didn't know about Switzerland

17th August 2011 Print

Switzerland is known more for its yodelling and cheese fondues, but there is more than meets the eye to this picturesque alpine country. Here are five facts about Switzerland you may not have come across before:
1. The Swiss are the world's largest consumers of chocolate and Switzerland has the highest per capita rate of chocolate consumption worldwide. Chocolate has been made in Switzerland since the 18th century
2. Switzerland has four official languages: French, German, Italian and the lesser known Romansh- a Romance language spoken locally only in Graubünden in eastern Switzerland

3. The bobsleigh was invented in Switzerland in the 19th century. The various types of prototypes came several years before the first tracks were built in St. Moritz, where the original bobsleighs were adapted upsized luge/skeleton sleds designed by the adventurously wealthy to carry passengers

4. The most popular drink in Switzerland is wine. Perhaps surprisingly, Switzerland is prominent for the variety of grapes grown because of the large variations in types of land, with their specific mixes of soil, air, altitude and light. Swiss wine is produced mainly in Valais, Vaud (Lavaux), Geneva and Ticino. Vineyards have been cultivated in Switzerland since the Roman era

5. Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons, or member states, which each have their own constitution, legislature, government and courts. The most recently created canton is the Canton of Jura, which separated from the Canton of Bern in 1979

Neilson Holidays have an unrivalled team of experts on hand to help tailor your experience to Switzerland’s snow sure ski resorts, spectacular scenery & picturesque villages. With quality service and unbeatable hospitality it’s easy to see why visiting Switzerland with Neilson is an easy choice! Neilson’s Switzerland ski holidays offer complete flexibility to tailor your holiday exactly to meet your needs:

Daily flights from 17 UK airports with scheduled & low cost airlines

Flexible durations & itineraries tailored to you - ski weekends, short breaks, longer stays & twin centres

Getting to resort – we offer rail transfers from Swiss airports to your chosen resort and onward taxi transfers to hotel. Many visitors regard the Swiss rail network’s efficient journeys through spectacular scenery as a great part of the holiday. Alternatively, we offer private taxi transfers from airport to hotel, car hire or choose to make your own way.

City stays - enjoy a stopover in Geneva or Zurich en route to your resort, particularly popular in December for visiting the Christmas markets

Luggage transfers - if you prefer to travel luggage-free, we offer a unique fly-rail luggage service. Check in your bags at your UK airport and we ensure it’s delivered to your hotel (normally the day after arrival)

Assistance 24/7 – with everything organized for your arrival by us you have nothing to take care of. However it’s reassuring to know our Switzerland-based representative is available on the phone 24/7 for any assistance you need, and in the case of an emergency, can reach you easily

Visit Interlaken this coming February and enjoy the dramatic scenery of snow-clad Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains: 7 nights at 3* B&B Hotel Beausite in February 2012 costs from £519pp including flights and rail transfer.

Take a step back to simpler times in Wengen. This picturesque, car-free resort can only be reached by cog railway. Great for intermediate skiers, and plenty of non-ski activities available from ice skating to snow shoe walking: Spend 5 nights at family owned 3* Hotel Falken this January from £665pp inc flights, rail transfer and half-board accomodation

For further information and bookings, visit