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24 Stunning Natural Wonders in Europe

Europe is full of amazing scenery, but since I’ve only spent 3 months there I needed to rope in some fellow travel bloggers to help bring you this list of natural wonders in Europe. Keep reading for stunning photos of waterfalls, mountains, lakes and more (also check out the Southeast Asia edition).

Godafoss, Iceland

One of the largest waterfalls in Iceland, Godafoss is known as “Waterfall of the Gods”, a destination which is closely connected with the country’s conversion to Christianity. At the time of Iceland’s conversion, the priest leading the country was Porgeir Porkelsson, and as leader he was in charge of settling growing religious disputes between Christians and those who worshiped Nordic Gods. While he worshiped Nordic Gods himself, Porkelsson made the decision that all of Iceland should be Christian. Statues of the heathen Gods were thrown into the falls as a symbolic act of conversion, ridding Iceland of their heathen Gods. This is how Godafoss got its name. – Megan Claire, Mapping Megan
 Godafoss falls, Iceland, one of the best natural wonders in Europe

Bialowieza National Park, Poland

Bialowieza National Park is home to the biggest land animals in Europe – European bisons. It’s a unique place in Poland, where nature is untouched, unspoiled and uncontaminated. Bialowieza is situated in Eastern Poland, right next to Belarusian border. – Karolina & Patryk, karolinapatryk.com
 Bialowieza National Park, Poland: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

The Northern Lights, Sweden

The Northern Lights are one of the greatest natural phenomena on Earth. They can be seen from September through March, with the best chances of spotting them in Abisko, Sweden. Abisko is the driest spot in the aurora belt and sees the Northern Lights on average 159 nights each season. Jennifer and Tim, Luxe Adventure Traveler
The northern nights in Sweden: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Crib Goch, Wales

Crib Goch is a razors edge ridge which runs along the stickleback of Wales’ highest mountain, Snowdon. Not for the faint hearted, the grade 1 scramble arête, translating to “Red Ridge” in Welsh, comes with a fierce reputation. The highest point on this magnificent knife edge is 3,028ft above sea level and often the drops either side of the route are a dizzying height down to the valley below. Described by the Snowdonia Authority as “not a mountain for the inexperienced” it has been the site of many accidents, injuries and deaths over the years. – Nic Hilditch-short, The Roaming Renegades

Crib Goch, Wales: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Simply stunning! The picturesque scene of the colorful cliff-side towns along the rocky mountains which beautifully drape down to the clear blue sea of the Amalfi coast is a natural wonder in Europe you’ll never forget. Costiera Almafitana is located in the Southwestern region of Campania, Italy and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique Mediterranean landscape. There are several towns to explore in this area, such as Sorrento, Positano and Praiano. Each town is unique and worth a good look.  – Gia, Mismatched Passports (also, my girlfriend!)
Amalfi Coast, Italy: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Finnmark, Norway

Located way above the Arctic Circle, Finnmark is Norway’s northernmost county and experiences midnight sun from mid May until late July. Last summer, we travelled along this stunning coastline from Kirkenes to Bergen on board one of Hurtigruten’s ships. Their vessels have been sailing up and down Norway’s coast since 1893 and one of the best ways to experience the beauty of the region is by undertaking a voyage on one of their ships. When it comes to natural beauty, Norway is full of superlatives and “wow” moments that had our camera shutters clicking the entire time. – Mark and Kirsty Bennetts, Kathmandu and Beyond

Finnmark, Norway: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Kotor, Montenegro

I fell in love with Kotor from the very first moment I saw a picture of the town. Not only for the pretty architecture, but the area around was stunning! The town is located at the end of Gulf of Kotor, squeezed between clear cyan water and harsh mountains. When I finally visited the place I was enchanted, it took my breath away and I was literally speechless, I just stared at the view and couldn’t believe a place so perfect actually exists! The area can be best seen from the ruins of the fortress high above Kotor but the hike up there is well worth the effort, as what you see at the end is the best reward and the picture of the incredible view will stay with you forever! – Kami, Kami and the Rest of the World
Kotor, Montenegro: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Glencoe, Scotland – Two Scots Abroad

