The continent of Europe offers a wide and varied range of delights and climates, offering something different when you head north to Scandinavia and the Nordic countries, or turn South and look for the sunnier climes of Iberia. Further east, you can experience the cooler Baltic region or the warmer Adriatic, and everywhere you turn there is something that marks out each country as a fascinating place to stop.
Europe is a particularly intriguing and diverse option for nature lovers. With climates and terrains that vary so greatly, so too do the flora and fauna of this spectacular continent. Splendid natural landscapes that will fill up your camera roll and leave you speechless are a reward for exploring each of its countries, but for now we will look at just the most superlative destinations for fans of natural wonder.
Seen above, the Kapellbrücke is one of Switzerland’s most popular tourist destinations, and it offers the most incredible views of Lake Lucerne. The city itself is recognised as the “birthplace” of Switzerland, as in 1291 it was here, in Rütli meadow, that the founders of the nation swore an oath to unite their respective cantons as one country. Lucerne offers a little something for everyone, with mountains fringing the city and a breathtaking blue lake. Local wildlife includes the mountain hare and the rock ptarmigan, a splendid plump bird that is increasingly endangered.
Tallinn is not like most capital cities, with its almost quaint architecture putting one in mind of a pleasant small town. There is, however, plenty of modernity here; Estonia, and Tallinn in particular, is one of the world’s most connected places, with huge Internet take-up. But we digress, we’re looking for natural beauty here, and Tallinn has it in spades. In particular, bring your binoculars for bird watching; the 380 species of bird that are native to this small Baltic state include majestic snowy owls and six species of eagle. The excellent nature reserve Paljassaare is within the city itself, and is an essential birding destination.
Seville is the capital of the autonomous Andalusia region of Spain. In the deep South of the country, it is one of the more tropical cities in terms of climate, and this translates in the feel and the look of the city. While walking around Seville, you will become aware of the smell of the city. This comes from its famous orange trees, which provide a wealth of the citrus fruit to consumers not just within Spain, but beyond. Perhaps the most standout natural destination is the former iron mines at Cerro del Hierro, which offer remarkable limestone formations that will be popular with rock climbers. Cycling tours of the area are also popular.
There is a great deal to appreciate about Europe’s natural wonders. Whether you want to gaze out over a Swiss lake or enjoy the fragrant delights of a Spanish city, there is a lot to enjoy whichever way you head on this continent.