Top Ten European National Parks

Top Ten European National Parks

Plitvice Lakes National Park4Golden Mountains of Altai3Þingvellir National Park6Golden Mountains of Altai8

  1. The Laponian Area, Sweden
    The Laponian AreaThe Laponian Area2The Laponian Area3
           The Laponian area is a large mountainous wildlife area in the Lapland province in Northern Sweden, more precisely in the Gällivare Municipality, Arjeplog Municipality and Jokkmokk Municipality. The total area is about 9400 km², making it the world’s largest unmodified nature area to be still cultured by natives, the natives in this case being the reindeer herding Sami people. Only parts of the area is actually used for pasture by them. With such a large space, the geography of the area varies greatly; it is dominated by mountains, rivers and lakes. Each nature reserve and national park has its distinctive features. The amount of snow in winter and rain in summer is considerable. 95% of the area is protected as national parks or nature reserves. It consists of the national parks Muddus, Sarek, Padjelanta and Stora Sjöfallet, and the nature reserves Sjaunja and Stubba. The remaining 5% are located in the areas of Sulitelma, Tjuoltadalen, and Rapadalen (part of which is in the Sarek park). The village of Porjus is a natural point of entry to the Laponian area and has recently opened an information center. The Laponia area also contains three major hydropower stations with belonging basins and a big expansion of 100 wind power stations inside the world heritage area is planned. The highest mountain of the area is Sarektjåhkkå, at 2,089 m.
    Links: Top Ten Swedish Attractions, Top Ten Natural Wonders of the World, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laponian_area,
  2. Stora Sjöfallet National Parks, Sweden
    Stora Sjöfallet National ParksStora Sjöfallet National Parks1Stora Sjöfallet National Parks2
           Stora Sjöfallet is a national park in Norrbotten County in northern Sweden, in Gällivare Municipality and Jokkmokk Municipality. The national park is 1278 km² and thereby the 3rd largest in Sweden. It’s located about 20 km above the Arctic Circle and lies north and south of the lake system of the Lule River (which has been broken out of the park because of hydropower construction). It is situated by the Norwegian border. The area was declared a national park in 1909.
    Links: Top Ten Swedish Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stora_Sj%C3%B6fallet_National_Park,
  3. Þingvellir National Park, Iceland
    Þingvellir National ParkÞingvellir National Park1Þingvellir National Park2Þingvellir National Park3Þingvellir National Park4Þingvellir National Park5Þingvellir National Park6Þingvellir National Park7Þingvellir National Park8
    Þingvellir is a place in Bláskógabyggð in southwestern Iceland, near the peninsula of Reykjanes and the Hengill volcanic area. Þingvellir is a site of historical, cultural and geological importance and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. It is the site of a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It is also home to Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland. Parliament or Alþingi was established at Þingvellir in 930 and remained there until 1789. Þingvellir National Park was founded in 1930 to protect the remains of the parliament site and was later expanded to protect natural phenomena in the surrounding area. Þingvellir National Park was the first national park in Iceland and was decreed “a protected national shrine for all Icelanders, the perpetual property of the Icelandic nation under the preservation of parliament, never to be sold or mortgaged.”
    Links: Top Ten Icelandic Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%9Eingvellir,
  4. Golden Mountains of Altai, Russia
    Golden Mountains of AltaiGolden Mountains of Altai1Golden Mountains of Altai2Golden Mountains of Altai3Golden Mountains of Altai4Golden Mountains of Altai5Golden Mountains of Altai6Golden Mountains of Altai7Golden Mountains of Altai8
    Golden Mountains of Altai consists of the Altai and Katun Natural Reserves, Lake Teletskoye, Belukha Mountain and the Ukok Plateau. The site has been described as such; “the region represents the most complete sequence of altitudinal vegetation zones in central Siberia, from steppe, forest-steppe, mixed forest, subalpine vegetation to alpine vegetation.” Altai is also important in its preservation of globally endangered mammals, such as snow leopard and the Altai argali. The site covers a vast area of 16,175 km².
    Links: Top Ten Russian Attractions, Top Ten Big Cats, Top 100 Birds, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Mountains_of_Altai,
  5. Repovesi National Park, Finland
    Repovesi National ParkRepovesi National Park1Repovesi National Park2Repovesi National Park3Repovesi National Park4Repovesi National Park5
           Repovesi National Park is situated in the municipalities of Kouvola and Mäntyharju, only a few hours north-east of the more populous Helsinki area of southern Finland. Formerly a site for intensive commercial forestry, the Repovesi area successfully transformed into a pristine national park. Pine and birch trees dominate the park. Repovesi abounds with wildlife including bear, deer and various birds. The River Koukunjoki cuts through the park. Other streams and lakes are also situated within the parks boundaries. Attractions include the Olhavanvuori hill, popular among climbers, and the Kultareitti water taxi route. Also located in the park are the Kuutinlahti Bay, with its restored timber rafting channels, the Lapinsalmi suspension bridge and many observation towers. The common fauna of the park includes the Red-throated Diver, the Eurasian Lynx, the moose, many owls and several galliformes.
    Links: Top Ten Finnish Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repovesi_National_Park,
  6. Pyhä-Luosto National Park, Finland
    Pyhä-Luosto National ParkPyhä-Luosto National Park1Pyhä-Luosto National Park2Pyhä-Luosto National Park3Pyhä-Luosto National Park4Pyhä-Luosto National Park5
           Pyhä-Luosto National Park is a national park in Lapland, Finland. It was established in 2005 when Finland’s oldest national park, Pyhätunturi National Park (established in 1938) was joined to Luosto. This makes Pyhä-Luosto Finland’s oldest but at the same time newest national park. The new park covers 142 square km (55 sq mi). The most important features are geological specialties old forests and wetlands. The park’s base is formed by Finland’s southernmost, 12-peak tunturi line. The tunturis are remnants of Alp-like mountains of 2 billion years of age. 200-year-old or older pine tree forests grow on the hills. The highest tunturis are Noitatunturi, 540 m (1,772 ft), and Ukko-Luosto, 514 m (1,686 ft).
    Links: Top Ten Finnish Attractions, Top Ten Lodges, Top Ten Skiing Destinations, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyh%C3%A4-Luosto_National_Park,
  7. Mavrovo National Park, Macedonia