I first came across this beauty of an area when we drove to the Isle of Skye. Instantaneously your breath is stolen from you. The mountains feel like monsters about to devour you but it’s a nice feeling, being inferior to nature. This exact photo is taken at Kingshouse, which was our fourth stop on the West Highland Way (96 mile hike).  I urge everyone to come to this part of the world. Scotland is gorgeous, when she gets the weather! – Gemma and Craig, Two Scots Abroad

Glencoe, Scotland: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

 

The Upper Kaunertal Valley, Austria

The upper Kaunertal valley in the Oetztal Alps in Tyrol, Austria, is what you call a winter wonderland. The region is simply mind-blowing, especially in winter time. It even feels a bit surreal when driving up the narrow mountain road to the glacier. You pass by snow-covered hills, dense pine forests and magical lakes like the Gepatschspeicher. What a beautiful area! – Clemens Sehi, Anekdotique

Kaunerta Lake, Austria: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Plitvice Lakes is a National Park, Croatia

In 1979 Plitvice Lakes was awarded recognition as a UNESCO world heritage site. The UNESCO site has sixteen lakes linked together with a series of gushing waterfalls. The lakes are famous for their stunning colours, which change from shades of teal, turquoise and deep blues to greys throughout the year. – SJ Begonja, Chasing the Donkey

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

The Rock of Gibraltar

One of the most iconic natural wonders in Europe is the Rock of Gibraltar.  This 426 meter high piece of limestone has been of strategic military importance for centuries because of its commanding position at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea.  From its summit, Gibraltar offers unprecedented views of the narrows spanning Europe and Africa.  These days, the only attacks come from the resident Barbary macaques (monkeys) who accost visitors for food. – Lance and Laura Longwell, Travel Addicts 

The Rock of Gibraltar: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled in the fall time is a wonderful time frame to be visiting the mountains, lakes and natural areas of this stunning landscape which is about 3 hours north of the capital  Ljubljana. Not only is it quiet during the off season, but the fall colors are simply breathtaking. Come and check out my post about fall time at Lake Bled. – Noel Morata, Travel Photo Discovery

Lake Bled, Slovenia: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

The Picos de Europa, Spain

The Picos de Europa (literally “peaks of Europe“) is a range of mountains 20 km inland from the northern coast of Spain.  Forming part of the Cantabrian mountains, the Picos de Europa were reportedly the first sight of Europe for ships arriving from America, which also explains the origin of their name. I completed a 7-day hike through this mountain range, and was stunned by the enormous diversity of the landscapes through which we passed. There were the stark, barren panoramas of Torres de los Horcados Rojos in contrast to the lush valleys and traditional, rural, agricultural Spanish villages, such as Sotres and Espinama. I won’t deny it was a challenging hike in parts but the incredible scenery made it all worthwhile. – Kiara Gallop, Gallop Around the Globe
The Picos de Europa, Spain: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Meteora, Greece

A small valley in Central Greece gave birth to this marvellous natural wonder. Piles of rocks shoot like nothing from the ground. Some monks have chosen this place to be their home, therefore you see their monasteries up in the sky. This unique place is found northwest of Athens and can be reached perfectly by train. Once there simply get a taxi to drive you around and discover its stunning beauty! – Viktoria Urbanek, Chronic Wanderlust
Meteora, Greece: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Jökulsárlón, Iceland

One of the most amazing wonders of Iceland is Jökulsárlón – glaciar lagoon – located on the south of the island, near the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. With each season it has a lasting changing beauty with the mountains in the background, sea life swimming below and refreshing wind in the air. Whenever I am stressed, I think about these big blue icebergs floating and it immediately calms me down. It’s definitely the highlight of Iceland and it’s easily accessible from the main road. – Karina, Kara Boska

Jökulsárlón, Iceland: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Foresta Umbra, Italy

I remember hearing about the Foresta Umbra from my Mum and Dad when I was a kid – but I had no idea there were still forests in Italy. When I visited Puglia last year, I discovered I was wrong. The forest still exists, and what a forest! Its name means ‘shady forest’, on account of how dense it is. We spent the day wandering up and down a gorge, spotting deers and some pigs, surrounded by nothing but silence. And just a few miles away, you can relax on a beautiful beach! Margherita and Nick, The Crowded Planet

Foresta Umbra, Italy: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Loriga‘s river beach, Portugal

