We have created a list of the most spectacular natural wonders Europe has to offer. Nature lovers – you are welcome!
Looking for the most stunning natural wonders of Europe? With 50 different countries, Europe is home to some of the most varied locations. With so much culture, diversity and history, it is no surprise that Europe is one of the most highly visited continents on the globe.
Europe has everything from the luscious countryside and staggering mountain ranges, to arctic locations and crystal blue coastlines. With so much beauty and wonder across the continent, there are many incredible sights to see.
Natural wonders Europe – car hire:
We have rented cars many times during our trips to see the natural attractions in Europe and we always used discovercars.com
If you’re planning a trip to Europe or wondering where to visit on your next adventure, then you’ve come to the right place. We have rounded up the best natural wonders in Europe, which are guaranteed to leave you marveling at their beauty. Head to any of these incredible sights, and they are sure to take your breath away.
TOP 27 natural wonders of Europe:
1. Ring Of Kerry, Ireland
Ireland is a relatively tiny island jam-packed full of wondrous locations, with one of the most impressive being the Ring of Kerry. It is a scenic loop in the very heart of County Kerry and features white sand beaches, rugged coastlines and dramatic mountains.
As you travel around the Ring of Kerry, you will pass through charming Irish villages and towns where you can discover the local cultures.
Anyone with a sense of adventure will love this epic road trip, and we recommend heading off the beaten track to truly experience everything the Ring of Kerry has to offer.
Without a doubt, Ring of Kerry is the top of any list of the best natural wonders of Europe!
2. As Catedrais, Spain
If you’re seeking inspiration for your next trip, the As Catedrais beach is one of the most magical natural wonders in Europe we have visited so far!
Hailed as a national monument in Spain, As Catedrais is a beautiful beach on the northern coast. It is known across the globe as the beach of cathedrals because of the unbelievable rock formations which resemble the flying buttresses which are often found in cathedrals.
Not only that, but on a windy day at low tide, the wind whistles through the stones and resembles church organ music. A truly magnificent sight, some of the arches reach an impressive 90 foot high, and there are eroded caves stretching back to the cliffside. Ideal for exploring with care!
3. Pravčická Brána, Czech Republic
Recommended by Veronika from travelgeekery.com
One of the Czech Republic’s most extraordinary natural wonders is the Pravčická Brána or Pravčická Gate in English. With 27m in length and 15m in height, the sandstone arch is the largest in Europe and even made a short appearance in the Chronicles of Narnia.
It’s located in the North of the Czech Republic, in a National Park called Bohemian Switzerland. The Park continues in Germany under the name Saxon Switzerland.
In the past, people could walk on the arch, but due to erosion, this practice was banned in the ’80s. Nobody knows how long the Gate will last until it naturally collapses. You can still get quite close to it and take amazing photos.
The whole area is dotted by unique karst formations. Apart from the Pravčická Gate, you can come across high walls and cliffs, river creaks and diverse shapes peaking in between trees.
The Bohemian Switzerland National Park is best enjoyed on a hike. There are plenty of trails to choose from at all levels of difficulty. Naturally, the most popular hike leads to the Gate, but the area, fortunately, doesn’t get crowded with visitors.
We wouldn’t forget to shout out Nagavio Beach as one of the most stunning natural wonders of Europe.
Hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in not only Europe but the globe, Navagio Beach is also known as Shipwreck Beach. Located on the Greek Island of Zakynthos, it is enchanting and best viewed from the nearby cliff edges. The beach itself can only be reached by boat and features a rustic shipwreck on the bright white sands.
The shipwreck is of a boat called Panagiotis. It is rumoured to have been used to smuggle cigarettes but was stranded by the shallow waters of Navagio. It is often busy as it is one of the most photographed beaches in Europe, but it is worth the effort to see.
5. Saltstraumen Maelstrom, Norway
Recommended by Aram from meganstarr.com
Norway, especially in the north, is filled with diverse nature and breathtaking scenery that will lead to new sites that you didn’t even know existed in the country, let alone the world.
