17 Underrated Natural Wonders in Europe You Haven't Discovered Yet

Bigar Waterfalls © Giuseppe Milo
Bigar Waterfalls © Giuseppe Milo
Photo of Tara Jessop
16 May 2018

Everyone knows there are some pretty awesome natural landscapes in Europe, with everything from Mediterranean paradise islands to fairy-tale forests and epic alpine scenery; but there are undoubtedly a bunch of natural wonders you’ve never even heard of, too. Here are some of the most underrated natural wonders on the continent.

Bornholm, Denmark

Located south of Sweden in the Baltic Sea, the Danish island of Bornholm boasts beaches with sand so fine it’s said that Napoleon used to ask that his hourglasses be made with it.

Bornholm | © stephen velasco

Las Médulas, Spain

The unusual shape of Las Médulas is a result of the mining techniques used here by the Ancient Romans to extract gold from the mountains.

Las Medulas CC0 Pixabay

Alentejo, Portugal

If the Algarve is Portugal’s most famous coastline, the Alentejo is entirely underrated, despite its epic beaches and stunning backcountry, which is home to millions of cork trees.

Alentejo CC0 Pixabay

Mullerthal Region, Luxembourg

Nicknamed ‘Little Switzerland’, the Mullerthal region of Luxembourg is characterised by a picturesque hilly landscape and quaint villages, as well as rather surprising rock formations.

Mullerthal CC0 Pixabay

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Like something straight out of a fairy tale, Lake Bled harbours a small island, on which stands the Church of the Assumption and not much else. Hop on a local gondola or pletna and take a ride across the water to this most enchanting hideout.

Bled CC0 Pixabay

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

The Plitvice Lakes, an incredible network of some 16 lakes joined by jaw-dropping waterfalls, are one of nature’s most incredible wonders. They also provide a diverse habitat that is home to many species of plant and wildlife, such as brown bears, wild cats and eagles.

Plitvice Lakes CC0 Pixabay

Svalbard, Norway

A rugged archipelago located between Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas. The majority of the islands are made of glaciers and fjords and are home to Arctic foxes, polar bears and reindeer.

Svalbard CC0 Pixabay

Järvi-Suomi, Finland

Also known as ‘Finnish Lakeland‘, this region of Finland is home to some 55,000 lakes, including Lake Simaa, the fifth-largest lake in Europe.

Lakes in Finland CC0 Pixabay

Seven Rila Lakes, Bulgaria

Remnants of the glaciers that once covered this region of Bulgaria, the Seven Rila Lakes area is one of Bulgaria’s most stunning natural landscapes. Each of the seven lakes sits lower than the previous one, and they are connected by small cascading streams, but you’ll need to be braced for some bad weather and storms to admire them.

Seven Rilas Lakes | © m1r0r1m

Brimham Rocks, England

You won’t believe your eyes when you see the incredible formations at Brimham Rocks in Yorkshire, England. A combination of water and wind erosion have left some rather puzzling shapes at this National Trust site.

Brimham Rocks | © Andrew Stawarz

Bigar Waterfall, Romania

Known locally as the ‘miracle of Minis Canyon’, the Bigar Waterfall is an incredible feature of the Mina River in Romania. Covered in a blanket of moss, the waterfall is composed of hundreds of cascading streams, which cover it in what looks like a halo of light and water.

Bigar Waterfalls | © Giuseppe Milo

As Catedrais Beach, Spain

Meaning ‘beach of the cathedrals’ in Galician, the As Catedrais beach gets its name from the way the rock has been carved out by water over time to create a system of archways that are reminiscent of a church.

Das catedrais beach | © Jose Luis Cernadas Iglesias / Flickr

Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

The largest natural park in Montenegro, the Durmitor park boasts the deepest gorges in Europe, along the Tara River. Dense pine forests are home to hundreds of native species of bird, mammal and insect in this UNESCO World Heritage-listed park.

Durmitor National Park | © imke.stahlmann

Formentera, Spain

If Ibiza is famous for its crazy nightlife and clubbing scene, Formentera is its much more well-behaved little sibling. This dreamy Mediterranean island is picture perfect, thanks to its azure waters and white-sand beaches.

Formentera CC0 Pixabay

Đavolja Varoš, Serbia

Anywhere that has earned the name ‘Devil’s Town‘ has to be worth visiting. This unusual rock formation in Serbia arose through a centuries-old process of erosion, which was accelerated in the last century as a result of forests being cut down.

Đavolja Varoš | © Dimo Dimov

Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland

Like something straight out of The Sound of Music, the Lauterbrunnen Valley is endlessly picturesque, thanks to its green valleys, snowy peaks and charming alpine villages.

Lauterbrunnen Valley | © Kosala Bandara

Gauja National Park, Latvia

A beautifully preserved natural park rich in important historical monuments, the Gauja Natural Park is one of Latvia’s national treasures. Natural springs, sheer cliffs and enchanting caves appear alongside medieval castles and ancient ruins.

Gauja National Park | © Rojs Rozentāls