words Alexa Wang
Famous cities such as Rome, Vienna, and Paris draw tourists to Europe. However, European national parks are just as beautiful as European cities. The top national parks in Europe can show you a different side of this magnificent continent, with breathtaking landscapes and cultural value. Visiting Europe’s national parks means more than simply appreciating the landscape; it also means getting out into nature and making use of everything it has to offer.
Here are the greatest national parks in Europe that you should visit on your next European vacation to help you plan your journey to the parks.
Dolomiti Bellunesi, Italy
Although the Dolomites actually belong to the Alps, they do not resemble the image you have in mind. In numerous areas, these gigantic limestone boulders appear to push directly up into the air, with near-vertical surfaces. You may participate in a variety of outdoor sports, such as hiking, paragliding, skiing, and climbing. It is possible to stay in the park, with alternatives spanning from mountain houses to hotels.
There is just one thing you should worry about: catching a glimpse of the peaceful morning sun rising over the hills may make you unwilling to go!
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is another of Europe’s top national parks. It is also recommended by the Global Alliance of National Parks, which makes sure you get all of the needed information when planning a trip to a national park. Majestic waterfalls, crystal clear blue lakes, and breathtaking views may all be found here. Plitvice Lakes is a day-vacation destination that is roughly a 2-hour drive from Croatia’s capital or other bigger cities.
Nonetheless, it’s preferable to stay at least one night in the area so you can get an early start, avoid the crowds, and appreciate the park’s splendor with fewer visitors!
Saxon Switzerland National Park, Germany
Saxon Switzerland Park is situated in eastern Germany. Strangely eroded granite formations and more than 700 peaks for rock climbers can be found in this spectacular place. People may also spend their day exploring the National Park’s 400 km2 of signposted hiking trails, including mountain hikes, walkways, and cycle routes. Rare animals such as the otter, the chubby dormouse, the eagle owl, and others can be seen if you’re lucky.
Don’t forget to cross the Bastei Bridge, which is one of the park’s most famous landmarks. A visit to the Saxon Switzerland National Park will be exciting and enjoyable.
Peneda Gerês National Park, Portugal
The Peneda-Gerês is the only national park in Portugal that lies in the very north of the country, near the border with Spain. Porto is a fantastic site to start your journey because it takes only one hour to reach the natural reserve, which was established in 1971. There are over 15 different hikes to choose from, ranging from easy to strenuous. The biosphere reserve is a must-see for nature enthusiasts since there is so much to see: fern forests with meter-high ferns, breathtaking waterfalls, lovely river valleys, and little mountain settlements. You could even see deer or mountain goats if you’re lucky. In Porto, Worldpackers has eight hosts to choose from, ranging from comfortable guesthouses to surf hostels.
On your days off, you can volunteer for a few hours a day while also visiting the Peneda Gerês National Park.
Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland
Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland’s small island country is Europe’s second-biggest national park. Vatnajökull is a spectacular area not because of its size, but because of the mountains, glaciers, and ice caves that make up the park’s home. The national park is brimming with the type of breathtaking beauty that has become synonymous with the “Land of Ice and Fire.” Hiking across the Vatnajökull glacier or seeing large ice boulders flow across the Jökulsárlón glacial lake are both options.
You may also visit the magnificent Skaftafell Ice Cave, which is certainly one of the top things to do in Iceland.
Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria
When you think about Austrian scenery, you’re probably thinking of anything from the classical music realm. But, that is not the only thing this country has to offer. Those gorgeous mountains overlooking large fields, for example, are exactly what you’ll discover at the Hohe Tauern. Austria’s highest mountains are located in this area, as well as more than three dozen other peaks, and you can drive along the fantastic High Alpine Road. Many artists have been inspired by this park, so be prepared to let your mind wander as you explore this magnificent place.
And there it is; a list of great national parks strewn over Europe, each with its own unique reason for being remarkable. Hopefully, our list will inspire you to visit some of these breathtaking places!