13 Best Destinations for Nature Lovers in Europe

by Jen
Best Destinations for Nature Lovers in Europe
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Are you itching to dive into some of Europe’s most stunning natural spots? Well, you’re in for a treat! We’ve scoured the continent to bring you a list of the most jaw-dropping, heart-stirring natural escapes Europe has to offer. Think lush Finnish forests in Lahti, or the wild, volcanic beauty of the Azores in Portugal. Europe’s full of natural wonders, where every corner has its own unique charm.

Imagine hiking through the majestic fjords of Bergen, Norway, and then, in a flip of a page, you’re gazing at the ethereal Northern Lights in Reykjavik, Iceland. From the rugged allure of Capri, Italy, to the serene coastal vibes of Cavtat, Croatia, Europe’s got it all. Each place we’re about to show you is a celebration of nature at its finest.

So, whether you’re a hardcore outdoor adventurer, a peace-seeking landscape lover, or just someone who wants to soak up some stunning European beauty, our list has something for everyone. We’re about to explore Europe’s most enchanting natural spots – hidden retreats, breathtaking views, and experiences that you’ll remember forever. Grab your backpack, fly to Europe, and let’s set off on an adventure that’s going to blow your mind!

The top destinations for nature lovers in Europe right now

Best Destinations for Nature Lovers in Europe

Are you eager to explore the most breathtaking natural destinations in Europe? This guide is your gateway to uncovering not only some of the continent’s most renowned natural wonders but also its splendid hidden treasures, spanning across the best countries to visit in Europe. Let’s dive into this ocean of natural wonders waiting for you in Europe.

1. Madeira, Portugal: An Island Paradise for Nature Lovers

Welcome to Madeira, Portugal! This island is a slice of heaven for nature lovers, bursting with vibrant colors and rare birds that seem straight out of a fantasy, making it one of the top islands in Europe.

Have you heard of the Laurisilva forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site? It’s like stepping into a green wonderland, with ancient trees and unique flora. And the Levadas? These are Madeira’s famous irrigation channels, but they’re also fantastic walking trails. You’ll wander past waterfalls and stunning vistas, with the sweet scent of paradise flowers in the air.

Birdwatchers, get your binoculars ready! Madeira is home to some rare species like the Zino’s Petrel – it’s a bit of a celebrity in the bird world. And for a real treat, head to the Ponta de São Lourenço. The views here? Absolutely breathtaking! You’ve got the rugged cliffs, the endless ocean, and if you’re lucky, you might spot some playful dolphins.

And here’s a tip: Don’t miss a ride on the cable car in Funchal for an unforgettable view of the city and the sea. It’s like seeing Madeira’s beauty from the clouds!

Madeira, Portugal is one of the best destinations for nature lovers in Europe.
Madeira, Portugal: Nature lover’s paradise with vibrant colors and rare birds, among Europe’s top islands.

2. Dordogne Valley, France: A Journey Through Time and Nature

Ever wanted to time travel? The Dordogne Valley in France is as close as it gets! This gem in France is a journey through history, nestled in some of the most stunning landscapes you’ll ever see.

Picture this: You’re canoeing down the Dordogne River, surrounded by medieval castles perched on cliffs and quaint villages that look like they haven’t changed in centuries. It’s like paddling through a living history book. And the prehistoric caves? They’re out of this world! The Lascaux Cave, with its ancient cave paintings, is a must-visit for a glimpse into our distant past.

The valley is a playground for nature lovers. Hiking trails wind through lush forests and alongside scenic vineyards. And the food? Oh, the food! Think truffles, foie gras, and all the mouthwatering goodness of French cuisine.

The Dordogne Valley is a hit with all ages, but it’s especially loved by those who appreciate a blend of natural beauty and historical charm. Oh, I almost forgot – take a hot air balloon ride at dawn. Seeing the misty landscapes from above as the sun rises? It’s pure magic!

Experience time travel in France's Dordogne Valley!
Experience time travel in France’s Dordogne Valley!

3. Lahti, Finland: A Nature Lover’s Wonderland

Lahti, Finland, is your go-to spot for unspoilt beauty that transforms from season to season. This city is hands down one of the best spots for nature lovers in Europe.

Explore the Salpausselkä Geopark, where you can hike through ancient glacial formations and dense forests. It’s like wandering through a landscape painted with every shade of green. And the lakes! Lahti is part of the Finnish Lakeland, so get ready for some stunning waterside views. Whether it’s kayaking in summer or ice skating in winter, these lakes offer year-round fun.

