The Complete National Parks Check List – Best of Europe for Nature Lovers
Europe is known for its rich history, the diversity of its colorful cultures, and the breathtaking beauty of its natural wonders. If you’re a nature fan and it’s all about finding stunning sights and unbelievable landscapes for you, then this list of top national parks across the continent is simply perfect for you!
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Europe!
1. Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy – Between Aosta valley and the Alps, this paradise is a beautiful sanctuary for protected wildlife from which you can spot all nearby summits including Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, Matterhorn, etc.
2. Monti Sibillini National Park, Italy – Covered with white snow in the winter, colorful flowers in the spring, and green pastures in the summer, Monti Sibillini is one of Italy’s most beautiful national parks. It is a great spot to engage in outdoor activities, and surround yourself with the most awe-inspiring nature.
3. Belluno Dolomites National Park, Italy – From mesmerizing mountains to enchanted forests and wildlife watching, this marvelous valley has just about everything to offer the nature loving traveler. If you love a good treasure hunt, try and find as many turquoise ponds and lakes as you can, they’re hidden between the dramatic rocky mountains and each is world of wonder.
4. Cinque Terre National Park, Italy – One of National Geographic’s top 10 hiking trails in the world, this park is named after the five beautiful and authentic cliffside fishing villages that comprise it. The charming small houses, the colors, the smells, the people – You will fall head over heels for this timeless trail.
5. Écrins National Park, France – High up in the clouds is a valley of glaciers and white mountain summits; a beautiful and mesmerizing asylum for the wandering soul. This place is where poets would go get inspired, and so should you!
6. Pyrénées, France – Wilder than the Alps, the Pyrénées Mountain Range boasts incredible wildlife, tall snowcapped mountains, and breathtaking scenery. Bordering the south of France, it is surrounded by hot springs, impossibly blue lakes, and air so pure it will cleanse your body and mind.
7. Port-Cros National Park, France – Just east of Toulon on the stunning and less familiar island of Port-Cros, you will find the peaceful beauty you have been waiting for, an off the beaten path Mediterranean gem.
8. Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, Spain – Rich with wildlife, beautiful mountains, stunning lakes, and green forests, this park is quite the gem of the Spanish Pyrenees and offers great historical background as well.
9. Garajonay, Spain – This national park’s beauty has earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Situated in the Canary Islands, the park is a wild reserve of thick forests and unruly trees whose branches grow in all directions.
10. Madeira National Park, Madeira Island, Portugal – The park grounds encompass nearly two-thirds of the Archipelago of Madeira and is home to some of the planet’s most unique and exotic flora and fauna. It is also known to be occupied by various endangered species.
11. Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal – This astonishing landscape, dotted with beautiful mountain peaks, offers great hiking trails and campsites for you to be able to explore the prehistoric remains scattered through its grounds.
12. Swiss National Park, Switzerland – The one and only national park in Switzerland is not only part of the worldwide UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, but it is also home to some notable peaks that will take your breath away.
13. The Saxon Switzerland National Park, Germany – Located in the State of Saxon, this beautiful park features an incredible rock canyon landscape, forested areas untouched by humans, and then adjoins to the Bohemian Switzerland National Park in the Czech Republic.
14. Black Forest National Park, Germany – The park lies on the main crest of the Northern Black Forest and is comprised of lakes and forests that spread between the Black Forest High Road and the valley of the Murg.
15. Bavaria Forest National Park, Germany – With over 70,000 annual visitors, this popular national park is part of Central Europe’s largest contiguous area of forest, home to untouched woodland and purely unspoiled nature.
16. Nationalpark Kalkalpen, Austria – With pristine forests, mountains, gorges, and streams, this remarkable national park is one of Austria’s finest natural treasures.
17. Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria – From its high majestic mountains to its cool clear lakes, hike the park’s numerous trails to enjoy its immense wealth of natural beauty,
18. The Triglav National Park, Slovenia – A stunning national park, home to the highest mountain in the country, and a huge range of beautiful flora and fauna.
19. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia – Rich with thick greenery, turquoise lakes, natural springs and fountains, this phenomenal aqua-land is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Croatia.