One of the most fascinating natural wonders in Norway is a place located about thirty minutes away from the city Bodø. It is called Saltstraumen and it is located on Knaplundsøya Island.
Saltstraumen is the world’s largest natural whirlpool, also known as a maelstrom. Every six hours, like clockwork, Saltstraumen begins circulating in a phenomenon that has existed for more than 2500 years. It is so magical that it is definitely one of the best and underrated sights in Norway.
Saltstraumen is located between two pieces of land in a narrow strait where there is a beautiful bridge that was constructed over the area where you can witness the event.
Out of any of the sights I’ve seen in the world, this is definitely one of the best natural wonders and things to do in Bodø.
6. Seven Sisters, England
Yes, it’s possibly one of the best places to visit in England and one of the most amazing natural wonders in Europe!
In South East England there is a magnificent stretch of coastline between Eastbourne and Seaford. Along this coastline is the Seven Sisters, which are beautiful and unprotected chalk cliffs. They are certainly a sight to behold and can be seen in all their glory from the Seaford Head Nature Reserve, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The cliffs are home to grassland, chalk, salt marsh and shingle which provides plenty of diversity for local wildlife. On a clear day, the Seven Sisters makes for an exhilarating and truly beautiful walk as you traverse up and down the many cliffs with stunning sea views to marvel at. It is also home to some of the best beaches near London!
7. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Recommended by Cath from travelaroundireland.com
One of the natural wonders of Ireland which should not be missed is the Cliffs of Moher. These majestic cliffs are located in County Clare in the West of Ireland and have been shaped over thousands of years by the ferocious waves of the Atlantic Ocean. They are one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions, with over 1.5 million visitors a year.
Made of shale and sandstone, the Cliffs of Moher stretch for 8km and reach a maximum height of 214 metres. There is a visitor’s centre located halfway along which has information and interactive media exhibits about the cliffs and their flora and fauna. While the Cliffs are free to enjoy, there is an entry fee into the visitor’s centre. There is a path that runs from the southern end at Hag’s Head to O’Brien’s Tower at the north end.
While there are stunning views all along the cliffs, the best views are from O’Brien’s Tower at the north end of the cliffs where they are at their highest. On a clear day, visitors can see as far as the Arran Islands and the peaks of the mountains in Connemara, Galway. If you are visiting Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher are a must.
8. Postojna Cave, Slovenia
Recommended by Jo from lostwanders.co.uk
Hidden between the Alps and the Adriatic sea lies Postojna Cave. A 24km long limestone cave system, just an hours drive from Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana. Take an underground electric train, the first and only one of its kind in the world, 3.5km’s into the darkness. Explore a further 1.5km of walking trails. Through the stalactites and stalagmites of the 4 million-year-old cave system.
Discover baby dragons in the Vivarium. Olms are said to be the largest cave-dwelling animal that can survive without food for up to 10 years. See the 5m tall stalagmite “Brilliant” named for it’s striking bright white colour and the equally impressive Murano glass chandelier in the Dance Hall. For something a touch more adventurous, you can choose to abseil into the cave from Pivka Cave with Adventure Tours. Be sure to visit nearby Predjama Castle, the largest cave castle in the world.
However you choose to visit Postojna Cave, you are sure to enjoy one of the largest karst systems in the world. A true natural wonder and hidden gem of Europe.
How to get to Postojna Cave? Trains run every hour from Ljubljana Train Station to Postojna. It takes an hour and it costs €5,80 each way. From the train station, it’s a 30-minute walk to Postojna Cave. Buses also run every hour and take around one hour. Costing €10.80 return. The bus drops you off at the cave.
9. Benagil, Portugal
Portugal is a popular destination for travellers in Europe, thanks to the beautiful scenery, enviable weather and stunning coastlines. One of the most incredible natural wonders in Europe is Benagil, a small village set on the southern Algarve coast.
