Switzerland may not be a large country—it’s about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined—but within its jagged borders are over 1,500 lakes, 62,000km (38,500 miles) of hiking trails, nearly 5,000 cable cars and mountain lifts, climates ranging from Mediterranean sun to Arctic permafrost, and a multitude of fascinating cultures with four languages spoken between them. Where to start? Right here. We’ve done the legwork so you won’t have to, traversing every canton to discover the best ski resorts, the prettiest hiking trails, the most atmospheric alpine inns and luxurious city palaces, and the cheesiest fondue. Read on for the highlights, and then delve into the rest of the guide to get the full scoop.