The Alps are home to some of the highest and most magnificent peaks in Europe. And thanks to their location in the heart of Europe, this is one of the most accessible mountain chains in the world.
This means you don’t have to scale snow-capped summits to appreciate their jaw-dropping beauty.
Imagine getting whisked up to altitudes of over 3,000 metres (9,843 feet) in a cable car or mountain railway. Or simply soaking up your surroundings from Alpine towns and villages brimming with old-world charm.
In this guide, discover 11 of the most beautiful mountains in the Alpine region. Plus, get tips on how to see them for yourself.
- Have a multi-country adventure on a self-drive tour of the Alps
Where are the Alps mountains?
In the Alps, mountains stretch for around 1,200 kilometres (746 miles) through 8 European countries. These are France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco and Slovenia.
Altitude: 4,478 metres (14,692 feet)
Where better to start than with the Matterhorn? This jagged summit is easily one of the most famous peaks in the Alps. If you’ve tried Toblerone, you probably already know that its steep, rocky sides inspired the shape of this iconic triangular chocolate bar.
Visit Zermatt, and you’ll get striking views of the mountain from the town itself. For a closer look, take a cable car to Sunnegga. From here, you could follow way-marked hikes to beautiful lakes including Stellisee and Leisee.
Or why not ride the historic Gornergrat Railway? Completed in 1898, this electric train will take you from Zermatt up to an altitude of 3,089 metres (10,134 feet). Picture yourself gliding through pine forests and pretty meadows admiring the Matterhorn as you go.
Once you arrive, the scenery only gets better. From the ridge at Gornergrat, you’ll glimpse the mighty Dufourspitze – another must-see mountain – and the dramatic Gorner Glacier.
No matter whether you’re in Zermatt or hiking nearby, with the Matterhorn as your dramatic backdrop, you’ll want your camera handy.
Altitude: 4,158 metres (13,641 feet)
The Jungfrau lies at the heart of the Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is just one of 4 natural UNESCO sites you’ll find in Switzerland.
The best way to get up close to the mountain is by riding Europe’s highest-altitude railway to 3,454 metres (11,332 feet) above sea level.
When you arrive at Jungfraujoch – also known as the "Top of Europe" – you’ll soon discover that this is no ordinary train station. Perched on a ridge below the Jungfrau’s summit, this is surely one of the world's most breathtaking stations.
As well as a viewing platform with a jaw-dropping outlook there’s an ice palace, multimedia experience, restaurants and a Swiss chocolate shop.
- Check out these Swiss travel packages and start planning your trip
Altitude: 3,967 metres (13,015 feet)
Unlike the neighbouring Jungfrau, there’s no train to take you up the Eiger.
But for skilled mountaineers, there are still a few ways to get to the summit. The toughest of these routes can be found on the mountain’s infamous north face.
To see the Eiger for yourself, venture to the charming village of Grindelwald. Or hop on the train to Kleine Scheidegg, where you can hike below the north face.
As you’ll discover, it’s not just the high altitudes and mountaineering legends that add to the wonder of the place. The Eiger also overlooks the astonishing Aletsch Glacier. This immense river of ice is the largest glacier in the Alps.
Altitude: 4,634 metres (15,200 feet)
The second tallest summit in the Alps mountain range is the Dufourspitze, located on the Swiss-Italian border.
It’s part of an enormous massif – or group of mountains – called Monte Rosa, which includes some of the highest peaks in the Alps. At 4,634 metres (15,200 feet) tall, Dufourspitze is the loftiest point on the massif.
Fun fact: You might assume the name Monte Rosa means “pink mountain”. But “rosa” actually comes from an old word in the local area meaning “glacier”.
- Related: Fun facts about the Alps
5. Mont Blanc
Altitude: 4,806 metres (15,768 feet)
No round-up of Alpine peaks would be complete without Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. Straddling the border between France and Italy, and reaching over 4,800 metres (15,748 feet) above sea level, Mont Blanc is an awe-inspiring sight.
For unrivalled views of Mont Blanc, head for the French town of Chamonix. From here, you can take a cable car up to Aiguille du Midi, a nearby summit at an altitude of 3,842 metres (12,605 feet). Panoramas of the French, Italian and Swiss Alps await.
On a clear day, you can also glimpse Mont Blanc from the shores of Lake Geneva.
