Geography – Facts and Figures

Switzerland has three main geographic regions: the Alps, covering around 60% of the country’s total surface area, the Swiss Plateau (30%) and the Jura (10%).

Map of Switzerland
Map of Switzerland © swisstopo

  • Switzerland covers a total surface area of 41,285 km2.
  • The Alps, the Plateau and the Jura are Switzerland’s three main geographic regions.
  • Switzerland measures 220 kilometres from north to south and 348 kilometres from west to east.
  • Switzerland shares its 1,882 km-long borders with five countries: Italy, France, Germany, Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein.
  • Standing 4,634 metres (15,000 feet) above sea level, Dufour Peak, part of the Monte Rosa massif, is the highest summit in Switzerland.
  • With an altitude of 193 metres, Lake Maggiore is the lowest point in Switzerland.
  • Standing at an altitude of 2,126 metres, Juf, in the canton of Graubünden, is Switzerland’s highest village.
  • Of Switzerland’s surface area, 7.5% is used for settlements and urban areas, trade, industry and transport, energy supply and waste disposal or recreational areas and parks, while agricultural land occupies 35.9% and forests and woodlands 31.3%.
  • Many new forest areas have spread out over abandoned mountain farms.
  • Glaciers cover roughly 1,140 km2 of Switzerland’s surface area. Between 1985 and 2009, Swiss glaciers receded by more than 390 km2.
  • Approximately 20% of the Alps are in Switzerland.
  • The headwaters of four of Switzerland’s main rivers – Rhine, Rhone, Reuss and Ticino – are in the Gotthard massif.
  • Switzerland has around 1,500 lakes.

Additional information