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Krkonoše National Park, Czech Republic. This park covers 164 square miles of mountains between the Czech Republic and Poland. It contains the highest mountains in Europe, north of the Alps.
Krkonoše National Park, Czech Republic. This park covers 164 square miles of mountains between the Czech Republic and Poland. It contains the highest mountains north of the Alps in Europe.Tomas Sereda—iStockphoto/Getty Images
Krkonoše National Park, Czech Republic. This park covers 164 square miles of mountains between the Czech Republic and Poland. It contains the highest mountains in Europe, north of the Alps.
An oratory situated at the crossroads of Sameon and Rumegies, Scarpe-Escaut Regional Nature Park, France. This park in northern France, bordering Belgium, covers over 43,000 hectares between the Scarpe and Escaut rivers.
High Tauern National Park, Austria. The largest nature reserve in the Alps, this park is home to Alpine ibex, golden eagles, and even the formerly extinct, bearded vulture.
Vercors Massif, Vercors Regional Natural Park, France. This park contains the French Western Alps and covers 135,000 hectares. The limestone cliffs here are dotted with caves and were a base for the French Resistance during WWII.
Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue, France. Covering 82000 hectares, this is one of the most protected areas in all of Europe. Found on the southern coast of France, it contains wetlands, a lagoon, and a marine area.
Cerdacul Stanciului cave, Piatra Craiului National Park, Romania. This park, whose name translate to "prince's stone" contains the southern Carpathian mountains. Bordered by glacial lakes, water has carved out a series of caves into the rock.
People swimming at the Krka National Park
Altai mountains, Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, Russia. This 630,000 hectare park on the border of Russia and China contains freshwater lakes, 34 glaciers, and several waterfalls.
Rural road lined by autumn coloured trees
La Gomera, Garajonay National Park, Spain. This park is located on the island of La Gomera in the Canary Islands. The massive rock structures that characterize this park in the Canary Islands are extinct volcanoes, shaped by erosion.
Aerial view
Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, Finland. Located in the Lapland region of Finland, most of this park consists of primeval forests. It contains the Hetta-Pallas, Finalnd's oldest hiking trail. On dark nights, the northern lights can be seen.
Krkonoše National Park, Czech Republic. This park covers 164 square miles of mountains between the Czech Republic and Po
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Tomas Sereda—iStockphoto/Getty Images
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See 12 Awe-Inspiring European Parks

May 24, 2016

Tuesday is the European Day of Parks, created to celebrate the region's protected natural areas. This year's theme is "A Taste of Nature." Twenty-three countries are participating, hosting over 300 events, from cooking classes to hiking excursions.

EUROPARC, which has organized the day since 1999, works to "improve the management of Protected Areas in Europe through international cooperation, exchange of ideas and experience, and by influencing policy."

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