14 best European destinations for nature lovers (2022)

Explore the most beautiful places in Europe for nature, from where to go to how to afford the adventure. Here are the perfect destinations for nature lovers in Europe.

If you ask the Average Joe what Europe has to offer, he'll probably tell you to go to Europe for the charming cities, storied histories, narrow alleyways, best-in-class museums, and more culture than you can appreciate in a lifetime.

But Europe also boasts some of the most beautiful destinations for nature lovers in the world, if only you're willing to get off the busy tourist track.

Here are the best European destinations for nature lovers to get your wanderlust-fueled wheels spinning.

  1. Switzerland: Bernese Oberland Region
  2. Montenegro: Durmitor National Park
  3. Scotland: Isle of Skye
  4. Germany: Black Forest
  5. Portugal: Algarve Coast
  6. Ireland: Dingle and West Coast
  7. Italy: Tuscany and Umbrian Countryside
  8. France: Chamonix
  9. England: Cotswolds Region
  10. Norway: Svalbard
  11. Slovenia: Vintgar Gorge and Lake Bohinj
  12. Spain: The Camino de Santiago
  13. Netherlands: Keukenhof Tulip Fields
  14. Croatia: Take Your Pick

---

1. Switzerland: Bernese Oberland Region


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (1)

When you think "Swiss Alps", this is the region you're dreaming of. In a concentrated area south of the Swiss capital of Bern, you'll find snow capped mountains, alpine lakes, and charming mountain towns, all connected by a challenging but well-marked system of hiking paths and reliable trains.

While the area will certainly tug on your pursestrings, there are strategies you can use to save money while traveling and make exploring in the Bernese Oberland manageable.

Purchase a train pass to make travel in the area less of a burden or hike between towns instead of taking the train when possible. Cook for yourself (or live off of PB & J sandwiches like I did) instead of paying exorbitant restaurant prices. Stay in inexpensive hostels (I personally adore this one), camp, or find a work exchange in Switzerland through Worldpackers.

2. Montenegro: Durmitor National Park


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (2)

Famous for being one of the best places to travel in Europe on a budget, this tiny country along the Dalmatian coast also packs a nature loving punch, so much so that I had a hard time deciding which region deserved to be called out as the most scenic places in Europe to visit.

When I think back on my timebackpacking the Balkans, it's the walk I took around the Black Lake in Durmitor National Park that sings to my nature-loving soul. The country is so small that Durmitor National Park is never more than a day trip away, no matter where you are in Montenegro.

Runner up is the Bay of Kotor, a dramatic fjord-like region of crystal clear water and charming old towns built into dramatically arranged mountains. This region is only second fiddle because it's frequently visited by cruise ships and tends to be overcrowded during the day.

(Video) European destinations for nature lovers| Tamil subtitle

Worldpackers offers a fine selection of exchange projects in Montenegro.Work a few hours a day and spend the rest of your time exploring all that this stunning country has to offer!

Check outThe best things to do in Montenegro.

3. Scotland: Isle of Skye


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (3)

Looking to connect with nature as you travel? Look no further than Scotland...

The entire country of Scotland is really one of the best countries to visit for nature lovers, even the country's capital city of Edinburgh boasts a beautiful mountain day hike called Arthur's Seat.

The northernmost island in the Scottish highlands feels like stepping back in time, a time when nature ruled over our hearts and minds. It is a tricky place to get to as public transportation is basically non-existent, but plenty of companies offer multi-day tours from Edinburgh or Glasgow if you aren't confident enough to drive in a foreign country.

4. Germany: Black Forest


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (4)

If you want to feel like you're hiking through a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, head to Germany's Black Forest. It effortlessly makes for one of the best European destinations for nature lovers.

As the name suggests, you'll explore dense evergreen forests. The area is also well-known for thermal spas, vineyards, and coo-coo clocks (I can't make this stuff up!).

Worldpackers has exchange projects all over Germany. Choose fromopportunities towork in holistic centersandhostel management, on farms, and more.