It has grown in popularity because of the famed Benagil sea cave, which is the backdrop of many beautiful images. The cave is located just around the corner from the beach and is one of the must-see places in not only Portugal but the whole of Europe. Many people combine seeing the cave with a dolphin-spotting boat trip or kayaking around the coast.
As well as the awe-inspiring cave, Benagil has much more to explore with plenty of caves and rock formations along the beach and a quaint fishing village.
Make sure you visit Banagil Cave during your holiday in Algarve as it really is one of the most natural wonders of Europe!
10. Noravank Gorge, Armenia
Recommended by Megan from absolutearmenia.com
One of the most stunning pieces of nature in Armenia is Gnishik Gorge (Gnishikadzor in Armenia), often called Noravank Gorge by travellers or some locals. Standing tall on both sides of the Arpa River, this gorge is notable for its ancient history as well as its unique red rocks that make the scenery very different than anywhere else in Armenia.
The Gnishik Gorge is home to many caves and obscure volcanic formations that date back centuries. If you are a hiker, this area is definitely a place to explore as it is home to several trails and many of them will take you past khachkars (Armenian cross-stones) that date back all the way to the 9th-century. However, the most notable place in Noravank Gorge is Noravank Monastery, a 13th-century religious site built with reddish-orange rock from the area that is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site tentative list. It is one of the best places to visit in Armenia and is often combined with a trip to Areni, a region that is home to the world’s oldest winery.
Not only a nature lover’s paradise, but Gnishik Gorge is also a must-visit for people visiting Armenia.
11. Verdon Gorge, France
Verdon Gorge is the deepest gorge in France and is one of the most stunning natural wonders in Europe. The gorge can be enjoyed as a spectacular road trip right around the edge, or on exhilarating hiking routes in the gorge itself. Many visitors say that the first sight of Verdon Gorge literally takes their breath away because of the unbelievable beauty.
The history of Verdon Gorge is one of the things that makes it most unique, as 250 million years ago the entire region was under the water. Filled with coral and seashells which were eventually compressed into the limestone and some can still be seen today. The gorge itself was created as plates moved and the seafloor rose, followed by the Ice Age which eroded away and led to the dramatic cliff edges.
Without a doubt, Verdon Gorge is one of the best natural wonders of Europe and one of the best places to visit in the south of France, do you agree?
12. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Recommended by Coni from experiencingtheglobe.com
Known as one of the most beautiful national parks in Europe, Plitvice Lakes’ crystal clear, turquoise waters and its surrounding woodland are a true natural wonder.
Located in central Croatia, you’ll find a chain of 16 terraced lakes joined by waterfalls, in the middle of a lush forest. You can hike around them in walkaways and marked trails. There’s also an electric boat that links the lakes. The main sight is Veliki Slap, a 78m-high waterfall.
It’s open to visitors all year round, but the best Croatia travel tip I can give you is to go off-season. As it’s one of the main attractions of the country, during summer it becomes unbearably crowed. Spring and autumn are perfect for hiking, and during winter sometimes the waterfalls freeze, making the park a real winter wonderland.
The park authorities are truly concern about the preservation of the park, so be responsible and follow the instructions. For instance, swimming in the lakes and straying off the marked trails is absolutely prohibited.
The easiest way to get there is to rent a car or join a tour, but there are also public buses from Zagreb and Zadar.
13. Barranco de las Vacas, Gran Canaria Spain
Despite being one of the most stunning wonders in Europe we have seen, the Barranco de las Vacas canyon is very little known among tourists. If you are visiting Gran Canaria in Spain, you will be happy to hear this as you can spend more time in the incredible location without crowds!
It really is one of the most surprising places on the island – a 50 m gorge through which the river once flowed. Over the centuries (due to erosion) it has been so wonderfully carved that a walk around it resembles a tour of Antelope Canyon in Arizona.
Remember about comfortable trekking shoes, because you can slide down on a muddy volcanic surface. It is really worth bothering, because the views are unusual, and rock formations of this kind are scarce in our Europe.