It’s easy to see why Loriga‘s river beach was voted as one of the best beaches in Portugal. The appeal of a largely natural turquoise infinity rock pool nestled in the Serra da Estrela mountains is clear. The water comes from the mountains so it’s icy, even in summer, but tolerable for short periods and the setting is glorious. The surrounding mountains are also well worth exploring, whether on foot, by bike or car, for dramatic unspoilt scenery, weird rock formations and unusual plants. – Julie Fox, Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal 

Loriga‘s river beach, Portugal: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Lake Annecy, France

Known in French as Lac d’Annecy, this is the 3rd largest lake in France and one of the main natural attractions in Annecy – a south-eastern commune which is dubbed the ‘Venice’ of the French Alps. Lake Annecy was formed 18,000 years ago when large alpine glaciers melted. Today, it is known as Europe’s cleanest lake especially after the strict environmental regulations that were implemented in the 60s. Now a popular destination, people often swim and do water sports here; others sign up for paragliding to see its beauty from above. – Aileen Adalid, I Am Aileen

Lake Annecy, France: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland was formed from an ancient volcanic eruption – it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a region steeped in folklore and legend. There are around 40,000 basalt columns of varying heights that span along the coast and dip into the sea. Even though it was cloudy, rainy and windy the day we visited, it was still a stunning sight to see! – Jenna Kvidt, Wander the Map

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia

During our road trip through Slovenia we visited a pretty little slice of nature called Vintgar Gorge.  Vintgar Gorge is a short drive from Lake Bled and is sometimes called “Little Plitvice” as it is a mini version of the famous natural wonder of neighboring Croatia, Plitvice Lakes, where crystal clear blue waters travel from lake to lake in a series of waterfalls.  Visitors to Vintgar Gorge can follow an easy series of trails and boardwalks which follow and cross the many falls that wind through the steep rocky slopes. – Katherine Belarmino, Travel the World

Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Preikestolen, Norway

I took the chance to hike to Preikestolen, also known “The Pulpit Rock”.  I’m not a hiking fanatic but this adventure gave me a surge of excitement – it was a dream come true walking up the trail to the peak. Standing at the spectacular scenic plateau is one of the most impressive viewing platforms I’ve ever set foot on. – Meanne Anneklien, Annaklien’s Solo Travel and Adventure

Preikestolen, Norway: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Arthur’s Seat, Scotland

Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland, is quite stunning and exhibits the rugged and sturdy personality of the Scots to my mind. It looks like it watches over the city in a way. It offers some rather good hiking as well, if visitors are up for it. – Talon Windwalker, 1 Dad 1 Kid

Arthur's Seat, Scotland: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, Iceland

Þingvellir or Thingvellir (as it’s known in English) National Park is surrounded by stunning mountains and is part of Iceland’s magical Golden Circle of wonders.  It’s here that you’ll see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge tectonic plate boundaries running through the park where huge rock formations are thrust straight out of the earth creating an astounding maze.  Beside the beautiful and serene Lake Þingvellir is where the Icelandic parliament, Albingi, was founded back in 930 AD – making it the world’s oldest existing national assembly. Thingvellir National Park is a must see for its unique scenery and gorgeous vistas. – Stephanie Mayo, The World As I See It
Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, Iceland: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

The Red Beach, Greece

A huge volcanic eruption shaped the island of Santorini (Greece), and while it was probably quite distressing for the locals at the time, it makes for some amazing landscapes for visitors today. – Me, (You’re on my site!)

Greek islands in winter - Red Beach, Santorini: One of the best natural wonders in Europe

 Are these the best natural wonders in Europe? Leave a comment and have your say!

 

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Jon Algie

Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.
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34 Comments

  1. February 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm — Reply

    Love this post, such a great round up of bucket list destinations – been to about 6 of them so still have a way to go :D! Would absolutely love to get to Preikestolen in Norway – that’s my #1 from this list 🙂

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:18 am — Reply

      Thanks for helping out Meg!

  2. February 25, 2015 at 2:52 pm — Reply

    I’ve been to four and have another one coming up in a few weeks. Looks like I’ve got a lot more places to put on my list!

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:19 am — Reply

      I think we all do, not many would have been to all of these! Cheers for helping out.

  3. February 25, 2015 at 3:43 pm — Reply

    Hi Jon,

    Lake Annachy looks awesome! So blue, like here in Bali, loving the aerial shot.