5. Portugal: Algarve Coast


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (5)

This one is for the water babies out there. The Southern Coast of Portugal makes a great shoulder season destination for nature lovers as it stays warmer and sunnier than much of the rest of Europe.

You come to the Algarve to enjoy some of the best beaches in Europe, many of which are bordered by picturesque cliffs and connected by caves and water-worn cutouts. While you certainly won't tire of a few days of lazy sunbathing here, don't miss out on sea kayaking in the area either.

For an extra boost to the budget, consider choosing a Worldpackers experience in Portugalinstead of a more typical accommodation. There are dozens of opportunities!

(Video) 15 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe | Europe Travel Video

6. Ireland: Dingle and West Coast


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (6)

For my money, Ireland is one of the most approachable and scenic places in Europe to visit.

The west coast, which is Ireland's most naturally rugged side, is filled with vista upon vista of stunning natural beauty. It's also home to a quaint little seaside town called Dingle. Dingle feels like a place that has more pubs than people, and is also a great base for exploring Ireland's surprisingly sandy shores.

Of course, you'll also find the Cliffs of Moher and the 13 km walking path that follows it along the west coast of Ireland as well.

On a more personal note, this Irish coast is where my personal solo travel story begins. Ireland made for an ideal first international solo trip for me as a fellow nature lover because of the lack of language barrier, friendly locals, and easy access to beautiful, natural views.

Check out the Worldpackers Ireland travel guideto learn more about traveling and volunteering in Ireland.

7. Italy: Umbrian Countryside


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (7)

I know you've heard of the Tuscan Countryside in Italy, where rolling hills and world class vineyards seem to be painted in a thousand colors of soft green, but have you heard of the neighboring region of Umbria?

Boasting many of the same traits as its northern neighbor, Umbria is a budget traveler's Tuscany.

You'll find inexpensive hostels and hotels in less-busy locations. It's also much closer to Rome, making it an easier region to visit if you're short on time.

Worldpackers offers a huge diversity of exchange projects in Italy (over a hundred to choose from!). Check out the full list — and the Worldpackers Italy travel guide— to plan your bucket list trip today!

8. France: Chamonix


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (8)

If you can't decide between France, Switzerland, or Italy, the French region of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is the answer. It makes a great year-round destination for nature lovers because of the great skiing it offers in the winter and the excellent multi-day trekking in offers in the summer.

While this area won't be found on any budget-friendly destinations list anytime soon, you'll find that the payout is worth it. You can apply many of the same tips I offered from the Switzerland entry here. Cook for yourself, use your feet instead of taking to cable cars, and plan carefully.

(Video) 25 Most Beautiful Destinations in Europe - Travel Video

The opportunity to stay a while exploring France sounds too good to be true, right? Luckily, Worldpackers offers some very unique exchange opportunities in France to extend your time there... and really make your experience memorable.

9. England: Cotswolds Region


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (9)

For nature lovers who don't consider themselves adrenaline seekers, the English region of the Cotswolds might be just the ticket. This small area is dotted with little villages, many of which are connected by easy walking paths.

If you're looking for calming destinations for nature lovers in Europe, take a stroll through the Cotswolds Jane Austen style... or simply browse through the Worldpackers selection of work exchange experiences in England.

10. Norway: Svalbard


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (10)

The remote, glacial archipelago in Norway is one of the most beautiful places in Europe during the summer (it stays light for so long!) or winter (one of the prime places to see the northern lights).

It's also a fascinating glimpse at the perseverance and adaptability of the human species, as it is one of the world's northernmost inhabited areas of the world, settled between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

If you're interested in taking a trip to Europe's Nordic countries, Worldpackers has several greatexchange experiences on offer in Norway.

11. Slovenia: Vintgar Gorge and Lake Bohinj


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (11)

I'm not the first one to sing the praised of Slovenia as one of the best European destinations for nature lovers and I won't be the last, but I might be the first to choose Lake Bohinj over photo-ready Lake Bled.

Nearby Lake Bohinj is still a playground for local Slovenians. Because you'll need a car to reach it, Lake Bohinj takes all of the beauty of Lake Bled and makes it pure and less touristed again.

