If you’ve ever been mountaineering in Europe before, there is a good chance you may have come across the Alps! This huge mountain range covers a vast array of land and proves to be truly breathtaking to traverse.
Here are some fun facts about the Alps to help whet your appetite for a trek.
1. The Alps go on and on and on…
The Alps stretch for around 1,200km, or 750 miles in total – that’s a lot of ground to cover!
2. It’s a moon-shaped mountain range.
You’ll find that the Alps arc in an interesting shape, rather like a croissant – how continental!
3. You can visit eight different countries in the Alpine region.
4. How tall do the Alps actually get?
The absolute highest point in the Alps is a mountain you may have heard of – Mont Blanc, which means ‘White Mountain’ or ‘White Peak’. It’s around 4,810 metres tall, or 15,782 feet up!
5. They are just as popular with tourists in summer as they are in winter.
The Alps are very well-known for winter sports, however, many people visit the mountains during the milder months as they are truly stunning all year round.
6. Better get training for these treks!
The average height of the mountains you can see across the Alps is around 2.5km, or an equivalent of 1.6 miles.
7. There’s gold in them hills!
It’s thought that the Romans used to mine for gold here – and there were once rich copper mines across the Alps, too!
8. The Alps are always glistening white.
The Alps are permanently covered in snow, and are coated in glaciers.
9. Ever heard of Alpine skiing?
The Alps cover what is referred to as the Alpine region – it’s even given its name to a type of skiing!
10. It’s rich in flora and fauna alike.
It’s thought that the Alpine stretch may play host to more than 13,000 different varieties of plant! Not only that, but 30,000 different animal species live across the region, too.
11. Millions of people live happily in the Alps.
The Alps are home to more than 14 million people – chilly living, but what a view from your doorstep!
12. Tourism is truly colossal here.
There are many more people who visit the Alps from afar, too. There’s more than 120 million people who jet out to see the mountains each and every year!
13. The mountains help keep people hydrated.
Many, many people rely on the Alps for water delivery. Those living in Europe’s lowlands will often receive 90% of their H2O directly from the mountains.
14. Ancient humanity seems to have roots here.
It’s thought that people have been living in and exploring the Alps for tens of thousands of years. There’s evidence that Paleolithic people settled in the region up to 60,000 years ago!
15. Watch out for avalanches!
Avalanches can be seriously deadly for anyone staying in or traveling across the Alps. In fact, you’re most likely to see avalanches sometime between November one year, and June the next. So – if you really want to stay safe, travel during the summer!
16. Alpine exports are worth a sniff!
The Alpine area makes exports all kinds of wonderful items and curiosities. Did you know that Alpine cheesemaking is enormously popular? Give it a try!
FAQs about The Alps
Which country has the best Alps for skiing?
There is definitely some debate here. Many skiers will tell you, however, that Switzerland has the best slopes and pistes cross-continent.
Can you see bears in the Alps?
Yes, you may see brown bears living in the Alps, however, they are rare. Many have left the region for other climes.
Why are some areas of the Alps treeless?
Oddly, there are stretches in the Alps that have no trees whatsoever, and this is largely due to direct sunlight and drying of the soil. However, there are plenty of forests across the Alps elsewhere.
Do you know any fun facts about the Alps? Share them in the comments below!
Are you fascinated with mountain ranges? Check out these facts about the Rocky Mountains…