Ranking of the most beautiful Natural Parks in Europe

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Vacation does not only mean sea, on the contrary: more and more people are opting to pass wonderful days in the name of nature, breathing pure air and observing particular types of flora and fauna. Many i natural parks in Europe: read ours standings and find out how many you have already been, otherwise ... get ready to plan your next trip!

20 - Tricorno National Park, Slovenia

  • Location: provinces of Goriziano and Alta Carniola
  • Area: 838,07 km2

The park it owes its name to the highest mountain in Slovenia, Tricorn precisely (2.864 masl). The park is rich in waterways, underground and not, while the rock is mainly limestone.

19 - Oulanka National Park, Finland

  • Location: North Ostrobothnia
  • Area: 270 km2

Park established in 1956, it is spectacular during any season of the year: the path that crosses it, the Karhunkierros, with a length of about 80 km, is the most popular hiking route in all of Finland and includes passages through woods, rivers and walkways.

18 - Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal

  • Location: Alto Minho - Trás-os-Montes
  • Surface: 70.290 hectares

Portugal's most important national park, was established in 1971. There are many wild animals: deer, roe deer, horses, wild boars, foxes, reptiles, partridges. It is possible to ride one of the domesticated wild horses.

17 - Saxon Switzerland, Germany

  • Location: Dresden
  • Surface: 9.350 hectares

This area is dotted with over 700 peaks, favorite destination of many passionate mountaineers. Beyond that, they are present hundreds of km of marked trails: in particular the Malerweg track, about 112 km long, allows you to admire a famous landscape that was an inspiration for many artists.

16 - Sarek National Park, Sweden

  • Location: Swedish Lapland
  • Surface: 197.000 hectares

Protected area recognized at European level, this national park includes many areas difficult to access: there are numerous peaks covered by glaciers, as well as valleys and streams that are not easily accessible.

15 - Kalkalpen National Park, Austria

  • Location: Upper Austria
  • Surface: 20.856 hectares

Four-fifths of this national park is made up of forest: between the dense trees there are rivers, canyons and gorges, so the park is very popular with climbers, cyclists, hikers but also skiers. There are some particular species of owls and pheasants.

14 - Rago National Park, Norway

  • Location: Nordland
  • Area: 167 km2

The one offered by the Rago National Park it's a truly breathtaking sight: rock formations, boulders and mountains protrude from the landscape and the waters. One of the strong points is the Litlverivassforsen waterfall.

13 - Port-Cros National Park, France

  • Location: Var
  • Area: 7 km2

The park administers the cultural and natural heritages of different areas: Porquerroles, peninsula of Giens, island of Port-Cros, old salt marshes of Hyères and Cape Lardier. There is a lot of wild flora, as well as several threatened species.

12 - Val Grande National Park, Piedmont

  • Locality: Verbano-Cusio-Ossola
  • Surface: 14.598 hectares

Protected area established in 1992 and reachable with a few km away from the city of Verbania. There's a only inhabited within the park: It is Stork, which has about 15 residents. The territory is mainly mountainous, with some waterways: the two most important are Rio Val Grande and Rio Pogallo.

11 - Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, Spain

  • Location: Aragon
  • Area: 156,08 km2

Park located in the central Pyrenees and established in 1918, is famous for its glacial valleys at a depth of 3 km and provides routes suitable for all legs and of varying degrees of difficulty. The park boasts over 170 bird species.

10 - Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

  • Location: Lika and Senj region, Karlovac region
  • Surface: 33.000 hectares

National park well known by Italians, it is also UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park has well 16 lakes one joined to the other and connected to each other through splendid waterfalls. In addition to this, one of the other attractions of the lake are the numerous caves: only some, however, are accessible.

9 - Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Scotland

  • Locality: Argyll and Bute
  • Area: 1.865 km2

This park is one of the most beautiful in the whole of the UK: there are wild landscapes, crystal clear lakes and wonderful hills.

8 - Cinque Terre National Park, Italy

  • Location: Liguria
  • Surface: 3.860 hectares

Le Cinque Terre is a protected area that became a national park in 1999. The park includes the following municipalities: Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Monterosso, Levanto, Spezia. The park protects not only the environment, but also the dry stone walls that support the cultivated terraces overlooking the sea.

7 - Pyrenees National Park, France

  • Location: Midi-Pyrénées, Aquitaine
  • Area: 457,07 km2

The park it has about 230 lakes inside and some famous peaks of the Pyrenees, including Vignemale, the highest in French territory. It also houses approx 150 plant species and numerous animals, such as beetles, butterflies and chamois, symbolic species of the park.

6 - National Park of the Belluno Dolomites, Italy

  • Location: Veneto
  • Surface: 15.030,22 hectares

Italy is the protagonist again: the National park of the Belluno Dolomites includes the mountain groups of the Feltrine Alps, Monti del Sole plus another series of important peaks. There are many rivers and streams, while the main types of fauna present are marmots, roe deer, deer, mouflons.

5 - Alonnisos Marine National Park, Greece

  • Location: Volos
  • Area: 2.260 km2

Here the largest marine protected area in all of Europe: it includes six smaller islands, a quiet seaside area, and the main island of Alonnisos. There are also 22 uninhabited islets and rugged rocks in the north of the Aegean Sea.

4 - Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland

  • Location: South, Southeast, East and North of Iceland
  • Area: 13.920 km2

This park also represents the largest glacier in Europe: it has glacial rivers, mountain ridges, waterfalls, large canyons, huge cliffs and the famous Icelandic volcanoes. In short, once again we have the confirmation of the splendid natural landscape typical of Iceland.

3 - Stelvio National Park, Italy

  • Location: Trentino Alto Adige
  • Surface: 130.734 hectares

On the third step of the podium we find the Stelvio National Park. Established in 1935, this national park extends from 650 to 3.900 meters above sea level. Chamois, deer, roe deer, ibex, ravens, buzzards, sparrow hawks and owls are home to it. The prevailing forest is of the coniferous type.

2 - Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany

  • Location: Bavaria
  • Surface: 24.217 hectares

In this park it is possible to admire many spruces, but also beeches and silver firs. There are also important ponds and swamp lakes. The park is located on the border with the Czech Republic, and together with the Bohemian Forest the Bavarian Forest is the largest contiguous forested area in all of Central Europe.

1 - Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy

  • Location: Aosta Valley - Piedmont
  • Surface: 71.043,79 hectares

The Gran Paradiso national park wins over everyone: established on 3 December 1922, is the oldest Italian national park. Its mountains reach 4.000 meters, and it is possible to meet the animal par excellence of this park: the ibex. Numerous lakes and waterfalls are present.

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