Nearby Vintgar Gorge is also an excellent stop for nature lovers. It adds diversity to a day spent road tripping around the area.

Worldpackers has some amazing exchange experiences in Slovenia. All opportunities guarantee free accommodation and a chance to explore Slovenia's dramatic landscapes, curious traditions, and great food!

Planning a trip to Slovenia? Don't miss out the Slovenia travel guide.

(Video) Top 10 Places To Visit In Europe

12. Spain: The Camino de Santiago


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (12)

Some part of my heart will always be on the Camino de Santiago. This ancient walking path, which technically has thousands of routes throughout Europe but is most often a path walked from the French/Spanish border to Santiago, Spain, is a nature lover's dream.

It combines all of the best parts of backpacking— the routine, the accomplishment, the reflection— with the ease of European travel— easy, cheap accommodation and clear routes.

Worldpackers offers some very unique exchange projects in Spain. With over forty top-rated hoststo choose from, what are you waiting for?

13. The Netherlands: Keukenhof Tulip Fields


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (13)

Let's scale the level of difficulty down a few levels, shall we?

One of the prettiest places in Europe for nature has to be the Netherlands in the spring. It's tricky to time your travels correctly, but the flat, flower-filled country has a lot to offer.

Do as the locals do and rent a bicycle to see the flower fields up close and personal. Be cognizant of local laws and be respectful of each farmers' rules as you take in the natural beauty.

Take your trip to the next level and deepen your travel experience by doing a Worldpackers exchange in the Netherlands!

14. Croatia: Take Your Pick


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (14)

There is so much natural beauty in the country of Croatia that I actually can't choose.

Head to Plitvice Lakes National Park for waterfalls up the wazoo. Run to Rovinj and the Istrian peninsula for an off-the-beaten-path place. Hop around the islands for a healthy mix of sun, sand (er, pebbles), and party.

If you choose to do a Worldpackers experience in Croatiayou'll have the freedom to explore as much of the country as you want or do as little as you choose... while soaking up the sun on a stunning beach.

Sound good? Thought so!

(Video) 17 Most Beautiful Countries in Europe - Travel Video


14 best European destinations for nature lovers (15)

I hope this list of the most beautiful places in Europe for nature has helped you to see Europe as much more than cities and culture. It's all of it, in a very charming little bundle.

Wherever your hiking boots take you next, consider aWorldpackers exchange experience in Europeas a partner in your planning. Work exchange has put off-the-beaten path destinations on my radar and made expensive, well-known ones significantly more affordable.

FAQs

Which is the best country to visit for nature lovers? ›

The World's 10 Most Scenic Countries For True Escapism
  • Nepal – The World's Hiking Capital.
  • Norway – Lights and Laughter.
  • Iceland – Geologically Diverse.
  • Australia – Intricate Architecture and Stunning Beaches.
  • Romania – Captivating Castles.
  • South Africa – Enjoy a South African Safari.
  • Peru – Take The Enticing Inca Trail.

Are there any natural wonders in Europe? ›

Discover the 10 best natural wonders of Europe including Verdon Gorge, the Dolomites and the Matterhorn. From majestic mountains and gorgeous gorges to breathtaking fjords and lakes, we list the must-see sights. Expert advice on when to travel and fascinating facts for each natural wonder of Europe.

What European country has the best natural beauty? ›

14 best European destinations for nature lovers
  • Switzerland: Bernese Oberland Region.
  • Montenegro: Durmitor National Park.
  • Scotland: Isle of Skye.
  • Germany: Black Forest.
  • Portugal: Algarve Coast.
  • Ireland: Dingle and West Coast.
  • Italy: Tuscany and Umbrian Countryside.
  • France: Chamonix.

Which European country has the most nature? ›

Germany counts the most nature reserves with 17, 654 square kilometers, directly followed by Sweden (15.254). Other country's that score particularly well are Switzerland (10.423), the U.K. (9.032) and France (3.812).

