When a specific mountain range of the world gets an influx of tourists to the tune of almost 120 million per year, it can be deservedly given the tag of being the most beautiful mountain range of the world. And when we get to see the picturesque places all along; right through the valleys and lakes to the snow-capped peaks, we can only be amazed by its true beauty, which by the way is impossible to be expressed in words. But you would know what we truly mean when we say that the Alpine region is the best place to go if you want to know how beautifully nature has bestowed us with its best of creations through everything that makes the Alps what they are.
We can literally go on and on saying how mind-blowing the Alps, but let’s cut the chase here and start by telling you some of the most interesting facts about the Alps, some of which you may not know.
1. Alps are the youngest mountains of Europe
The mountain range started to form when the African and the Eurasian tectonic plates collided some 65 million years ago. I know, this number is also huge but if we take into consideration the fact that one of the oldest mountain ranges of Europe, the Świętokrzyskie mountain range is more than 300 million years old, then you would find that actually the Alps are quite young and maybe that’s why so refreshing as well!
2. Divides the continent into two major regions
The mountains run through eight countries of Europe- France, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Monaco. In being spread to all these areas, the mountain range is considered to be generally dividing the continent into the marine west coast climates and the Mediterranean regions of Italy, France and the Balkan.
3. The best of ‘four-thousanders’
Many of the highest peaks of the Alpine region raise to the level of 4,000 meters and above. Around a hundred of them are there, and so they are popularly known as the “Four-thousanders.” The highest peak, Mont Blanc is also in this range of height, reaching around 4,810 meters. Other important peaks of the mountain range are Weisshorn, Dufourspitze, Matterhorn and the Finsteraarhorn.
4. Huge variety of flora and fauna
When a mountain range spans around 207,000 square kilometers in area, it is quite justifiable that it has a large variety of vegetation and animal species to beautify the area even more. Coming to the numbers, the Alps has around 30,000 species of wildlife and 13,000 species of flora.
5. The snow cover
The best pictures of the Alps that you may have seen anywhere have the white cover of snow in them. This is because areas which are over 2750 meters above the sea level have a sort of a permanent blanket of snow. The entire range has many glaciers as well and through these, almost 90% of the lowland Europe, gets its share of water.
6. People in the Alps
When it comes to people to whom the mountains are their home, then we can say that almost 14 million people live in this region. Most of the villages of the area still lead a traditional life and are engaged in the cultural activities of the Alpine region, such as cheese-making, farming and woodworking. The focus of the entire region, in general, has shifted to tourism in recent decades which has resulted in almost 120 million visitors coming here every year. It is now, one of the most important tourist destinations of Europe and tourists especially flock here in the winters when they enjoy the adventure of winter sports along with viewing and appreciating the beauty of the region.
7. Prone to avalanches
Even if we may not have wanted to talk about something negative here when we are gushing about the beauty of the place, we feel it’s our duty as a responsible website talking about places of the world that we warn our readers well in advance, just in case. The area is actually prone to avalanches and the danger increases from late November till early June. Although
8. Sports throughout the year
If after reading the last point, you are feeling low, then we have good news for you. The Alps hosts adventure sports all year round depending on the season. When you reach the region in the winters, you can enjoy the winter sports like snowboarding, snowshoeing, skiing and tobogganing from December till April. And if you plan to go during or after spring, you can enjoy the summer sports like mountain biking, mountaineering, hiking and paragliding. So, basically, you can have loads of fun any time you go.
9. The first Winter Olympics
The Alps saw the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924, when they were held in Chamonix, which is situated at the foot of the highest peak, Mont Blanc. The event was held from 25th January to 5th February and athletes from 16 nations competed in the games. Germany was banned from participating in the games.
10. The Capital
The Grenoble city in France, which has a population of around 500,000 people is popularly known as the “Capital Of the Alps.” It is situated at the foot of the French Alps and is the largest city of the mountain range, hence the branding as the Capital.
Now that you know more about this awesome creation of nature, we hope you enjoy more when you actually head to the region. And if you already have been there, we would like to know your views and experiences as well if you wish to share with us and the world.
Feature Image Source: Pxhere
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