October266 Wild & Beautiful Places in Europe You MUST See!
Not only is Europe famous for its world-class museums, winding city streets and vibrant cafés. This continent is also blessed with magnificent mountains, pristine lakes, and gorgeous beaches, not to mention the world's renowned parks and wildlife habitats. For those who would rather venture to explore incredibly beautiful natural wonder Promo4event.com recommends discovering the following six the most beautiful spots of Europe. To experience them on a budget make sure you use CheapOair.com Coupon Codes when booking your next trip to Europe.
1. Connemara, Ireland
Ireland's western coast will take you back in time with its stunningly beautiful nature and authentic culture. Mythical and wild, Connemara is the perfect place to immerse yourself in awesome nature and Irish history and traditions.
What to Do: Consider taking your own Irish road trip. Rent a car and start your trip in vibrant and bustling Galway City. As you drive west along the north shore of Galway Bay you will pass tiny one-pub towns along with Blue Flag beaches. Then drive or cycle along the picturesque winding Sky Road offering quintessentially Irish vistas of offshore islands and the Twelve Bens mountains. Outdoor enthusiasts will be thrilled by a hiking trip in Connemara National Park with the steep trails of the Twelve Bens and views of scenic mountains and distant islands. Then make sure you stop at legendary Kylemore Abbey, located not far from Clifden. This historic building sits on a private lake and is surrounded by the beautiful Victorian gardens. Here you will be offered scones, made with the Benedictine nuns' special recipe, and hot tea. If time permits schedule your visit so you could enjoy a choral performance held in the abbey's church.
Where to Stay: There are many cozy B&B's and guesthouses in Clifden, located about an hour's drive from Galway City, but the best one is the family-friendly Clifden Station House.
2. Iceland Highlands
Referred to as the "Land of Fire and Ice", Iceland offers travelers nature to the extreme. Located south of the Arctic Circle in the North Atlantic, Iceland is blessed with striking black sand beaches and vibrant green moss-covered lava fields. Adventure opportunities are endless there, from hiking alongside sizzling geysers and horse riding with local farmers to snowmobiling on glaciers.
What to Do: In Iceland's Southern Highlands you can hike the popular Laugavegur trail with towering glaciers, black arctic deserts, hot springs and red-and-yellow-colored mountains. Take a guided tour on a 34-mile route that connects two nature reserves, Landmannalaugar and Thorsmork. During the summer you can easily reach the trailhead by bus departing from Reykjavik. It usually takes from three to five days to hike the Laugavegur trail, depending on the weather. For even more adventurous there is a hiking trail past Thorsmork leading to the small village of Skógar where you can view one of Iceland's biggest waterfalls. Or you may just saddle up and explore the area the way Icelanders have been doing for centuries. But whatever means of traveling you choose, make sure you pack your bathing suit, because it is hard to resist the temptation to swim in a warm geothermal pool after a tiresome day here in the far north.
Where to Stay: You will find numerous campsites with toilets and showers, in addition to basic mountain huts with toilets, kitchens, and sometimes showers along Laugavegur trail. Keep in mind that huts should be booked well in advance and remember to bring along a sleeping bag and your own food. There is a restaurant and bar at the Volcano Huts in the Thorsmork Nature Reserve.
3. Doñana National Park, Spain
This is a real bird-watcher's paradise set among unique and wild Atlantic beaches of southern coast of Spain. Doñana National Park is a well-known conservation area of Europe. This is where the Guadalquivir River delta meets the sea, and the nature is simply jaw-dropping, with pristine beaches, pine forests, flamingos, and the endangered Iberian lynx.
What to Do: Doñana National Park used to be a favorite hunting reserve of Spanish kings, but today it is one of Europe's largest parks, complete with beaches, lagoons, marshland, pine forests, and impressive sand dunes. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is a haven for wildlife, as it is on an important migratory route for birds that travel from Africa to Europe. Head to the principal visitor center at El Acebuche, not far from Matalascañas, to hike along several boardwalks through the wetlands where you can spot flamingo, red-crested pochard, azure-winged magpie, or the glorious hoopoe. To explore the area more thoroughly take a guided tour via 4WD vehicles that depart from the El Acebuche visitors center. You will be able to explore a variety of ecosystems, including untamed bastions of beach in southern Spain and a large area of dunes. In pine forests, marshes, scrubland and grassland you can run into wild boar, fallow deer, and the rare Retuerta horse. The biggest part of the park is out of bounds to guided tours as the fragile environment needs protection, but travelers are allowed to trek along footpaths at the visitor center at La Rocina and also at El Palacio del Acebrón showcasing special exhibits on the park's history and natural environment.