What is the most beautiful country on earth? ›

  • New Zealand. #1 in Scenic. #11 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Greece. #2 in Scenic. #25 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Italy. #3 in Scenic. #14 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Switzerland. #4 in Scenic. #1 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Spain. #5 in Scenic. #16 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Norway. #6 in Scenic. ...
  • Australia. #7 in Scenic. ...
  • Ireland. #8 in Scenic.

Which is the most beautiful country in the world 2022? ›

This ranking rewards cultural and natural heritage, as well as quality of life
  • Japan nabs first place in the 2022 ranking with a great score of 5.2 out of 7. ...
  • The United States comes in second place thanks to its countless UNESCO sites and sprawling natural reserves.
7 Jul 2022

Which country is full of nature? ›

Switzerland. The alpine landscapes of Switzerland — defined by the breathtaking mountains and sparkling lakes dotted with charming villages and ski resorts — make this country a must-visit destination, particularly for outdoorsy types who love to hike and ski.

Which European country is best to visit? ›

The Top 10 Most Visited Countries in Europe
  1. France – 89.4 million visitors. ...
  2. Spain – 82.7 million visitors. ...
  3. Italy – 62.1 million visitors. ...
  4. Turkey – 45.7 million visitors. ...
  5. Germany – 38.8 million visitors. ...
  6. United Kingdom – 36.3 million visitors. ...
  7. Austria – 30.8 million visitors. ...
  8. Greece – 30.1 million visitors.

What is the most visited monument in Europe? ›

1. Eiffel Tower in Paris. Eiffel Tower welcomes almost 7 million people a year, making it the most visited paid-for monument in the world.

What are the natural resources of Europe? ›

There are many different natural resources found in Europe. These include wood, soil, water, fish, natural gas, coal, and iron. The resource of fish and water can be found in the Mediterranean Sea. Water is an abundant resource in Europe because there are so many bodies of water in/near Europe.

Which European country is the friendliest? ›

What is Europe's most friendly country? The results are in and, according to the 12,000 people who took the survey, Portugal ranks top of all European countries when it comes to friendliness. The Iberian Peninsula also ranked highly in the 'feeling at home' category, coming in second.

Is Italy more beautiful than Spain? ›

The dramatic scenery in Italy, from the Dolomites mountain range to the islands of Sardinia and Scilly, and the beautiful lake district in the north, means Italy is arguably more beautiful than Spain. At least in our eyes.

Is Italy more beautiful than Switzerland? ›

Although the mountains in Switzerland are a bit more dramatic than those in Italy, Italy offers a more diverse experience with a rich history and culture, and a variety of cities that attract tourists for their art and architecture.

Which is the most beautiful country in the world 2021? ›

From the towering mountains of Oman to Thailand's white sand coast, these are the world's most beautiful countries that you should visit in your lifetime.
  • Greece. ...
  • New Zealand. ...
  • Chile. ...
  • Italy. ...
  • Vietnam. ...
  • Switzerland. Sanga ParkGetty Images. ...
  • Canada. Glowing Earth PhotographyGetty Images. ...
  • Oman. Angelo D'AmicoGetty Images.
6 May 2022

Where is the best country in Europe to live? ›

Switzerland. Switzerland tops many lists of best countries to live in thanks to its excellent quality of life, picturesque countryside and excellent education and health care systems that apply to expats and locals alike.

Which nationality has the most beautiful woman? ›

Top 10 Countries with the Most Beautiful Women (various sources)
RankMissosologyBScholarly
1VenezuelaTurkey
2PhilippinesBrazil
3MexicoFrance
4South AfricaRussia
6 more rows

Which country is No 1 in world? ›

United States. The United States of America is a North American nation that is the world's most dominant economic and military power. Likewise, its cultural imprint spans the world, led in large part by its popular culture expressed in music, movies and television.

Who is the most beautiful woman in the world? ›

According to Science, Bella Hadid is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World. Find out how the supermodel's face was measured for almost absolute symmetry. According to a study by renowned cosmetic surgeon Julian De Silva, Bella Hadid holds the crown for the most beautiful woman in the world.

