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Tuesday, 21 April 2009

National parks and protected areas visited

Once we had decided to concentrate our trip on national parks and other protected areas of Europe, we started our research by purchasing the book, ‘National Parks, Europe’ from the Activity Series. This doesn’t appear to be published in the UK, but you can find it new and second-hand with Amazon sellers.

Our other sources of information were websites, maps and relevant Lonely Planet and Rough Guides.

Total number of national parks and protected areas visited (by visited we generally mean walked or cycled in, rather than just driven through) – 34


Portugal has only one National Park and 29 Natural Parks, Nature Reserves and other protected landscapes.

Total number of protected areas visited - 2

  • Parque Natural da Ria Formosa
  • Parque Natural do Sudoeste Atlentejano and Costa Vincentina


Total number of protected areas visited – 12

Spain has 14 National Parks, 5 of which are on islands and numerous Natural Parks; areas protected for their geology, biology or landscape merit. These different categories are not to suggest a lower level of protection, merely different characteristics.

  • Parque Natural del Estrecho, Andalucia
  • Parque Natural de los Alcornocales, Andalucia
  • Parque Natural Sierra de las Nieves, Andalucia
  • Sierra Nevada National Park, Andalucia
  • Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park, Andalucia
  • Sierra Espuna Natural Park, Murcia
  • La Albufera Natural Park, Valencia
  • Serra d’Irta Natural Park, Valencia
  • Delta de l’Ebre Natural Park, Catalonia
  • Cap de Creus Natual Park, Catalonia
  • Parc Natural dels Aiguamolis de L'Emporda, Catalonia
  • Parque Nacional de Donana


Total number of protected areas visited – 4

France has 9 national parks and 49 Regional Natural Parks, areas designated for their scenery and heritage.

  • The Ecrins National Park
  • Verdon National Park
  • Camargue Regional Natural Park
  • Narbonnaiseen Méditerranée Regional Natural Park


Total number of protected areas visited – 11

Italy has 22 National Parks, numerous Regional Parks and areas with other designations; is an excellent website with information and links to all of them.

  • Cinque Terre National Park, Liguria
  • D’Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, Abruzzi
  • Vesuvio National Park, Campania
  • Pollino National Park, Calabria
  • Majella National Park, Abruzzi
  • Monti Sibillini National Park, the Marches and Umbria
  • Gran Sasso National Park, Abruzzi
  • Gargano National Park, Apulia
  • Gran Paradiso National Park, Aosta
  • Dell’Adamello National Park, Lombardy
  • Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, Venetia


Total number of protected areas visited – 3

Austria has six national parks, covering the most valuable ecologoical areas, where nature conservation is paramount; they are all covered at

  • The Donau-auen National Park, Vienna
  • Neusiedler See National Park, Burgenland
  • Hohe Tauern National Park, Tirol and Salzburg


Total number of protected areas visited – 2

Triglav is the only national park in Slovenia. The Skocjan caves are a protected area and a World Heritage Site.

  • The Triglav National Park
  • Skocjan caves (protected area)

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