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10 Most Beautiful National Parks in Europe

Most Beautiful National Parks in Europe

The wonderful cities of Europe are frequently a highlight of any trip to Europe. However, limiting yourself to urban regions means you’ll lose out on some of the continent’s most breathtaking scenery. National parks are the best opportunity to discover and appreciate the distinctive landscapes found throughout Europe, from England’s Lake District to the Gran Paradiso National Park in the Italian Alps. Make a pit break at one of Europe’s most gorgeous national parks when planning your next European vacation.

1: Plitvice Lakes National Park – Croatia

In the middle of Croatia is the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park, a forest reserve that is best known for its series of 16 remarkable terraced lakes. Each of the lakes are connected by waterfalls, and they stretch all the way to an equally stunning limestone canyon. Paved walkways as well as more challenging trails wind around these lakes and sometimes right across them, creating spectacular views. It is also possible to enter some of the caves and view the lakes from a unique perspective through the rock itself. Also, read Most Beautiful National Parks in Croatia.

2: Triglav National Park – Slovenia

Slovenia’s solitary national park is Triglav National Park, and it surrounds Mount Triglav, the highest peak in the nation. Triglav National Park is in the Julian Alps, which means that it boasts both towering mountains and lush valleys. Water plays a defining role in the park, both for geographical reasons and tourism ones. The Soča and Sava Rivers flow from the park to the Adriatic and Black Seas, and the lakes within the park are a major attraction for Slovenian residents as well as visitors from around the world.

3: Hohe Tauern National Park – Austria

The Hohe Tauern National Park surrounds a mountain range by the same name in the Central Eastern Alps in Austria. The Hohe Tauern National Park is the largest nature reserve in the Alps, and it is home to tundras, forests and glaciers and waterfalls. Hiking through the park, or hiking to summit major peaks like Großglockner and Großvenediger, is certainly popular. However, equally appealing is just driving through the park and cutting through the mountains via extraordinary tunnels or along the scenic Grossglockner High Alpine Road. Also, read Best National Parks in Malaysia.

4: Ordesa National Park – Spain

The Pyrenees Mountain Range straddles the border between France and Spain, and that is exactly where you’ll find the Ordesa National Park. The park boasts a lush green valley in the heart of mountain peaks, making for a truly unforgettable view and amazing hiking trails under the shade of the towering Pyrenees. Just some wildlife spotted in the Ordesa National Park include hawks, owls, mountain goats and marmots.

5: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs – UK

In the heart of Scotland is the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. This national park is home to a number of stunning mountains like Ben More, Be Lomond and Stob Binnein. The West Highland Way is a trekking path through Lock Lomond that brings hikers to several spectacular vantage points and offers the chance to be in seclusion in the middle of lush green landscape. There are a handful of small villages in the park where you can stop for a pint of ale or a pub lunch before making your way to the next stop on the trails. Also read, Banff National Park.

6: Saxon Switzerland National Park – ‎Germany

Despite the slightly misleading name, the Saxon Switzerland National Park is actually located completely within German borders near the city of Dresden. Bizarre stone formations and spectacular views are only a few of the wonderful characteristics of this national park in Europe that is ideal for climbing and hiking. Even without climbing experience, you’ll be able to visit iconic sights like the spectacular Bastei Bridge and the lofty Königstein Fortress that rises 245 meters (800 feet) above the Elbe River.

7: Gran Paradiso National Park – Italy

In the middle of the Graian Alps of Northern Italy is the Gran Paradiso National Park. Originally, the park was created to protect the ibex from poachers, since the area was supposed to be the private hunting ground of a king. Part of the park is forested, and there are also multiple glaciers within its boundaries. Hiking is popular throughout the park, particularly up the summit of the Gran Paradiso Mountain, and there are also stunning views of nearby Alpine peaks like Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.

8: Oulanka National Park – Finland

In Northern Finland, you’ll find the sprawling greenery and beauty of the Oulanka National Park. The park protects the land of the Sami people, who lived, hunted and fished in the area until the 17th century. Today, a visit to the Oulanka National Park means the chance to hike along the Karhunkierros, which is the most popular trekking route in all of Finland. Other pastimes in the park include picking berries, mountain biking, canoeing on the many rivers and staying overnight at the wooden cabins that dot the park.

9: Bialowieza National Park – Poland

On the border between Poland and Belarus is the Bialowieza National Park, a large park that is also the last remaining temperate primeval forest in Europe. If you have always wanted to spot European Bison in their natural habitat, this is the world’s best place to do so. Bialowieza National Park is also a great destination for hiking and cycling though shaded paths and trails. Be sure to stop by the Museum of Nature and Forest of the Białowieża National Park while you’re there in order to learn a bit more about the wildlife and development of the park. Also read, Mesa Verde National Park.

10: Caldera de Taburiente National Park – Spain

When people think of the Canary Island, and the isle of La Palma in particular, it is beaches and resorts that often come to mind. However, the Spanish island is home to the amazing Caldera de Taburiente National Park. The heart of the park is what looks like a giant crater, but what is now known as a mountainous arch. While in the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, you can hike along the edge of the mountain, soaking in breathtaking views of green valleys and even the blue waters of the ocean in the distance.

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