The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range that is entirely in Europe, stretching approximately 1,200 km across eight Alpine countries: Monaco, France, Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria and Slovenia.
The altitude and size of the range affect the climate in Europe; in the mountains, precipitation levels vary greatly and climatic conditions consist of distinct zones. Wildlife such as ibex live in the higher peaks to elevations of 3,400 m (11,155 ft), and plants such as edelweiss grow in rocky areas in lower elevations as well as in higher elevations.
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The Winter Olympic Games have been hosted in the Swiss, French, Italian, Austrian and German Alps. As of 2010, the region is home to 14 million people and has 120 million annual visitors.
Here is a map of where the Alps are in the world. This mountain range is not as big as some of the other mountain ranges in our series, but a very important range because it does place itself into 6 countries.
The highest peaks of the Western Alps and Eastern Alps, respectively, are Mont Blanc, at 4,810 m (15,780 ft), and Piz Bernina, at 4,049 m (13,284 ft). The second-highest major peaks are Monte Rosa, at 4,634 m (15,203 ft), and Ortler, at 3,905 m (12,810 ft), respectively.
There are dozens of millions of tourists who visit the Alps every year, and this number is only growing over the years. Fantastic landscapes and fully-equipped ski stations are good reasons to go to the mountain range.
The Alps have become a photographers palet
Climbing has always been a dangerous sport, and the Alps are no exception. In fact, the famous Matterhorn is very deadly: since 1865, over 500 people have lost their lives trying to conquer its summit, whether that’s because of bad equipment or lack of experience.
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