The Alps

The Alps is a great European mountain system that is stretching from the east (Austria, Slovenia) to the west of Europe (France). The system also includes Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein and Germany. Its name was taken from Latin Alpes. Currently, it has these names: Alpen (German), Alpes (French), Alpi (Italian) and Alpe (Slovenian).

Mont Blanc (4,808 meters) is the highest mountain and is in French Alps on the border between France and Italy.

The Alps are a perfect place for skiing, hiking, travel, ski vacations and holiday as there is obviously a lot of snow, not only during winter.


The Alps are divided into two main parts. The first one is the Western Alps and the second one is the Eastern Alps. The western part (located in Italy, Switzerland, and France) is higher but shorter and curved. The eastern part belongs to Germany, Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Slovenia. Also, we can divide them into countries. The main parts are French Alps, the Swiss Alps, and the Italian Alps.

The highest peaks are Mont Blanc (4,808 m), Dufourspitze (4,634 m), Dom (4,545 m) and Piz Bernina (4,052 m).


The climate in this region is also called alpine. That means it is a cold climate similar to what is in polar areas. Temperature is decreasing with a rise from a sea level to higher regions. There is also a mountain chain effect when winds carry warm air from lower regions to upper ones where its volume expands and losing some of the heat. There are very often snows and rains.


The landscape of Alps as we see it today was formed mostly by glaciation during the past 2 million years. Ice ages changed the region very much. During the last 10,000 years, glaciers have been retreating back to mountains.


The main trees in the Alps are oak, beech, sycamore maple, and ash. Above the forestry, there are often short pine trees.

Above that is an alpine meadow and higher is vegetation becoming more sparse. Also, these can be found in the Alps: mountain pine, rusty leaved alpenrose, Edelweiss, stemless gentian, alpine dwarf orchid, alpine pasque flower, alpine rock jasmine or glacier buttercup and more.


Species are mostly found in 15% of protected areas or parts of the French Alps, Swiss Alps, Italian or Austrian Alps. To mention just some of them: alpine apollo butterfly, salamander, capercaillie, golden eagle, chamois, alpine marmot, ptarmigan, mountain hare, tengmalm owl and more.