Let's explore the Alps
What are the Alps?
The Alps are a large mountain range in the middle of Europe. They are spread over eight countries:
The Alps formed when two large tectonic plates slowly collided, pushing up the ground over tens of millions of years, creating some of the highest peaks in Europe. The highest mountain in the Alps is Mont Blanc.
What is it like in the Alps?
The weather in the Alps is affected by different temperatures of air coming from the north, west and south. These conditions create five different types of climate, depending on height - the higher up the mountains, the colder it gets.
The tops of the mountains are covered in snow and glaciers. Different types of animals and plants live in the different climate zones and some are not found anywhere else in the world.
Many rivers have their source in the Alps. Melting snow and ice in spring and summer supply water to the rivers and lakes at the foot of the mountains. Dams have also been built to hold this water in order to create hydroelectric power for nearby towns and cities.
Tourism is the main industry in the Alps. Around 30 million people visit the Alps each year, enjoying activities such as:
- skiing and snowboarding
- trail running
- mountain biking