14 best European travel destinations for nature lovers (2023)

Discover the most beautiful places in Europe for nature, from where you can afford the adventure. Here are the perfect destinations for nature lovers in Europe.

If you ask the average person what Europe has to offer, they will probably tell you to travel to Europe for its charming cities, storied history, narrow streets, best-in-class museums and more culture than you can appreciate in your life .

But Europe also boasts some of themost beautiful destinations for nature lovers in the world, if you're only willing to venture off the busy tourist trail.

Here are thebest European travel destinations for nature loversto get your wanderlust-powered wheels turning.

  1. Switzerland: Bernese Oberland region
  2. Montenegro: Durmitor-Nationalpark
  3. Schottland: Isle of Skye
  4. Germany: Black Forest
  5. Portugal: Algarve Coast
  6. IRELAND: Dingle and West Coast
  7. Italy: Tuscany and Umbrian countryside
  8. France: Chamonix
  9. England: Region Cotswolds
  10. Norway: Svalbard
  11. Slovenia: Vintgar Gorge and Lake Bohinj
  12. Spain: The Way of Saint James
  13. Niederlande: Keukenhof Tulpenfelder
  14. Croatia: make your choice


1. Switzerland: Bernese Oberland region

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When you think of "Swiss Alps" then this is the region you dream of. In a concentrated area south of the Swiss capital Bern, you'll find snow-capped mountains, alpine lakes and charming mountain towns, all connected by a challenging but well-marked system of hiking trails and reliable trains.

While the area will certainly tug at your wallets, there are strategies you can employsave money when travellingand make discovering the Bernese Oberland manageable.

Buy a train pass to make traveling around the area easier, or wander between cities instead of taking the train if possible. Cook yourself (or live off PB&J sandwiches like me) instead of paying exorbitant restaurant prices. Stay in cheap hostels (I personally adoreThis one here), camp or find oneJob placement in Switzerland by Worldpackers.

2. Montenegro: Durmitor-Nationalpark

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Famous for being one of the best placestravel sparingly in Europe, this tiny country on the Dalmatian coast also packs a nature-loving punch, so much so that I had a hard time deciding which region deserved to be labeled asmost beautiful places to visit in Europe.

When I think back to my timeBackpacking in the Balkans, this is the walk I took around the Black LakeDurmitor-Nationalparkthat sings to my nature-loving soul. The country is so small that wherever you are in Montenegro, Durmitor National Park is never more than a day trip away.

Second is the Bay of Kotor, a dramatic fjord-like region with crystal clear waters and charming old towns built into dramatically set mountains. This region is only secondary as it is frequented by cruise ships and tends to get crowded during the day.

(Video) 25 Most Beautiful Destinations in Europe - Travel Video

Worldpackers offers a fine selectionExchange projects in Montenegro.Work a few hours a day and spend the rest of your time exploring everything this stunning country has to offer!

BoxThe best things to do in Montenegro.

3. Schottland: Isle of Skye

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look over toConnect with nature while you travel? Look no further than Scotland...

The entire country of Scotland is really one of theThe best countries for nature lovers, even the capital of the countryEdinburghoffers a beautiful day hike in the mountains called Arthur's Seat.

The most northerly island in the Scottish Highlands feels like stepping back in time, to a time when nature ruled our hearts and minds. It's a difficult place to get to as there's basically no public transport, but many companies offer multi-day tours from Edinburgh or Glasgow if you're not confident enough to drive in a foreign country.

4. Germany: Black Forest

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If you want to feel like you're walking through a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, head to Germany's Black Forest. It makes effortless for one of thebest European travel destinations for nature lovers.

As the name suggests, explore dense evergreen forests. The area is also known for thermal baths, vineyards and Gurk clocks (I can't make that up!).

Worldpackers hatExchange projects throughout Germany. Choose from options toWork in holistic centersandhostel management,on farms, and more.

5. Portugal: Algarve coast

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This one is for the water lovers out there. The southern coast of Portugal makes onegreat mid-season destination for nature loversas it stays warmer and sunnier than the rest of Europe.

They come to the Algarve to enjoy some of itthe best beaches in Europe, many of which are fringed by scenic cliffs and linked by caves and waterborne outcrops. While you certainly won't tire of lounging in the sun for a few days here, sea kayaking isn't to be missed in the area either.

For an additional increase in budget, considerchoose a Worldpackers experience in Portugalinstead of a more typical accommodation. There are dozens of possibilities!

(Video) 15 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe | Europe Travel Video

6. Ireland: Dingle and West Coast

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For my money Ireland is one of themost accessible and picturesque places to visit in Europe.

The west coast, Ireland's most natural, rugged side, is brimming with views of stunning natural beauty. It is also home to a quaint little seaside town called Dingle. Dingle feels like a place where there are more pubs than people, and it's also a great base for exploring Ireland's surprisingly sandy shores.

Of course you will also find the Cliffs of Moher and the 13km walking trail that follows them along the west coast of Ireland.

On a more personal touch, that Irish coast is wheremy personal solo travel storybegins. Ireland made for oneideal first international solo tripfor me as a nature lover due to the lack of a language barrier, friendly locals and easy access to beautiful, natural views.

