Europe is such a vast and stunning continent with so much more to see than just the man-made treasures. There are so many European natural wonders you should add to your list, and these 30 are definitely not to be missed.
When thinking of Europe, usually the first things that come to mind are beautiful historical cities and amazing metropolises to add to your list of places to visit.
While there of plenty of great places to visit, both well-known and lesser-known, the landscape and beauty that can be found in nature in Europe is extremely underrated.
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In this article, we’re going to explore the most fascinating and remote European natural wonders that this diverse continent has to offer. It might be time to plan another trip. 😉
Pyramides d’Euseigne, Switzerland
Situated in the Swiss alpine village of Euseigne, you will find out-of-this-world rock formations called Fairy-Chimney Rocks.
The name is quite fitting if you ask me. They were formed during the Ice Age, some 10,000 to 80,000 years ago.
A true natural treasure of Switzerland that you have to see whilst traveling through Europe.
Vulcanii Noroiosi, Romania
Have you ever heard of the Berca Mud Volcanoes? Located in Romania, you can find this spectacular rarity.
It is an unbelievable natural sight, worth visiting.
The small volcano-shaped structures cause eruptions of natural gases and cold mud, which is not hot as you may think, but rather cold as it erupts from the earth’s continental crust and not from its mantle.
Eye of the Earth, Croatia
“Eyes are the Window to the soul”
This spectacular blue “eye” can be found in southern Croatia, seemingly holding many beautiful secrets. Mesmerizing and at the same time somewhat terrifying is the feeling that this Karst Spring portrays.
Whatever feeling you get from this Eye of the Earth, which is actually the source of the Cetina River, I think we can all agree that this is just breathtaking, right?
Pont d’ Arc, France
In the South of France, you’ll be astonished by a naturally-made stone bridge.
54 meters high.
60 meters long.
It has been naturally formed from the Ardèche rivers consistent erosion of the rocks while flowing through the giant Ardeche Canyon.
This is not the only special thing about this Arch though, believe it or not, it was actually formed over 2 million years ago.
Playa de Bollullo, Spain
On the stunning Spanish island of Tenerife, you can get away from the big city life and hike to a real hidden gem.
Not only can you find a relatively quiet beach and enjoy some of the best surfing waves on the island, but you will also be astounded by the color of the beach sand.
Here the sand is completely black. Made of volcanic fine lava sand, it presents a really unique and beautiful sight. Therefore a must-see place in Europe (we’re going to count the island as a part of Europe).
Another beautiful black beach and European natural wonder can be found in the land of volcanoes, Iceland.
It is not only the famous black beach that makes this hidden gem a must-see, but also the beautiful basalt columns under the Reynisfjall mountain that can be admired from the sandy shores.
Caution should be taken for anyone that attempts to swim here.
This may be one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, but it is also one of the most dangerous. Due to the strong currents, rather stick to frolicking in the sand and admiring the impressive landscape.
Castellucio di Norcia, Italy
Every year in spring the little town in Umbria, central Italy, becomes a symphony for the eyes. A magical, natural show that will fill your soul and heart with happiness.
Visiting this unbelievable place between May and July each year will leave every nature lover speechless. At this time the big plateau, which lies 1452m above sea level, starts to bloom in the most pretty of colors. Red poppy flowers, Daffodils, Violets, Lentils, and Daisies start to transform the plateau into a sea of color.
Fill your heart with contentment and visit Umbria at this time.
Once you are in Umbria, Italy, you can also visit the beautiful Province of Tuscany with its picture-perfect rolling hills, there’s plenty to see and do.
Ahhh… The Heart Island or Island of Love. For all the hopeless romantics and nature lovers, this naturally occurring heart-shaped Island is a must-visit.
It is situated in the Adriatic Sea and belongs to Croatia.
Although this tiny island is privately owned it can be used for engagements or small wedding ceremonies. So for all of the partners out there looking for the perfect place to propose… Maybe you should bookmark this place.
For more beautiful Croatian Islands read this great article, from Hand Luggage Only.
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
The next magnificent natural wonder on this list is the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.
It has even been named the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom and was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
What seems to be the work of a Giant, is actually the result of intensive volcanic activity 50-60 million years ago.
The volcanic eruption formed what can be seen today: Mostly hexagonal-shaped basalt columns. Some as small as stepping stones others as tall as 12 meters high and 28 meters thick.