Who is the most beautiful woman in the world 2022? ›

Adriana Lima has become the most beautiful woman in the world in 2022. She was the longest-running model and in 2017 she was named ” the most valuable Victoria's Secret Angel”. According to India.com Top 10's list, Adriana Lima has topped the list.

Which country is naturally beautiful? ›

Italy is truly the world's most beautiful country. It flaunts the most inspiring cultural treasures and magnificent scenery, which you cannot find anywhere in the world. Venice, Florence and Rome with their diverse architecture, Tuscany with its rolling hills, vineyards and snow-peaked mountains will mesmerize you.

Which is the second beautiful country in the world? ›

Most Beautiful Countries in the World 2022
CountryRough GuidesRanker
Italy21
Japan205
Kenya
Maldives
50 more rows

Which is the cleanest village of the Europe? ›

Giethoorn is also one of the greenest places in the Netherlands. It is surrounded by vast De Weerribben-Wieden National park and home to many trees. So the atmosphere in the Giethoorn village is also very clean like its surroundings.

Where is the best place in Europe for winter sun? ›

The 7 best places in Europe for winter sun
  1. 1 Gozo, Malta. December sun: 18-21°C. ...
  2. 2 Southern Cyprus. December sun: 18-20°C. ...
  3. 3 Garachico, Tenerife. December sun: 19-22°C. ...
  4. 4 Ponta do Pargo, Madeira. December sun: 19-21°C. ...
  5. 5 Cabo de Gata, Spain. December sun: 19-21°C. ...
  6. 6 Lanzarote, Canary Islands. ...
  7. 7 Taghazout, Morocco.
24 Oct 2021

Where in Europe is not too hot in summer? ›

Switzerland is one of the best European countries to escape the blistering heat of southern Europe. In particular, the village of Lauterbrunnen offers lovely summer temperatures and a stunning place to explore.

Where is it not hot in Europe? ›

Europe's northernmost city has the continent's coolest summers. No other major city stays anywhere as tepid as Reykjavík, Iceland, where maximum temperatures average a meagre 12.7 degrees Celsius (54.8 degrees Fahrenheit). That's over five degrees Celsius (10 °F) lower than the next coldest city, Leeds.

What's the hottest country in Europe? ›

The Canary Islands are the warmest place in Europe, with a January average temperature of roughly 12-18 C (55-65 F).

Which is the cheapest country to visit in Europe? ›

13 Top Cheapest European Countries to Visit
  1. Bulgaria. Bliznaka (The Twin) Lake, Rila Mountain, Bulgaria. ...
  2. Romania. Bran Castle, Romania. ...
  3. Montenegro. St. ...
  4. Portugal. Porto, Portugal. ...
  5. Slovenia. Lake Bled, Slovenia. ...
  6. Hungary. Parliament building and the Danube River in Budapest. ...
  7. Slovakia. Lake in the High Tatras, Slovakia. ...
  8. Poland.
25 Apr 2022

What is the safest country in Europe? ›

  1. Iceland. Opening the list of the safest countries in Europe is Iceland, which has ranked as the safest country worldwide for more than 10 consecutive years. ...
  2. Ireland. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the country known for its lush green hills has very few red flags. ...
  3. Denmark. ...
  4. Austria. ...
  5. Portugal. ...
  6. Slovenia. ...
  7. Czech Republic. ...
  8. Switzerland.

How do I decide where to travel in Europe? ›

How to Choose Where to Go on Your Europe Trip - YouTube

What is the most visited European city? ›

London emerged as Europe's leading city destination in 2019, recording nearly 19.6 million international arrivals. That year, Paris came second in the ranking, with around 19.1 million inbound tourist arrivals.