Where to Stay: Consider staying in the resort area of Matalascanas where you will find plenty of various accommodations. If you are interested in watching flamingo and heron then staying at funky El Rocío's Hotel Toruño is a must. But keep in mind that in late May or early June there is a peak season because of the popular Romería del Rocío, an annual pilgrimage, so the rates will be high and the rooms may not be available.
4. Scottish Highlands
If you would like to experience "Wild Europe" in a romantic setting travel to Scotland's Highlands, with its historic castles and heather-covered moors.
What to Do: Visiting Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park of Great Britain, is a must. Start your journey with Blair Castle, the traditional seat of the Dukes of Atholl. Surrounded by the lush green rolling hills, this classic castle has welcomed many important guests throughout its history, including Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Victoria. This stark white 13th-century castle is also known for the last remaining private army in Europe. After touring the castle, explore the great outdoors the way Scots traditionally do through country sports. You may choose to ride sturdy Highland ponies or fish for salmon or wild brown trout. Those who prefer more contemporary activities will enjoy traveling by mountain bike or Land Rover. And down the road, there is Edradour, a tiny traditional distillery offering adults to taste various drinks and soothe muscles after a day of active pursuits.
Where to Stay: The estate features a number of family- and group-friendly accommodations, including Woodland or Highland Lodges overlooking the surrounding hills. Near the castle the Atholl Arms Hotel in the small village of Blair Atholl offers affordable accommodation in a charming B&B setting.
5. Cappadocia, Turkey
Turkey is home to weird geological formations, ancient underground
cities, traditional villages, and mouth-watering cuisine. For once-in-a-lifetime adventure have a hiking trip from village to village in Cappadocia set amid enigmatic, pastel rock formations called by locals as "Fairy Chimneys".
What to Do: You can either hike by yourself one of the numerous trails or take a guided tour by foot, bus, or horseback to explore villages carved out of Cappadocia's volcanic rock centuries ago. Surrounded by vineyards and apricot groves the trails which are part of the old Silk Road lead to rock-carved churches along with the centuries-old underground cities where early Christians sought refuge from persecutors. When you get inside you will be amazed by the beauty of ornate Byzantine frescoes which are very well preserved. For a truly special experience, consider riding a hot air balloon to enjoy stunningly beautiful Cappadocia vistas at dawn.
Where to Stay: Most travelers prefer to stay in Avanos, a historic pottery center with bustling local markets. You will feel yourself at home at Kirkit Pension, a boutique family-owned cave hotel. Despite affordable rates, the hotel offers all the modern amenities in addition to tasty, locally sourced meals and live Turkish music.
6. Carpathia, Romania
Set back in time with spooky historic castles, untamed mountain slopes, dense forests and cavernous gorges of the Carpathian Mountains. This is where some of the wildest terrain in Europe simply awes the travelers with centuries-old castles, picturesque meadows, curious rock formations, and traditional Romanian villages.
What to Do: The best way to explore the untamed wilderness is to take a hike in Piatra Craiului National Park, where you will be able to spot a variety of caves, gorges and the longest and tallest limestone ridge in Romania. When hiking you can spot many wild animals, including brown bears, wolves, and lynxes. Don't miss a chance to visit the renowned Bran Castle, more known as "Dracula's Castle", to learn about the horrifying tales connected with this historic fortress. Make sure you stop in unique villages, where the locals live the way their ancestors lived centuries ago. Finally climb the Bucegi Mountains to enjoy pristine nature and savor Branza de Burduf cheese made by local shepherds. This cheese has a distinctive taste because it is aged in fir tree bark.
Where to Stay: You will find many budget-friendly pensions, campsites, and chalets in the vicinity of Piatra Caaiului National Park. If you prefer to stay at Pensiunea Pepino with its own private garden, you will be impressed by a strikingly beautiful setting and delicious, home-cooked Romanian food.