In addition to its wealth of cultural sights, the European Alps offer a wider range of outdoor recreation than any other similarly sized region in the world. Adventurers of all ages hike hut-to-hut on multi-day treks, skiers slide year-round on glacial slopes, and Sunday walkers stroll forested trails. Bikers loop icy blue lakes, and mountaineers scale up waterfalls and down canyon cliffs. Europeans cherish their wilderness areas, and none more so than the pristine forests of the Alps. Modern adventurers run the gamut from rich to poor, young to old, and native to transient foreigner. So take a look around. That bus driver. . . This tour guide. . . Your hotel concierge. . . They may just be showing you the Europe they think you want to see. Take a moment to ask how they spend their own free time - odds are that each will spend a day outdoors this weekend. Want to know where they go? Soaring to Europe's loftiest heights, the majestic Mont Blanc nestles in eastern France, anchoring the s between France, the southwestern corner of Switzerland, and the northwestern corner of Italy. The mountain provides a focal point for adventurers in all three countries. Although other Alpine regions in France certainly merit consideration, Chamonix is by far the most convenient for a quick introduction to the French Alps. The cheerful old town sees a steady, year-round stream of sporting tourists who come to enjoy its legendary mountaineering challenges and skiing terrain. The resort of Courmayeur, Italy, lies at the opposite end of the Mont Blanc Tunnel, and the Valais region of Switzerland nestles just over the Col des Montes pass. The region's vast wealth of natural sights and cultural diversity make it an outstanding option for a quick, looping tour of the Alps. This guide tells you all about the things to do in the area, the hikes, walks and bike trails, where to stay and eat, what to see and do.
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