           Mavrovo is a region in the northwest of the Republic of Macedonia. It is home to Mavrovo National Park and a winter sports center. Some of the villages and smaller hamlets include: Mavrovo, Nikiforovo, Leunovo and Mavrovi Anovi. This micro region is named Mavrovo because most of the people live in the village of Mavrovo and the more famous families were also from Mavrovo. The region’s location at Bistra Mountain and the Lake Mavrovo have helped it grow into a year-round tourist center. Mavrovo is the most popular ski center in Macedonia. The ski center named Zare Lazareski has two double lift chairs, one single lift chair with over 1,100 person capacity per hour, several ski lifts with synchronized connection and over 5,000 person capacity per hour. The ski center was renovated recently, so the capacity of the ski lifts and the ski chairs is increased. The ski trails start at 1,960m and end at 1,250m above sea level. There are plans to build a ski jumping facility in Macedonia, possibly Mavrovo. The Mavrovo Lake lies at an altitude of 1,220m. It is 12 km long and 3 km wide and covers an area of 13.3 square km.
    Links: Top Ten Macedonian Attractions, Top Ten Ski Resorts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mavrovo_%28region%29, 
  8. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
    Plitvice Lakes National ParkPlitvice Lakes National Park1Plitvice Lakes National Park2Plitvice Lakes National Park3Plitvice Lakes National Park4Plitvice Lakes National Park5
    Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest national park in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia. The national park was founded in 1949 and is situated in the mountainous karst area of central Croatia, at the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The important north-south road connection, which passes through the national park area, connects the Croatian inland with the Mediterranean coastal region. The protected area extends over 296.85 square km (73,350 acres). About 90% of the area is part of Lika-Senj County, while the remaining 10% is part of Karlovac County. Each year, more than 900,000 visitors are recorded.
    Links: Top Ten Croatian, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plitvice_Lakes_National_Park,
  9. Triglav National Park, Slovenia
    Triglav National ParkTriglav National Park2Triglav National Park3Triglav National Park4Triglav National Park5
           Triglav National Park is a national park located in Slovenia and the only one in the country. It was named after Mount Triglav, the highest peak of the Julian Alps and a symbol of Slovenia and Slovenian character. Triglav stands almost in the middle of the national park. From it the valleys spread out radially, supplying water to two large river systems with their sources in the Julian Alps: the Soča and the Sava, flowing to the Adriatic and Black Sea, respectively.
    Links: Top Ten Slovenian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triglav_National_Park
  10. Pirin National Park, Bulgaria
    Pirin National ParkPirin National Park1Pirin National Park2
           Pirin National Park is a World Heritage national park that encompasses the larger part of the Pirin Mountains in the southwest of Bulgaria. It has an area of about 400 square km (150 square mi) and lies at an altitude from 1,008–2,914 m (3,307–9,560 ft). Two nature reserves are located within the boundaries of the park, Bayuvi Dupki-Dzhindzhiritsa, one of the oldest in the country, and Yulen.
    Links: Top Ten Bulgarian Attraction, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirin_National_Park,
  11. Durmitor National Park, Montenegro
    Durmitor National ParkDurmitor National Park1Durmitor National Park2
    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Montenegrin Attractions,
  12. Tara River Canyon and National Park, Montenegro
    Tara River Canyon and National ParkTara River Canyon and National Park1Tara River Canyon and National Park2
           The Tara River Canyon, also known as the Tara River Gorge, is the longest canyon in Montenegro. It is 82 km long and is 1,300 m at its deepest, making it the deepest river canyon in Europe. The Tara canyon is unique with significant depths averaging around one thousand m, and in some places up to one thousand-three hundred meters. It is ranked right behind the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA. The Tara River, at its end making confluence with Piva, becomes the Drina, and is some 150 km long. In its passage through the Tara National Park, the river has a mean fall of 3.6 m/km, making a host of waterfalls and cascades possible, thus creating with its uniqueness The Montenegrin Colorado. All along its flow, the Tara gets large quantities of water from numerous sources, and quite a few tributaries. The most important tributaries on the left bank of the Tara are Ljutica and Susica, and the most important tributaries on the right bank being Vaskovaska rijeka and Draga. The most important source is the source Bajlovica sige, a source placed on the left bank of the Tara river giving to the Tara a few hundred liters per second, where the water sourcing from the Bucevica cave falls into the Tara more than 30 m high, and more than a 150 m wide. The roar of the breathtaking Tara cascades can be heard on the very peaks of the canyon. There are more than 40 cascades, the most famous being: Djavolje lazi, Sokolovina, Bijeli kamen, Gornji tepacki buk and Donji tepacki buk. Because of the quality of its water, and because of its unique ecological system, Tara in 1977 was put into the program “Covjek i biosfera” (Men and Biosphere) and inscribed into the ecological biosphere reservations of the World, being thus protected under an internationally issued convention. There are rocky and pebbly terraces, sandy beaches, high cliffs, and more than 80 large caves along the canyon.
    Links: Top Ten Montenegrin Attractions, Top Ten Canyons, Top Ten Rivers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tara_River_Canyon
  13. Links: National Parks,

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