French Alps

The Alps are a mountain range spanning several countries: Italy, France, Monaco, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany and Slovenia. The French Alps boast 24 peaks over 4,000 metres of altitude. The highest point is located in the Mont Blanc, France, with 4,810 metres.

The word “Alps” means “world of the heights” in an ancient celtic dialect, there is a strong religious meaning in this name. In other languages, “alp” also means “elevated”.

In 2001, the number of inhabitants in the whole Alps was of about 12,295,000, the two largest towns being Grenoble and Innsbruck. The length of the Alps is of about 1,000 kms, their width is around 400 kms.

The Alps are nowadays protected by an agreement signed in the 90’s by the 8 countries that the Alps span. Indeed, they are an ideal place for many animals and plants. Below is a list of animals, plants and trees that can be seen in the Alps.

Trees: Beech trees, conifers and deciduous trees.

Flowers and Plants: Mountain pine, rusty-leaved alpenrose, edelweiss, stemless gentian, alpine dwarf orchid, alpine pasque-flower, alpine rock-jasmine and glacier buttercup.

Animals: Brown bear, lynx, wild cat, wolf, red deer, fallow deer, roebuck, chamois, ibex, bouquetin, marmot, snow-vole and shrew. Apollo butterfly, salamander, accentor, chough, capercaillie, golden eagle, ptarmigan, tengmalm's owl and mountain hare.

The Alps are also obviously a must if you fancy skiing. Amongst the best French ski resorts in the Alps are Megève and Chamonix in Haute-Savoie, Avoriaz in Rhone-Alpes, Bourg Saint Maurice in Savoie and L’Alpe d'Huez in Isère.


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