5 Of The Best National Parks In Europe For Nature Lovers

5 Best National Parks in Europe for Nature Lovers - BesTripTips

Welcome to BesTripTips, the travel blog that always suggests excellent locations and hidden gems to visit on your next trip. Today, we will talk about the 5 best national parks in Europe. So, if you are a nature lover or adventure seeker, you are definitely in the right place! You probably know that Europe offers diverse landscapes that allow you to enjoy true wonders… Forests, lakes, peaks, and coastlines: Europe’s national parks meet everyone’s tastes.

In this article, we will embark on an exciting journey across Europe’s most beautiful (and wild also!) national parks. We will go from Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia to Ordesa National Park in Spain and up to the North with Jotunheimen National Park in Norway!

We promise to guide you in exploring stunning landscapes, incredible wildlife, and nature’s most beautiful scenarios, which have been carefully preserved so far. So, go immediately:

  • Lace up your hiking boots.
  • Get your backpack.
  • Get ready to immerse yourself in nature.

Are you ready? Let’s begin our adventure together!

Here’s A List Of The 5 Best National Parks In Europe

Here we are, ready to discover pristine landscapes and inspiring natural sceneries full of mountains, waterfalls, fields, and lakes.

In the following list, we will unveil the 5 best natural parks in Europe most famous for their magical atmosphere. And, as usual, we will suggest how to reach these enchanting locations, where you can eat nearby, and how you will pay to enter. So, let’s start our journey with one of Europe’s finest natural treasures: Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia…

1. Plitvice Lakes National Park – Croatia

Plitvice National Park - Croatia - BesTripTips

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is in the Dinaric karst area and is Croatia‘s oldest and largest national Park. Today, the Park occupies an area of 300 km2!

You can reach the Park by renting a car, or if you want to linger a bit in a Croatian city, you can take a direct bus from Zagreb, Zadar, or Karlovac. The cost of the tickets varies greatly depending on the time of year you visit. For example, they can cost 10 to 40 euros, depending on whether you visit the Park in Winter or Summer. In both cases, we suggest you buy the tickets online to be sure you will find them.

What should you expect once in the park?

Landscapes of extraordinary beauty have been marveling visitors worldwide since 1949 when the Park was first established. Due to the formation of tufa barriers and lakes, you will see a particular conformation representing a unique European scenery. For this reason, in 1979, the Plitvice Lakes were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List

What you will surely appreciate is the particular ways in which you will move through the Park. You will walk along wooden boardwalks that will allow you to cross the Park’s 16 terraced lakes, all interconnected by a series of splendid waterfalls. For this reason, we suggest going equipped with comfortable shoes and clothing. 

Are there any restaurants around?

Also, to plan your visit well, knowing that you won’t find food inside the Park is essential. But don’t worry; you can buy food at the entrance of the Park; plan to pack your lunch or rest in one of the nearby restaurants before or after your visit!

Now that you know exactly what to expect from Plitvice National Park, let’s move to Spain. Keep reading if you want to discover the marvelous sceneries of Ordesa National Park!

2. Ordesa National Park – Spain

Ordesa National Park - Spain - BesTripTips

The Ordesa National Park was created to protect the area near Monte Perdido, part of the Pyrenees. It is a natural wild area characterized by limestone and caves. +The best part is that you can enjoy a walk in the Park for free

To arrive there, there is the specific Torla-Ordesa shuttle bus, available during the Easter period and from June to November. If you want to visit the Park in other periods, you can access it with private vehicles or Torla’s taxi service. 

Now, let’s see what you will find once there

An interesting feature of the Ordesa Park is that you will find different routes suitable for anyone. 

This means you can visit the area at your own pace, choosing from different trails that will take you to waterfalls, rapids, cliffs, and spectacular viewpoints like the Garganta. You will find yourself at the foot of Monte Perdido, the highest peak in the area, at 3.355 meters, and other mountains over 3.000 meters high! 

Ordesa Park is one of Europe’s five best national parks for the species it hosts. Until 2000, the most important species of the Park was the bucardo, which unfortunately went extinct despite preservation efforts. Then, you could encounter the Pyrenean chamois, a type of goat antelope, the alpine marmot, and the Pyrenean desman or water-mole. Obviously, the Park is full of eagles, hawks, and vultures, but they can be a bit difficult to see. So, if you love mountains and animals, you really shouldn’t miss this Park.

You will enjoy breathtaking scenery with green flora, white snow, wild animals, and stunning peaks. An entire ecosystem where the touch of human civilization remains unnoticed and where you can enjoy a deep connection with nature.

What about refreshment points?

Don’t worry. In the Park, there are some typical mountain huts (some of them at over 2000 m of altitude) where you can try local food such as grilled trout or meatballs with local mushrooms. Otherwise, you can opt for eating in the nearby village Tella or for a packed lunch!

Well, now you have all the information to enjoy a good dive in nature in the heart of Spain. Want to continue with another beautiful national park in the Mediterranean part of Europe? So, keep reading and come with us to Italy!

3. Dolomiti Bellunesi – Italy

Dolomiti Bellunesi - Belluno - Italy - BesTripTips

The Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park is situated in northern Italy, in the province of Belluno, Veneto. The Park was established in 1988 and was included in the section of the Dolomites declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2009!

