The Alps stretch 1200 kilometres from France to Slovenia and its thousands of fairy-tale, snow-capped peaks, huge glaciers, hidden valleys, high passes and the cultural diversity of its inhabitants, make it arguably Europe’s most outstanding trekking destination. As well as providing a spectacular back drop to many a trek, the peaks of the Alps also attract climbers and mountaineers. Mont Blanc (4810m) is the highest mountain in the Alps and is also the highest peak in Europe west of Russia.
Other famous summits include the Eiger and Matterhorn.
Tourism in the Alps first started in the mid19th century and today literally millions of people a year come to the mountains to enjoy all sorts of activities such as walking, climbing, snow sports, specialist pursuits like paragliding and whitewater rafting and some come just to look at the awesome views.
There’s a wide range of accommodation to choose from for your alpine holiday. On the mountain trails are a fantastic network of huts and refuges for those who like to stay remote. If you fancy a few more luxuries and a wider choice of post-trek eating and drinking options it’s best to base yourself in a mountain resort such as Chamonix where there are hotels of all comfort levels and numerous lively café, bars and restaurants.
With an excellent network of well-marked trails and great cable car and chair lift access to the high ridges, the Alps make a great holiday destination for walkers of all abilities. You can choose a centre-based holiday where you strike out from your base each day or go for a point-to-point walking route where your luggage is moved on between night stops by vehicle. Probably the Alps most famous point-to-point trek is the Tour du Mont Blanc, a circuit around the iconic mountain which most walkers take around ten days to complete, allowing for a couple of rest days.
Whatever you choose, the Alps won’t disappoint: a warm welcome, excellent food and wine, pure mountain air, and hiking through some of Europe’s most majestic landscapes – it’s an intoxicating mix that will no doubt see you return again and again.