The city can leave a big mark on your life and the usual work in the centre of the city, in a big crowded building, commuting for one hour every day in a metro or a bus packed with people can be very stressful and sometimes even depressing. I am very lucky to live in a country where nature is very important and you can find it in abundance, however the 8 hour job routine, sitting in front of the computer almost the whole day makes me feel uneasy and I am sure that many people are in the same situation as myself.
It has been proven many times that nature and wildlife can help people relax and "reset" their brain, so you should definitely try out one of the wildest places in Europe from the following list, if not even all! I have turned my love for nature and wilderness almost into an obsession, but this is just because nature makes me feel at peace and makes me very happy! I feel really grateful to have had the possibility to visit all these places and be able to share them now with you.
Here is my list of the wildest places in Europe!
1. Lapland, Finland
Finland has been voted the best country to visit in 2019, from wildlife perspective. Finland has the most forested area out of all European countries, 70% of the country being covered by forest, so there is no wonder that a lot of creatures live here. Finland expands on a vast surface, but only 5.5 million people live here and most of them live in the south, so the north is pretty much unpopulated. This makes Finland an awesome destination for people who are looking to experience the wilderness of the north, the taiga forest and the beautiful fells of Lapland. There is no wonder that 2 of the places on my list are located in Finland , the country where I also live currently.
In my opinion, the most beautiful and wildest place in Finland is Kilpisjärvi, far in the north. Its famous fell, Saana, and the lake around it is the most peaceful and serene place I have ever visited, as you can see from the picture above. The view from Saana fell is also amazing! Read more about Kilpisjärvi.
Another great and remote place that Finland has to offer is Urho-Kekkonen National Park, with around 250 km of trails. In the summer time the trails are hiking trails and in the winter time they become skiing trails.
On the other side of Lapland there is another amazing Finnish National Park, Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, which has 340 km of marked hiking trails in the summer time. My favourite time of the year to visit this wild place is during autumn time, when the whole area gets lit up with yellow, orange and red hues. Read more about autumn in Lapland.
To visit Lapland you can fly to Rovaniemi and then rent a car. Read more about the wilderness of Finland.
2. Azores Islands, Portugal
One of the most beautiful and remote islands I have ever visited was São Miguel Island, in the Azores Archipelago. These wild islands have everything a nature enthusiast would ever hope for: vulcanic craters, lagoons, mountain roads, waterfalls and forests.
Read more about São Miguel Island and about the waterfalls and nature trails in Azores.
3. Senja Island, Norway
Norway is unique in Europe with its amazing fjords and sharp mountains. Same as Finland, Norway is not densely populated, however it does have lots of tourists.
Senja is the least touristic place in Norway mainland, so it's an excellent place for anyone who wants to experience wilderness and remote landscapes.
Read more about Senja.
4. Faroe Islands
Remote and wild islands are my favourite kind of wild destinations and Faroe Islands is definitely one of the most remote places I have been to. There is something about the nordic areas that make me feel special. Even if cold and rainy, Faroe Islands have some of the most unspoiled and spectacular views that Europe has to offer! Being remote also means that the islands don't get overcrowded with tourists and most of the people visiting are people like me, looking to escape to the wilderness. Probably the place I have enjoyed the most here was Mykines Island, with lots of puffins!
Read more about Faroe Islands.
5. Vatnajökull National Park and Stokksnes, Iceland
Iceland, the land of fire and ice, has even less inhabitants than Finland and Norway and when you are here you feel like you are transported into a different world. Iceland can have quite many tourists at times, so that is why I chose to visit during autumn and I am really happy with my choice!
Vatnajökull is the largest ice cap in Iceland and I have not ventured past the outskirts of this national park. The whole area looks surreal and amazing!
Vestrahorn mountains are located on Stokksnes peninsula, near by Vatnajökull National Park and they are the second most photographed mountains in Iceland (after Kirkjufell, see below at no 10). This was definitely my favourite wild place in Iceland!
6. Kuusamo, Finland
Kuusamo area in Finland has the best observation and photography hides for big predators, especially bears. If you want to spend an amazing night admiring these beautiful creatures, Kuusamo is the place to go to. During summer the sun barely sets in this area and there are lots of bears visiting throughout the night. If lucky you can spot wolves and wolverines as well.
Read more about bear hides in Finland.
7. Danube Delta, Romania
Danube Delta is the best place to photograph birds in Europe! It's a bit complicated to get here, but once you do, you'll discover endless channels of life through the Danube Delta. Any bird enthusiast would love this wild place!
Read more about Danube Delta, Romania
8. Scottish Highlands, UK
The Scottish Highlands are the wildest places in UK and they are teeming with wildlife! Amazing hills and mountains, plenty of hiking places and incredible castles make Scotland a very popular place to visit for nature lovers!
The most beautiful and wildest places here are the lonely isles, which support great colonies of birds and can only be reached by boat.
Read more about Scotland
9. Værøy, Lofoten, Norway
Værøy is the most remote island I have been to so far. The only way to reach this wild place is by ferry. Værøy island is small, but with plenty of things to see and do! Probably the most famous viewpoint is Måstadfjellet, but on Værøy I have seen the most beautiful beach ever, Skarsursanden beach!
Read more about Værøy Island, Norway
10. Kirkjufell and Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland
Kirkjufell is the most photographed mountain in Iceland, however it's not the most impressive waterfall in the area. In my opinion, Svöðufoss deserves more attention than Kirkjufell.
The whole Snæfellsnes Peninsula was incredible and it felt like I was on a different planet, not to mention that I didn't encounter much of other cars around here.
As you have probably noticed, most of the wildest places from my list are located in the Nordic region. There are lots of other beautiful nature places in Europe which I have visited, however those places are usually more crowded and there is no feeling of wilderness as there is in the Nordics. Over the years, I have fallen in love with these regions and even the harsh wind and the cold are part of their charm!