10 Best National Parks In Europe

As soon as you hear someone say 'Europe', the first thing that comes to your mind is travel. Yes, that is how tight the bond between travel and Europe is. Boasting of a huge number of world famous monuments, historical attractions, and party destinations, Europe finds a special place in every traveler's travel plan. While you explore the popular well-known attractions in Europe that are always packed, the other side of Europe comprising of incredible national parks which are even more attractive remain unexplored. Why not change your course on your next trip to Europe and spend some time exploring the national parks in Europe? I am sure your travel plan to Europe will change forever! 

To make your task easier, we have a compiled a list of 10 best national parks in Europe that you shouldn't skip.

1. Plitvice Lakes National Park

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Adorned by a series of 16 turquoise blue lakes, a dozen of waterfalls and a thick spread of greenery, Plitvice Lakes National Park looks stunningly beautiful. Situated in the mountainous karst area of Croatia, bordering Bosnia and Herzegovina, Plitvice National Park is spread across an area of 73,350 acres and is a part of UNESCO world heritage sites. Hike your way through the marked trails of the park that take you through a scenic route filled with astonishing views all the way. With the pleasant sound of chirping of the birds and the thundering waterfalls filling the air, the Jewel crown of Croatia - Plitvice Lakes National Park attracts over 1 million tourists a year and is for the wanderlust in you. 

Carry your own food into the park, the food and the snacks inside the park are a little pricey and please control yourself from swimming, it is not permitted. A single day entry ticket for Adults varies from 7-24 Euros depending on the season of the visit.

Best time to visit: Between the months of May and September (mild weather), which is also the peak season. 
Activities: Hiking, Sight Seeing, Nature Photography.

2. Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

  

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici that translates to 'The winding streams and St. Maurice lake' is one of the fourteen national parks in Spain and definitely one of the peaceful parks in Europe. Set in the heart of the wild mountainous region of the Pyrenees, the park spans across an area of 34,841 acres (approximately) and comprises of more than 200 uniquely-distinct lakes. As you trace your way through the varying heights of the park, say hello to the countless streams and befriend the alpine fauna that includes Roe deer, Marmot, Pyrenean Chamois, Ermine, Golden Eagle, and Black Woodpecker. 

The park is full of rugged peaks and rocky slopes and so it is advisable to bring your hiking shoes/boots. 

Best time to visit: March till November. During the rest of the months, the park is covered in a thick spread of snow. 
Activities: Hiking, Swimming, Snowshoeing (only during winters).
 

3. Białowieża National Park

Image Source: Wikipedia.org

Białowieża National Park is a part of the famous Białowieża forest in Poland, the only remaining primeval forest in Europe. Rich with biodiversity, Białowieża National Park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the iconic, European Bison - the largest land mammal in Europe. Recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve, most parts of the forest remain intact ever after so many centuries resulting in a revolutionary forest that is a mix of the old and the new ages. Visit this national park in Poland as it offers one of the remarkable experiences of your life.

Try wearing shoes over sandals and carry repellants with you as the forest is full of insects and parasites. 

Best time to visit: April to October, as the other months, would be freezing.
Activities: Bison Safari, Wolf tracking, Bird watching, Swimming, Canoeing, Fishing.

4. Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park

  

Image Source: Wikipedia.org

Perched on top of the Pyrenees of the Huesca province, Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is an incredibly beautiful park rich with diverse flora and fauna and towering mountain landscapes. Dominated by the largest limestone chain of the Western Europe - Mount Perdido, Ordesa National Park is one of the oldest parks in Spain offering amazing hiking trails and unforgettable views. The park is included as a part of the world heritage site by UNESCO, and the valleys of the park are crowded with fir, pine, and beech trees making it an ideal location to hike. If you are planning to go on a hike, carry enough water. 

Best time to visit: Between the months of March and November. There is also a high probability for rain during the period and so it is best to carry an umbrella or wear a raincoat. 
Activities: Hiking.