Fun fact: The whole Mont Blanc range was once called the “Montagne Maudits”, or “Cursed Mountains”, thanks to the local legend that demons and goblins lived there. Nowadays, just a single mountain – Mont Maudit – has that name.
Altitude: 4,545 metres (14,911 feet)
Go south from the Eiger, and you’ll find the Dom. Part of the dramatic Mischabel massif, it’s the third-highest mountain in Europe and the tallest peak in Switzerland not shared with another country.
Head to the historic town and ski resort of Saas-Fee for uninterrupted views of the mountain’s rugged crest.
Fun fact: This is one of the coldest places in Europe where a flowering plant has ever been found. The plant is a type of purple saxifrage that grows in locations like the high Arctic. Despite temperatures dropping below freezing every night, this hardy species survives on the Dom’s summit.
Altitude: 3,905 metres (12,812 feet)
Ortler is a glacier-topped summit in a region of the Italian Alps known as South Tyrol. At 3,905 metres (12,812 feet) above sea level, it rises high above the surrounding mountains. Take a drive over the Stelvio Pass to see its stunning skyline for yourself.
The mountain’s position close to the Italian-Austrian border means there’s plenty of World War I history to uncover in the area.
In fact, during the 1990s, 2 cannons were found near the summit of Ortler. They were used by Austrian soldiers stationed there during the First World War.
8. Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Altitude: 2,999 metres (9,839 feet)
At the eastern end of the Alps mountain range, you’ll find the Dolomites. Despite their lower altitudes, this Italian region is home to some of the most striking peaks you’ll see anywhere in the Alps.
The Tre Cime, or “Three Peaks”, of Lavaredo are probably the most recognisable. You might even have seen these photogenic pillars of rock in travel guides and magazines, or on the likes of Instagram.
Altitude: 3,841 metres (12,602 feet)
Monviso is one of the most distinctive peaks in the Western Alps. On a clear day, you can often pick it out from hundreds of kilometres away. Look out for its pyramidal shape, towering over the landscape.
Fun fact: If you think Monviso looks familiar, it could be because it’s similar to the Paramount Pictures logo. While Monviso is thought to be one of the mountains that inspired the design, Utah’s Ben Lomond and Artesonraju in the Andes are also contenders.
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Altitude: 2,962 metres (9,718 feet)
It might be much lower than the highest Alpine peak. But this doesn’t stop the Zugspitze, in Bavaria, from being one of the most interesting mountains in the Alps.
At 2,962 metres (9,718 feet), it’s the tallest mountain in Germany. And because the Zugspitze sits at the northern edge of the Alps mountain system, the views from here are breathtaking. Some days you can see all the way to Munich, and even to the tiny country of Liechtenstein.
Happily, you don’t need to climb the nearly 3,000 metres (9,843 feet) to get to the top. Instead, take a cable car up to the viewing platform, where you’ll glimpse a glacier and the waters of Lake Eibsee.
11. Mount Pilatus
Altitude: 2,128 metres (6,981 feet)
On the northern edge of the Swiss Alps, you’ll find the craggy summit of Mount Pilatus. Venture here on a clear day and you could see as many as 73 surrounding peaks. Not to mention the beautiful blue waters of Lake Lucerne below.
If you’re visiting the medieval city of Lucerne, heading up Mount Pilatus will make for a memorable day trip. Choose between riding a cable car or cogwheel train up the mountain. Or why not take one up and the other down?
No matter how you decide to get to the top, allow plenty of time to enjoy the scenery once you get there. As well as an observation deck and multiple viewpoints, there’s a restaurant where you can try tasty Alpine dishes.
- Prepare for a road trip to remember when you embark on a European self-drive tour
Explore the Alps with Nordic Visitor
When it comes to the Alps, snow-covered mountains are just the beginning. Venture here and you’ll be rewarded with views of turquoise lakes, wildflower meadows and rambling vineyards.
With a population of over 14 million people spread out across 8 nations, there’s lots of culture to soak up as well. You could visit medieval castles, stroll through chalet-style villages, and indulge in hearty Alpine dishes like fondue or raclette.
Choose a self-drive tour of the Alps with Nordic Visitor to experience the best of the region at your own pace. Or, pick an Alps small group tour and a professional guide will take care of the driving while sharing their in-depth knowledge with you along the way.
However you decide to explore, our travel experts will organise everything for you, including your accommodation, local transport, and any excursions.
Contact us to start planning your trip and prepare for an unforgettable Alpine escape.