This may surprise you, but the European continent does still provide some excellent places to experience wildlife in their natural habitat if you know where to find them. Watch the Europe National Parks 360° virtual tour videos and live webcams by clicking on any of the icons on the map below or scrolling down.
Abisko National Park
One of the best places on the planet to see the Aurora Borealis and some European wildlife too
There are 538 National Parks in Europe located in 41 different countries. The ten countries with the most park are Ukraine - 48, Russia - 48, Norway - 47, Turkey - 43, Finland - 40, Sweden - 30, Italy - 25, Poland - 23, Netherlands - 21, Spain - 16 (Source: Wikipedia).
Possible Wildlife Sightings
Large mammals that might be seen are brown bears, wolves, elk, reindeer and roe deer. Smaller species that occur are foxes, badgers, polecats, martens, white weasels, squirrels, gray and white hares and beavers.
Amongst the bird species are owl, blackbird, tomtits, bullfinch, black grouse, snipe, hazel hen, white partridge, woodpecker, and crossbill.
The Dalby Söderskog National Park in Sweden has an area of 0.36 km2 (0.14 sq mi) and contains a grove of deciduous, broad-leaved trees. There is a 3.5 km (2.17 mi) hiking trail that runs along the circumference of the park.
Countries With The Least National Parks
The saying goes that 'less is more', and in this case these five European countries live up to that because they only contain one national park each - Malta, Moldova, Portugal, Slovenia and Switzerland. Europe has three countries that have zero national parks - Luxembourg, Vatican City and Monaco.
Oldest National Parks
Sweden has the distinction of having three of the oldest in Europe - Abisko, Sarek and Stora Sjöfallet, all declared in 1909.
360° Virtual Tours Give Insight
As a travel decision making tool, 360° virtual tours are hard to beat because they give you the full picture (literally) of what your potential destination is really like.
So if you have been thinking of visiting any of the Europe National Parks, try to find 360° footage of them first to help in your decision making. Staycation Safari tries to source and surface as many of these immersive videos as possible to help you.
Which is the Biggest
The Yugyd Va National Park is located on the western slopes of the Polar Ural and Northern Ural, on the border of Europe and Asia. It's the largest in Europe covering 18,917 ㎢ (7303 ㎡).
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in Wales was the most popular in 2021 (Source: Statista).
The coastline which contains eleven blue flag beaches and many miles of trails giving access to stunning landscapes is the main attraction. But there is also some wildlife to see and experience such as Atlantic grey seals, dolphins, porpoises, bats and many bird species.
Best Wildlife Experiences
Europe trails behind continents like Africa or South America when it comes to wildlife experiences, but there are some really good ones to be found if you know where to look.
Polar bears in Norway, moose in Lapland, whales and dolphins in Portugal and Italy, wolves in Sweden and France, brown bears in Greece and Spain, lynx in Romania and bison in Poland.
If you like to visit natural areas in relative solitude, then Øvre Pasvik National Park in Norway could be the place for you.
The lack of crowds can be attributed to a number of factors, such as that there are no recreational facilities, no motorised vehicles allowed, no marked routes, climate is very cold (−45 °C, −49 °F in winter) and mosquitoes abound in summer.
Highest Percentage Of Country Covered
Iceland has the most surface area covered by national parks at 12.1%, followed by France 9.5%, Kosovo 9.3%, United Kingdom 8.2% and Montenegro 7.9%.
Best Time To Visit
Generally, the summer months are going to be the best time to visit these natural areas because the climate is a lot milder then. So the months of June to September are ideal. Of course, if you want to avoid crowds it might be worthwhile to go in the shoulder season and put up with a little more adverse weather.