What are the 10 largest European countries? ›

Top 10 Largest Countries in Europe (by total area):
  • Russia - 17,098,246 km² (6,601,670 mi²)
  • Ukraine - 603,500 km² (233,000 mi²)
  • France - 543,940 km² (210,020 mi²)
  • Spain - 505,992 km² (195,365 mi²)
  • Sweden - 450,295 km² (173,860 mi²)
  • Germany - 357,114 km² (137,882 mi²)
  • Finland - 338,425 km² (130,667 mi²)

Which regions of Europe have the harshest coldest climates? ›

Which regions of Europe have the harshest, coldest climates? Sweden and Finland and eastern parts of Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary.

What is the best country in Europe? ›

Sweden ranks No. 1 overall, according to regional perceptions in Europe.

Why are European countries so beautiful? ›

Much of the country's beauty comes from the diversity of its landscapes, but it also derives from its exclusive haute couture scene and remarkable architectural heritage, which includes everything from stunning Gothic cathedrals and Romanesque churches to splendid Renaissance chateaux and striking Art Nouveau jewels.

What makes Europe beautiful? ›

Home to majestic mountain ranges, captivating coastlines, and idyllic islands, Europe boasts some of the most beautiful scenery on Earth. While its world-class capitals of London, Paris, and Rome attract the most visitors, the continent's 44 countries each have delightfully different cities and attractions to explore.

What is the most visited monument in Europe? ›

1. Eiffel Tower in Paris. Eiffel Tower welcomes almost 7 million people a year, making it the most visited paid-for monument in the world.

Which is the friendliest country in Europe? ›

What is Europe's most friendly country? The results are in and, according to the 12,000 people who took the survey, Portugal ranks top of all European countries when it comes to friendliness. The Iberian Peninsula also ranked highly in the 'feeling at home' category, coming in second.

What is the cheapest European country? ›

While more expensive than many Eastern European countries on the list, Portugal is the cheapest country in Western Europe. At a monthly budget of about 1200 Euros, Portugal offers a warm climate, access to the ocean, and a high level of safety.

What is the poorest country in Europe? ›

1. Ukraine. With a per capita GNI of $3,540, Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe as of 2020.

What is the prettiest country? ›

  • New Zealand. #1 in Scenic. #11 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Greece. #2 in Scenic. #25 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Italy. #3 in Scenic. #14 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Switzerland. #4 in Scenic. #1 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Spain. #5 in Scenic. #16 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Norway. #6 in Scenic. ...
  • Australia. #7 in Scenic. ...
  • Ireland. #8 in Scenic.

Which season is best in Europe? ›

Although Europe is a year-round travel destination, the best time to visit Europe is during the summer months of June to September. This is the time when the sun is high, the beaches are warm and the weather is sunny.

Is Italy more beautiful than Spain? ›

The dramatic scenery in Italy, from the Dolomites mountain range to the islands of Sardinia and Scilly, and the beautiful lake district in the north, means Italy is arguably more beautiful than Spain. At least in our eyes.

What is the most visited European city? ›

London emerged as Europe's leading city destination in 2019, recording nearly 19.6 million international arrivals. That year, Paris came second in the ranking, with around 19.1 million inbound tourist arrivals.

Videos

1. 25 Best Places to Visit in Europe - Travel Europe
(touropia)
2. CROATIA & GREECE: 16 BEST NATURAL PLACES TO VISIT IN EUROPE (Vol. 14)
(TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY - for world explorers -)
3. 25 Greatest Natural Wonders of the World - Travel Video
(touropia)
4. 10 Best Places to Visit in Scotland - Travel Video
(touropia)
5. SPAIN: 16 BEST NATURAL PLACES TO VISIT IN EUROPE (Vol. 9)
(TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY - for world explorers -)
6. 25 Most Beautiful Small Towns in Europe - Travel Video
(touropia)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Greg Kuvalis

Last Updated: 01/06/2023

Views: 6132

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg Kuvalis

Birthday: 1996-12-20

Address: 53157 Trantow Inlet, Townemouth, FL 92564-0267

Phone: +68218650356656

Job: IT Representative

Hobby: Knitting, Amateur radio, Skiing, Running, Mountain biking, Slacklining, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Greg Kuvalis, I am a witty, spotless, beautiful, charming, delightful, thankful, beautiful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.