Europe is a magical place loaded in history and magnificent beauty.
When a person decides to visit it is difficult to determine where to start, where to go, and when to stop.
It is not possible to see everything there is to see in one visit. So, let’s take a look at 9 natural wonders Europe has to offer.
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Most scenic places in Europe
These natural wonders of Europe are perfect to put on your European bucket list.
Azores Islands, Portugal
If you are a nature lover, it will be challenging to visit a place as amazing as the Azores Islands in Portugal.
These European natural wonders provide a world of mud spots as well as scaling springs.
You will find caverns, grottoes, and columns created from once molten rock. The magnificent blue lakes are surrounded by trees forming the green forests of cedar and laurel.
The complimenting factor to this beauty is the lush green pastures.
With so much nature around, it won’t come as a surprise that the Azores are a great place for everyone that loves hiking.
Present-day Azoreans occupying the areas are intent on making sure these treasures are preserved. Only five percent of the environment is developed while the rest is protected areas and marine reserves.
Amazingly, the regional government intends to produce 75 percent of the energy needed on the islands.
You and your fellow visitors will want to explore as much of the different areas as possible.
Then, just when you think you have seen it all, you will want to take to the adventures of the sea and enjoy some whale and dolphin watching.
The archipelago is the home for approximately one-third of the world’s cetacean. Those staying around for the year include sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins, and common dolphins.
If you time it right, you might have the chance to see the largest animal in the history of the world, the blue whale, as it passes through on migration routes.
If you are convinced that the Azores deserve a place on your European 2020 bucket list, take a look at our complete Azores itinerary.
Some of the best nature in Europe can be found in Trolltunga, Norway.
This is an amazing place to go if your family enjoys hiking. You will be in for a treat as you hike through this scenic area.
You will be amazed by the spectacular scenery.
The hike is not for lightweights.
You will be walking out and back for a total of 17.4 miles.
During the strenuous hike, you will gain an elevation of 2,950 feet.
You will need to plan for 10 to 12 hours to complete this bucket list specialty.
You need to be aware that you can make the hike without a guide from June 15 to September 15.
If you plan to go before or after these dates, you must hike with a guide.
Trolltunga is one of the most scenic places in Europe. You will begin seeing the scenery at the first big climb.
This first part is the most strenuous. It challenges you to 1km of continual, steep climbing on stone steps as well as gravel trails until the terrain becomes more friendly and levels out.
Next, you will meet up with several shorter climbs.
Since your family enjoys hiking, the sport will offer a challenge as well as a pure joy, not to mention the splendid views overlooking the lake.
A list of the Wonders of the world in Europe is not complete without a visit to Meteora, Greece.
The meaning of the word “Meteora” is “hovering in the air and many people think of meteors when they see this extraterrestrial landscape.
There are many theories as to what created this geological phenomenon but it remains a mystery up till today.
No theory has been fully accepted and no theory has been proven.
Everyone is amazed at the marvel of the giant rocks.
But, it does not stop there. It is the buildings on top of the rocks at which one marvels even more. In one word, these can be described as miraculous.
There are many monasteries to visit. If you have time, it is well worth it to visit all of them. There is a fee of 2 euros to enter each one.
Also, your dress must be appropriate. Women must wear skirts below the knee. Men must wear long pants, and their arms must be covered.
Each monastery offers a magnificent view. They are also filled with religious treasures, icons, wall paintings, and libraries providing old manuscripts.
Most of them were built in the 1500s.
Did you know that Greece is one of the cheapest countries in Europe?
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
This scenic park offers some of the most beautiful nature in Europe.
The obvious highlight is the string of 16 lakes, which are always changing colors. There are several beautiful lakeside trails with wooden bridges.
It is known that you can experience true hedonism for those who are true nature lovers.
The park was founded in 1949.
It is Croatia’s first national park, basically established to protect the breathtaking natural beauty it has to offer.
Read also: The most beautiful small towns in Europe
The magical lakes change color from turquoise to green and from gray to blue.
The entire area evolved through a natural process as a result of travertine barrier deposition.
Park-goers now enjoy the symphony of waterfalls and lakes while being surrounded by the woods and wildlife.
The Lofoten Islands, Norway
This is another must-do on your bucket list of natural wonders of Europe.
The Lofoten are also known as Norway’s Untamed Islands.
The area is a rare wilderness outpost. It offers one of the most scenic places in Europe.
Listen for the squawking seabirds as you look at the majestic mountains, as well as the deep fjords.
You will be amazed by the long, surf-swept beaches.
“Lonely Planet” described this area as “The beauty of this place is simply staggering.”
If you become tired of looking at the beauty, which most people do not, you might want to try your hand at fishing.
This is the main reason many people have lived here for decades.
It is also known for the small fishing villages.
While fishing, you can still enjoy what mother nature has provided. This includes the northern lights, a spectacular sight to behold.
The amazing jagged mountains, the white sandy beaches, or just being outdoors making the Lofoten Islands a fantastic place to visit.
The Algarve boasts some of the most dramatic and beautiful nature in Southern Europe.
The Arabs gave the Algarve its name Al-Gharb. This means “the west.”
It was at that time their westernmost property in their empire.
Today the map looks completely different and the name is a little odd as Algarve is Portugal’s most southerly region.
