You love nature, forests, lakes, flora and fauna? Looking for a safe holiday destination after Covid-19 pandemic ? Or just looking for a digital detox in our hyperconnected lives? Discover the most beautiful national parks in Europe. Forget the crowd, forget the beaches, forget cities and shopping, and come to relax in the best national parks in Europe.
Discover incredible national parks such as Cappadocia in Turkey, The Saxon Switzerland National Park in Germany and many more offering amazing landscapes. Here is our top list for the best national parks in Europe:
Saxon Switzerland – Germany
The Saxon Switzerland National Park (German: Nationalpark Sächsische Schweiz), is a National Park in the German Free State of Saxony near the capital city of Dresden. It covers two areas of 93.5 km² in the heart of the German part of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains which is called the Saxon Switzerland. The National Park adjoins the Bohemian Switzerland National Park in the Czech Republic.
Belluno Dolomites – Italy
The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form a part of Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley (Val Sugana). The Dolomites are nearly equally shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino.
Ordesa – Spain
In the Ordesa National Park you’ll find routes suitable for everybody, so you can explore, at your own pace, the valleys, pastures and rivers which lie at the foot of Monte Perdido, the highest peak (3,355 metres) in this part of Spain. A series of easily accessible trails will lead you to natural wonders such as the waterfall known as the “Cola de Caballo” (horse’s tail) (where you’ll see the water drop from a height of over 1,700 metres), the Gradas de Soaso rapids, and to viewing points like the Garganta, set atop a cliff. You’ll be surrounded by mountains over 3,000 metres high, and you may be lucky enough to see bearded vultures –with wingspans of over 2 metres– as they soar above the summits. (©spain.info).
Cappadocia – Turkey
Goreme National Park and Cappadocia is a unique design of nature with slopes full of fairy-chimneys, rich water resources at the base of the valley, abundant flora, and numerous rock cut, frescoed churches.
Cappadocia, which was sculpted out of the tuff of the Erciyes and Hasan Mountains through millions of years by sand and water erosion, became the seat of several civilisations, and a silent witness to the cultural history of Anatolia. The area also covers underground cities. These enchanting and only partially revealed subterranean cities of Cappadocia are believed to have deeper levels awaiting exploration. The most extraordinary underground cities are in the regions of Kaymakli, Derinkuyu and Mazı. The underground cities, for long periods used as sanctuaries, were recently renovated and made available to visitors.
While visiting the area you won’t help yourself notice the resemblance between the natural fairy-chimneys and Gaudi’s chimneys in Barcelona. The rumor is that they served as inspiration to the great artist!
Vatnajokull – Iceland
Vatnajökull National Park consists of glacier Vatnajökull and some of its surrounding areas. Visitor centres are located in Skaftafell and Höfn (southeast Iceland), Skriðuklaustur (east Iceland) and Jökulsárgljúfur (northeast Iceland).
Large areas of the park lie in highland areas. If you are heading into the Icelandic highlands, you must be properly prepared, as the weather, river flow and driving or walking conditions may change very suddenly.
Ecrins – France
The Ecrins National Park is the fifth French national park. It is located in the Alps, covering a large portion of the Massif des Ecrins. The park has been chosen as the “European Park of the mountain” by the Council of Europe.
Sooma – Estonia
The flora and fauna of Soomaa National Park are compelling. When travelling on the rivers it is often necessary to navigate past fallen aspen trunks – typically the work of floods and beavers. Other signs of beavers, such as chewed stumps and beaver lodges are often clearly visible along the riverbanks. Besides beavers, another little water loving creature is quite common here – the otter.
During the great floods each year, numerous migratory water fowl can be seen on the flood plains. In the swamp forests it is possible to run into the White-backed Woodpecker and the Three-toed Woodpecker, while Lesser Spotted Eagles and Black Storks can be seen hovering above the flood plains. There are numerous nesting areas for Great Snipe on the alluvial meadows and Golden Eagles dwell in the fens. (©soomaa.com)
BONUS – Sarek, Sweden
The high mountain area of Sarek looks a lot like the Alps with high mountain massifs and deep valleys. The most known is the Rapa valley with its magnificent delta and rich animal life. Some hundred glaciers form with the melted water, rapid mountain rivulets and small waterfalls. Six of the peaks are over 2000 meters over the ocean. Sarek is not easy accessible and have demanding terrain conditions. Except for the Royal Trail that passes in the southern parts, there are no hiking trails.