The European Alps are not the largest chain of mountains in the world, nor are they the highest, but they possess a unique charm and history that speak to the imagination of locals and visitors alike. The daunting peaks, impressive slopes and picturesque villages have lured visitors to the Alps for centuries, and today the Alps are still a firm favourite for active outdoor enthusiasts and casual visitors. Stretching from France in the west, crossing over Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Italy to Austria and Slovenia in the east, the Alps are home to some of the most famous peaks in the world including the Matterhorn and the Mont Blanc, impressive glaciers, dramatic valleys and countless villages and towns. The Alps are hugely popular as a ski destination in the winter and a magnet for hikers, bikers and wellness enthusiasts in the warmer months. On a recent flight from Amsterdam to Rome, the flight path took us over the eastern section of the Alps, from Stuttgart in Germany to Innsbruck in Austria and Bolzano (Bozen) in Italy. The views of the Alps from 10,000m (or 33,000ft) were simply spectacular.
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