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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!