Europe is home to some of the most exciting cities in the world with unusual architecture, vibrant nightlife, retail opportunities galore and exquisite restaurants. However, Europe has so much more to offer than the urban buzz as it boasts beautiful beaches, canyons, waterfalls and so much more. If you are planning a Eurail trip, then the following natural wonders are all locations you should include in your itinerary.
- The Northern Lights, Sweden
Every year between November and March, a spectacular natural light show takes. You can view the aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, from many locations but Abisko, Sweden is probably the best destination. Abisko Turist station and Abisko Ostra station are the two arrival points in the area when traveling by train. Head here from Stockholm by taking the night train first to Boden and then Kruna to Abisko.
- Dolomites, Italy
Although Europe has many outstanding mountain ranges, the Dolomites beat them all in terms of beauty and magnificence. This expanse of 18 peaks reaches a height of almost 11,000 feet. It is an outdoor activity lovers’ paradise, with activities to enjoy including paragliding, hiking and mountain biking. In fact, due to the altitude and terrain, the Dolomites are used as a training ground for Olympic athletes. Reaching this mountain range is easy as the train from Bolzano takes just 47 minutes. Alternatively, take the train to Trento as this is just an hour from Verona Porta Nuova station.
- Chamonix, France
The main feature of this area is that it is home to the highest cable car in Europe and Chamonix is the starting point. You then ride in the car to Aiguille du Midi at 12,605 feet. From here, you can enjoy breath-taking views across Mont Blanc and the Alps. A trip here by rail from Lyon takes just over four hours and you will connect in St-Gervais-les-Bains.
- Salou, Spain
A feature of many vacations is visiting stunning beaches and few are as fabulous as the beaches along the Mediterranean coast of Salou. Llevant Beach is one of the main attractions at this popular tourist spot as it features a lovely promenade and rocky coves. Other attractions you can enjoy here are the evening lighting and musical performances and the Font Iluminosa, an impressive fountain you will find on the seaside walkway.
- Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany
Characterized by steep rock faces and high mountain peaks, the Berchtesgaden National Park is one of the best locations in Europe to enjoy the mountain scenery. The Schellenberger Ice Cave is a special feature of the park and can only be visited as part of a guided tour. There are several ways to get here, including a trip by cable car or a three-hour hike. A high-speed train from Munich to Salzburg is the fastest way to arrive followed by a bus ride to the national park that takes approximately 45 minutes.
- Norway’s Fjords
It is the opinion of many that the fjords of Norway are the most outstanding scenery in Europe. The trip here also offers some beautiful and varied scenery to enjoy as you travel. Starting from Oslo, board the Oslo-Bergen train and make your way to Myrdal station. Here, transfer to the Flam Railway to Flam station. The final part of the journey is a boat cruise from Flam through the fjords to Gudvangen.
- Thermal Springs in Saturina, Tuscany, Italy
In the historic town of Saturina, Tuscany, the hot springs have been in use for thousands of years. They are open all year and are free to use. Another attraction here is the two waterfalls. Albinia is the closest railway station. To visit the springs from the station, you will need to first take a bus to Manciano and then a further bus to Saturina. In spite of this trip taking in excess of an hour, your final destination makes the effort worth your while.
- Bled, Slovenia
Bled is a city in Slovenia that is accessed by train from Ljubljana, the country’s capital. The highlights of a trip to Bled are Bled Gorge and Lake Bled. The best way to explore Bled Gorge is rappelling; a fun, safe and extremely popular activity. When visiting the lake, be sure to check out the tiny Bled Island as this si the only natural island in Slovenia.
- The Beaches of Dubrovnik, Croatia
No matter what type of beach you prefer, the diversity of the coastline of Dubrovnik means that there are beaches to suit all tastes. Famous for both their beauty and the vibrant nightlife, some of the most popular beaches include Banje, Copacabana and Uvala Lapad. Scuba diving is a great way to explore the wonderful aquatic life off the coast if you are looking for a fun activity to enjoy during a visit to the beach. You might also like to take a boat trip to the nearby Elaphiti Islands. To visit Dubrovnik, you must take a train to Split and then travel by bus. Unfortunately, the train line in Croatia does not extend to Dubrovnik.
- Krimml, Austria
Austria’s highest waterfall is located in Krimmmi and it is this that attracts so many tourists. At an impressive 1,247 feet, the sights and sounds of the waterfall are nothing short of spectacular. The waterfall is situated in Hohe Tauern National Park and there are a great many activities you can enjoy, including visiting the glaciers and high peaks. It is possible to reach the peaks by in a three-hour train ride using the train from Salzburg with a connection in Zell am See.
These are just some of the wonderful natural sights you can enjoy if you are traveling by train around Europe. There are many more delights you can explore when you spend time in this diverse and interesting continent.
P.S. If you’re a frequent camper or mountaineer, you may want to invest in an outdoor generator, as I call it. Nowadays you don’t need to cut yourself off from the rest of the world just to enjoy nature. Think about it! 😉