Anyone who undertakes a tour to the 10 highest mountains in Europe will not only find what they are looking for in the Alps, but can also travel across Europe from east to west. From the outermost border with Asia to the vicinity of Africa and in the direction of Southeast Europe, a journey leads through ten countries on the trail of the highest peaks in Europe.
From the east…
Which massif in Europe is the number 1 highest mountain in Europe? In the Russian Caucasus Mountains, a watershed forms the border between Asia and Europe. This makes Elbrus, which is only just north of the watershed in Europe – the “conical mountain” – with an impressive 5,642 meters, by far the highest peak in Europe. In ancient times, Elbrus was considered the penal prison of Prometheus, who brought fire to people.
… across the Alps…
In second place is the well-known Montblanc in the Savoy Alps in the French-Italian border area at 4,810 meters, with the French claiming ownership of the summit area. The “white mountain” is the highest mountain in the Alps and was conquered for the first time in 1786 by Jacques Balmat and Michel Gabriel Paccard. Its exact height was determined a year later by the naturalist Horace Bénédict de Saussure using a barometer. The Dufourspitze in the Monte Rosa massif on the border between Switzerland and Italy ranks third in the top ten at 4,634 meters and is also the highest mountain in Switzerland, which is very rich in high mountain ranges. The Dufourspitze was originally called the Gornerhorn, which roughly means “strong mountain”. Italy’s highest mountain is Gran Paradiso at 4,061 meters. It is ranked 4th of the 10 highest mountains in Europe and is located entirely on Italian soil in the nature reserve of the same name. Further east in Austria is number 5 of the highest peaks, the Großglockner, a three-thousand-meter peak at 3,798 meters.
… with a detour to the Canary Islands…
The Pico de Teide, an imposing mountain of volcanic origin, ranks sixth among the 10 highest mountains in Europe. On the nearby Canary Island of Tenerife, which belongs to Spain, the mountain rises 3,717 meters in height. It is the third highest volcano on an island in the world. The last eruption on the Teide massif took place in 1909.
… and to the south-east of Europe
The Pic de Coma Pedrosa, located in the Pyrenees in the small Principality of Andorra, occupies 8th place on the hit list of the highest mountains in Europe. It almost reaches the Zugspitze in the German Wetterstein Mountains, which at 2,962 meters make it 7th highest mountain in Europe. At 2,930 meters, the Musala in Bulgaria is the highest mountain in the Balkans and ranks ninth. Its name, which means “God’s praise”, was given to it by the Ottomans in the 15th century. The tenth and last summit of the 10 highest mountains in Europe, Mount Olympus in Greece, was, according to legend, the seat of the Greek gods and measures 2,911 meters.
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