Try thisWorldpackers Ireland Travel Guideto learn more about traveling andVolunteering in Ireland.

7. Italy: landscape of Umbria

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I know you've heard of the Tuscan countryside in Italy, where rolling hills and world-class vineyards seem painted in a thousand soft shades of green, but have you heard of the neighboring region of Umbria?

With many of the same characteristics as its northern neighbor, Umbria is aTuscany for budget travelers.

You can find cheap hostels and hotels in less crowded places. It's also much closer to Rome, making it an easier region to visit if you're short on time.

Worldpackers offers a huge varietyExchange projects in Italy(over a hundred to choose from!). Check out the full list — and theWorldpackers Italy travel guide— to start planning your bucket list trip today!

8. France: Chamonix

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If you can't decide between France, Switzerland or Italy, the French region of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is the answer. It makes a big oneyear-round destination for nature loversbecause of the great skiing offer in winter and the excellent multi-day trekking offers in summer.

While this area is not found on anyList of budget friendly travel destinationsYou will soon find that the payout is worth it. You can apply many of the same tips I offered from the Switzerland entry here. Cook for yourself, use your feet instead of cable cars and plan carefully.

(Video) Top 15 Most Breathtaking Places In Europe (2023) - Travel Guide

The opportunity to stay in France for a while sounds too good to be true, right? Luckily, Worldpackers offers some great onesunique exchange opportunities in Franceto extend your time there... and make your experience truly unforgettable.

9. England: Region Cotswolds

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For nature lovers who don't call themselves adrenaline junkies, England's Cotswolds could be just the ticket. This small area is dotted with small villages, many connected by easy hiking trails.

If you are lookingcalming destinations for nature lovers in Europe, stroll the Cotswolds Jane Austen style...or simply browse through Worldpackers' selectionJob exchange experiences in England.

10. Norway: Svalbard

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The remote glacial archipelago in Norway is one of themmost beautiful places in Europe in summer(it stays light that long!) or in winter (one of the best places to see the Northern Lights).

It's also a fascinating insight into the endurance and adaptability of the human species, as it is one of the northernmost inhabited areas in the world, located between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

If you are interested in taking a trip to the Nordic countries of Europe, Worldpackers has several great offersExperience exchange offers in Norway.

11. Slovenia: Vintgar Gorge and Bohinj Lake

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I'm not the first to sing Slovenia as one of the praisedbest European travel destinations for nature loversand I won't be the last, but I might be the first to prefer Lake Bohinj to photogenic Lake Bled.

The nearby Lake Bohinj is still a playground for the local Slovenes. Since you need a car to reach it, Lake Bohinj takes all the beauty of Lake Bled and makes it pure and less touristy.

The nearby Vintgar Gorge is also an excellent stop for nature lovers. It adds variety to a day driving around.

Worldpackers has some amazing onesExchange of experiences in Slovenia. All options guarantee free accommodation and a chance to explore Slovenia's dramatic landscapes, quirky traditions and great food!

Planning a trip to Slovenia? Don't miss theSlovenia travel guide.

(Video) Top 10 Places To Visit in 2023 (Year of Travel)

12. Spain: The Way of Saint James

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A part of my heart will always be on the Camino de Santiago. This ancient hiking trail, which technically has thousands of routes across Europe but is mostly a trail that runs from the Franco-Spanish border to Santiago in Spain, is aa nature lover's dream.

It combines the best aspects of backpacking - the routine, the performance, the reflection - with the ease of European travel - simple, affordable accommodation and uncluttered itineraries.

Worldpackers offers some veryunique exchange projects in Spain. At over fortyfirst class hoststo choose from, what are you waiting for?

13. Niederlande: Keukenhof-Tulpenfelder

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Let's turn the difficulty down a few notches, shall we?

One ofmost beautiful places in Europe for naturemust be the Netherlands in spring. It's difficult to plan your trip properly, but the flat, flower-filled country has a lot to offer.

Do as the locals do and hire a bike to see the bulb fields up close. Be aware of local laws and respect each farmer's rules while enjoying the natural beauty.

Take your journey to the next level anddeepen your travel experienceby aWorldpackers exchange in the Netherlands!

14. Croatia: Take your pick

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There is so much natural beauty in the country of Croatia that I really can't decide.

Go toPlitvice Lakes National Parkfor waterfalls on the Wazoo. Walk to Rovinj and the Istrian peninsulaoff the tourist trackLocation. Hop over the islands and enjoy a healthy mix of sun, sand (er, pebbles) and partying.

If you choose aWorldpackers experience in CroatiaYou have the freedom to explore as much of the country as you like or do as little as you like... all while soaking up the sun on a stunning beach.

Sounds good? I thought so!

(Video) 10 Cheapest Countries in Europe 2023 - Budget Travel 4K

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I hope this list ofmost beautiful places in Europe for naturehelped you to see Europe as much more than just cities and culture. It's all in one very charming little bundle.

ifGlampingis something you might want to consider, keep reading about itGlamping in Europe: why and how to do it

Wherever your hiking boots take you next, remember aWorldpackers exchange experiences in Europeas a partner in your planning. The job agency has put off-the-beaten-path targets on my radar and made expensive, well-known ones significantly more affordable.


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