National parks in Europe - Let us help you plan your trip

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Europe is home to some of the most spectacular and diverse natural landscapes in the world, and visiting a national park in Europe can be an unforgettable experience. There are many reasons why you should consider visiting a national park in Europe.

Natural Beauty

Europe's national parks are home to some of the continent's most breathtaking natural landscapes, including towering mountains, lush forests, shimmering lakes, and dramatic coastlines. Whether you're an avid hiker, a nature lover, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of the outdoors, Europe's national parks offer something for everyone.


Rich Biodiversity

Europe's national parks are also home to a wide range of plant and animal species, many of which are unique to the continent. From the rare lynx and brown bear to the vibrant wildflowers and colorful birds, Europe's national parks offer a fascinating glimpse into the region's rich biodiversity.


Cultural Heritage

Many of Europe's national parks are also steeped in cultural history, with ancient ruins, traditional villages, and historic landmarks scattered throughout the parks. Visiting sites as Saxon Switzerland in Germany and Cairngorms National Park in Scotland and many more can offer a glimpse into Europe's rich cultural heritage and help visitors better understand the region's history and traditions.


Recreation

Europe's national parks offer a wide range of recreational activities, from hiking and camping to fishing, kayaking, and cycling. With so many activities to choose from, visitors can tailor their visit to their interests and abilities.


Sustainable Tourism

Visiting a national park in Europe can also be an opportunity to support sustainable tourism and conservation efforts. Many national parks in Europe are committed to protecting the environment and minimizing the impact of tourism, making them a responsible and ethical choice for travelers. And remember to leave no trace. 


We hope that this list will inspire you to explore the beauty of the natural wonders of Europe. Europe boasts an impressive 504 national parks, encompassing vast expanses of stunning landscapes including mountains, valleys, rivers, forests, and a variety of biodiversity terrain. Russia has the most national parks on the continent, with 48 in total.

Only seven countries in Europe do not have any national parks at all. However, the focus of this article is to highlight some of the top national parks in Europe, the list is to be used as inspiration. There are plenty of national parks that we don’t mention but would definitely be worth a visit.

Some of the most beautiful national parks in Europe

Parco Nazionale delle Dolomiti Bellunesi

National park in🇮🇹 Italyrated
5

The Dolomites National Park is located in the northern Italian Alps and is known for its stunning mountain scenery, crystal-clear lakes, and vibrant wildflower meadows. The Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park (Parco nazionale delle Dolomiti Bellunesi) is situated in the province of Belluno, Veneto, in northern Italy. This national park was founded in 1988 and is part of the "Pale di San Martino - San Lucano - Dolomiti Bellunesi - Vette Feltrine" region, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009 due to its outstanding natural beauty.

Explore Parco Nazionale delle Dolomiti Bellunesi

Plitvice Lakes National Park

National park in🇭🇷 Croatiarated
4.8

Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the oldest and largest national parks in Croatia. It is known for its breathtaking scenery of 16 interconnected lakes and numerous waterfalls, which are surrounded by lush green forests. Visitors can hike along the wooden footbridges that wind through the park, providing spectacular views of the crystal-clear lakes and cascading waterfalls. The park is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, including bears, wolves, lynx, and over 120 species of birds.

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Jotunheimen National Park

National park in🇳🇴 Norwayrated
5

Jotunheimen National Park is located in the heart of Norway and is known for its rugged mountain peaks and stunning glaciers. The park covers an area of 3,500 square kilometers and is home to Norway's highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen, which stands at 2,469 meters. The park offers a range of hiking trails, from easy walks to challenging climbs, and visitors can enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountain landscapes and crystal-clear lakes. In the park you will find wildlife such as reindeer, elk, and arctic foxes.

Explore Jotunheimen National Park

Triglav National Park

National park in🇸🇮 Sloveniarated
4.5

Triglav National Park is Slovenia's only national park and is known for its stunning mountain scenery, crystal-clear rivers, and emerald green lakes. The park covers an area of 838 square kilometers and is home to the Julian Alps, which feature some of the most dramatic mountain landscapes in Europe. Visitors can hike along the park's many trails, including the famous Seven Lakes Trail, which takes hikers past seven beautiful glacial lakes. Interested in animals? In Triglav, you are able to learn more about bears, wolves, and chamois.

Explore Triglav National Park

Cairngorms National Park

National park in🇬🇧 United Kingdom

Cairngorms National Park is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands and is known for its stunning mountain scenery, ancient forests, and crystal-clear rivers. The park covers an area of 4,528 square kilometers and is home to some of Scotland's most iconic wildlife, including red deer, golden eagles, and red squirrels. Visitors can hike along the park's trails, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountain landscapes and wildflower meadows.

