7 National Parks In Europe You’d Love To Hike
Calling Europe, a jewellery box containing some of the best and glorious gems won’t be wrong. From striking architecture, swanky restaurants, and gorgeous parks, Europe has lots to offer. Indeed, you will find a holiday destination of all sorts when you are here. Europe has an abundance of natural beauty and witnessing its charm through hiking is the best way to do it.
Since I have done hiking at these places, I am in a better position to narrate all these places, in detail.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
This national park offers great opportunities for hikers. The trails are nice to hike and since most of the trails being dirt and boardwalks, you will have a great time hiking here. The park includes 16 interconnected lakes and they are also a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. While you are enjoying a great time hiking, you will come across beautiful waterfalls and lakes. If you were planning for swimming you can’t as it is not allowed here.
You can follow the loop; it is up to you whether you want to travel clockwise or anticlockwise. I went there in the end of March and the whole environment had a dusty look and moreover, the trees didn’t have leaves. During winters the snow and frozen water give an altogether new look to the park. Make sure you have wandered towards the big waterfall and explore the caves on the other bank of the river.
photo credit: tuulavintage.com
Triglav National Park, Slovenia
It is one of Slovenia’s only national parks and also one of the oldest parks in Europe. The park is named after Triglav mountain (2,864 m) and it also covers 4% of the total mass of Slovenia, moreover it is also covered by the eastern Julian Alps. The national park covers a total area of 838 sq. kilometres and it also borders both Austria and Italy.
It’s pristine nature and natural beauty draws thousands of tourists every year, especially hikers. Lake Bohinjsko is one of the key attractions of the park and there are various other lakes such as Lake Crno and Lake Bled around the waterfalls, rivers, creeks and lakes gorges. Talking of waterfalls, make sure you have explored two picturesque waterfalls – Kosjak and Savica. You can see other tourists indulging in cycling, climbing, horseback riding, paragliding, and kayaking. What makes this park interesting is the fact that it caters to the needs of all those tourists who are looking for some adventure and for all those who just want to laze around.
photo credit: theworldofwanderers.com
Goreme National Park, Turkey
This is certainly one of the most unique places in the list. During the tertiary period, this place witnessed volcanic activity and it resulted in the formation of mountains in this area. Over the years, with more volcanic activities and changing temperatures made fairy chimneys and various other odd looking cones. You will be amazed by the sheer size and the way they look.
As far as hiking is concerned, Goreme National Park has various trails ideal for hiking. I found most of the trails quite visible and marked, you don’t need to hire a guide if you have confidence on your hiking skills. If you are looking to have an organised hike, then you can take a guide along with who will be sharing stories and other insights about the park. The temperature here falls and rise dramatically, so my advice would be to pack accordingly. Some of the terrains are challenging and some are quite slippery, so it is important you have proper hiking gear.
photo credit: heelstohikingboots.com
Ordesa National Park, Spain
Offering the best natural beauty and pristine surroundings, this park has rightly received UNESCO World Heritage Site. Without a doubt, this park offers the best hiking experiences in Pyrenees. It has varied terrain; this means it has something for hikers of all levels. In addition, you also get to enjoy mountain landscapes and abundance of flora and wildlife.
The majority of the day hikers prefer to hike on The Valley Floor (16 km). It is a nice path where you cross through the silver fir woods and the huge cliffs flanking you on the both sides. You will also cross majestic looking waterfalls and you will end this trail at Circo de Soaso waterfall. Some of the other hiking trails include – Faja de Pelay (22 km), Faja Racon (11 km), and Faja de las Flores (16 km).
photo credit: parktours.com.au
Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland
Only mentioning the name of Iceland creates a picture of natural beauty, glaciers, and not to mention chilly weather. Well, there are three national parks in Iceland and Vatnajökull National Park is the largest one and it is located towards the east of Iceland. Well, I have seen people prefer to stay close to the visitor centre, but I wanted to trek even further towards Skaftafellsheiði loop (10 miles long).
Moving away from the visitor centre, you will make your way to Svartifoss, a small but beautiful waterfall. From Svartifoss, you will hike up wildflower-laden field and you will be able to see some breathtaking views across the highlands. From here you will have a look at Vatnajokull glacier which overwhelms the land and squeezed into the crack made by two higher points.
photo credit: getyourguide.com
Saxon Switzerland National Park, Germany
The park is situated towards the east of Germany and a great place to enjoy hiking. The region between Pirna and Czech border has one of the most exotic landscapes in Europe. The national park has 400 km of hiking trails, cycling routes, and steep treks and a wealth of rich flora and fauna. You need to follow the sign posted hiking and climbing paths (core zone). The trail is a bit challenging and uneven, so make sure you have worn sturdy boots.
photo credit: olly newport via flickr
Black Forest National Park, Germany
I have included Black Forest National Park in the end, but I had the best time trekking here. If you are not carrying your hiking equipment, don’t worry you can purchase them in the large centres in the Black Forest. Most of the trails are well-marked and it really helps you to stay on the track, I personally found them helpful. Along the way, you will come across various huts serving you homemade local food and drinks.
You also get to enjoy picture perfect sceneries and if you are ok hiking with other people and want to enjoy some great scenery then I will suggest Feldberg. During the day time, the views are pretty amazing and you can choose from a wide variety of hikes. There is one another place called – Calw, which also offers you a number of hiking options to choose from.
photo credit: shutterstock.com
featured image credit: ononecard.com
Emma Brown is an extensive and experienced web-writer. I help people to have the most informative and appealing online presence. Content writing is my passion and Scaling Expectations is my basic motto, I live up to. I am a Mass Communication post graduate and written several article for sites like Followthesteps.