Europe’s most beautiful mountain landscapes

JUAN MARTINEZ

April 23, 2020

Europe’s most beautiful mountain landscapes

From the breathtaking views of the Lofoten Archipelago to the vast panoramas of the Swiss Alps, these are some of Europe’s most beautiful mountain landscapes.

Many see Europe as the continent where people go from city to city using an interrail pass. Well, Europe is more than that. Let’s not forget that this continent has some of the most magnificent natural sceneries in the world and travelers exploring its hidden gems will enjoy a full contact with nature.

Where to go and what to do? This is what we are going to find out. These are in my opinion the most beautiful mountain landscapes of Europe:

Saxon & Bohemian Switzerland national parks

SView of Bastei Bridge, Saxon Switzerland's most scenic spot
View of Bastei Bridge, Saxon Switzerland‘s most scenic spot

Even though one could think that this natural beauty is hidden somewhere inside the Swiss Alps due to its peculiar name, Saxon and Bohemian Switzerland are two separate national parks located in Germany and Czechia.

They are probably the two most beautiful protected areas in these two countries and true gems for adventure and nature lovers. They are the place for exploring enchanted forests and enjoying breaktaking views of gorgeous ancient bridges surrounded by sandstone formations.

Read more: A hiking guide in Saxon Switzerland National Park

Sunset views at Bohemian Switzerland in Czechia
Sunset views at Bohemian Switzerland in Czechia

Another reason to visit Saxon or Bohemian Switzerland is their easy access. Saxon Switzerland is located only 30 minutes from the city of Dresden and it is very well connected by the German railway system, Deutsche Bahn. Meanwhile, Bohemian Switzerland is only 3 hours away from Prague using the local railway system.

Even though most visitors come here to explore on a day trip, the most intrepid travelers spend a full week exploring and getting lost in a magical scenery. Some even compare these two national parks to a real-life version of Narnia.

Read more: Traveling to the Bohemian Switzerland National Park – Czech Republic’s natural gem

Iceland volcanic scenery

Kirkjufell in Iceland
Kirkjufell is one of the most popular spots to photograph in Iceland

Iceland is the perfect country for experiencing extreme adventures. From hiking at some of the biggest glaciers of Europe to climbing up active volcanoes. Travelers visiting Iceland will realized in the first days why this is called “the land of fire and ice”.

The enchanting waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Svartifoss will make you believe in a fantasy world, while the impressive Gulfoss will make you feel very little.

It’s not just about the beauty itself, but the diversity of landscapes I was able to explore. Here, I visited several waterfalls, hot springs, and volcanoes in a single day.

Read more: Planning a road trip in Iceland

Iceland Waterfalls in WInter
Frozen Waterfalls in Winter

If there is a country in the world to experience and see the most extraordinary mountain landscapes in the world in just a few days, Iceland it is.

To make the most of this destination, renting a car and going around Route 1 is the ideal plan. This iconic two-lane highway circles the island and is considered a very popular 10-day road trip. Even though renting a car in Iceland is very expensive, public transportation can be a pain in the ass and not very useful if you have limited time. Besides, there is no better way to explore this country than simply driving around and stopping anytime and wherever you want.

Lofoten Islands

Hiking routes Lofoten
There are hundreds of hiking routes in the Lofoten islands

The Lofoten Islands are one of the few places in the world that amaze the most experienced travelers by day or night. Located in Norway and right above the Artic Circle, this archipelago is the ultimate frontier for those looking for adventure and natural beauty without leaving continental Europe.

Its majestic scenery is definitely one of the most beautiful in the world and travelers visiting the islands can experience a large variety of adventurous activities such as whale safaris, mountain hiking and climbing.

Read more: how to photograph the northern lights like a professional

Northern lights in the Lofoten Islands
The Lofoten is one of the best places in Europe to see the northern lights

Travelers visiting between June and July can enjoy 24 hours of daylight, while visitors in Winter experience the magnificence of the northern lights.

Even though the Lofoten Islands are probably one of the most expensive destinations in the world, it is an adventure of a lifetime and an obligatory stop for any hiker, photographer, or explorer, who is fascinated by natural landscapes.

