There are many places of outstanding natural beauty dotted all throughout the countries of Europe. For those interested in hiking, walking, picnicking, bird watching and exploring, touring around the best national parks in Europe has quickly been gaining popularity as a way to see many different countries, experience different environments and enjoy some of the most famous sites that you have only ever seen online and in magazines before.
There are hundreds of National Parks throughout France, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland and Italy (to name just a few), all of which have attracted tourists from around the world for decades. The publicly-accessible parks, however, have always been on the periphery of most visitor's agenda; a side-trip to take during some spare time. This has all been changing with the advent of declining travel costs in Europe, lower fuel costs, and more affordable rental car rates. The freedom of transportation offered to travelers who opt to journey with their own vehicle has opened up a world of possiblities for Europe road trips and national parks are at the forefront of the best places to find breathtaking views and astounding examples of local flavor and scenery, regardless of host country.
Drama and Excitement
If you are looking for dramatic scenery with plenty of action, consider visiting Mount Etna on your Sicily road trip. As one of the most active volcanoes on the surface of the planet, you are guaranteed fantastic views and plenty of dramatic natural shows. Etna National Park is also surrounded by sloping vineyards bursting with life and boasting apple, hazelnut and chestnut trees.
Alternatively, for those seeking a bit of exercise in the form of walking and hiking, there are always the roving hills and mountains of Snowdonia, the biggest mountain in Wales. The backdrop and inspiration for many a famous writer, poet and painter, Snowdonia is one of the most luscious places in Europe and offers plenty of local intrigue with both the Welsh language (which consists nearly entirely of consonants, or so it would seem) and the ancient Welsh traditions still alive and kicking all around.
Peace, Quiet and Picnics
If, however, you are seeking some peace and quiet and want somewhere to be able to sit, reflect and collect your thoughts, consider visiting Garajonay National Park in Spain. Situated on the Canary Islands, you are guaranteed to have stunning weather in which to relax with friends and loved ones, sampling the local delicacies and touring around some of the most fertile land in Spain. For those who are more interested in doing a bit of exercise, there is always the opportunity to climb to Garajonay's peak, which stands at 4,869 feet, or 1,484 meters.
Culture and History
Finally, for those lovers of culture and sophistication, one of the best National Parks in Europe is Olympus National Park in Greece. Most people know Mount Olympus as the home of the legendary and notorious Greek Gods such as Zeus and Athena. However, there is much more to intrigue and delight visitors than just the stunning mountain. Nearby ruins and old towns offer a great deal of history for all those who are interested, and a select few may get to see one of the rare and endangered golden eagles or woodpeckers that live at the foot of the mountain.
Visiting a country's National Parks can give real insight into the culture and history of the area and makes it much easier for travelers and visitors to enjoy their holiday to the full. With so many stunning and intriguing places to choose from across all of Europe, there is something for everyone to enjoy!