14. Ericeira, Portugal
Recommended by Nicola from seenicwander.com
Located just 40 minutes outside of Lisbon is the charming seaside village of Ericeira, Portugal. The first time I drove up to Ericeira, I knew this was a special place. The entire city is built into the side of rugged cliffs facing out toward the sea. The hiking trails, golden beaches, and panoramic Atlantic views are enough to make Ericeira worth the visit, but Ericeira is more than just another beach town. It’s home to some of the best surf in Europe.
In 2011, Ericeira Portugal was named a World Surfing Reserve. This means that the area can’t be developed in any way that would threaten or ruin the waves. Right now, it’s the only place with this prestigious designation in Europe. The result is miles of untouched, protected coastline.
With dozens of misty beaches, rocky lookout points, and tucked-away surf spots, Ericeira is a perfect spot for any ocean lover to explore. The natural beauty and powerful waves of Ericeira are preserved as the earth intended them to be, making this one of the top natural wonders of Europe.
15. Reynisfjara, Iceland
Without a doubt, Reynisfjara is the most famous beach in Iceland. Located on the Golden Circle, it features on many brochures, postcards and travel blogs, thanks to its unique beauty. Reynisfjara is set apart because of the black volcanic sands, unique rock formations and smooth pebbles.
It creates an overall moody atmosphere as visitors gaze upon the Reynisdrangar sea stacks. There are bizarre rock pillars which are steeped in mystery. Some believe they are the remains of petrified trolls that were frozen in time when caught at sunrise. A more realistic explanation is that they were basalt columns that once created the cliffside but have been battered by the sea. Whatever their origin, they are a true natural wonder in Europe.
Is Reynisfjara on your list of the best places to visit in Iceland?
16. Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
Recommended by Dhara from notaboutthemiles.com
Lake Bohinj is one of the most scenic places you can visit in Slovenia. Located in Triglav National Park in the northwestern part of the country, Lake Bohinj is both big and beautiful. It is, in fact, the largest permanent lake in Slovenia.
Surrounded by mountains, Lake Bohinj is a glacial lake with crystal clear blue-green water, and home to a large number of aquatic species. There are quite a few things to do at Lake Bohinj, especially in the summer.
You can walk the trail around the lake, but it is about 7.5 miles and will take you a few hours with stops for photos. If you are pressed for time, walk a part of the trail and back to enjoy the serenity at the water’s edge. You can also bike around the lake.
When the weather is warm, you can swim in Lake Bohinj. You can also take a boat out on the water, or enjoy standup paddleboarding. If you enjoy photography, the old stone bridge next to the Church of Saint John the Baptist is very picturesque. Bring a picnic lunch so you can relax by the water when you have your meal!
Although there are a few hamlets in the area, Lake Bohinj still has a wilderness feel, making it a wonderful retreat if you enjoy being in nature. So if you are planning a trip to Slovenia, make sure you include Lake Bohinj in your itinerary.
17. Cheddar Gorge, England
Cheddar Gorge is the highest, inland limestone cliff range in Britain, which rises up to 450ft. The stunning natural wonder was created over millions of years by Ice Age melt-waters. You can discover the beautiful stalactite caverns, as well as an unbeatable array of flora.
Cheddar Gorge is the perfect destination no matter your interests, as there is so much to see, do and experience. The area is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest and for very good reason – it is truly like nowhere else on earth! Without a doubt, this is one of the most beautiful landmarks in England.
This is 100% pure nature! A place, which has to be on any list of the top natural wonders of Europe.
18. Stromboli, Italy
Recommended by Emily from wander-lush.org
Stromboli is just one in a cluster of volcanoes found in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the coast of north-west Sicily. But it’s by far the most famous. That’s because Stromboli has been in a constant state of eruption for somewhere between 2,000 and 5,000 years. Throughout the day and night, plumes of violet-coloured smoke (and the occasional orange spark of lava) can be seen spilling out of the crater, with the best views from one of the other six Aeolian Islands that make up the archipelago.