No doubt then that if you find yourself in Northern Italy, you can’t miss this stop. Here, you can enjoy a walk in nature. The altitudes between 412 m and 2,565m include a great variety of environments: rocky walls, broad-leaved woods, coniferous forests, and grasslands.

Now, let’s see how you can reach it

At Bestriptips, we suggest reaching the Park from the main cities of Belluno, Mestre, or Feltre, which are less than a hundred kilometers from Venice. You can arrive at the Park by car from Belluno or Mestre or by train from Feltre, or you can use the Dolomitibus bus, which serves the entire area in the province of Belluno. 

Access to the Park is free, and once there, you can choose from different itineraries for walking, cycling, or riding horseback. The Park also has different railways, making it accessible for all kinds of visitors: adventure seekers and nature lovers who love a quiet walk.

And what about food and huts?

In the Park, there are 6 huts available for hikers. All are open in the summer (usually from June to September) and have a non-guarded winter camp. In addition to these shelters, there are unattended bivouacs, some of which are cared for by local hiking associations.

The initiative “Menu del Parco” was born in these places thanks to an agreement between the Park and some sensitive restaurateurs. In the huts marked by the Morettian bellflower, you can eat local dishes prepared with typical products that bear the logo of the Park.

Still need to be satisfied with our suggestions? Well, then keep reading! We will continue to discuss the 5 best national parks in Europe, and in the next paragraph, Bestriptips will take you to…Norway!

4. Jotunheimen National Park – Norway

Jotunheimen National Park Nature - Norway - BesTripTips

If you are looking for an ever-lasting memory to build in your mind… Welcome to the impressive mountain getaway of Jotunheimen National Park, one of the best in Europe!

Situated in southern Norway, Jotunheimen is the perfect place to daydream: spectacular mountains, icy lakes, glaciers, and stunning fjords. Once there, you will find this, together with some of the local wildlife, such as reindeer, lynx, and wolverines (if you are lucky enough!).

The Park hosts over 250 mountains (all of them are approximately 2000 meters high). Here, you can do whatever activity makes you feel closer to nature: hiking, biking, climbing, skiing, or walking. You will be immersed in what Norway knows as the Home of the Giants, which is actually the meaning of “Jotunheimen. ” A magical place indeed!

How to reach the park?

The Park’s entrance is free, but you can book guided tours or adventures in advance. The Park is centrally located in the heart of Norway, so you can easily reach it from Norway’s major cities such as Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim.

You can opt for Public transport, which is reliable and also affordable, or if you travel by car, you can arrive at the Park from Bergen, Gardermoen, or Oslo in about 4 hours.

Where to eat?

If there’s a thing you can be sure of, it is that Jotunheimen National Park really has everything you are looking for! Want to eat there during your visit?

You will find dining facilities throughout and around the Park. You can choose from snack shops and cafeterias, fast food, or fancy restaurants. For a brief break, you can eat a sandwich, or you can have a healthy meal.  

Now, you are almost at the end of this article! Here, we will introduce you to the last of the 5 best national parks in Europe. Let’s go to Portugal and discover the Peneda-Gerês National Park together!

5. Peneda-Gerês National Park – Portugal

Peneda-Gerês National Park Nature - Portugal - BesTripTips

Peneda-Gerês National Park is situated in the northern part of Portugal and is actually one of the country’s best natural attractions. With its rare scenic beauty and ecological value, it hosts prolific arboreal vegetation, including oaks, beeches, and pines, and it is home to rich wildlife.

If you are lucky enough to observe, you might spot a deer, the Park’s symbol, or an Iberian wolf. But if you fail, don’t worry; you will surely see the Garrano horse running freely in the mountains! The Park is in a typical mountain habitat, a deeply traditional part of Portugal, with local villages where you can find ancient landmarks like dolmen tombs and granaries.

How to reach the park?

To arrive at Peneda-Gerês National Park you can take a train to Braga or Guimarães and continue your journey by bus or rental car. The entrance is free; once there, you can choose among different activities. Let’s see them together.

What to do in the park?

In the Park, you can find different activities that meet everyone’s preferences. In fact, if you are an adventure seeker, you can practice activities such as canoeing or rowing.

If you want to take a walk instead, you can follow the well-preserved route of the Roman Geira, the Roman road, whose milestones date back to almost two thousand years ago! Then, if you are looking for a place to have a break and eat some local food, in the area of the Park, you will find local restaurants that offer typical food or some places where you can enjoy open-air street food.

Enjoy Nature In The 5 Best National Parks In Europe!

What do you think about these incredible national parks in Europe we suggested? Are you curious to visit them? This article gives you a taste of what awaits you in these fantastic European parks.

From the particularity of Plitvice Lakes National Parks to the magical atmosphere of Jotunheimen, each Park will welcome you with its inspiring landscapes and rich wildlife. Whether you’re an expert adventurer looking for adrenaline-pumping experiences or a nature enthusiast who wants a quiet walk… These 5 best national parks in Europe will satisfy all your expectations!

So, are you planning your next trip and want to take advantage of a nature escapade? Then follow the suggestions you find here at BesTripTips, and you will not be disappointed. Can you hear it? Nature is calling you, and we strongly recommend that you answer the call! Then, you know that for your next vacation, you will find us here to guide you to other incredible destinations. See you soon!

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