Liechtenstein lies in the heart of Europe, in the upper Rhine Valley overlooked by the Swiss and Austrian Alps. It is the fourth smallest state in Europe being only 25 kilometres long as it borders Switzerland along the Rhine River, and approximately 6 kilometres wide, covering a total area of only 160 square kilometres!! It is however a popular tourist destination and winter ski resort with its rugged mountain scenery, rural landscape and quiet river aspect. Home to fairy-tale castles perched on majestic hills, quaint mountain villages, neat vineyards, great hiking and manicured ski slopes - Liechtenstein has one of the highest standards of living and the wealthiest Royal family in Europe!!
Vaduz is the capital of Liechtenstein and is home to an estimated 5000 inhabitants of the 35,000 that live in the country. The city is overlooked by the picturesque 12th century Schloss Vaduz, or Vaduz Castle, which is perched atop an adjacent, forested hill and is the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein, Prince Hans-Adam II. The country is roughly split into two geographical areas, namely the southern Oberland or highland area and the northern Unterland or lowland area which consists mainly of the Rhine Valley, both of which are covered in villages, small farms and cultivated fields, making this a picturesque rural country. The Grauspitz is the highest point at 2599 metres, although the ski fields of Malbun lie at only 1600 metres, the lowest point of the country is at Ruggeller Riet at 430 metres.
Liechtenstein has turned itself into one of the most attractive economic locations in Europe and a modern, progressive business hub through its innovation and development, changing from a traditional agricultural economy to an increasingly industrial economy. It has also become a world renowned tax haven offering low tax levels for registered businesses and private individuals, creating a large financial market which has assisted the country’s increased prosperity.
The smallest German speaking nation on earth, Liechtenstein offers Europe in a nutshell, a country where touring is the least tiring activity, cross country hiking is a realistic objective and sight seeing can almost be done from one spot!! An easy country to access via Zurich airport which is only an hour away, or via Innsbruck which is roughly two and a half hours away, the Swiss franc is the official currency (Euros are generally accepted), there is no border control with Switzerland, and the country is serviced by train and bus from its larger neighbours!! It’s all here waiting for you, so come and buy some unique stamps, enjoy the local wines, check out its famous rustic pottery, pocket a watch or maybe browse the jewelry shops – don’t forget to visit any tourist information centre and get your passport stamped as a keepsake!!