Best national parks in Scandinavia

Shamil Hasanli 15 February 2021 1741 views 6 min. read

The national parks protect unique values that are worth discovering on foot. They are beautiful and have unique environments. They have been created to preserve larger contiguous areas of unspoiled and protected nature. At the same time, they are open to all-natural attractions where you can enjoy and relax in nature. In these parks, you can make day trips hiking along marked trails and nature trails, as well as eating snacks at noteworthy campfire sites. They also have camping areas and overnight buildings where you can spend the night if you wish. Scandinavia is famous for its untouched nature, and there are many natural parks in Scandinavian countries you should visit. When you are looking for, you may see several national parks list of Scandinavia, and it is hard to choose among Scandinavia national parks. So, are you wondering what country has the best national parks? Well, you can find the best national parks in Scandinavia to explore.

Pallas-Yllastunturi, Finland

snow

Pallas-Yllastunturi is in the fell and forest area between Kolari, Kittila, Muonio, and Enontekio, in Finland. I think it should be the first on your national parks list. The beautiful mountain nature, the stunning scenery, the northern winter lights, the nightless summer night, and the incredible autumn fall attract visitors to the park all year round. You can go hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and snowshoeing in the area. Also, fishing, berry picking, mushroom picking, bird watching, and geocaching are popular pastimes. There are 350 kilometers of marked summer trails in the park, 60 kilometers of mountain biking trails, and more than 500 kilometers of ski trails. Most routes depart from villages or tourist centers near the national park.

Thy, Denmark

park

Thy is Denmark's first national park, and it was established in 2007. Denmark is not a large country, and there is little untouched nature there, so this park is small compared to the Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish parks, maybe the smallest among Scandinavia national parks. It is merely a 12-kilometre-wide strip of land facing the Kattegat and the North Sea, at the northwestern tip of Jutland. The entire park is 234.7 square kilometers in size. The park consists of heaths and dunes and is adorned with small fishing villages and pine forests. There are, of course, several cycling routes through the park, and you can spend the night at inns or campsites. The park is also an eldorado for fishermen and bird watchers.

Asnen, Sweden

asnen

In the sizeable Asnen park, beautiful, classic Smaland nature awaits you. Here you will find the large Asnen lake, which is 740 kilometers in circumference and filled with coves, headlands, and hundreds of islands. You can explore one of the best national parks in Scandinavia, on foot or by bike. You can also hop in a canoe and watch the fish and sea eagles hovering over the lake. There are campsites, Bed & Breakfasts, shelters, cabins, and guest houses in the park. There are several places you can rent a canoe and find accommodation in the park.

Rondane, Norway

hiking

One of the best national parks Scandinavia is Rondane, which was open in 1962 and expanded in 2003. Today, the area covers almost 1000 square kilometers in Oppland and Hedmark counties, with lush mountain valleys and spectacular mountain peaks. The wild reindeer have lived here for thousands of years, and the Rondane's blue light has inspired many artists and writers. You can explore the park on foot, by mountain bike, or on horseback. You can paddle on the rivers, and the bravest can challenge the water masses with rafting. There is also an abundance of high mountain cabins and hotels in Rondane if it is more your style. 

Urho Kekkonen, Finland

national park

Another park that should be on your best national parks list is Urho Kekkonen, and it is in the Eastern and Northern Lapland regions of Finland. Along the route, there is also Santa's home in Korvatunturi. The park offers you magnificent natural attractions and fascinating cultural and historical sites. Open mountain wilderness, clear-water mountain ponds, old settlements of Sami people, and steep gorges attract lovers, skiers, and hikers all year round. The area is also popular for paddling, fishing, berry picking, and mushroom picking. Cycling is allowed on four routes with a total length of about 80 kilometers. There are sheds and campfires along the park. 

Soderasen, Sweden

soderasen

In Soderasen National Park, only 40 kilometers east of Helsingborg, is Northern Europe's largest, contiguous forest area. From the national park's popular vantage point, Kopparhatten awaits a completely wonderful view of the large forests, deep gorges, and raw mountains. So-called Skane's Grand Canyon is within the borders of the park. You can both walk and drive to the park. The national park has a nice visitor center, which among other things, offers guided tours in the area and tips for the best picnic spots.

