If the national parks of America are known for their enormous scale and grandeur, those of Europe are often overlooked for the charm of the continental city or historical village. Yet there is a rich and romantic variety to European parkland that both expresses the unique nature of the respective nations while also offering some surprises.

The Bavarian Forest National Park makes for a good example. The supreme rule and ethos of this particular expanse is “Let nature be nature!”, and it’s a principle that has created a very direct contrast with some of the more cultivated natural spaces of the Netherlands or England. An electrical storm in a reservation area in August of 1983 caused enormous arboreal damage, but the then Minister of State Dr Hans Eisenmann made the momentous decision that the damage should not be cleared up, but rather left to nature’s own devices. It was a principle that has held true. Over three decades later, the fallen and charred remains of that storm and later ones can still be seen by intrepid visitors – with a warning to look out for falling branches.

Other areas, such as the Cinque Terre National Park in northern Italy, are able to combine both wild expanses and historic cultural interest. Rugged cliffs and marine life jostle for your attention with Roman villas and living villages where you can taste the local produce before setting out for an inspiring hike. Like so many European national parks, there’s so much to take in that you might want some pointers if you’re short on time. Well, now there’s the means to do so, with this helpful new infographic on what to do in twelve of Europe’s most breathtaking landscapes when you’ve just one day to enjoy them.

 

Sources

 

Triglav National Park (2016). Triglav National Park. tnp.si
Metsähallitus (2016). Oulanka National Park. nationalparks.fi
Nationalparkverwaltung Bayerischer Wald (2015). Bavarian Forest National Park. nationalpark-bayerischer-wald.de
Failte Ireland (2016). Torc Waterfall and Muckross Lake Loop. discoverireland.ie
Killarney National Park (2016). Killarney National Park. killarneynationalpark.ie
Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre (2016). Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre. parconazionale5terre.it
Nacionalni parkovi Crne Gore (2016). NACIONALNI PARK DURMITOR. nparkovi.me
De Hoge Veluwe National Park (2016). De Hoge Veluwe National Park. hogeveluwe.nl
ARPT (2013). Discovering the Peneda-Gerês National Park. visitportoandnorth.travel
Cairngorms National Park Authority (2015). Cairngorms National Park Authority. cairngorms.co.uk
Vall de boi (2016). Aigüestortes. vallboi.cat
Brecon Beacons (2016). Brecon Beacons National Park. breconbeacons.org
Expedia Canada (2016). A 1-day guide to 12 US National Parks. expedia.ca
National Geographic Society (2016). Cinque Terre National Park, Italy. nationalgeographic.com

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