Explore Cairngorms National Park

Sarek National Park

National park in🇸🇪 Swedenrated
5

Sarek National Park is located in northern Sweden and is known for its stunning mountain scenery, glaciers, and wild rivers. The park covers an area of 1,970 square kilometers and is home to some of Sweden's most iconic wildlife, including brown bears, wolverines, and lynx. Sarek National Park is impressive with its deeply cut valleys between high peaks, several of which are over 2 000 meters above sea level. The landscape is stunningly beautiful, a true wilderness. Hiking here requires experience as there are no marked trails or overnight cabins.


Read our Bucket list for Sweden.

Explore Sarek National Park

Durmitor National Park

National park in🇲🇪 Montenegrorated
4.8

Durmitor National Park is located in the northwest region of Montenegro and is known for its stunning mountain scenery, deep canyons, and glacial lakes. The park covers an area of 390 square kilometers and is home to some of Montenegro's most iconic wildlife, including brown bears, wolves, and wild boar. Visitors can hike along the park's many trails, which range from easy walks to challenging mountain climbs, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the rugged landscapes and pristine wilderness.

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Picos de Europa National Park

Nature reserve in🇪🇸 Spainrated
4.9

The Picos de Europa National Park, spanning across Asturias, Cantabria, and León provinces, is an exceptional representation of an Atlantic ecosystem with its magnificent mountains and forests. Named after its striking rock formations, the park boasts of an abundance of oak and beech groves. Besides, the park is also renowned for being a natural habitat for two of Spain's most iconic animal species - the brown bear and the Iberian wolf. However, the park has much more to offer than just these impressive features.

Explore Picos de Europa National Park

Gran Paradiso

National park in🇮🇹 Italyrated
4.5

Italy's oldest national park, the Gran Paradiso National Park, is often referred to as Italy's answer to Yellowstone. The park is located in the region between Piemonte and Valle d'Aosta and was established in 1922 to safeguard endangered species, particularly the ibex, which has now become an emblematic symbol of the park. The park is also home to numerous picturesque villages and historic landmarks, such as the Savoy Royal Hunting Lodge.

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Bavarian Forest National Park

National park in🇩🇪 Germanyrated
5

Located along the southeastern border of Germany, adjacent to the Czech Republic, the Bavarian Forest National Park, also known as Bayerischer Wald, is the largest contiguous forest in Central Europe. It joins forces with the Sumava National Park in the Czech Republic to create a protected forest ecosystem.

Every year, numerous visitors explore the Bavarian Forest National Park, which covers 50.5 square miles (130.8 square kilometers), and is mostly covered by trees, providing a conducive environment for various species of plants, birds, and small animals to thrive.

The Bavarian Forest National Park boasts of three prominent peaks: GroBer Rachel, which is the highest at 4,767 feet (1,453 meters) above sea level, Lusen at 4,505 feet (1,373 meters), and GroBer Falkenstein at 4,281 feet (1,305 meters).

Explore Bavarian Forest National Park

Białowieża National Park

National park in🇵🇱 Polandrated
5

Białowieża National Park is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Białowieża National Park was established in 1932 and is one of the oldest national parks in Europe. It is located in the north-eastern part of Poland, in the Podlaskie Voivodeship. Its heart is the Białowieża Forest, the last and best preserved area of the primeval forest that once covered our continent!

This is where you can meet the world's largest population of European bison living in the wild. But bison are far from the only animals in the park. Not only nature lovers, but also those who like historical monuments can find something of interest here. One example is Palace Park, an English-style landscape garden with a historic wooden mansion.

The city of Białowieża is about 260 km from Warsaw. It is a distance you can easily travel by car, bus or train. Visitors can explore the park on foot or by bike, and can also take a guided tour to learn more about the park's unique ecosystem and conservation efforts. The park also features several museums and educational facilities where visitors can learn about the park's history and wildlife.

Explore Białowieża National Park

High Tauern National Park

National park in🇦🇹 Austriarated
4.8

Home to the highest peak in Austria - Grossglockner

Located in the Austrian Alps, Hohe Tauern National Park is the largest protected area in Austria. The park covers an area of 1,856 square kilometers and is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including golden eagles, chamois, and ibex. Visitors can explore the park's many hiking trails, which offer stunning views of the high alpine landscape, or take a guided tour to learn more about the park's flora and fauna. The park also features several visitor centers and educational facilities, as well as a network of alpine huts where visitors can stay overnight.

The park’s altitude ranges from valley floors to the peaks of towering three-thousand-meter mountains, hosting an extraordinary variety of biodiversity. The highest peak in Austria is to be found within the park, Grossglockner reaches a height of 12,461 feet (3,798 m), you have the perfect view over the peak if you drive (or bike all to the top of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. On the south side of the peak you have the beautiful village Heiligen blut. The administration of the park has made it its mission to safeguard this distinctive ecosystem, conduct research on it, and impart this knowledge to forthcoming generations.

Want more national parks?

We have made a list with the most beautiful national parks in the whole world.

Explore High Tauern National Park

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