Like its cousin, Mount Etna on mainland Sicily, Stromboli is an active volcano (one of only three in Italy). Its conical shape is textbook. Travelling around the island by boat, you can see black scars etched on one side of the island by centuries of lava flow.
Incredibly, more than 500 people live on Stromboli in small villages dotted along the black sand beaches. Many artists and creatives are drawn to the island, beguiled by Mother Nature’s power and the enigmatic beauty of the volcano. Every night, intrepid hikers summit the crater for a closer look, while occasionally violent eruptions – the latest occurred in April 2020 – see the entire island evacuated.
19. Schafberg, Austria
Schafberg is a mountain in Austria and should be on any European travellers’ bucket list. The top of the mountain offers some of the most incredible views across the entire continent. It is best to visit on a clear, sunny day, where you can see for miles around. The views include beautiful lakes and the foothills of the Austrian Alps.
At the very peak, there is a hut, which is the Schafbergspitze Hotel and has become a much-loved sight on Instagram. There is a Schafbergbahn train which takes visitors up the mountain and on the ascent, you will experience incredible views of Mondsee and Wolfgangsee Lake.
Let’s face it! Schafberg mountain is really one of the most stunning natural wonders of Europe! The views are just… sensational!
20. Pamukkale, Turkey
Recommended by Claire from stokedtotravel.com
Pamukkale, located in South West Turkey is a spectacular natural wonder, and quite unlike anywhere, I’d been before. Meaning ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish, Pamukkale is a series of beautiful white terraced pools nestled into the hillside and although no-one is certain how the pools were fully created, it is understood that it is formed by a carbonate mineral left by the flowing water.
Pamukkale is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with the incredible ancient ruins at Hierapolis, which sit at the top of the Pamukkale pools, and the adjacent hot springs called the Cleopatra Pools.
To get to Pamukkale, visitors must first travel to Denizli. Although you can visit as a day trip, I generally recommend staying overnight so you can get to the pools early in the morning. The earlier you arrive, the longer you have to enjoy the pools to yourself where you can float and relax. The pools get quite busy with crowds as the day goes on, so I highly recommend making sure to spend some time in the hot springs and exploring the incredible Greco-Roman ruins of Hierapolis too.
21. Timanfaya National Park, Spain
Lanzarote is a Spanish island that offers otherworldly beauty. The landscapes are unique and incredibly stunning, which is just one of the reasons why so many travellers head to the island. The lovely charm is added to by the Timanfaya National Park, which is the only national park in Spain which is of an entirely geological nature.
It was created after volcanic eruptions which happened from 1720 to 1736, and then again in 1824. The volcano disasters left in their wake an extraordinary sight to be seen. The terrain is rugged with an absence of vegetation and a wide variety of colours, set against the backdrop of volcano silhouettes and the rustic coastline.
This is a top place to visit in Spain – not to be missed! An incredible natural wonder!
22. Pink Lake, Bulgaria
Recommended by Stephanie from sofiaadventures.com
Bulgaria’s pink lake, Lake Atanasovsko, is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bulgaria.
The lake’s delightful pink hue comes from microscopic shrimp that live in the water. Bulgarians use this lake as a natural spa. It has a high salinity, and the saltiness and the mud combine for a wonderful beauty treatment. You soak in the lake and cover yourself in the lake bud and the mud on the lake’s shore. Then after it’s soaked in, you walk the ten meters to the Black Sea to wash it off.
While this natural spa is well known in the country, almost no one outside of Bulgaria knows it exists! In summer the lake is packed with people, but you won’t find many people here in the spring or autumn. If you’re an avid Instagrammer, come during the shoulder season or early in the morning to get pictures of the lake without any people in it.
If you come to relax in the lake, know that the mud won’t stain your bathing suit. It comes right out when you jump in the sea.
23. Zugspitze, Germany
Germany’s highest peak is a whopping 2962 metres and is located in the south of the country, along the Austrian border. Zugspitze is the name of this incredible peak and is a true natural wonder. Locally known as the ‘Top of Germany’ because it staggers above all other mountains in the country, Zugspitze is certainly a sight to be seen.
