Another one of those countries too easily defined by its clichés, Switzerland is so much more than the beautiful chocolate box lid it presents to the world.

If you’re looking for adventure, it’s here in spades. Up high in the mountains, where hiking, biking and skiing activities dominate by the seasons, down to Switzerland’s many lakes and rivers, you can easily sate your adrenalin rush. But, similarly, if you’re looking for urban culture, sophistication and history, the Swiss present a cavalcade of options to keep you occupied, from medieval villages and towns to some of the most innovative art and architecture in Western Europe.

Starting with activity, there’s so many different places to start, all very accessible to the average traveller. Whether it’s the Jungfrau (by train or on foot), encountering the sheer north face of the Eiger (most likely by train, but hey, it still feels pretty edgy) or taking on any of the multitude of Swiss mountains, the scenery is spectacular and the experience breathtaking. Hiking through Switzerland is more often a walk across the top of ranges rather than hiking up to them, so while a level of fitness is required, there’s no mandatory boot camp before you hit the trail.

And, when/if you tire of bucolic landscapes, it’s time to hit the towns. The sophistication of lake-fringed Geneva contrasts with the medieval splendour of Bern, Switzerland’s capital, while the much more compact Lucerne has given the world its beautiful Chapel Bridge that dominates the heart of town. Zurich is so much more than just financial enclaves & banks, and is now just as well known known for style and thriving riverside nightlife (as well as cliched clocks and chocolate!).

All around the country, it’s the collection of villages, castles and lakes that will leave you coming back to find more ways to eat your way around the country in cheese and chocolate…all washed down with any of the amazing beers brewed with the cleanest mountain water going round. And, with the option of conversing with the locals in any one of the four official languages of the country, what’s holding you back?

Image by Rastislav Sedlak SK, Shutterstock