You are currently viewing Europe’s Most Incredible National Parks
Most people want to see the world’s breathtaking scenery via outdoor pursuits like hiking and skiing and more passive means like road trips. But when you think about Europe, we bet you picture its well-known cities like Rome, Paris, and London, or maybe its beautiful beaches in Barcelona or the majesty of the Alps in Switzerland. However, Europe is not limited to only that! These national parks are among the most beautiful in the world and should not be missed in any order:

1. Italy's Dolomite and Bellunese Alps .

Dolomite National Park, Italy
Although the Dolomites belong to the Alps geographically, their appearance differs from what you expect. Several towering limestone outcrops seem to rise almost vertically from the ground at various points. Skiing, rock climbing, hiking, and even paragliding are just a few outdoor pursuits. You may find anything from rustic mountain cabins to five-star hotels inside the park’s borders. But be careful; once you see the tranquil daybreak over the mountains, you may find it impossible to tear yourself away.

2. Black Forest National Park, Germany

Black Forest National Park, Germany

The Schwarzwald, or Black Forest, in Germany, is the place for gingerbread homes and other fantastical treats. Triberg, Kinzig, and Calw are the picture-perfect German villages you’ve been dreaming of, complete with classic half-timbered homes and shops selling cuckoo clocks and other intricately carved wooden goods. There is no finer area in all of Germany to spend time in the great outdoors. Mountains, deep woods, and a wide variety of flora and animals may be found in the country’s biggest national park. There is an abundance of hiking opportunities and a wide variety of other enjoyable outdoor pursuits.

3. Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria

Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria
You may think of the scenery in The Sound of Music when you imagine Austria. The Hohe Tauern offers, among other things, spectacular mountains that gaze out over expansive meadows. The Grossglockener High Alpine Road is an excellent site for exploring the park, home to Austria’s highest mountain and almost three dozen other peaks. Many creative types have found inspiration in the park, so be ready to explore in any way you like best (by vehicle, on foot, on bike, on horseback, etc.).

4. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Every direction you turn in this area gives the impression that your eyes are playing a trick on you. The vivid hues are the primary draw, with over a dozen blue lakes and brilliant green trees making you feel like you’ve been transported to a surreal Photoshop effect. Taking a dip in these placid waters is prohibited. Still, there are plenty of other fun things to do in the area, such as hiking, or you could visit Krka National Park, which has similar scenery but also allows swimming in one of the pools.

5. Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Triglav National Park, Slovenia
Slovenia is shockingly home to just one national park. Still, they make up for what they lack in quantity in excellence here. It’s another one of those spots when reality defies expectations. While many visitors choose to base themselves in the town of Bled and go to the park for the day, those who want to get away from the crowds can consider booking a room at one of the mountain lodges or along the beaches of Lake Bohinj. In the summer, park visitors and locals alike may be seen paddling the park’s waterways. Hiking is another favorite activity in the area, and with good reason: the vistas from the park’s numerous mountain peaks and high alpine meadows are stunning.

6. Curonian Spit National Park, Lithuania

Curonian Spit National Park, Lithuania
The Curonian Spit is so special that it has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). So, you may be wondering, what is it? The Curonian Lagoon is a long, thin ribbon of white sand dunes and century-old pine forests that juts into the Baltic Sea. There are many ideal places to lay in the sun along the dunes. Those who prefer to be more active can ride hikes or bike through the area. Still, they should stick to the designated trails to avoid damaging the park’s ecosystem, which is highly vulnerable due to the constantly shifting sands.

7. Oulanka National Park, Finland

Oulanka National Park, Finland
Visit Oulanka any time of year, and you’ll be greeted with stunning natural beauty. Avoid the park in the spring because of floods; in the summer, the grass is a dazzling shade of green. However, in the autumn, the leaves will take on dazzling shades of orange and yellow. And in the winter, when everything is white, you’ll discover that Oulanka’s snow-covered trees and houses invite you to experience a unique type of seclusion. Oulanka is home to several hiking trails, including the 80-kilometer Karhunkierros Trail, the most popular in Finland. If you’re fortunate, you could even see a reindeer.

8. The Lake District National Park, England

Lake District National Park, England
We see immense beauty in the English countryside, from rolling hills to lush meadows teeming with sheep. However, the Lake District’s variety of beautiful colors draws tourists the most. The range of purples, greens, and blues seen here is unparalleled. While the mountains may not rank as highly as others on our list, the contrast between the vast mountains and peaceful lakes is striking. We won’t even begin to describe how lovely Keswick and Grasmere are. Not only is there a wealth of natural beauty in the region, but there is also a wealth of historical sites, from medieval castles and abbeys to the Neolithic Castlerigg Stone Circle.

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