Experienced mountaineers can scale the mountain on foot, but there are more comfortable options for taking in the stunning views. There is a fantastically traditional cogwheel railway as well as a scenic cable car which both take visitors to the summit.
Make sure you visit Zugspitze during your holiday in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It really is one of the most natural wonders in Europe!
24. Rock of Gibraltar
Recommended by Alison from alisoninandalucia.com
Whether you arrive by land, sea, or air you can’t miss the Rock of Gibraltar. Standing at over 400m tall, this huge limestone formation looms over the British Overseas Territory at the southern tip of Spain.
Reaching the top of the Rock is a highlight of any visit to Gibraltar. The easiest way is to take the cable car but to really appreciate its beauty I’d recommend climbing the Mediterranean Steps. Hiking through native flora including the Gibraltar Candytuft, you might be lucky enough to see a Barbary Partridge in the undergrowth and, depending on the weather, may find yourself climbing through low hanging cloud and sea mist.
At the summit, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Gibraltar below, Morocco to the south and the Spanish Costa del Sol to the north. It’s more than likely that you’ll also be met by a handful of inquisitive Barbary Macaques who have made the Rock their home.
Not only is the Rock impressive from the outside but a walk through the Upper Rock Nature Reserve will lead you to St Michael’s Cave where you can venture inside to see huge caverns of intricate stalagmites and stalactites formed over thousands of years.
25. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland
Recommended by Lora from explorewithlora.com
Iceland is home to some of the most impressive natural wonders in Europe. From massive glaciers to active volcanoes, this country has it all. One of the most unique natural attractions to see in Iceland is the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
The glacier lagoon is full of broken icebergs, streaked with beautiful shades of black and blue. The pieces of ice come from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. As the glacier melts, larger icebergs break off and float in the lagoon, until they drift out to sea in the summer months.
You can pay to take a boat trip around the glacier lagoon, or simply admire them for free from the shoreline. Watching the icebergs drift away from the lagoon into the ocean is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It’s a photographers paradise! The best time to visit Iceland to see the lagoon is during the summer months. This is when Iceland has the best weather and clearest skies – although it’s never a guarantee.
26. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Recommended by Carly from flightoftheeducator.com
Nature is something wondrous to behold, but sometimes the story behind it is just as wonderful! The Giant’s Causeway of Ireland is a stunning array of hexagonal basalt columns that undulate across a patch of the coast.
The fun back story is that the hexagons used to create a pathway over to Scotland’s Isle of Staffa which also has basalt hexagonal columns – hence the name of Giant’s Causeway (roadway). You’ll have to visit The Giant’s Causeway on a day trip from Belfast on or off of a Game of Thrones tour for the rest of the story.
While the giants may or may not have used the columns as a roadway between islands, the basalt columns were actually formed from volcanic activity millions and millions of years ago. The Visitor’s Center has many exhibits about how it was formed and more about the mythology around it.
27. Eibsee Lake, Germany
We wouldn’t forget to shout out Eibsee Lake as one of the most stunning natural wonders of Europe, would we?
The last on our list of natural wonders is certainly not the least. Located at the foot of Zugspitze mountain is the deep blue, crystal clear, sparkling waters of Eibsee Lake. It is a true jewel within the rocky landscape, and there are eight tiny islets across the northern side.
Eibsee Lake is so unique because it was created from a gigantic rockfall. Because of this, it is considered one of the purest and most beautiful lakes across the Bavarian Alps. The lake is a true paradise for any nature lovers and is an incredibly tranquil place to enjoy the fresh air and relax during your travels.
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Where’s Next On Your Travel Bucket List?
All of these natural wonders are absolute must-sees for keen travellers and adventure lovers. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie looking for the highest of heights or looking for somewhere to marvel in pure beauty and unwind on your break, Europe has it all.
So from these 27 must-visit experiences, which is going to the top of your travel bucket list?
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