Green + Eco-Travel

Travel's Most Endangered Places

by Peter J. Frank

THE GLACIERS OF EUROPE

Where: The Alps

What's at stake: From Alaska to Greenland to New Zealand, glaciers worldwide are retreating at an alarming pace. ("Retreating" is a nice way of saying melting.) In Switzerland, the change is particularly noticeable since many of these beautiful fields of ice (like Bosson Glacier near Chamonix, pictured) are in popular resort areas. Scientists from the University of Innsbruck predict that if melting continues at its current pace, most glaciers will be gone as early as 2030.

Get thee to: Chamonix, France, near the borders with Switzerland and Italy. Beyond the appeal of the glaciers themselves—and the postcard-perfect views of Mont Blanc—serious skiers will have lots to enjoy in Chamonix, with plenty of off-piste terrain. It's also an ideal spot for those who just want to take in the view and indulge in the après-ski scene. Splurging vacationers will love the Grand Hotel des Alpes, right in the center of town, while those watching their euros should check out the moderate Hotel Croix-Blanche, the oldest hotel in the area, established in 1793.

For more information:
World Glacier Monitoring Service

Grand Hotel des Alpes
Tel: 33 4 50 55 37 80
Doubles from $427

Hotel Croix-Blanche
Tel: 33 4 50 53 00 11
Doubles from $135

NEXT: Last call of the wild? >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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