Birdwatching enthusiasts, you’re in for a treat. The region’s rich biodiversity makes it a hotspot for spotting rare birds in their natural habitat. And after a day of exploring, how about a relaxing sauna experience? It’s the Finnish way!

The best time to visit is late spring to early autumn for hiking and summer activities, or winter for a snowy wonderland experience. Here’s a pro tip: Check out the Lahti Ski Museum – it’s a unique blend of sports history and interactive fun, perfect for understanding Finland’s love for winter sports.


Lahti, Finland offers unspoiled beauty that changes with the seasons, making it one of Europe's best spots for nature lovers.
Lahti, Finland offers unspoiled beauty that changes with the seasons, making it one of Europe’s best spots for nature lovers.

4. Bergen, Norway: Where Fjords Tell Tales

Ever wondered where those breathtaking fjord photos come from? Chances are, they’re from Bergen, Norway. This city i’s a gateway to some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes you’ll ever lay eyes on.

Picture yourself cruising through the fjords, where towering cliffs rise from deep, serene waters. It’s like nature’s own cathedral. And the hikes? Oh, they’re something else. Trails like Fløyen and Ulriken offer panoramic views that’ll make your heart skip a beat. You really feel a part of this breathtaking landscape.

The city itself is a cozy cluster of colorful houses, with a history that dates back to the Viking Age. Stroll around the old wharf of Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and soak in the maritime charm.

Bergen is a paradise for all ages, but it’s especially magical for those who love combining city vibes with natural wonders. Take a seafood tour at the Fish Market. The fresh catch against the backdrop of the fjords? It’s a flavor and view combo that’s hard to beat!

Bergen, Norway: Gateway to awe-inspiring landscapes and breathtaking fjords.
Bergen, Norway: Gateway to awe-inspiring landscapes and breathtaking fjords.

5. Azores, Portugal: A Volcanic Paradise in the Mid-Atlantic

The Azores, an archipelago belonging to Portugal, is a world of natural wonders, where volcanic landscapes meet the deep blue sea.

Imagine hiking up to the rim of a dormant volcano, then descending into its crater where a lush, green paradise awaits. The lakes in these craters, like the twin lakes of Sete Cidades, are a spectacle of nature’s artistry. And the hot springs! Places like Furnas offer a natural spa experience like no other, surrounded by rich vegetation and steaming earth.

The Azores is also a haven for whale watching. The waters here are a playground for whales and dolphins, making it one of the best spots in the world to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

And let’s not forget the local cuisine. The volcanic soil enriches everything it touches, from the vibrant fruits to the sumptuous seafood. Dining here is a true farm-and-sea-to-table experience.

For a unique adventure, explore the underwater volcanic vents while diving. The marine life around these vents is vibrant and unique, offering a once-in-a-lifetime underwater experience. The Azores is a destination that constantly reminds you of the raw, unbridled power of nature, yet soothes you with its tranquil beauty, making it one of the top islands in Portugal to visit.

The Azores: Portugal's volcanic wonderland amidst the deep blue sea.
The Azores: Portugal’s volcanic wonderland amidst the deep blue sea.

6. Reykjavik, Iceland: The Land of Fire and Ice

Ever wanted to walk in a land where fire meets ice? Reykjavik, easily one of the best destinations in Europe for nature lovers, is your gateway to a realm of stark contrasts and otherworldly natural wonders.

Soak in the Blue Lagoon, with its milky blue waters and steamy ambiance, set against a backdrop of black lava fields. It’s like stepping into a natural spa at the edge of the world. And the geysers! Watching Strokkur erupt is like witnessing Earth’s pulse – powerful and mesmerizing.

Think massive glaciers, rugged fjords, and waterfalls like Gullfoss that take your breath away. And if you’re here in winter, the Northern Lights are a spectacle that needs no introduction – a dance of colors in the night sky that you’ll never forget.

The city’s culinary scene is a celebration of fresh, local ingredients, with seafood taking center stage. Try the traditional Icelandic dish of Plokkfiskur, a hearty fish stew, for a taste of local flavor.

For a unique experience, venture out on a midnight sun photography tour during summer. Capturing the surreal landscapes under the ethereal light of the midnight sun is an experience that not only photographers but any nature lover would cherish.

Reykjavik invites nature lovers to a realm where fire meets ice, offering otherworldly natural wonders.
Reykjavik invites nature lovers to a realm where fire meets ice, offering otherworldly natural wonders.

