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.
European parks

Entry relat­ed to place: Europe

You can also admire the pho­tos of the Nation­al Parks of Europe in a sep­a­rate pho­to feed on Life­Globe.

Jotunheimen Park

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.

Lake District

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.

See also
Beautiful lakes in craters
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.

See also
The most popular attractions in Sweden
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

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.

See also
Pangolin is the only mammal with scales
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.

Hohe Tauern

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.

Plitvice Lakes

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.