Set your wanderlust on fire and get ready to start planning your next trip with these top 12 most beautiful landscapes in Europe that you have to see through your own eyes… at least once in your life! The question is: where will you choose first?!
1. The Dolomites, Italy
The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form a part of Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley (Val Sugana). The Dolomites are nearly equally shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino.
Activities in the Dolomites include hiking, climbing, mountain biking, rafting, and skiing all whilst taking in the breathtaking views that surround you.
It won’t take you long to understand why the Dolomites merit their UNESCO World Heritage status and all the other accolades and praise they’ve received over the years.
2. The Lofoten Islands, Norway
The Lofoten Islands are a dream destination for many travellers from all over the world. This archipelago offers one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe. It is a quiet and peaceful place inhabited by a few fishermen who enjoy the fishy waters of Lofoten.
Lofoten is known for excellent fishing, nature attractions such as the northern lights and the midnight sun, and small villages off the beaten track. Kayak between the islands, go fishing for the catch of your life, or look for sea eagles soaring in the sky.
Best time to visit: For good weather – June to August, for the midnight sun – May to July and for the Northern Lights – September to March.
3. Hallstatt, Austria
This small town overlooking Lake Hallstatt is commonly referred to as one of the most beautiful lakeside towns in the whole world, due to its picturesque charm and surrounding gloriously mountain range.
The uniqueness of this place is further demonstrated by the fact that in 2012 China built an exact replica of this Austrian town in the Guangdong Province.
Hallstatt definitely deserves its place on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, where it is entered together with the Dachstein mountain range and Salzkammergut
4. Godafoss, Iceland
Goðafoss waterfall is located in the river Skjálfandafljót in north Iceland, the fourth largest river in Iceland. It has long been known as one of the most beautiful sights to be seen in Iceland. Located right off the Ring Road no one should let this alluring beauty pass them by without a visit. The waterfall, which is often nicknamed the waterfall of the gods takes its godly connection from an old Icelandic saga of a man throwing pagan statues into the falls when Icelanders had decided to convert to Christianity.
It is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the country, falling from a height of 12 metres (39 feet) over a width of 30 metres (98 feet).
The waterfall of the gods should definitely be on your list if you’re visiting Iceland!
5. Seven Rila Lakes, Bulgaria
The Seven Rila Lakes are a group of glacial lakes, situated in the northwestern Rila Mountains in Bulgaria. They are the most visited group of lakes in Bulgaria. The lakes are situated between 2,100 and 2,500 metres elevation above sea level. Each lake carries a name associated with its most characteristic feature: The Lower Lake, The Fish Lake, The Trefoil Lake, Twin Lake, The Kidney Lake, The Eye Lake and The Tear Lake.
The best time to visit the lakes is in July and August when it is sunny and storms are less likely. It can get busy on the weekends during the summer so the best option would be to visit during the week, if possible!
6. Cappadocia, Turkey
Unless you have millions of pounds or a space rocket handy this is probably the closest you will ever get to visiting another planet, well, that’s how it feels once you are there! Cappadocia is the land of fairy tales, mysterious and enchanting. Just some of the incredible sights waiting to be discovered here are the fairy chimneys, underground cities, hot air balloon tours on this incredible landscape.
he best time to go to Cappadocia is from the end of April to June and September and October. During these months the days are warm, the nights are cool, and there is little threat of rain. During the first few weeks of April there can be a lot of wind, which cancels balloon flights.
7. Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, a compact city in Switzerland known for its preserved medieval architecture, sits amid snowcapped mountains on Lake Lucerne.
Lake Lucerne is the lake with the greatest scenic variety in the country. It is somewhat reminiscent of a fjord landscape, yet remains characterised by a mild lake climate. Boat cruises on board five historic paddle wheel steamers and 15 elegant salon motor vessels count among the highlights of this region.
Jump on the cable car and head to the top of Mount Pilatus for the best views of Lucerne and surrounding areas.
8. Gorges du Verdon, France
The Gorges du Verdon attract visitors for five main reasons. There are those who come for the spectacular road trip round the edge of the gorge, by car or by bike; there are those who come to enjoy some of the exhilarating hiking trails in and around the gorge. Then there are some who come to admire the bird life – vultures, eagles and other birds of prey. Finally, there are those who come to enjoy the experience of paddling up the bottom end of the gorge in a canoe or a kayak or a pedal boat . And of course there are those who come for more than one of these reasons. And very good reasons they are too.
9. Gásadalur, The Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are made up of 18 rocky, volcanic islands in the wild North Atlantic. They technically are an autonomous part of Denmark – meaning they use the Danish Krone and are officially “part” of Denmark according to the UN – but they feel worlds away from the bustling streets of Copenhagen.
The tiny village of Gásadalur in the Faroe Islands sits at the edge of a tall cliff overlooking the sea. A ring of tall mountains cuts it off from the rest of its own island, and, for most of its existence, from the rest of the world at large.
10. Sao Miguel, The Azores
There are no words capable of describing and classifying the charm of Sao Miguel island, in fact all of the nine islands that make up the Azores. They have been sculptured by ancient volcanoes and populated over the centuries by courageous and kind people. Thus the Azores are a place of varied experiences and emotions. Sao Miguel is the biggest island in the Portuguese Azores archipelago. It is known for its volcanic scenery, flora and rich marine life, including whales. The twin crater lakes of Sete Cidades, one green and one blue lie to the north west. To the east, Furnas has fumaroles and hot springs.
Click here to see why the Azores is a different destination for a European holiday.
11. Chamonix, France
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (usually shortened to Chamonix) is a resort area near the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy. At the base of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps, it’s renowned for its skiing. Year-round, cable cars take visitors up to several nearby peaks with panoramic views, including Aiguille du Midi above town, and Pointe Helbronner, across vast glacier fields on the Italian border.
Click here to see the best things to do in the winter in Chamonix.
12. Glen Coe, Scotland
Glencoe is a village in western Scotland. It lies in steep-sided Glencoe valley, in the Scottish Highlands. The area is known for waterfalls and trails that climb peaks such as Buachaille Etive Mor and Bidean nam Bian. In the village, Glencoe Folk Museum occupies 18th-century thatched cottages, with displays on local heritage and the Glencoe massacre of 1692. Wildlife in the area includes red deer and golden eagles.
May and September can be a very nice time to visit with often nicer if not better than the main summer months. This time of year you are less likely to find large crowds and busier roads, and accommodation is more available and generally cheaper