7. Capri, Italy: Where Every View is a Postcard

Oh, Capri! Ever dreamed of an island that’s straight out of a movie scene? That’s Capri for you. This island is just an Italian highlights reel. The blue of the sea here is like someone cranked up the saturation.

Picture yourself chilling in the gardens of Villa San Michele. The views? Unreal. You’ve got the sea sparkling below you, and it feels like you can almost touch the sky. And the Blue Grotto – it’s this cave where the water glows blue. It’s like swimming in a starry night.

In the Piazzetta, it’s all about seeing and being seen. Grab an espresso, sit back, and just watch the world do its thing. And the food – oh man, the seafood at Italian restaurants is so fresh, it practically swims onto your plate. Don’t forget to try Limoncello. It’s like sunshine in a bottle.

You’ve got to take a boat tour around the island. It’s the best way to see those crazy cliffs and secret spots you can’t get to on foot. And when the sun dips? Find a cozy spot, because the sunsets here are like a live painting session by Mother Nature herself.

Capri: An island straight out of a movie scene, an Italian highlights reel with vivid blue seas.
Capri: An island straight out of a movie scene, an Italian highlights reel with vivid blue seas.

8. Cavtat, Croatia: A Coastal Gem Tucked Away in Tranquility

Ever heard of Cavtat? It’s this little Croatian town that’s like a secret the Adriatic Sea kept to itself. Tucked away from the hustle, Cavtat is where you go to soak up some sun, sea, and serenity.

Stroll along the waterfront, with yachts bobbing in the harbor and the scent of pine trees in the air. The vibe here is laid-back, but every bit as beautiful as its famous neighbor, Dubrovnik. The beaches are the kind where you can laze around all day, dipping into crystal-clear waters whenever you feel like it.

But Cavtat has also got history in its streets. Wander around, and you’ll find old palaces and churches that tell tales of times gone by. And the art scene here is pretty cool too – thanks to the Vlaho Bukovac House, you get a taste of local art history.

For a little adventure, take a boat trip to the nearby Elafiti Islands. It’s like hopping from one postcard scene to another. Cavtat is this perfect blend of chill vibes and natural beauty, all wrapped up in Croatian charm, making it one of the top places to live and visit in Europe.

Cavtat: A hidden Croatian gem for sun, sea, and serenity by the Adriatic.
Cavtat: A hidden Croatian gem for sun, sea, and serenity by the Adriatic.

9. Krk, Croatia: An Island Where Every Day is a Celebration

Let me introduce you to Croatia’s lively little secret. An island where the Adriatic sun shines a little brighter, and the sea sparkles a little clearer.

Krk is like a patchwork of experiences. One minute you’re wandering through ancient Roman ruins, and the next, you’re sipping wine in a vineyard that feels like it’s been there forever.

Krk’s just… it’s got this energy, you know? The towns in this gem in Croatia, with their narrow streets and bustling markets, are buzzing with life. And the local festivals – they’re a riot of color, music, and dance. You haven’t lived until you’ve partied at a Croatian island festival!

And the food – it’s a whole story by itself. Fresh seafood, homemade pasta, and olive oil so good you’ll want to take a bottle home. Dining here is like a crash course in Croatian deliciousness.

For a bit of adventure, rent a bike and explore the island’s hidden corners. You’ll find secret coves and viewpoints that aren’t in any guidebook. Krk is this perfect mix of history, fun, and natural beauty, all set against the backdrop of the dazzling Adriatic.

Explore Krk, Croatia's lively secret, where ancient ruins and timeless vineyards offer a patchwork of experiences.
Explore Krk, Croatia’s lively secret, where ancient ruins and timeless vineyards offer a patchwork of experiences.

10. Gothenburg, Sweden: A Green Oasis in the City

Welcome to Gothenburg, Sweden’s laid-back yet vibrant city, where green spaces are as much a part of the city as the streets and buildings.

Picture wandering through the Garden Society of Gothenburg, one of the best-preserved 19th-century parks in Europe. It’s like a green labyrinth where every turn reveals a new flower, a new scent, or a cozy café. And the botanical garden? It’s a living encyclopedia of plants, with over 16,000 species. I

The canals in this gem in Sweden are perfect for a leisurely boat tour, offering a unique perspective of the city’s charm. And the food scene here is all about sustainability and local produce. You haven’t tasted Gothenburg until you’ve tried the fresh seafood – it’s a culinary experience that’s both delicious and responsible.