Sor-Spitsbergen, Norway

sor-spitsbergen

Sor-Spitsbergen is one of the largest Scandinavia national parks in Norway. It covers the southern part of the island of Spitsbergen, with a total of 13,286 square km. A trip to Svalbard is an incredible experience in itself, and no matter where you go on the island, great nature experiences will await you. In this national park, you can go to Gashamna, and there was a facility for whaling in the 17th century. The Recherchefjorden in the north, Norwegian and Russian archaeologists had excavations. Northwest Spitsbergen is also worth visiting. There you can see the remains of several Arctic expeditions, including in Virgohamna, from where the Swedish engineer Andree tried to reach the North Pole with a hydrogen balloon in 1897.

Nuuksio, Finland

nuuksio

The park is in Uusimaa near Vihti, Espoo, and Kirkkonummi. You can take a day trip to Nuuksio or enjoy nature for a longer time. In the area, you can go skiing, hiking, rock climbing, or look for geocaches. The glacial valleys and gorges of the ice age and the rocky hills covered with a few pine trees guarantee incredible views. At their highest, the hills rise to 110 meters above sea level. The area is also home to an endangered cloth squirrel as well as a rare flying squirrel, which is worth watching while hiking. The site has good year-round services. At the Haltia Nature Center, you can get to know the area and learn important things about nature. It is also possible to rent equipment or book accommodation and sauna facilities. The park has campfire sites, kitchen canopies, sheds, camping areas, dry toilets, and rental rooms that visitors can take advantage of.

Abisko, Sweden

abisko

Up in Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle, lies Abisko, one of Sweden's most famous national parks. Here are waterfalls, bare plains, rugged forests, mountain ranges, and wildlife not seen anywhere else in Scandinavia. The raw, arctic landscapes offer fantastic hiking and nature experiences beyond the usual. You can visit Abisko all year round. In the dark of winter, the conditions for seeing the spectacular, dancing northern lights are the very best. In the winter season, you can also ski or dog sled. In Abisko, you will find the famous 440-kilometre-long hiking and cross-country skiing route "Kungsleden."

Jotunheimen, Norway

jotunheimen

Jotunheimen is among the world's most beautiful Scandinavia national parks. It is worth highlighting Jotunheimen's mountains, glaciers, and of course, Galdhopiggen, Norway's highest mountain. Jotunheimen is a popular hiking area both summer and winter, and here you will find a large network of marked trails in all categories. The Hurrungane massif in West Jotunheimen is a paradise for mountain climbers, with more than 20 peaks over 2000 meters. The trip over Besseggen is one of Norway's most beautiful trips, and the contrast between the green lake Gjende and the dark blue Bessvatnet is immortalized in many selfies and tourist photographs. Gjendesheim, at the foot of Besseggen, can also offer local, organic food that shows the best of Norwegian ingredients. Jotunheimen does not lack activities to choose from, and if you like rivers, Sjoa, Northern Europe's best rafting river, is a must, and the Otta River is excellent for family rafting.

Oulanka, Finland

oulankaOulanka National Park

is located in the rugged terrain of the Kuusamo and Salla regions of Finland. Among other things, Karhunkierros, one of Finland's best-known hiking trails, winds its way in the area. In the landscapes of Karhunkierros, you can get acquainted with the river landscapes, meadow dunes, rapids, and waterfalls, as well as suspension bridges and moorlands. You can see rare plant species in the area. The most popular forms of recreation in the park are hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, skiing and fishing. The park also offers photo lovers endless subjects. Oulanka's daily routes vary between 2 and 12 kilometers. The longest route is the 80-kilometre-long Bear Tour, which is worth taking several days to get around. The bear tour is well suited for the first long hike. There is a total of 150 kilometers of marked routes.

Sarek, Sweden

sarek

If you have a dream of getting far away from it all and experiencing a real Alone in the Wilderness adventure, then you must set a course for Sarek National Park in Lapland. It is a national park for the experienced and adventurous. There are no marked routes, cabins, or other amenities here. The terrain is demanding, and you have to be able to fend for yourself. But the rewards are huge, because up here in Sweden's northernmost corner awaits some of the world's wildest landscapes with vast plains, natural mountain areas, glacial valleys, and rushing waterfalls.