For many people, Scandinavia is a fascinating part of Europe. This is because of the pristine nature, challenging weather conditions, or magical atmosphere. Even if you love sun, beaches and sipping colorful cocktails in a hammock, it’s still good to visit Scandinavia at least once in a lifetime. Depending on how north you go, you may either see sparkling lakes, mysterious woods, and clear streams or stopped snow-covered peaks, glaciers and some of the world’s hardiest plants. To inspire your travels, here’s a list of 6 national parks in Scandinavia.
Jotunheimen National Park, Norway
Almost 300 peaks above 2000 meters stand proudly within the park, hence the park’s name, The Home of the Giants. Among other summits, there’s the Galdhoppigen, the highest peak in Scandinavia reaching up to 2,469 meters. Jotunheimen is one of Norway’s most famous national parks, so besides of many magnificent mountains, you’ll also be surrounded by many people. It’s still worth a visit though. Despite the crowds, Jotunheimen is breath-taking, and no matter how many people enter it, the summits are large enough always to dominate the landscape. Glaciers, steep cliffs, waterfalls and lakes, the natural wonders of Jotunheimen are countless. In the summer the park’s full of hikers and climbers, in the winter cross country skiing is a top activity.
Nordre Isfjorden National Park, Svalbard, Norway
Unlike Jotunheimen, Nordre Isfjorden isn’t popular at all, mainly because of its remote location and extremely harsh conditions. Nordre Isfjorden lies on the Spitsbergen Island in the Svalbard archipelago. Svalbard’s a part of Norway, but it’s quite autonomous and administered by a governor. Because of the climate, the wildlife in Nordre Isfjorden isn’t particularly abundant, but definitely fascinating. Few places around the world are as pristine and untouched as the Nordre Isfjorden National Park. If you’re an adventurous traveler who seeks wilderness and uniqueness, it should be your next destination. The views of glaciers and fjords cutting through the coast will reward all the effort it takes to reach Svalbard.
Thy National Park, Denmark
Sandy grasslands, crystal-clear lakes, pine forest, moors and windswept dunes cover an area of 244 square kilometers protected by the Thy National Park. It’s the first and largest national park in Denmark, beloved by hikers, bird-watchers, cyclists and horse-riding enthusiasts. History-lovers can also find something for themselves. The area’s dotted with WWII-era bunkers and traditional fishing villages that look as if the time stopped there years ago. Klitmøller is a fabulous windsurfing spot, a perfect place for those interested in water sports. If all you want to do is swimming, relaxing and watching colorful fishing boats, visit Nørre Vorupør, a lovely beach resort.
Mols Bjerge National Park, Denmark
The Mols Hills aren’t high, but they’re gorgeous. The hills rise up to the height of 137 meters, and they form a lovely piece of land. Encompassing mysterious forests, blue lakes, moors, grasslands and coastal areas, the park covers 180 square. kilometers. Its fauna is incredibly diverse, including such plants as the pasque flower, cudweed, pink waxcap catchfly and green-winged orchid. In addition to natural gems, there are also ruins of a medieval castle and a manor dating back to 18th century.
Sarek National Park, Sweden
Wild and harsh, Sarek National Park is not a destination for the faint-hearted. The landscape consists of impressive mountains, high plateaux, and valleys, including the largest and most famous one – Rapadalen. It’s covered with birch and willow trees, surrounded by glaciers and absolutely stunning. The terrain’s rugged, weather’s rainy and streams turbulent, that’s why Sarek isn’t a good place for beginners. Nevertheless, experienced hikers and mountaineers can enjoy its edgy character and unique beauty. There are hiking trails, but no tourist facilities, not even cabins or campsites. So you really should be confident about your skills before heading to the park.
Abisko National Park, Sweden
This enchanting park stretches from the shores of Torne träsk, one of the largest and most scenic lakes in Sweden. The Abisko village located near the lake is a popular base for exploring the park. It’s a tiny, charming village, worth visiting before you enter the wilderness. The Abisko National Park lies about 200 kilometers from the Arctic Circle. So during the summer, thanks to the midnight sun, you can hike as much as you want without bothering about the darkness. It’s a great advantage because there’s quite a lot of land to hike around. The Scandinavian mountain range protected by the park is large, high and picturesque. Winters aren’t less attractive; the park offers fabulous opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and other winter sports. Besides, it’s quite easy to see the magical Aurora borealis.
Which one of these national parks in Scandinavia would you like to visit? Let us know! And share this article with your friends.