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12 of The Wildest Destinations in Europe

Wanderlust August 31, 2017 By Vincent

The cities and skylines of the world can be stunning and awe inspiring on their own accord, to see how life is in the metropolises across the globe but sometimes you may want to get away from it all. Get out into nature and see what the world is like when it is quiet, wild and free. Despite being a heavily developed continent, Europe still has some stunning areas away from the hustle and bustle of modern living.

Here we look at some of the best of these wild places to explore.

1. Poland - Masurian Lakes

In the North East of Poland, where the country borders Russia and Lithuania,  are the gorgeously remote Masurian Lakes that are perfect for adventuring and water sports as you can trek through the woodland, where the wild bison graze in the Białowieża forest, to the lakes which are ideal for kayaking.

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So remote are these placid lakes that Adolph Hitler made it his wartime base of operations and, for those interested in the history of the continent, you can explore his infamous 'Wolf's lair'.

2. Norway - Western Fjords

Norway is noted for its gorgeous and rugged scenery and its fjords are no exception to this with the crisp, clean Nordic air making everything seem brighter, clearer and more in focus. In winter this manifests itself as a sort of stunning contrast of bleakness and beauty as the snow makes the towering fjords a pure white whilst the waters become so dark they look almost pitch black.

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Come the spring and the snow will melt away and the fjords will burst into color with the towering, rocky walls feeling almost untouched and untainted

3. England - Dartmoor National Park

Down on the Southwestern tip of England sits the only national park in the country that allows wild camping and so visitors quite often come face to face with the wildlife which includes the native Dartmoor pony. A heather covered moorland filled with ancient ruins of castles and compounds that existed long before the land became protected.

 

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With valleys covered with woodland dotted with tiny hamlets, it is rural splendor at its best.

4. Slovenia - Lake Bled

A gorgeous alpine lake that is nestled in Slovenia's Julian Alps where the water is a clear, rippling emerald color and the banks of the lake are surrounded by stunning pines. In the middle of the lake sits a lone church from the 17th century where pagan temples once held steadfast in amongst the waters.

The romanticism and quiet sounds of nature on all sides make this spot a truly precious one.

5. Germany - Schwarzwald (The Black Forest)

A vast forest region in Germany that encompasses mountains, rivers, and lakes, the dark wood of the trees and misty nature of the place have led to many myths and legends being attributed to the trees and what lives in amongst them. Wander the many hiking trails or pick the perfect cherries for the namesake gateaux of the area.

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Filled with mystery and wonder, it is stunning and striking in its wildness and expanse.

6. Ireland - Connemara

To the West, on the farthest edge of Europe, lies the unending green of Connemara that rolls over the Twelve Bens Mountains and blends into the golden beaches that then look out onto the Atlantic ocean. The round stone bog brings it all together whilst tiny villages dot the way here and there.

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With a landscape that stretches as far as the eye can see, and beyond, Connemara holds a sense of the Irish wilds in every blade of grass.

7. Iceland - Kirkjufell

Such is the nature of Iceland's land of fire and ice that anywhere outside of Reykjavik suddenly becomes very wild but head out into Kirkjufell and you will find yourself 1500 feet above sea level in the wilds of an almost alien landscape where the nights sky becomes so clear that you feel as though you could almost touch the stars above or, if you're lucky, the Northern lights.

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The water below will reflect them back at you and shimmer the patterns and shapes off of the rocky outcrops, casting mystical figures all about you. 

8. Scotland - Argyll Coast

Rocky outcrops jutting out into the sea filled with stories of wandering Kings and Queens, the Argyll coast is a stunning part of the mainland but take a boat out into the waters where the outlying islands are and you'll discover something even more magical in the places such as  Fingal’s Cave on the island of Staffa.

If the wilderness does get too much, though, find your way to the whiskey distilleries on Islay for some warm company and a throat warming tipple.

9. Wales - The All Wales Coastal Path

Running 1,400km in length the coastal path that covers Wales gloriously weatherbeaten and nature shaped coastline is ideal for hikers looking to discover the wonder of such places ass Pembrokeshire where Neolithic tombs, Celtic chapels, and glutinous seals all reside making it a region of eclectic sights and experiences.

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Known as the ‘Land of Mystery and Enchantment’, Pembrokeshire is just one tiny bit of the rugged, rural parts of Wales that lend themselves to getting away from it all.

10. Spain - El Torcal

An alien terrain in mainland Europe may sound a little outlandish but El Torcal National Park is pretty much that as its bizarre limestone formations look like nothing else in the region with the rocky outcrops baking slowly in the sun making it perfect for reptiles such as the Montpelier Snake and Eyed Lizard.

Benjamin van der Spek/Shutterstock.com

If you choose to go clambering over this tough terrain, a few Andalusian mountain goats may peer over you to see how you're doing or to show off just how at ease they are with it.

11. Croatia - Plitvice Lakes National Park

Near the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina and fairly centrally located in Croatia, Plitvice Lakes are a series of 16 lakes all cascading into one another in warm sprays of bubbling brooks and cascading waterfalls making the turquoise waters even more beautiful in their motion.

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Wooden walkways over the lakes make it possible to feel the water on your skin as you walk above the stunningly scenic waters.

12. France - Camargue

An area that finds itself sandwiched in between Arles, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Rhone River delta, Camargue holds the water from these regions making it a very prominent wetland that is home to some very striking wildlife as flamingos and wild horses mingle in amongst each other.

Vadim Petrakov/Shutterstock.com

In fact, the Camargue pony is related to pre historic horses found in the region and are one of the oldest breeds in the world with them epitomizing the freedom and wild abandon of the region.

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