20. Goreme National Park, Turkey – This land of pointed rocks rising from the ground will remind you of the scenery from a sci-fi film as it is so utterly out of this world!
22. Alonnisos National Marine Park, Greece – Explore Europe’s largest marine protected area including the island of Alonnisos, six smaller islands, as well as 22 uninhabited islets and rocky outcrops, where you will see untouched nature as well as unique flora and fauna indigenous to the region.
24. Durmitor National Park, Montenegro – Forty eight peaks reaching altitudes of over 2,000m make up this incredible park. Home to over 163 species of bird, about 50 types of mammals, and a great variety of butterflies, the park has to shortage of natural wonder waiting around every bend of its immense rivers.
25. Butrint National Park, Albania – One of the region’s most remarkable archaeological sites, including an ancient ruined city, mosaics, theaters, and many other historically significant elements that depict the stronghold that once stood here.
26. Wadden Sea National Park, The Netherlands\Germany\Denmark – Just north of the mainland, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Wadden Sea is known as a sanctuary for migrating birds and home for large numbers of sea life creatures but the extreme tides are what makes it so special and beautiful to explore.
28. Rago National Park, Norway –With fewer annual tourists than other parks, this untouched stretch of natural beauty spans ragged cliffs, granite mountains, glaciers, valleys, lakes, and a wide range of local wildlife.
30. Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland – Check out Europe’s largest glacier, volcanoes, rivers, and some of the most beautiful nature in Iceland at this national park.
31. Oulanka National Park, Finland – A unique national park, which features pine forests, river valleys with sandy banks and rapids, and in the north of vast mires.
32. Lahemaa National Park, Estonia – Get a taste for most of Estonia’s remarkable natural features in this amazing park, known for its wide range of geological variety including beaches, forests, cliffs, and more.
33. Gauja National Park, Latvia – Other than its natural beauty, breathtaking river, and lush forest, the park also offers great trails that lead to stunning hidden caves, beautiful castles and amazing view points. You can even bungee jump off a cable car above the river!
34. Trakai Historical National Park, Lithuania – Trakai lakes and castle are one of the most beautiful and lively places to visit. Enjoy a dip in the crystal clear water or a spin on a paddle boat, and finish off with some local pastries in one of the small restaurants that you can find everywhere around.
35. Curonian Spit National Park, Lithuania – A gorgeous turquoise lagoon that will make you feel like you’re in an exotic country far far away, rather than up in the Baltic sea! Explore the beautiful sand dunes and sea-life of the lagoon and the witch forest.
37. Pirin National Park, Bulgaria – Encompassing most of Bulgaria’s Pirin Mountains, the glaciers, meadows, rivers, and lakes make up just the beginning of this magnificent park’s immense beauty.
38. Balaton Uplands National Park, Hungary – Located on the banks of the picturesque Balaton Lake, this national park is highly visited by international travelers and locals alike.
39. Bohemian Switzerland National Park, Czech Republic – Few things can compare to the sunrise flooding its light on the endless sea of green in this northern Czech national park. With giant cliffs and boulders rising from the forest, and powerful streams running deep within it, visiting it is almost a spiritual experience.
40. Snowdonia National Park, Wales – With vast areas of natural untamed beauty, these 823 sq miles are pristine and breathtaking, with the highest mountain and the largest lake in the UK, and endless possible activities.
41. Lake District National Park, England – Mesmerizing lakes reflecting the clouds and mountain tops, wind in your hair with the promise of freedom, and scenic rides are just a moment away as you explore the most beautiful lakes on the British isle.
42. Killarney National Park, Ireland – This magical national park is real life Middle Earth. With towering mountains, streams gushing over rocks, woodlands, waterfalls, and pristine lakes – it is hard to believe that it’s real.
43. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, Scotland – Located in one of the largest British Isles, this national park boasts a stunning hilly landscape. It is perfect for anyone looking to do some wildlife watching, trekking, hiking, and climbing.
44. Tatra National Park, Poland/Slovakia – listed as a world biosphere reserve, the parks greatest quality are its species of plants and wild animals and a breathtaking glacial lakes.
With such a great wishlist, the best thing to do is to close your eyes, and then randomly put your finger down on the screen – This is your next destination!
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