The Alps, which comprise an incredible amount of attractions, is one of the trendiest vacation spots in the world and certainly the most beloved in Europe. It welcomes approx. 120 million visitors each year and it’s not for nothing. Numerous mountains and mountain ranges, lakes, caves, waterfalls, glaciers, and even more - there is a lot to discover indeed. In this guide, we offer a region overview for you to spend your best alpine vacation.
As the mountain range takes an enormous area, the weather varies in different regions. For the northern part, the middle European climate is typical, whereas the Mediterranean dominates in the southern part.
The holiday period choice depends on the purpose of your trip. In case you want to go skiing or snowboarding, visit the Alps from December to February when the peaks are covered with snow. Nevertheless, it’s possible to practice winter sports in March and April at higher altitudes but it stands on the region. In winter, the average temperatures are between -1 and 4 °C daytime and -8 to -6 °C at night.
The ones who are attached to hiking should plan their trip for August or September. In this period, there is no snow and huts are generally open till mid-September. The temperature lies at 21 - 24 °C daytime and 9 - 12 °C at night.
If you strive to make a trip to German Alps, take Bavaria into account - the front runner for short holidaymakers. It’s also suggested to choose the Allgäu region as a perfect starting point for discovering the splendour of local nature. Hiking enthusiasts should visit the national park Berchtesgaden that offers 250 km spectacular hiking routes, occupies an area of 210 km2, and is the only German national park in the Alps. A special highlight of the park is lama trekking: you can involve in a walk through the forest paths, guided by lamas. It’s worth it to stay in a hut to plunge deeper into the rustic atmosphere.
The alpine lakes are also worth visiting, namely the Königssee, the Walchensee, and the Kochelsee with turquoise water and scenic surroundings of dense woods. In addition to the impressive hiking routes, you can enjoy camping facilities in this area.
The Breitachklamm, a delightful canyon, which is considered as the deepest rock canyon in Central Europe, and the magnificent Buchenegger waterfalls that flow into each other are the other points of attraction in Allgäu.
The Neuschwanstein castle is the darling of the public in the German Alps. There are barely people that have no idea about this Disney fairytale castle with the dreamlike mountain backdrop. If you are going to spend a vacation in Allgäu, you should certainly draw your attention to this attraction.
The Austrian Alps are also rich in fascinating lakes. The Plansee, the Achensee, and the Heiterwanger See, which are located in Tirol, as well as the Attersee in the upper Austrian Salzkammergut, are here to explore. It’s highly recommended to go kayaking or boating here.
In case you want to enjoy the splash of falling water, head to the Krimmler waterfalls that are considered as one of the highest waterfall cascades in Europe.
The highest mountain, the Grossglockner, and the Pasterze - the largest Austrian glacier that lies at the foothill are a pleasure indeed.
The Großglockner Hochalpenstraße guarantees lots of fun both for hiking enthusiasts and families with kids and for motorcyclists. It’s a great alpine street that is equipped with themed playgrounds, hiking routes, info points, and an excellent road surface.
The ones who are looking forward to a relaxed and calm atmosphere with a scenic mountain backdrop right on the Hallstätter lake should certainly take into account the Hallstatt. It is a town with merely 754 inhabitants in the Salzkammergut. Narrow cobblestone streets, dreamlike houses with blooming balconies, fascinating mountains panorama - this village will grow on you indeed.
Adventure seekers can find lots of fun and thrill on the Holzgau suspension bridge that is located in Holzgau in Lechtal and which length is 200,5 m. Besides, you can admire the Simms waterfall nearby which also guarantees unforgettable memories.
The resort Grindelwald is the most popular area in the Swiss Alps that perfectly suits both for winter sports and hiking. The most well-known and even cultic mountain is the Matterhorn which is famous for its ideal pyramid shape. If you are planning a trip to the Matterhorn, it’s recommended to stay in the spectacular village Zermatt.
The peak Jungfrau is known not only due to its impressive landscapes and glacier tunnels but also since the Jungfrau railway is regarded as the highest railway in Europe.
The lake Blausee, which is located in the Bernese Oberland, fascinates visitors with its crystal clear water and a distinctive feature, namely the sculpture of a maiden who committed suicide because of her lover’s death.
To explore idyllic landscapes, deep woods, and turquoise lakes - the Brienzersee and the Thunersee, pay attention to the Interlaken. Not only the surroundings but also the town itself has lots to discover: charming, history-charged alleys and buildings guarantee a dreamlike stroll.
For vacationers, who are going to visit the French Alps, it’s advisable to pay attention to Lyon. The particularity of the city lies in its location between two slopes, Fourvière and Croix-Rousse, and two rivers, Rhône and Saône. The attraction point is surely the Old town with magnificent buildings of Renaissance architecture.
The highest point both in the Alps and Europe, Mont Blanc (4 810 m), is located exactly in France.
The town Chamonix, a popular resort, lies in the foothills. On-site, you can find a cable car that will bring you to the Aiguille du Midi with a breathtaking view of the town and the Pointe Helbronner.
The rocky mountains in the Italian Dolomites - the Saslonch, Seceda, and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo seem to be a setting for the movie “Lord of the Rings”. The cliffs draw climbers, whereas emerald green meadows and pristine nature of the region are the most significant attractions for hiking lovers.
Although alpine cuisine is marked by regional diversity, it’s still possible to specify that such rural food as dairy products, different types of grain and dough, as well as smoked meat, are typical for the area.
You should certainly try these dishes in the Alps:
● Käsespätzle (noodles with cheese and onions)
● Goulash with dumplings (meat with spices and thick sauce)
● Cheese fondue (bread with melted cheese)
● Kaiserschmarrn (a pancake batter divided into small pieces with currants, raisins, and applesauce)
● Tartiflette (potato stew with Reblochon (cheese), bacon, onion, and crême fraiche)
● Älplermakaroni (pasta with onions, bacon, and potatoes)
● Wiener Schnitzel (a chop served with french fries)
● Tiroler Gröstl (potatoes with butter, meat, onions, fried egg, and mushrooms)
● Raclette (potatoes with melted cheese, served with pickles, and pickled onions)
● Croûte (a thick slice of bread with cheese)
● Capuns (spaetzle dough dish with dried beef, wrapped in a chard leaf and served with milk sauce)
To reach your destination, it is recommended to use the train connections of DB (Germany), ÖBB (Austria), SBB (Switzerland), SNCF (France), or Trenitalia.
A lot of bus companies offer long-distance bus routes to the Alps, for example, you can book tickets by FlixBus.
Regardless of whether you are planning a winter or summer vacation, want to go to Italy or Germany - as the Alpine region has the most developed tourism infrastructure in all of Europe, you can find a variety of accommodations there. A hut or a luxury hotel - you can make your own decision based on your taste.
● If you want to explore the authentic rural atmosphere, look out for the Ski Hut 39 by Alpen Apartments in Austria, which has mini-golf facilities, a sauna, sun terrace, and jacuzzi.
● Travelers in Germany who want to benefit from the luxury services choose the 5-star Hotel Residenz Heinz Winkler, which offers a bar, steam bath, bike rental, indoor pool, high-quality restaurant, spa, and wellness center.
● If you would like to spend your vacation in the Italian Dolomites, you can reserve a room at the Romantik Hotel Turm. The hotel offers guests such amenities as a spa, fitness center, outdoor swimming pool and sauna, horse riding facilities, bar, and library.
● To enjoy such amenities as ski storage, sauna, library, parking, consider the Chalet Edelweiss in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France.
Explore the majestic Alps with HotelFriend - book a room at fair prices!