5. Triglav National Park

Image Source: Commons.wikimedia

Named after Slovenia's highest mountain, Triglav that stands 2,864 high, Triglav National Park is the only national park in Slovenia. Decorated with picturesque landscapes and alpine pasture valleys, Triglav National park attracts 1.6 million visitors every year. Experience the dense vegetation of the park that is is unspoiled and protected entirely by the Julian Alps and don't miss out on Lake Bohinj, which is actually the major attraction of the park. Triglav National Park is also marked well with secure hiking trails and packed with swift river and waterfalls. 

If you plan to visit Triglav National Park, pack your hiking shoes/boots.

Best time to visit: From the month of April to October. 
Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Canyoning, Rafting, Hydrospeeding.

6. Ecrins National Park

  

Image Source: Commons.wikimedia  

Speeding rivers, lush meadows, subalpine woodlands, and towering mountain peaks, all set in a beautiful scenery is what that makes Ecrins National Park. Located in the south-eastern part of France in the mountainous region of Dauphine Alps, Ecrins National Park covers an area of 226,843 acres. Explore the dramatic landscape of the park and witness the beautiful quaint, little french towns and villages along the way to make your trip complete. The park attracts 800,000 visitors every year and has a lovely weather year around. 

Ecrins National Park doesn't encourage camping inside the park, although you are allowed to bivouac. 

Best time to visit: From the month of April to October. 
Activities: Hiking, Skiing, Climbing, Rafting, Kayaking.

7. Gran Paradiso National Park

Image Source: Commons.wikimedia

Initially established in 1836, as a hunting ground, Gran Paradiso attained the status of National Park in 1922. Situated in the Graian Alps, this Italian National Park is named after the Mountain Grand Paradiso. Covered in alpine grasslands, rocky terrains, glaciers and fir trees, Gran Paradiso National provides an ideal setting for wild animals and plants to thrive on. Admire the idyllic setting of the national park, lined up with an amazing scenery and uncover the wonderful world that lies beyond the mountains to understand why it is called a paradise. 

Carry a backpack with hiking shoes/boots, sweater and waterproof jackets as it is likely to rain during the peak season. 

Best time to visit: Starting from the month of April till October. 
Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Cross-country Skiing

8. Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park

  

Image Source: Commons.wikimedia  

Located in the province of Belluno, Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park was established in 1988 and is one of the most visited parks in Italy. Devoid of any infrastructure and completely naturalistic, Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park provides an ideal escapade from the everyday commotions of life. Soaring Dolomite cliffs, spectacular canyons, deep valleys and clear turquoise blue waters add to the beauty of the national park which is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

Best time to visit: Between the months of May and September.
Activities: Camping, Hiking, Mountaineering. 

9. Bohemian Switzerland National Park

Image Source: Commons.wikimedia

Also known as the Czech Switzerland, Bohemian Switzerland National park in the Czech Republic is adjacent to the Saxon Switzerland National park. Highlighted by its huge sandstone rock formations, wild valleys, and frozen waterfalls, the region of Bohemian Switzerland National Park offers breathtaking views and is one of the romantic places to visit with your loved one. Soak yourself in the wild beauty of nature that is preserved to its fullest and enjoy the connect. 

Refrain yourselves from spoiling the place with garbage and lose your electronic gadgets for a while to get the best of the place. 

Best time to visit: Between the months of May and October. 
Activities: Sightseeing, Hiking, Nature photography. 

10. Hohe Tauern National Park

  

Image Source: Wikipedia.org   

Set in the heart of the Austrian alps, Hohe Tauer National Park is overwhelming with its turquoise lakes, raging waterfalls, soaring snow-covered peaks, and glistening glaciers. Considered as one of the biggest national parks in the Alps, Hohe Tauer National Park has a rich and a diverse alpine ecosystem. Awe at the colorful alpine flowers adorning the vivid landscapes and experience the touch of Mother Nature in all its glory at Hohe Tauern National Park.
 
If you are planning to go on a hike, carry enough water.
 
Best time to visit: From the month of March till October.
Activities: Camping, Hiking. 
 
Mesmerized by the parks? What is your favorite national park in Europe? Let us know in the comments. 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DEEPAK KANNAN DEEPAK KANNAN

- Writer. Oldsoul. Batman fan. Deepak is an Engineering graduate, currently working as a Content Strategist in TripHobo.

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