Some of the most beautiful places in Europe
Known for castles, food and national parks, Europe certainly has it’s fair share. Europe is also known for its natural beauty. In this list I will show you some of the most beautiful places in Europe. I’ve scanned loads of countries to get a definitive collection and I hope you enjoy my list below. Maybe it will inspire you to check them out and visit for yourself. To see the amazing beauty these places have to offer. So next time you are thinking about booking your next holiday and want somewhere that is stunning. Maybe a place on this list will be waiting for you to explore.
Its world renowned for being beautiful but you don’t really appreciate its beauty until you see it. When it comes to the Scottish Highlands you really do need to see it to believe it. With snow-capped mountains and stunning fresh water lakes in winter. The Highlands also boost possibly one of the most scenic roads in Europe. Scotland has beauty around every corner.
The Scottish Highlands offer so much but for so little, you just hire a car and drive – it’s that simple. From Fort William to Isle of Skye and then to Thurso and Inverness you will be spoiled for choice. North Coast 500 is the most famous of the highlands routes. It will ensure you take in all the sights without missing a thing. Book in advance including accommodation. This route gets extremely busy in the summer months. It’s basically a circular route right around Scotland from Edinburgh to Glasgow and it really is a stunning route.
From mountains, beaches and valleys. To waterfalls, lakes and Castles. The Scottish Highlands are most certainly up there as one of the most beautiful places in Europe.
One of the most photographed places in the Europe. Lapland is the home of Father Christmas or Santa Claus and you can visit him, Mrs. Claus and the entire team in his Grotto but Lapland has a little more to offer then just Santa Claus. Lapland’s snow covered forest gives a beautiful backdrop to this part of the country. It allows holiday makers to enjoy the beauty of nature. You can rent out a glass Igloo to stay in and on a clear night see the amazing Northern Lights.
Maybe dog sledding, skiing or taking a snowmobile out is an activity you would like instead. Lapland isn’t just beautiful in the winter, in summer the forests are stunning in lush green for mile upon mile. The wildlife come out in there thousands, from birds, bears and even big cats the forests of Lapland are beautiful. I grantee you wouldn’t have seen anything like it. So if nature and beauty or top of your list for your next trip look no further then Lapland
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Croatia’s largest and most visited national park is Plitvice Lakes National Park. It’s known as the “most beautiful place on earth”. Now I know that is a huge title to have. Many will argue against it but there is no arguing that Plitvice is a stunning place to visit. It’s a world UNESCO Heritage Site that features 16 lakes. Cascading waterfalls connect the lakes. In the summer due to the rock formation in the lakes, each of them turn a different colour once the sun hits the rocks. Pink, Green, Blue and even Yellow rocks can be seen from under the water. Each of the waterfalls that connects the lakes are stunning too. Plitvice is one of Croatia’s top tourist destinations and you can see why. Its lush green trees, high cascading waterfalls and the different coloured lakes.
Combine all those things and it makes this place a jaw dropping place to visit. There no-where else like it in Europe. Because it’s the No.1 place for tourists in Croatia it’s super easy to get to. Most public transport routes go to the lakes. 98% of hotels in the area (including from Split) offer day trips. All this means there are no excuses not miss this amazing natural beautiful wonder.
I had planned a visit to Croatia in 2020, but we all know what happened on international travel. I have had to move the visit to 2022 for now. Fingers crossed I will be posting a full article on this stunning national park and Croatia next year.
Hallstatt is a tiny little town about 2.5hour drive from Vienna and approx. 1.5hour drive from Strasbourg. This town is the most photographed place in Austria. Which says something when you consider the country is situated in the heart of the Alps. The entire region has natural beauty in every direction. However what sets Hallstatt apart from everywhere else is that it sits right next to Hallstatt lake. Between 3 mountains so already you are getting an idea why this little town is stunning.
You can reach Hallstatt by all public transport, car, bus and train from Vienna or Strasbourg. There are a few hotels in the town meaning you can stay overnight if you wish. Hallstatt also offers 2 tourist attractions in the salt mines and Ice Caves. These sit at both ends of the lake. You can get on a bus that will take you to either. Many people say Hallstatt is the most stunning place in Austria. It’s hard to argue otherwise once you’ve seen this amazing place for yourself.
It’s without a doubt the most popular island of the all the Greek islands and it’s easy to see why. Santorini is situated in the southern island chain of the Greek Islands and it’s the No.1 destination in Europe for honeymoon’s. It’s the 3rd largest Island of the Greek Islands and has an international airport for travellers to fly direct. Santorini is beautiful, it has small little villages dotted around the island. It has black volcanic sand beaches, has the best seafood and offers some amazing sunsets making it the No.1 place for couples.
The island also offers plenty of things to do, we stayed for a week and had something to do every day weather it was visiting the beach, a day trip to the volcano or a sunset cruise. Make no mistake this island is stunning, no matter where you are, the villages, the scenery, the buildings and the sunsets it all adds to this stunning place. In fact in a recent survey Santorini was voted the No.2 destination in the world for honeymoons behind the Maldives. Which makes Santorini the No.1 place in Europe for couples.
I will be the first to say that Brugges was never a place I even thought about as a travel destination, that was until I actually visited. Brugges is a beautiful city, its cobbled streets, boutique coffee shops and the best chocolate in Europe which are all entwined with small canals and the most beautiful architecture. Brugges Square is a stunning area to grab a coffee and watch the world go by, and why not take a trip along one of 32 canals in a tradional gondola and really take in the scenery.
Brugge is also easy accessible from the UK which can be done by plane or by car, by car Brugge is only 2 hours’ drive from the Calais Eurotunnel, although around central Brugges traffic is band there are plenty of car parking areas just outside and only a 5/8 minute walk into the main square. One thing for sure is Brugge will not disappoint for a stunning weekend away to indulge in the beauty of Belgium.
Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland
Lauterbrunnen Valley is a small area of Switzerland that is nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Valley itself has several little villages within its region and lies in a meadow area of the mountain range which is what gives this place it’s unique but stunning scenery. this small area of Switzerland is approx. 1hr 45mins drive from Zurich the capital and 1hour drive from Bern, there are a few hotels and places to stay within the Valley and with many B&B’s offering good rates with breakfast.
A major attraction in the valley is Staubbach Falls which is a waterfall that cascades over the mountain in the Valley but in the summer months the falls are so high that the water turns to mist before it hits the floor below, in the spring as the ice and snow starts to melt it roars over the side of the mountain and you can hear the falls anywhere in the Valley. The falls, the Valley, the mountains, the villages are all reasons why this little place of beauty makes my list of one of the most beautiful places in Europe.
When we talk about waterfalls maybe none in Europe are as beautiful as Seljalandsfoss in Iceland. It’s arguable the most famous waterfall in Iceland and could well be the most famous in Europe. The waterfall was created due to the melting Glacier Ice that feeds this river and water network.
During the spring as everything starts to melt the waterfall is a huge blanket of water flowing over the mountains edge and into the valley below but what sets this apart from many others, you can walk behind this waterfall and that is when you see how stunning the view is from this waterfall. Seljalandsfoss is in the southern part of Iceland and will take you around 2hrs to get there by car from Reykjavik and the advice is get there early because this place is a huge draw for tourists from all over the world all wanting to see this natural wonder for themselves. From the car park there is about a 20min hike up to the waterfall, but be prepared to marvel at one of the most beautiful places in Iceland and indeed the whole of Europe. Remember your camera and a waterproof jacket.
Be sure to check out my ultimate Iceland blog for a comprehensive guide to Iceland including a visit to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.
The Algarve in Portugal is an extremely popular tourist destination, the Algarve has everything you need for a perfect holiday, brilliant weather, amazing beaches, great food and stunning scenery. Lagos is the largest city in The Algarve with a dramatic coastline and stunning sunsets and that is why Lagos gets a place on this list. In 2018 7.8 million people came to Lagos on holiday to see for themselves why this city is so popular. Apart from the weather, the next best reason is the coastline.
The Algarve coast is as stunning as it gets with high peaking cliffs, tiny little secluded bays, and pure white sandy beaches and although it has all the things you would expect in a beach resort maybe something you might not know is that Lagos is home to 41 secluded beaches with many of them only accessible via kayak or small boat and maybe the most famous of them is Bengali Cave which has a natural skylight. In 2016 Bengali Cave was voted the 2nd best beach in the world. It really is a sight to see so no wonder it’s made my list of most beautiful places in Europe.
When I speak of Bled the first question I normally get asked is, “I’ve never heard of it” and that is a shame. Lake Bled is an area within northwest Slovenia where the lake adjoins the town of Bled (hence its name). The lake is 7,000ft long and 4,500ft wide with a depth of 97ft so it isn’t a small lake at all but what makes it beautiful if that is lies in a picturesque environment, surrounded by mountains, forests and a huge medieval castle (Bled Castle) and it’s the views of the castle from the edge of the lake that provide one of the most stunning views in all of Slovenia. The lake is approximately 34miles from the capital city, Ljubljana.
There are day trips available from the capital but like always, if you really want to get a feel for this charming place I certainly recommend an overnight stay. Bled Castle is the biggest attraction in the area and sits on top of the cliff with the best views overlooking the island and the lake. Other things to do include a visit to Bled Island in the middle of the lake and you can rent out some paddleboards and have a play on the lake itself.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Maybe the most beautiful village in Europe. In 1997 it was made UNESCO World Heritage Site and is actually a collection of 5 small fishing villages on the perched high on the cliff edges overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and each little village is a collection of multi-coloured houses which sets this place apart from anywhere else on the continent.
The closest major city is Pisa and it is about a 4hr drive to the Cinque coast. There is a hiking trail that links all 5 villages that provides some breath-taking views of the sea and the coastline and many people say it’s most beautiful at dawn and dusk so people travel all over the world to see this amazing little place in Italy. Italy has without a doubt many beautiful places bit none come close to this, it’s beautiful and it’s unique and that’s why Cinque Terre is on my list of one of the most beautiful places in Europe.
Cappadocia is another place where many people ask where it is. It’s a semi-arid region of central Turkey and is known for its “fairy chimneys” tall, cone shaped rock formations. The region itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s famous for having its buildings craved into the rocks. Giving a mysterious feel to the area. However this isn’t the main reason people come here or why this destination has made my list.
The main reason people come here is for one activity. This region has the highest density for Balloon Flights in not only Europe but the world. Yes, taking flight in a hot air balloon is the main attraction in Cappadocia. They all happen at dawn, catching the sunrise against this incredible setting is why Cappadocia is on my list. Hot Air Balloon Rides are world renowned in Cappadocia. There are hundreds each day taking off early morning. The fact is, it’s beautiful enough being on the balloon and seeing the incredible scenery. But I would argue it’s even more beautiful being on the ground. Looking up into the sky and seeing hundreds of Hot Air Balloons taking flight. All this as the sun begins to rise. It’s for that reason that Cappadocia is on my list and could well be the most beautiful place in Europe.
For further information check out my top 10 travel tips, they will save you time, money and ensure you maximise your time away: https://www.sticks-world.com/uncategorized/top10-travel-tips/
If you have been inspired by any of the places mentioned above you can use this link to check for your flights to your next beautiful place in Europe and start making memories of a lifetime:
Until next time….