These national parks offer extraordinary landscapes and wildlife – and far fewer tourists than the continent’s more famous beauty spots. Have you visited a national park in Europe? Tell us about it in the comments below
It may be one of the oldest protected areas in the Alps, but the wild lakes and mountains of Gran Paradiso national park often get overlooked by tourists, who are more likely to visit northern Italy’s more popular destinations: the lakes of Como, Maggiore and Garda. In the summer, visitors can hike up the mountains, taking in stunning views, and in winter clip on the skis for cross-country touring. The Orco, Soana and Cogne valleys are great areas to explore, as are villages of traditional stone-built houses. There’s a wide range of accommodation in the area – with plenty for those who don’t fancy camping – and the park authority also offers a guide service.