The Alps Mountains Range is the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Mont Blanc (4810 meters), Dufourspitze (4634 meters) and the world famous Matterhorn (4478 meters) are official and well known alpine four-thousanders.
Many areas of the Alps are covered by eternal snow and ice. The largest glaciers are located in the Valais and Bernese Alps of Switzerland. The Aletsch Glacier with its 23 kilometers length and 900 meters depth is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and Liechtenstein are often referred to as the alpine countries because much their territories are geographically and culturally dominated by the Alps Mountains Range. The regional provinces of Bavaria (Germany) and South Tyrol (Italy) also offer a distinctly Alpine flair.
Interesting Things to do in Alps Mountains Range
Tourism (and the economy in general) is very much geared towards Skiing, snowboarding, and other Winter sports throughout most of the Alps. In ski resorts, despite a new focus on summer time activities such as hiking or golf, some of the hotels and other facilities may close.
This increase in summer time sports such as mountain biking, golf, parapenting, or whitewater kayaking is now fueling the growth of the Alps as a year round tourist destination. The Alps have always been popular as a mountaineering and hiking destination, but clearly, this is nowhere near as lucrative for the locals as the tourist invasion during the winter season is.
The best things to do in the Alps will vary from region to region, but in general mountain, sports would be the thing to do!
In general, the hiking and skiing seasons don’t overlap by much. In April-September, you can hike all but the highest places, but there won’t be snow anywhere but Zermatt. In December-February, skiing can be found everywhere but winter trails will need to be specially cleared by the resorts. The shoulder seasons are the worst time to go– most of the resorts close, and there’s not enough snow for winter sports, but too much for safe walking.