Switzerland is a land-locked country in central Europe, covering 41,000 sq. kms. 60% of the land surface is mountainous, stretching east-west. A central plateau occupies a further 30%. The bulk of the population lives in the central plateau area.

The climate is transitional and varies according to altitude and continental influences. The temperature decreases as the altitude increases. Temperatures in Bern vary from -1°C in January to 18°C in July.