Quiet cousins to fast-paced, international Zürich, the eastern cantons often play the wallflower to more spectacular Alpine landscapes. Lush and hilly, with orchards, farms, and gardens, their northern edges are bordered by the romantic Rhine, now a swimming, biking, and kayaking paradise. Mt. Säntis (8,200 feet), beloved by hikers and skiers, stands guard at the east. The landscape is dotted with wildflower-strewn meadows, forest-capped hills, and hidden lakes that range from deep turquoise to icy blue. All are dwarfed by enormous Bodensee, also known as Lake Constance.
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