When visiting Europe, we most often travel to beautiful cities and capitals. However, don’t just linger in the urban areas, as you will miss out on some amazing natural scenery. From England’s Lake District to Gran Paradiso National Park in the Italian Alps, Europe’s national parks are the best way to appreciate Europe’s unique natural ecosystem. On your next European holiday, try to make a stop at one or two of Europe’s most beautiful national parks.
You can also admire the photos of the National Parks of Europe in a separate photo feed on LifeGlobe.
The Jotunheimen National Park in Norway is also known as the Land of the Giants due to its numerous mountain ranges. The park is home to over 250 mountain peaks, including some of the highest peaks in Europe. At the foot of these peaks, bright blue lakes with melt water are located, creating a stunning landscape. Jotunheimen National Park is rich in wildlife — reindeer, elk and lynx live here, and lakes teeming with trout are ideal for fishing.
One of the most beautiful and tranquil destinations in all of the UK is the Lake District National Park. As the name suggests, the park is home to countless lakes, but its beauty doesn’t stop there. Visitors come to the Lake District to enjoy long walks along hiking trails against the backdrop of mountain peaks, admire the chic from viewing platforms, and take a break from the bustle of the city in secluded tourist hotels.
Caldera da Taburiente
When people think about the Canary Islands and the island of La Palma, the first thing that comes to mind is beaches and resorts, but not with picturesque nature, and even more so with nature reserves. However, the Spanish island is home to the amazing Caldera de Taburiente National Park. In the heart of the park is a giant crater known as the mountain arc. In this nature reserve, you can hike along a hiking trail along the edge of the mountain, admire the views of green valleys and even the expanses of the sea.
Bialovezha National Park
On the border between Poland and Belarus is the Bialowieza National Park — a large nature reserve, which is considered the last preserved primeval forest in Europe. Here you can see bison in their natural habitat. Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park is a great destination for hiking and cycling along winding paths and paths. Be sure to stop by the local Museum of Nature and Forest to learn more about the park’s wildlife.
Oulanka National Park
In Northern Finland is the amazing Oulanka National Park. It was founded in the territories of the Sami people who lived, worked and fished in the area until the 17th century. Oulanka National Park offers the chance to hike along Karunkierros, the most popular hiking trail in all of Finland. Other popular activities in the park include berry picking, biking, canoeing on the many rivers, and overnight stays in wooden huts throughout the park.
Saxon Switzerland Park
Despite the slightly misleading name, Saxon Switzerland National Park is actually located within the German borders near the city of Dresden. Bizarre rock formations and breathtaking views are just a few of the great attractions of this national park in Europe. The Saxon nature reserve is ideal for mountain climbing and hiking. Even without climbing to the peaks, you can visit the most beautiful places, including the Bastei Bridge and the high Königstein Fortress, which rises 245 meters above the Elbe River.
Gran Paradiso Park
In the middle of the Alps of Northern Italy lies the Grand Paradiso National Park. Initially, the park was created to protect animals from poachers, as the area was the private hunting grounds of the king. Part of the park is covered with forests, and part is covered with millennial glaciers. Hiking trails cover the entire territory of the park, including the top of the Grand Paradiso mountain, which offers breathtaking views of the neighboring Alpine peaks — Mont Blanc and Matterhorn.
Durmitor in Montenegro
The most famous National Park of Montenegro is Durmitor. Surrounded by river canyons, Durmitor is a huge mountain peaks, untouched nature and surreal contrasts. The Durmitor reserve is popular among those who wish to climb to the tops of the mountains, admire the glacial lakes, skiing, or snowboarding.
Loch Lomond National Park in Scotland encompasses Lomond Lake and the Trossachs National Park, as well as a series of stunning mountains with the peaks of Ben Mor, Lomond and Stob Binnine. The West Highland Trail is the main hiking trail through Loch Lomond, leading to breathtaking viewpoints. Here you will have a great opportunity to be in solitude in the middle of untouched nature. The park has a number of small settlements where you can stay overnight, have a pint of beer or dine in a pub before setting out on your journey.
Ordesa National Park
The Pyrenean mountain range runs along the border between France and Spain, forming the Ordesa National Park. The park also spans a lush green valley at the base of the mountain, where most of the amazing hiking trails along the high Pyrenees start from. Here you can meet rare representatives of the wildlife world, including hawks, owls, snow goats and marmots.
Vatnajokull National Park
The magnificent Vatnajökull National Park is one of the main attractions in Iceland, encompassing the eponymous glacier. Vatnajokull can be called a park of contrasts, with its snow-capped mountains, dark blue rivers and active geothermal zones. The most visited attraction of the park is the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon with icebergs, as well as the Svartifoss and Dettifoss waterfalls. The best way to explore Vatnajökull National Park is on foot. There are countless campsites where you can stay overnight.
Triglav National Park
Slovenia’s secluded Triglav National Park surrounds Mount Triglav, the highest peak in the country. Triglav National Park is located in the Julian Alps, which are famous for their high peaks and lush valleys. The picturesque Soka and Sava Rivers flow from the park to the Adriatic and Black Seas, forming several lakes along the way. The park is the main attraction for domestic tourism in Slovenia, also attracting travelers from other countries.
The Hohe Tauern National Park (Hoge Tauern) surrounds the mountain range of the same name in the Central Eastern Alps of Austria. The Hohe Tauern is the largest nature reserve in the Alps, home to tundra, forests, glaciers and waterfalls. Hiking is extremely popular here and climbing to the tops of the mountains is, of course, popular. Even the trip to the park itself will be an exciting journey, as the road passes through mountains and extraordinary tunnels along the picturesque Grossglockner High Alpine Road.
In the middle of Croatia is the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park — a forest reserve with a series of 16 wonderful cascading lakes. Each of the lakes is connected by waterfalls and footbridges leading to a picturesque limestone canyon. Some of the bridges pass right over the lakes, offering breathtaking views. Numerous guests of the park also have the opportunity to visit the caves and look at the Plitvice Lakes from a unique perspective right from the cliff.