It is such a majestic view.
The top landmarks that you have to visit when you are there are:
- The Giants Boot
- The Wishing Chair
- Grand Causeway
- The Camel
- Clifftop trails.
Crooked Forest, Poland
In the middle of what seems to be a perfectly normal pine forest in Poland, you can find a plantage of about 400 crazy growing Pine trees.
All are bent just above the ground to grow sideways, towards the North, and then suddenly curve back upright to continue to grow normally.
It is not really clear if these trees grew like this naturally or if humans maneuvered them to grow like this. What is clear though, is that it looks quite odd, albeit very fascinating.
The History channel even featured this forest in one of their shows, which was called ‘’Unnatural Nature’’.
Fits, don’t you think?
Djavolja Varoš, Serbia
In Serbia, you can come across the Devil’s Town (Djavolja Varoš).
An incredible sight awaits you of more than 200 stone formations. Ranging from 2 meters to 15 meters high and up to 3 meters wide, these stone pillars with their funky-looking stone hats make for an unusual sight.
Legend has it, that these stone pillars were once people that got petrified by a witch because they did not obey her rules.
Legend or not, this place is truly mystical and will give you the chills.
Playa de las Catedrales, Spain
The ‘’Beach of Cathedrals’’ is another European natural wonder that is situated in Spain.
On the beach, in Galicia, these stone arches are a true artwork of nature.
At low tide you can stroll through the big natural archways that are reminiscent of a gothic cathedral.
The famous rock formation that is situated 700 meters above the Norwegian lake Ringedalsvatnet, is an impressive natural tourist attraction known as “Trolls tongue”.
To get there you will however have to undertake a 10-hour hike, but the view from this amazing natural platform makes it worth your while.
Jägala Waterfall, Estonia
The widest waterfall in Estonia. However, this is not the only interesting fact about this waterfall.
In winter this waterfall turns into a real sight to behold as the water freezes and leaves behind a big wall of sparkling ice.
Sometimes a tunnel of ice is formed from the frozen water of the waterfall and the frozen water on the stone wall of the waterfall. This sight reminds me a bit of the ice princesses hallway. Either way, it is an unbelievable place that you have to see in Europe.
Fingals Cave, Scotland
On the uninhabited Isle of Staffa in Scotland, there you can find Fingal’s sea cave.
It is known for its natural acoustics and the huge hexagonally jointed basalt columns that form it.
For all the classical music fans, it might be of interest to you to know that this cave inspired Mendelssohn to compose “The Hebrides Overture” which was also often referred to as, yes, you guessed it: “Fingal’s Cave”.
Bigar Waterfall, Romania
The Bigar Waterfall is like a monument dedicated to this amazing world and its splendid nature.
Situated in Romania, 12km from the city of Bozovici. The Waterfall is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world and looks like something directly out of a fairytale.
The noteworthy thing about this waterfall is its unique shape. The water flows over a moss-covered cliff that extends over the small Minis river.
Plitvice lakes Natural Park, Croatia
Plitvice Lakes Natural Park is situated in Croatia.
The picturesque scene of beautiful lakes, caves, and waterfalls makes it a Nature-lovers-paradise.
Wander around the Park and take in all the beauty nature has to offer and take in the awe-inspiring natural forms.
Cuevas del Drach, Spain
The ‘’Dragon Caves’’ are located in Majorca. They are made of four great caves that extend about 4km and reach a depth of 25 meters. Having been formed from the consistency of the Mediterranean sea.
The caves alone are beautiful to look at, but then there is the underground lake, Martel, which makes this natural gem even more spectacular.
If you go into the caves for a tour, this amazing experience will be finished off with a musical concert.
Add this place to your bucket list and prepare to get goosebumps from the underground natural wonder and its stunning acoustics.
Elafonissi Pink Sand Beach, Greece
Elafonissi is a peninsula on Crete with stunning pink sandy beaches. The color comes from tiny crushed microorganisms with red pigments, giving off the pinkish color in the sand.
Elafonissi is also home to some rare animal species like the loggerhead sea turtle.
Does anything say Instagram more than a pink beach?
Blue Grotto, Italy
This natural wonder is found on the Capri Island of Italy. The Blue Grotto is a cave that surprises you with a real natural phenomenon.
