Walking in the Alps: Iconic peaks

  • 23 June 2004
  • UK

The Alps are without a doubt one of the greatest mountain ranges – the birthplace of mountaineering and mountain walking as we know it today. The Alps are necklaced with the world’s most comprehensive network of walking paths and mountain huts, allowing walkers the opportunity to explore every valley in any range.

Lonely Planet’s latest addition to its Walking series, Walking in the Alps, revels in the seemingly endless possibilities with detailed descriptions of 47 walks in the Austrian, French, German, Italian, Swiss and Slovenian Alps. Written by an author team of five passionate walkers, Walking in the Alps was written for both hardcore, expedition-style walkers attracted to the rewards offered by extended walks and challenging terrain, as well as holidaymakers looking to take a day out from their town base for a gentler foray into these spectacular mountains.

Whatever the activity, there are unexpected treats for all kinds of walkers:

“Beneath the soaring rock faces and impressive glaciers you’ll discover a world in minutiae, where profuse wild flower meadows begin to flourish before the winter snows have had a chance to melt away. Wildlife is also on the increase and you now stand a good chance of enjoying one of the great experiences of the Alps – seeing in the huge scimitar-like horns of a male ibex etched against a backdrop of ice and snow.” (P.17)

A highlight of Walking in the Alps is a special section devoted to the Walkers’ Haute Route is a 12-day classic walk from Chamonix in the shadow of mighty Mont Blanc, to Zermatt and the Matterhorn. It takes in some of the highest and most scenic country accessible to walkers in the Alps, from remote wilderness populated by marmots and ibex to lively mountain villages.

Size does matter! The mighty Alps are 1200km long, more than 200km wide at their broadest point and cover more than 207,000 sq km.

Walking guides are for those who believe the best way to see the world is on foot. Detailing everything from family strolls to difficult treks, these guides also include expert advice on when to go and how to do it, reliable maps and essential travel information.