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IN PICTURES: Ten Swiss-inspired places from across the globe

Hundreds of regions, towns and landscapes across the globe bear the name ‘Switzerland’ in some way. Here are some of the prettiest.

Saxon Switzerland, in eastern Germany
Perhaps the most famous region named after Switzerland, Germany's Saxon Switzerland. By Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw.de - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27758134

Switzerland’s beautiful villages and landscapes – along with a worldwide diaspora – has meant the name ‘Switzerland’ touches several continents. 

Some say there are more Swiss-inspired locations across the globe than from any other country, although this is impossible to determine. 

From neighbouring Germany to as far away as Asia, South America and Australia, Switzerland’s influence can be seen. 

As German magazine Welt reported, the late 1800s was a period of ‘Switzerland hype’, whereby places were given the name Switzerland or Swiss in far flung areas. 

During this time, European colonisation as well as Switzerland becoming the favourite holiday destination for the wealthy meant that Switzerlands sprung up all over the world. 

Germany alone has more than 130 areas named after or inspired by Switzerland, with almost every region in the country having its own little piece of Switzerland. 

Saxon Switzerland (Sächsische Schweiz), Germany

Perhaps Germany’s most famous ‘Switzerland’, the Sächsische Schweiz – Saxon Switzerland – is a region of the eastern state of Saxony on the border with the Czech Republic. 

The region’s sandstone mountains, which produce several unique and striking rock shapes, give the region its name. 

Perhaps the most famous image in the region is the Bastei bridge, a sandstone viewing platform which is one of Germany’s most iconic images. 

Morne Vert, Martinique

While the Caribbean climate does not reflect that of Switzerland, the landscapes in the region of Morne Vert, in Martinique have given it the nickname ‘Little Switzerland’.

Martinique, a French overseas department, also shares the French language with Switzerland. 

Little Switzerland, North Carolina

The town of Little Switzerland in the US state of North Carolina was christened as such in 1910 as a reference to the mountains which surround it. 

Rwanda

The African nation of Rwanda has also earned the nickname ‘Little Switzerland’, due to its lush foliage and mountainous landscapes. 

In recent years, the country’s stability and economic growth – as well as its pull as a tourist destination – has seen it receive the moniker for a range of non-aesthetic reasons. 

The pictures do resemble Switzerland, although as the home to many gorillas, it’s best to ask locals about the best place to hike. 

Anholter Schweiz/Anholter Switzerland

On the Dutch-German border is Anholter Switzerland, a landscape and wildlife park based around a Swiss-esque rock formation. 

The current park, which was built in 1892, features a homage to Switzerland including a replica Lake Lucerne and a wooden Swiss house. 

Anholter Switzerland, on the border between Holland and Australia. Von Frank Vincentz - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8942658

Anholter Switzerland, on the border between Holland and Australia. Von Frank Vincentz – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, Mongolia

The Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is one of Mongolia’s best known national parks – and is also known by the name Mongolian Switzerland. 

While some of the rock formations and foliage represents what you might see in Switzerland, the ever present yurts are a dead giveaway that you are not in Switzerland anymore, Dorothy. 

Turtle Rock in Mongolia - part of Little Switzerland

Switzerland’s influence can be seen as far away as Mongolia. Turtle Rock. By Arabsalam – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0. 

Asturias, Spain

The autonomous Spanish region of Asturias is also called Little Switzerland – and it is not difficult to determine why. 

Bohemian Switzerland, Czech Republic 

While this might be geographically linked with neighbouring Saxony, Bohemian Switzerland has a range of special mountainesque features which resemble Swiss landscapes. 

The Pravčická Archway, otherwise known as the Pravčická Gate or the Prebischtor, is a natural sandstone arch which has been featured in films and was so popular among tourists that it needed to be closed due to fear of erosion. 

Montville, Australia

The town of Montville, located above Brisbane in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, is known as Little Switzerland thanks to its mountainous landscapes and traditional wooden homes and shops. 

Montville, in Queensland, Australia, has been nicknamed Little Switzerland

The traditional wooden homes and buildings in Montville, Queensland, have been nicknamed Little Switzerland. By S. Newrick – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0. 

Drakensberg, South Africa/Lesotho

The Drakensberg is the eastern part of the Great Escarpment in Southern Africa, crossing through both South Africa and Lesotho. 

Due to European settlement, the region became known as Little Switzerland. 

The southern African region of Drakensberg

Drakensberg, in the southern African nations of South Africa and Lesotho. By Diriye Amey from Locarno, Switzerland – South Africa – Drakensberg, CC BY 2.0,

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TRAVEL NEWS

‘Arrive early’: Passengers at European airports warned of travel disruption

Europe's airports chief told passengers to leave time for delays this summer as the air travel industry struggles to meet surging demand after the pandemic.

'Arrive early': Passengers at European airports warned of travel disruption

“The clear conjunction of a much quicker recovery with a very tight labour market is creating a lot of problems,” Olivier Jankovec, head of the Europe branch of the Airports Council International (ACI), told AFP.

He said there were issues from airports to airlines, ground handlers, police and border controls, but insisted: “The system still works”.

READ ALSO: Budget airline passengers in Europe face travel headaches as more strikes called

“It’s important for passengers that they communicate with the airlines in terms of when they should get to the airport, and prepare to come earlier than usual to make sure to have the time to go through, especially if they have to check luggage,” he said.

Strikes by low-cost pilots and cabin crew across Europe – including this weekend – are adding to the disruption.

Speaking at the ACI Europe annual congress in Rome, Jankovec said airports had taken measures to improve the situation, which would come into effect from mid-July.

“Additional staff will be coming in July, the reconfiguration of some of the facilities and infrastructure to facilitate the flows will also come into effect in July,” he said.

“I think it will be tight, there will be some disruptions, there will be longer waiting times.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

“But I think that in the vast majority of airports, the traffic will go, people will not miss their planes, and hopefully everybody will be able to reach their destination as planned.”

He also defended increases in airport charges, after criticism from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents airlines.

Airports face “the same difficulties and inflationary pressures” as airlines, which he noted were putting their fares up, he said.

“Staff and energy is 45 percent of our operating costs, and of course inflation is also driving up the cost of materials,” he said.

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