When seeking nature, travelers journey to National Parks to restore the mind and refresh the body while connecting with the outdoors. The great news is that Europe is the one-stop shop for remarkable National Parks while still experiencing the best of historical Europe. Explore luxurious towns and serene outdoor landscapes on your next trip to Europe. As they say, “When in Rome,” make sure to pit stop at one, or all, of these must-visit European National Parks.
Plitvice Lakes National Park | Croatia
Plitvice Lakes is one of Europe’s most precious jewels. It is the oldest national park in southeast Europe and the largest in Croatia. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the park is famous for its cascading waterfalls thanks to nature pre-arranging lakes to flow into each other. Sixteen turquoise lakes are situated to spill over waterfalls and into bubbling streams, making this a picture perfect site for long-exposed camera shots.
Retezet National Park | Romania
This national park is a protected region located within the Retezat Mountains. The hiking is spectacular with over 60 peaks to admire while eating lunch at one of the many mountainside lakes. Experience the precious wildflower petals gracefully border the base of the snow-capped mountains. For the best outdoor scenery in Romania, visit Retezet for a pure and natural experience.
Jostedal Glacier National Park | Norway
This national park contains the largest glacier on European’s mainland. Unfortunately, global warming are creating glaciers to lose its steam and dwindle away into a liquid and gaseous state. Now is the time to visit Jostedal to walk or hike the glacier. If you’re an experienced skier or hiker, with advanced technical and survival skills, glacier enthusiasts have been known to ski or hike up and down the glacier.
Vysoke Tatry National Park | Slovakia
Vysoke Tatry, or High Tatras, is a must-visit national park for wildlife lovers. It is home to the last remaining mountain chamois, a critically endangered antelope species. The park is also home to many brown bears, marmots and a variety of birds. This park features Slovakia’s highest mountain, Gerlachovsky stit, which towers 2,655 meters above sea level.
Dartmoor National Park | United Kingdom
Although this is one of the UK’s smallest National Parks, Dartmoor features grand views and scenery. This park is home to over 3,000 free-roaming ponies whose spirit runs wild amidst the bilberry bushes, mauve heather and colorful wildflowers. Widecombe is a popular village housing the Rugglestone Inn and it’s well-known hearty meals.
Saxony Switzerland National Park | Germany
Although the name is deceptive, this national park is located in Germany situated near the Czech Republic border. The Elbe Sandstone Mountains showcase jagged gorges and inhabited forests, which is home to rare wildlife such as lynx, otters and kingfishers. The park features over 700 summits and contains medieval villages and mountaintop fortresses.
Olympus National Park | Greece
Mount Olympus is abundant in more ways than just international visitors. This famous mountain range contains 52 peaks, which were once home to the gods in classical Greece. Mount Olympus contains over 1,700 species of plants, 108 bird species and a vast number of butterflies. Wildlife such as wolves, jackals, lynx and wild boar, maybe seen throughout the park. From fertile flora to flourishing fauna, this park attracts the heart of many visitors.
Elizabeth is a fitness professional, workshop presenter and freelance writer. She is an active traveler who treks the globe looking for interesting stories to write and places to photograph. Her most significant travel achievements include living and volunteering in Australia twice and studied yoga in India.