The Algarve offers you high-quality beaches where the sand stretches on forever. They are framed by the iconic golden cliffs.
The small coves are protected by gigantic, interestingly shaped rocks. The mostly calm and relatively warm ocean offers you every shade of blue.
On non-beach days you can spoil yourself in one of the many spas and thermal baths. Golfers can improve their game at the many internationally acclaimed courses.
The Hilton Vilamoura is the perfect hotel to stay when you want to combine these 2 activities.
Visit the neighboring island of Culatra.
Here you will see the white-washed hamlets covered with bougainvillea. You cannot leave the area without first seeing the honeycomb cliffs.
Here you will find famous rock formations as well as unbelievable cliffs.
Another sight is the Benagil cave. It has been carved and sculpted by the seas. You will also want to catch one of the sunsets.
Nowhere in Europe will you see such a dramatic spectacle.
Plan your trip before leaving home, as there is so much to do and see in the Algarve even during winter.
Matterhorn, Switzerland and Italy
The Matterhorn is the highest summer ski region in Europe, it is open 365 days a year. It truly deserves its spot on this list of wonders of the world in Europe.
The Matterhorn is at the border between Switzerland and Italy. It is mystical, majestic, and considered the mountain of mountains.
Ski-fanatics count down the days until they can hit the slopes of the glacier paradise, voted as the Jewel of the Swiss Alps. Most agree it is impossible to see enough of this magical wonder. This rugged rock offering its magical light offers amazing sights as it plays in a sea of clouds.
You will also want to visit the Gornergrat.
When reaching the top of this 3,000-meter mountain ridge, you can enjoy a dramatic view from the viewing platform. It offers, among many things, an unforgettable view of the Matterhorn, and the world that surrounds it. You can also view the Matterhorn from Rothorn. The climb to the top of the Rothorn showcases some of the highest peaks in the region.
In the summer it is a starting point for many popular hikes, in winter it is the gateway to beautiful sunny pistes.
The Matterhorn Museum provides some interesting information about the area. Allow yourself enough time so you can visit the other part: the Matterhorn, Italy.
When most people think of the Matterhorn, they relate it to Switzerland. What many people don’t know is that the summer ski region is shared with Italy. Skiers can cross the border for an Italian lunch. The Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort in Italy has perhaps some of the most stunning ski resorts in Europe.
As it is also one of the highest ski resorts in Europe it provides the longest-running ski seasons in Europe, from October to late May.
The Matterhorn in Italy has the shape of a pyramid. The area is primarily an outdoor region for mountain climbers, skiers, and hikers.
However, the area also offers various small villages you can explore.
They are located in a beautiful setting and are near the base of the Matterhorn.
Champagne Region, France
This region is located to the east of Paris. It is loaded with history. It has always been rich in agriculture and today the region is dotted with grape vineyards and wineries.
You have many choices of places to visit.
One of these is Reims. You will most likely be impressed with the 13th-century cathedral. It is one of the most outstanding gothic cathedrals in northern France. Reims is also home to many major Champagne producers. Several of the producers offer cellar tours.
Reims also counts several lovely parks and gardens. The Parc de Champagne is particularly spectacular. You can also take a leisurely stroll through the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne which was founded in 1548. The city is also home to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Reims. It was built as a diocese in 250.
Epernay forms the beating heart of the Champagne region.
This is where tourists should stay who want to cruise the narrow roads lined with never-ending vineyards. The rolling hills take you from one stunning sight to the next.
Many Champagne houses are situated at the heart of the city along the Avenue De Champagne.
The area has so many things to do and places to see that you should decide in advance what your itinerary will be. A few of these include Colombey les Deux Eglises, the village where General de Gaulle is buried. Nearby Troyes offers a 13th-century cathedral featuring a historic city center.
Families traveling with children should include a stop at Nigoland. It is one of the grandest theme parks in France.
Kirkjufell Foss, Iceland
This is another of the natural wonders of Europe. It is said to be the most photographed mountain in all of Iceland. It is 463 meters above sea level. The jutting out into the sea creates a focal point for visitors as well as locals.
The mountain changes color every season from summer greens to winter whites.
The Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, next to the mountain, is three-pronged and offers a beautiful sight. It is another magnificent sight during the dark winter nights as the Northern Lights prance across the sky. Nearby is another stunning waterfall, Grundarfoss.
Kirkja is the name for church in Icelandic so, interestingly, Kirkjufell means “Church Mountain.”
Kirkjufell has a great walking trail that surrounds it. There is also a steep climb to the top. As you get closer to the top the climb gets more challenging and at one point you will need to use the ropes that are attached to the rock slope.
It’s best to do this hike on a dry day as this part can get pretty slippery in the rain.
You will also be fascinated by all of the birds and marine life.
During the winter, if you are lucky, you will see killer whales in the fjord.
The town of Grundarfjordur has accommodations, restaurants, and a nine-hole golf course. You can also enjoy many outdoor activities which include hiking, ice-climbing, horseback riding, and camping.
These nine sights offer some of the magnificence for which Europe is known.
Are you ready to scrap these things off your bucket list? Planning all these amazing sights in one trip is going to be a difficult challenge.
There’s just so much to see and so much to do.
Make sure to plan your trip wisely but don’t limit your European adventure to these highlights, Europe has much more to offer than just this.
Have a great vacation!
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