February 18, 2018

Exploring the Alps via National Parks

One of Europe’s greatest mountain range is The Alps which stretch 750 miles from Slovenia in the east through Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany before ending in France in the west.  These mountains are known for their towering peaks, expansive glaciers, green meadows, wildflowers and wildlife.  There may be no better way to experience the Alps than in one of the protected National Parks.

Here are six National Parks you’ll find while exploring the Alps!

Lake Bohinj with church Triglav National Park Slovenia

Lake Bohinj with church by Rosino

Known for its scenery, hiking and skiing is the Triglav National Park in Slovenia.  This area is full of picture postcard moments including craggy mountains, glacial Lake Bohinj, Soca and Sava Rivers, wild flowers and waterfalls.  Experience the park through the Slovenian Alpine Museum or its hiking and biking trails.  Mountaineering is also popular.

Nationalpark Hohe Tauern - Krimmler Wasserfälle Austria

Nationalpark Hohe Tauern - Krimmler Wasserfälle by thisisbossi, on Flickr

Crossing into Austria you’ll find more amazing mountains as you enter the Alpine region.  One of Austria’s National Parks is the Hohe Tauern National Park.  Covering 708 square miles the park is the largest nature reserve in the Alps and home to beautiful glaciers, valley’s, tundra, clear lakes, gold mines and waterfalls.  The mountains, lakes, rivers and meadows are home to chamois, alpine ibex and golden eagles.  Enjoy the park on one of the wonderful hiking trails or by a guided tour which are offered during the summer.

Valle Imperina Dolomati National Park Italy

Valle Imperina by Andrea Omizzolo, on Flickr

The Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park in Italy is most known for the varied hiking, flora, wildlife, cliffs, ravines and stunning mountains.  The park is home to springs, two lakes and streams full of trout.  The Dolomite’s are some of the most beautiful and dramatic mountains in all of Europe.  This park located in the south east Alps and is also home to many Karst formations including the largest cave in Italy.

Autumn in Berchtesgaden National Park Germany

Autumn in Berchtesgaden National Park by springm / Markus Spring, on Flickr

On the border with Austria is the Berchtesgaden National Park.  The southern corner of Germany is home to one of the country’s tallest mountains, the Watzmann, which shadows over stunning Lake Konigsee.  The park is full of wonderful hiking and cycling trails both in the valley and at high altitudes where you may see ibex, eagles and marmots along with beautiful wild flowers.  Berchtesgaden National Park is known for its stunning alpine scenery and there is no better place to experience this than taking the Jenner cable car up to the edge of the park!

Swiss National Park Switzerland

Swiss National Park by Hansueli Krapf

The Swiss National Park is known for its hiking trails and alpine scenery.  The only national park in Switzerland has over 21 hiking trails spread over 50 miles.  The routes range in difficulty from easy to Alpine trails requiring technical equipment.  While enjoying the park keep your eyes open for golden eagles, bearded vultures and chamois.

View from the Roc du Tambour Vanoise National Park France

View from the Roc du Tambour by Matthieu LIENART, on Flickr

One of the most popular outdoor areas in France is Vanoise National Park.  The beautiful mountain scenery is splendid during any season. The park is a haven for skiers during the winter while summer is a delight to hikers.  While in the park you may see alpine ibex, chamois and other animals.

Would you visit a National Park in the Alps?

This post is being shared in celebration of Earth Day as part of a Nature Travel roundup. Check our more “Natural” adventures at the Green Global Traveler!

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  1. Donna Hull says:

    Six national parks and 750 miles of mountains? I’m packing my bags for the Alps right now!
    Donna Hull recently posted..Take a scenic drive in Monument Valley

  2. To answer your question — Yes! Take me to one of those parks right now! I never realized that the Alps stretch 750 miles. I dreamed of visiting the Alps ever since I was very young and now I’ve been lucky enough to see a bit of them in Switzerland, Austria and Bavaria. Still more to explore.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Getting Around Budapest

  3. Sandra Foyt says:

    I’m sending my 17-year-old daughter to Austria this summer on her own. But after seeing these photos, I’m even more tempted to join her!
    Sandra Foyt recently posted..Stowe – A Sweet Family Ski Resort

  4. I remember taking a train (I think- it was another lifetime ago) up a mountain near Geneva and being lost in the mists. Brings back memories.
    santafetraveler recently posted..Photo of the week: desert blooms at Tent Rocks

  5. Andrea says:

    I really want to spend more time in the Alps! These parks look amazing…
    Andrea recently posted..Movie and Miniature Magic In Lyon

  6. Gaelyn says:

    A perfect combination, mountains and National Parks.
    Gaelyn recently posted..Foto Friday Fun 1

  7. Patti says:

    That first photo of the lake and the bridge is stunning!
    Patti recently posted..Nature Tales ~

  8. What a spectacular tour of the Alps my friend! Only somewhat familiar with the Dolomites, I can see now that I have a lot of touring to do! I love mountain landscapes and the flowering meadows perched high amid the peaks…all makes for sublime hiking and photography!
    Jeff Titelius recently posted..ArtSmart Roundtable: The Funny Faces of Mannekin Pis in Brussels, Belgium

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Very true Jeff! One day I will visit the Dolomites and spend time doing a little hiking, drinking wine and taking tons of pictures.

  9. Jam @icoSnap says:

    The photos are so beautiful, and I would totally want to visit the national parks in the alps!
    Jam @icoSnap recently posted..Three things to do in Tarifa Spain

  10. Leigh says:

    When I can pronounce a national park then I have a decent chance of remembering them – but some of those German names just fly right over my head. I think I’ll stick with the Dolomites and the Swiss National Park. All of course look lovely.
    Leigh recently posted..Skiing to Skogan Pass from Ribbon Creek in Kananaskis Country

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Can’t go wrong with either. I think the Dolomites are simply gorgeous and would be a great place to spend some time!

  11. Red Hunt says:

    Yes! Nature in Europe….my kind of travel. I know Europe has some pretty decent National Parks, and have heard good things about nature and wildlife in Romania and Germany…but these Alps parks look appealing too. Never heard of the Dolomiti one in Italy….might have to add that to my radar if it has wildlife….
    Red Hunt recently posted..Hey ‘Professional’ Travel Bloggers – Have you Apologized to Delta yet?

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I’ve visited quite a few National parks here in the US but don’t honestly think about it in Europe! I may have to change my mind.

  12. Steve says:

    I’d be much more inclined to explore the Alps if they weren’t so…steep. I think the Germans got it right by building a cable car that you can ride up instead. Gorgeous scenery though.
    Steve recently posted..Friends of MKTS – Arrows Sent Forth

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Yes, the cable cars definitely make a difference don’t they? The good thing is the Alps are loaded with cable cars that will whisk you up so you can see the amazing views without dropping a bead of sweat 🙂

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