Inside the very dark cave, an emerald blue light illuminates it in such a beautiful way that turns something seemingly so plain as a cave into a magical place.
The blue light occurs from the sunlight that passes through a small cavity underwater and the narrow entrance of the cave. It really is a beautiful sight to see.
If you decide to take a guided tour through the cave your guide may just burst into song with a romantic Italian song elevating this rather unique experience.
Brimham Rocks, England
Have you have seen huge rocks that seem to have forgotten the rules of gravity and just “float” on top of each other? There is just something about them that just does seem like they can’t be true.
Well, this next adventure takes us to North Yorkshire. Here you can look at what can not only be described as a natural wonder, but also a natural miracle.
The Brimham rocks are amazing naturally formed rocks that will guarantee to keep you in awe. Maybe a few million years ago, these huge rocks didn’t get the memo that what they’re doing, just shouldn’t be possible. 😉
Take the Brimham rocks as an inspiration, make the impossible possible.
Aggtelek Karst, Hungary
In the north of Hungary, there is an area known for its abundance of caves. The largest stalactite cave in Europe is found here.
Known as the Baradla Domica cave, it is 26km long, with 8km’s reaching into Slovakia.
Looking at some of these stalactites, it seems like they have carved pictures in them.
I can’t get enough of these beautiful places, with magic and intrigue everywhere.
Los Pilones del Jerte, Spain
Want to swim in one of the most amazing natural pools in the world?
Then it is time to take a trip to Extremadura, Spain, for your next vacation.
A wonderful 3km hike will lead you to the 13 eroded stone pools.
They are not very crowded, due to the fact that they are only accessible on foot. So get up early, pack a picnic basket and a swimsuit, hike to Los Pilones del Jerte, and enjoy a relaxing swim in nature after your approx. 1-hour walk.
It is like a wellness retreat in nature.
Vatnajökull ice cave, Iceland
If you’re looking for chills not only from ice-cold surroundings but also from the wonders of mother nature, then Iceland invites you to the area of Vatnajökull.
Together with a professional guide you can walk through Europe’s second largest ice cap.
Dune of Pilat, France
The tallest sand dune in Europe is situated 60km SW of Bordeaux, France.
Measuring 2.9km in length, 616m wide, and 106meter high, it poses a very unique sight as the dune is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and a pine tree forest.
Another interesting fact about this natural wonder is that the Pilat dune is a shifting dune, meaning it travels inward year after year.
Les Gorges du Verdon, France
This river and canyon is situated in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of Southeastern France.
The Canyon was created by the beautiful blue-turquoise-colored river Verdon.
The Canyon is 25km long, 700 meters deep, and simply a breathtaking place to hike and kayak.
Las Lagunas de Ruidera, Spain
The most beautiful wetlands, filled with lakes and waterfalls, can be found in Spain.
The natural park contains 15 small lagoons. These lagoons are all connected together by waterfalls and underground currents.
The location of the park is between Murcia and Toledo in the Spanish Province of Albacete.
La Ciudad Encantada, Spain
Sticking with Spain, the work of wind and water has created a marvelous piece of natural art.
For thousands of years, the weather eroded the sandstones along the beach of Bolnuevo, Murcia in Spain. Creating marvelous sandstone masterpieces of La Ciudad Encantada, meaning, the enchanted city.
It’s not hard to see why.
The Hole at Rodellar, Spain
One of the most scenic locations and one of the world’s most challenging climbing spots is the “Hole at Rodellar”.
You can find, and if you dare, also climb, this natural ‘’hole in the wall’’ in Rodellar, in Northern Spain.
Not only does the hole of Rodellar attract a lot of international rock climbers, but also the whole Rodellar region is known for its beautiful and scenic hiking trails and mountain climbing routes.
Macocha Abyss, Czechia
Macocha Abyss or “The Stepmother Abyss” is a 138.7meter deep sinkhole in the Moravian Karst system in Czechia.
It is the deepest sinkhole in Central Europe and comes with a rather dark folk story:
“An evil stepmother threw her step son into the sinkhole in order for her own son to inherit everything from her husband. In the end the step son survived and was rescued and the stepmother was thrown into the sinkhole by the villagers.”
It may be a creepy story, but the Macocha Abyss is rather stunning natural beauty.
These are our top 30 European Natural Wonders. Have they been enough to get you to start planning your next trip through Europe?
Have you been to any of these places? let us know down below.