Charmonix Mont-Blanc

View of the Alps from the "top of the world"
View of the Alps from the “top of the world”

There is not a full list of the most beautiful mountain views of Europe if I do not include the Alps. This is the first place that comes to my mind, when I think about scenic landscapes in the “Old Continent” and the place to be for experiencing the highest peaks in this part of the world.

It is difficult to select a single spot when visiting the Alps. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and France have their own hidden gems with amazing views and cozy huts to spend the night. And despite the fact that Switzerland is worldwide known if you want to feel the Alps at its full splendor, I will say that the hiking routes of Charmonix and Mont-Blanc should take the top spot when it comes to beautiful mountain views.

Charmonix hiking routes
Travelers in Charmonix can plan a several day hike with one of the many local companies offering guided tours

Charmonix is perfect if you are a seasoned hiker who wants to try alpine climbing for the first time. The iconic peak of Mont Blanc gets around 82 summits each single day and the views from the top are simply incredible.

Nevertheless, if you don’t have the level of fitness required to summit Mont Blanc, don’t worry at all. There are many other scenic hikes offering some of the most beautiful mountain views of the Alps and way less complicated.

Dolomites

Dolomites panorama
A full panorama of the Dolomites in Northern Italy

Some might call it “a less glamorous version of the Alps”. However, the Dolomites are in my opinion the most beautiful mountain ridge of Europe. Its saw-toothed peaks are the perfect frame for a postcard and its alpine passages leave more than one outdoor enthusiast with its breath taken away.

With 18 peaks reaching almost 3000 meters, travelers in the Dolomites can plan almost every kind of trip. From single day trips to the base of the Dolomites to 15 days expeditions summiting several peaks.

Read more: Exploring the Alta Via 1 – Dolomites most beautiful hiking route

Via Ferratas is the perfect adventure for experienced hikers
Via Ferratas is the perfect adventure for experienced hikers

If you are looking for an easy and extraordinary outdoor experience, maybe you should consider the Alta Via 1 Trek, a five-day hiking trail that will take you through the Dolomite’s most spectacular rocky passages. Likewise, adventurers with a little more experience can climb Via Ferratas, a climbing route at high altitude that uses steel cables fixed to the rock to which the climbers affix a harness to move forward.

Meteora

Panorama of Meteora in Greece
Panorama of Meteora in Greece

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988, Meteora is not just the most beautiful mountain area of Greece, but also a place full of history and cultural importance. With 24 Eastern Orthodox monasteries built between the 15th and 16th century, the top of some of these rocky peaks is more than a scenic view.

Monasteries in Meteora
One of the six monasteries located at the top of the sandstone formations in Meteora

Despite that only six out of the original twenty-four monasteries are still remaining, travelers visiting this area will have the opportunity to climb some of the most unique rock formations of Europe and visit “real palaces in the sky”.

Guided tours in Meteora start at 35 EUR per person. Making this the most accessible and inexpensive hiking trip of the list.

Isle of Skye

 Old Man of Storr is one of the most photographed places in Skye
Old Man of Storr is one of the most photographed places in Skye

Located off the west coast of Scotland, the Isle of Skye is the perfect place to explore for weeks and discover an unlimited amount of untouched natural landscapes with majestic views.

Its long picturesque hikes are among the best in Great Britain and even though you might catch one or two days of rain, there is a unique charm in hiking one of these wild mountain landscapes in the middle of a rainy and dark sky. This makes a hiking trip to the Isle of Skye feel more like an expedition.

Read more: 6 places in 6 countries for photography lovers

Finding a Yak in Scotland is not as difficult as it sounds
Finding a wild yak in Scotland is not as difficult as it sounds

Furthermore, from all the different areas you can travel at the Scottish Highlands, this is the place that would leave you speechless more than once.

It is difficult to choose which one is the most scenic hike in the whole island. Many consider the views at the Quiraing route the perfect postcard scenery, while others are amazed by the beauty of the Old Man of Storr, a group of entrancing rocks standing tall at the mind-blowing Trotternish ridge.

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