Millions of British tourists head to Europe every year for mini breaks, and there are plenty of different countries with some beautiful sites to see. One thing that seems to fascinate many people is The Alps. The Alps, as you may already know, is the highest and most extensive mountain range in Europe. However, what you might not know is that there are actually plenty of interesting facts about this huge mountain range, too. Below, you will find some of the most interesting facts.
1. They Cover 8 Different Countries
When we think of a mountain range, usually we will think of one specific country and one specific peak. The Alps, however, is a little different. What many people don’t know about The Alps is that they actually cover 8 different countries in Europe. The countries that you will find The Alps mountain range in are Liechtenstein, Slovenia, France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Germany and Austria. If you are planning a skiing holiday in Europe then these locations are highly recommended.
2. There are Over 30,000 Species of Wildlife on The Alps
One thing that a lot of people seem to get confused over is thinking that there cannot possibly be much life on The Alps and other mountain ranges. Actually, this is not the case. There are a staggering 30,000+ species of wildlife on The Alps. Some of the wildlife that you might encounter include the brown bear, the ibex, the mountain hare and even snow fleas. Of course, you are unlikely to see these. If you are planning a European skiing holiday then you will likely be warned about the different wildlife in the area.
3. The Swiss Alps are Home to The Matterhorn
The Matterhorn is perhaps one of the most iconic peaks of The Alps. Located in Switzerland, this is probably the most recognisable part of the mountain range. If you are wondering where you have seen The Matterhorn before, then take a look at a bar of Toblerone. This Swiss chocolate uses the Matterhorn as part of their famous logo. If you look carefully, you will see that they have even included the famous brown bear as a hidden part of their logo.
4. Mont Blanc Was First Climbed in 1786
Thousands of people have climbed Mont Blanc which is the highest point of The Alps. However, it was first scaled by a French doctor by the name of Michel-Gabriel Paccard alongside his professional guide Jaques Balmat. This is a fairly well-known fact. What you might not know, however, is that the two men were actually temporarily blinded by the bright white of the snow on the peak. This is one of the reasons why it’s definitely a good idea to wear proper goggles when you are taking part in a skiing holiday!
5. The Alps is where Ötzi the Iceman was Discovered
Back in 1991, the mummified remains of a man were discovered on the Austrian-Italian border in The Alps. After the remains were extracted, the man was named Ötzi the Iceman and was estimated to be a staggering 5000 years old. He is actually the oldest natural mummy in Europe and can now be seen in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in South Tyrol, Italy. Alongside the mummified remains you can also see the belongings that he was discovered with which included a copper axe, a knife, a quiver with 14 bows along with berries, leaves, mushrooms and more. This is definitely an exhibit to see if you are a history fan.
As you can see, The Alps really is a fascinating mountain range and there are plenty of things that we still don’t know about it!