    As for the priest’s name up top – the first wonder – LOL on that. Sounds like a contrived character from some comedy 🙂

    Fab list Jon, keep on inspiring!

    Ryan

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:20 am — Reply

      Haha yeah, sounds like a movie needs to be made about that guy!

  4. February 25, 2015 at 5:25 pm — Reply

    Great list, Jon. Makes me want to pack my bags and boots right now. I spend most of my travel time in Portugal so it’s good to be reminded of what else is’on my doorstep’ in relative terms.

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:21 am — Reply

      We hadn’t planned on going to Portugal but it ended up being one of our favourite countries, need to get back there!

  5. February 25, 2015 at 6:22 pm — Reply

    Of course, after I submitted this one we had another one in Iceland I would’ve much rather chosen. LOL So, if you do another, let me know. Thanks for letting me participate!

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:22 am — Reply

      Haha no worries Talon, cheers for helping out!

  6. February 25, 2015 at 6:40 pm — Reply

    This post is amazing! Thanks for having us here 🙂

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:23 am — Reply

      Cheers guys, loved your photo!

  7. February 25, 2015 at 11:42 pm — Reply

    Awesome list of some really amazing places! We’ve been to about half of them so far. Need to get cracking on the rest.

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:24 am — Reply

      That’s a pretty good effort Lance, I’m way off that!

  8. February 25, 2015 at 11:54 pm — Reply

    I need to catch up organising my itinerary to visit all of these beautiful places :)…..

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:26 am — Reply

      Thanks for participating Meanne, this list wouldn’t be complete without Preikestolen!

  9. February 26, 2015 at 12:58 am — Reply

    Wow, what a collection of amazing landscape, there is still so much for me to explore in Europe thank god, too many things left of my bucket list in this continent.

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:27 am — Reply

      Cheers Noel, I was at Lake Bled in autumn too and loved it (although it rained a lot).

  10. February 26, 2015 at 1:33 am — Reply

    What a beautiful continent! I would really like to see Iceland. Scotland obviously always a winner.

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:28 am — Reply

      Thanks Gemma, Iceland is pretty high on my list too.

  11. February 26, 2015 at 6:33 am — Reply

    Oh man, so many more places to add to my ‘list’. So gorgeous. Thanks for including Croatia.

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:30 am — Reply

      Cheers SJ, Croatia looks awesome, kinda wish we went there!

  12. February 26, 2015 at 8:49 am — Reply

    Thanks for including our Northern Lights photo in this list of natural wonders. There are a lot of great suggestions and places to check out on this.

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:31 am — Reply

      Thanks for helping out Jennifer, can’t wait to see the Northern Lights.

  13. February 26, 2015 at 1:12 pm — Reply

    Such a great list! I’ve been to a few of these, and now there are even more places I’m adding to my list–The Upper Kaunertal Valley in Austria is one of them! Looks so beautiful! Thanks for including our pic as well!

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:32 am — Reply

      Thanks for participating Jenna, the Austria one is my favourite too!

  14. February 28, 2015 at 1:10 am — Reply

    I have a friend who lives in Belgrade, who once suggested I come and tour the region with him(we are both rock climbers). Those images from Montenegro, Slovenia and Croatia have me kicking myself for not immediately booking a flight over!

    • Jon Algie
      February 28, 2015 at 8:33 am — Reply

      We only went to Slovenia out of those places, such a cool country. I really want to go back and travel that region for longer, might be better in the summer though!

  15. March 8, 2015 at 9:24 pm — Reply

    Beautiful pictures..
    Wonderful collection of landscapes .Pure beauty ,i have already visited to Europe but seriously after looking at theses pictures i wanna trip my plan again.

    • Jon Algie
      March 13, 2015 at 6:45 am — Reply

      Thanks Kiara, I can’t wait to get back to Europe as well!

  16. March 17, 2015 at 1:54 am — Reply

    I visit Europe almost every year, but truly I never heard of any of these gorgeous places which were so close to me when visiting a specific country.
    This year I will start searching for this place for sure.

  17. May 12, 2015 at 2:01 am — Reply

    Truly stunning pictures! Greece has been on my list of places to visit for some time now so seeing two beautiful pictures of Greece included in this list makes me so much more excited to go!

    • Jon Algie
      August 30, 2015 at 8:58 am — Reply

      Greece is awesome, definitely make sure you go!

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