Take time and travel to Swiss cantons like Ticino, Valais, Grisons or Vaud
The state of Switzerland is today made up of 26 Swiss cantons. Until 1848, each canton was a sovereign entity, with its own currency and responsible for the defence of its borders. During the 16th century, the number was reduced to 13, each being – though technically a part of the Holy Roman Empire – practically independent. In the mid-19th century, Switzerland became what it is today; the cantons maintain a more or less pronounced sense of autonomy.
Ticino (Tessin) has 311,000 residents. It is the southernmost canton in the so-called “Italian Switzerland” region. The Monte Ceneri pass divides the canton in two. The northern part hosts the spectacular Lago Maggiore Lake, a popular tourist destination. The southern part also has a large lake, Lake Lugano. Ticino also offers beautiful hiking trails in summer and spectacular snowy peaks and excellent ski resorts in winter. The canton’s highest point is the Adula on 3,402 m (11,161 ft.)
The official languages in this canton are French and German. It is located in the south-western part of Switzerland around the Rhone River Valley, in the Pennine Alps. The Valais (German: Wallis) gets the most precipitation of all the cantons, partly due to its high peaks like the world-famous Matterhorn. This makes the Valais the home to some of the best ski resorts in the world, most notably Zermatt, a popular tourist village and great resort with views of the Matterhorn and other great peaks. Wine production is another great source of income for the locals. Many wineries offer tastings.
Grisons (German: Graubünden) is the largest Swiss canton and is located in the far east. The area is largely mountaineous with picturesque river valleys of the Rhine and Inn. The culinary aspect of Grisons is one of the main attractions, especially the dried beef called “Bündnerfleisch” and the honey pie “Bündner Nusstorte”. Grisons houses two of the world’s finest and most luxurious ski resorts, St. Moritz and Davos.
Vaud, with its capital Lausanne, is bordered by Lake Neuchatel in the north and Lake Geneva in the south. The Diablerets Glacier hosts several excellent skiing destinations such as Villars, Les Diablerets and Leysin. Lausanne, on the shores of Lake Geneva, is a former Olympic city and a cultural center in the region.