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Travellers have long been lured by Switzerland’s picture-perfect landscape. It is a country as famed for its soaring snowy peaks, vast mountain lakes and cosmopolitan cities, as it is for its cuckoo clocks, cheese and chocolate.

Throughout Europe’s tumultuous history, landlocked Switzerland maintained political stability and has become one of the world’s wealthiest countries. A land of four languages, it is made up of 26 Cantons, each with its own culture and attractions.

Switzerland is best known for its natural beauty (the Swiss Alps make up 60 per cent of the land), but the cities are just as attractive as the countryside. Capital city Berne has a medieval street plan that has survived unchanged for five centuries, Geneva is known for its arts and culture, Zurrich combines urban buzz with a medieval old town, and Lausanne is a hilly town in a beautiful setting on Lake Geneva.

The most famous railway in the world, the Glacier Express journeys through untouched Alpine countryside, over roaring mountain streams and past towering walls of rock and Engelberg, the leading mountain resort in central Switzerland.

Embodying the storybook image of the Swiss and the legend of William Tell, Lake Lucerne is the most dramatically sited of all Switzerland’s lakes, fringed by impressive cliffs.