Skiing aside, there are numerous reasons to visit the Alps – not least, which is without doubt one of the most picturesque environments on earth.
As this impressive portfolio of photos shows.
Our collection will transport you through the highest and most extensive mountain system that exists entirely in Europe. One that spans approximately 750 miles in eight countries: France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany and Slovenia.
Below you can contemplate a fascinating scene from its highest point, Mont Blanc, which stands at 15,781 feet above sea level; the 14,692-foot Matterhorn on the Swiss-Italian border; the Austrian city of Innsbruck, which has one of the most impressive runways in the world, and the perfect postcard city of Lech, full of five-star hotels.
We also have a jaw-dropping image of one of the most extreme roads in the world.
Scroll down and it will quickly become clear why about 120 million visitors descend in the region throughout the year …
Sunrise at the Matterhorn, which is reflected in Riffelsee lake in Zermatt, Switzerland. The Matterhorn is 14,692 feet tall
Hallstatt village on the shores of Lake Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut region of Austria is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Val d 'Isere in France is one of the most popular and glamorous resorts in the Alps. Skiers are drawn to 186 kilometers of slopes, jaw-dropping off-piste action – and more boutique shops than you can shake a glass of Krug champagne at.
The golden larches are dazzled against the snow on the shores of Lake Sils in Maloja, Engadin, in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.
Meribel is an extremely popular resort. This image shows a beautiful sunset over there – and one of its cable car systems dramatically disappearing into a thick wall of clouds.
The French Alps are the ideal destination for a whole host of leisure and outdoor activities – skiing, hiking, mountaineering, rafting, cannabis holing, mountain biking, thermal bathing and much more. The photo above was taken near Chambery
Aerial view of Julier Pass in St. Moritz, Switzerland, which connects the Engadin Valley with the rest of Graubünden
The Austrian city of Innsbruck really stands out in winter, when the Maria-Theresien-Strasse Christmas Market adds festive cheer to this slice of the Alpine region.
Bergün is a traditional village in the Albula region in the canton of Graubünden in western Switzerland.
The Gran Paradiso massif, seen here from Valsavaranche comune, is a mountain in the Graian Alps in Italy, located between the Aosta Valley and Piedmont regions.
The Madonna del Sasso Church above the town of Locarno on the shores of Lake Maggiore, Switzerland.
The Matterhorn, Findelbach Bridge and Glacier Express photographed at Gornergrat, near Zermatt, in the Pennine Swiss Alps
Aerial view of the Great Aletsch Glacier – the largest in the Alps – in the eastern Bernese Alps in the Swiss canton of Valais. It is 23 km (14 miles) long
The alpine town of Pontboset in the Aosta Valley in northwestern Italy, which has an attractive medieval bridge.
A curved bridge over Lake Sylvenstein in Bavaria, Germany, reflected in the water and framed by colorful fall foliage.
Royal families love Lech's exclusive resort in Austria, including those in the Netherlands and Jordan. Princess Diana was also a big fan. Among the alpine resorts you will find only a greater concentration of five star hotels in the Courchevel of France.
It's easy to see how the Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso in Piedmont, Italy, got its name. In summer the valley is covered with grass
Interlaken is a beautiful little town in the Bernese Oberland region of central Switzerland between the emerald waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
Bohinj Lake is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia. It is located in the Bohinj valley in the Julian Alps in the northwestern Upper Carniola region.
The Passo Stelvio (Passo dello Stelvio, Stilfser Joch) is a mountain pass in northern Italy at an elevation of 2,757 m (9,045 ft). It is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps and the second highest in the Alps.
Courmayeur is an alpine resort in northwestern Italy, at the foot of Mont Blanc. It is known for the SkyWay Monte Bianco cable car, offering views of peaks such as the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa.
A road sign with arrows for tourist hiking and biking trails on a road between the villages of Wengen and Lauterbrunnen in Bernese Oberland, Switzerland. Jungfrau mountain is visible in the background
Cirque du Fer-à-Cheval, located in Sixt, France, is a huge semicircle of dramatic peaks with many waterfalls, including the 295-foot-high Rouget Falls (photo)
Part of the Rhaetian Railway – pictured here by the Bernina Pass in Switzerland – has UNESCO World Heritage status. It is one of only three lines in the world to receive the honor.
The French Alpine village of Courchevel 1850, named for its altitude and known for its luxury hotels and Michelin star restaurants. Pictured is the airport, where private jets and helicopters make visitors richer
Panoramic view of Courchevel, a resort loved by Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge
Boats on the Swiss Lake Lucerne, in the village of Weggis, overlooking the Pilatus mountain and the Swiss Alps in the background.
Mont Blanc, France – Europe's highest mountain west of the Caucasus reaches Russia and Georgia. Mont Blanc's first successful successful climb – marking the beginning of modern mountaineering – was by Chamonix-born crystal hunters Jacques Balmat and Michel Gabriel Paccard, MD, on August 8, 1786. They completed the cordless feat. and without ice axes, overloaded with scientific equipment. Now over 30,000 people try to climb Mont Blanc every year.
As you approach Austria's Innsbruck airport, planes pass thrillingly near the mountains. Takeoff and landing are so complicated that only captains can be in control.
Fort Bard is a fortified complex built in the 19th century by the Savoyard House in a rocky prominence above Bard, a town and commune in the Aosta Valley region of northwestern Italy.
The stunning view above the city of Innsbruck. The cable car system you can see connects Innsbruck to Nordkette, Karwendel's southernmost mountain range
On a clear day, the view is magnificent from the lookout point of Interlaken, a traditional tourist town in the mountainous Bernese Oberland region of central Switzerland.
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