For a unique twist, check out the Universeum. It’s part science center, part aquarium, and all fun. It’s where you can walk through a rainforest, meet exotic animals, and understand a bit more about our planet – all in the heart of the city.

Gothenburg is this perfect blend of nature, culture, and sustainability. It’s a city that invites you to slow down, enjoy the moment, and appreciate the beauty around you.


Gothenburg, Sweden's laid-back yet vibrant city, integrates green spaces seamlessly with its streets and buildings.
Gothenburg, Sweden’s laid-back yet vibrant city, integrates green spaces seamlessly with its streets and buildings.

11. Lucerne, Switzerland: Where Nature Paints Its Masterpiece

Ever imagined a place where every view looks like a postcard? That’s Lucerne in Switzerland for you. Nestled among snow-capped mountains and serene lakes, Lucerne is a symphony of nature’s finest work.

Start your day with a stroll across the Chapel Bridge, with its picturesque water tower. It’s like walking through a piece of history with stunning views of Lake Lucerne and the mountains. Speaking of mountains, you can’t miss Mount Pilatus. Take the world’s steepest cogwheel railway up and get ready for views that’ll make your heart race. It’s like standing on top of the world!

The gem in Europe itself is a blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy. Wander through its streets, and you’ll find cozy cafes, art galleries, and boutiques that add a lively buzz to this scenic town.

And for a truly magical experience, take a boat trip on Lake Lucerne. It’s a peaceful journey through crystal-clear waters, surrounded by panoramic alpine beauty. As the boat glides along, you’ll feel like you’re in a moving painting, a part of the serene beauty that surrounds you.

Imagine Lucerne in Switzerland: every view a postcard, nestled among snow-capped mountains and serene lakes.
Imagine Lucerne in Switzerland: every view a postcard, nestled among snow-capped mountains and serene lakes.

12. Isle of Skye, Scotland: A Mystical Land of Lore and Beauty

The Isle of Skye in Scotland is a land of rugged landscapes, ancient castles, and folklore that feels as real as the stunning scenery around you.

Imagine walking through the Quiraing, a dramatic landscape that feels like it’s straight out of a fantasy novel. The views here are epic – think towering cliffs, hidden plateaus, and sweeping vistas of the sea. And then there’s the Fairy Pools, crystal-clear blue pools on the River Brittle, where you can take a dip if you’re brave enough to face the chilly waters.

The island is steeped in history and culture. Visit the ruins of Dunvegan Castle or the Trotternish Peninsula, where every corner tells a story of clans and battles long past.

For a taste of local life, stop by one of the cozy pubs in Portree, the island’s largest town. Here, you can enjoy fresh seafood, listen to traditional Scottish music, and maybe even hear a tale or two from the locals.

The Isle of Skye is a place that captures the imagination and the heart. It’s a destination for those who seek beauty in its most wild and untamed forms, offering many of exciting things to do in Europe.

Experience the Isle of Skye in Scotland: rugged landscapes, ancient castles, and folklore blend with stunning scenery.
Experience the Isle of Skye in Scotland: rugged landscapes, ancient castles, and folklore blend with stunning scenery.

13. Connemara, Ireland: Where Nature’s Beauty Meets Tranquility

Connemara in Ireland is a region of unspoiled natural beauty, where the green of the hills meets the wild Atlantic in a stunning display.

Drive through the Connemara National Park, and you’ll be treated to some of the most beautiful scenery Ireland has to offer. Think rugged mountains, expansive bogs, and peaceful beaches.

Connemara, Ireland is one of the best destinations for nature lovers in Europe.
Connemara, Ireland: a region of unspoiled natural beauty where the green hills meet the wild Atlantic in a stunning display.

The region is rich in Irish culture and heritage, with small villages where Gaelic is still spoken and traditional music fills the air. Visit Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful Benedictine monastery with a Victorian walled garden that’s like a step back in time.

For a truly unique experience, take a boat trip to the Aran Islands, located at the mouth of Galway Bay. These islands are a bastion of traditional Irish culture, where you can experience a way of life that has remained largely unchanged for centuries.

Connemara is a place of quiet beauty and cultural richness. It’s a destination that invites you to slow down, breathe in the fresh Atlantic air, and lose yourself in the stunning landscapes and rich heritage of Ireland.

The top destinations for nature lovers in Europe for all types of travelers
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