We all know how beautiful our Earth is, and some of the best places witness her in all her glory is in national parks. Protected land, wild animals and rich list geological history… its allllll great.
Yosemite is one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring places we have ever visited. The sheer scale of of it all is mind-blowing. These great granite valleys were created by glaciers thousands of years ago. Yosemite is rich in nature, amazing views (duh!) and history. We certainly recommend this place to everyone who is thinking of going to California.
The Lake District, UK
The Lake District is one of the UK’s oldest national parks (and is obviously full of lakes!) but is also known as a place of incredible natural beauty. It has been a popular holiday destination in the UK since early 19th century with the likes of the author Beatrix Potter and art critic, John Ruskin visiting on regular occasions. We are desperate to have a trip to the lake district and to visit Lake Windermere (England’s largest lake).
Banff National Park, Canada
Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada, established in 1885. It includes the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise, Bow Lake and the Icefield Parkway. Banff has some amazing views of magnificent mountains and just look at the colour of that water! It’s so blue! The lakes are fed by glaciers so its no wonder that the water looks so amazing!
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
The Serengeti National Park is probably most famous for the incredible annual migration of wildebeest and zebra. Its like those scenes that we see in every David Attenborough documentary in which hungry crocodiles and lions are in the way of their fresh pastures. It was originally made a game reserve in 1921 and eventually became a national park in 1951. This is an item on our bucket list (who doesn’t want to go on safari!)
The Grand Canyon, USA
The Grand Canyon is amazing. We were lucky enough to have a family trip here, which you can see in our west coast tour series. Alice watched the sun rise over the Canyon, which she thoroughly recommends to anyone going! We also went over the Canyon in a helicopter which was breathtaking. You can really take on the whole scale of the canyon from above as you look in to the distance and can’t see where it ends.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
This place this just looks like it has come from Lord of the Rings or even a fairytale. Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the oldest parks in southern Europe and the largest in Croatia (it has now been made a UNESCO world heritage site!) Famous for its lakes arranged in cascades all flowing in to each other. Renowned for their distinctive colors, ranging from green to grey or blue. The colors change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight (erm HOW COOL IS THAT!)
Göreme National Park, Turkey
Located among the “fairy chimney” rock formations, is a town in Cappadocia, a historical region of Turkey. Here you can see homes and churches carved straight in to the rock formations and towns built around them. Many travellers visit this wonderfully weird landscape each year to see the chimneys not only from the ground but from the air in the very popular hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia.
Canaima National Park, Venezuela
Home to Angel Falls and the inspiration for the location of the Disney Pixar film UP, this mysterious destination is the 6th biggest Park in the world (its is the size of Belgium!). Just over half the park is occupied by table-top mountains that are millions of years old, with vertical walls and almost flat tops. These create a unique environments and are also of great geological interest. The park is relatively remote with few roads leading to it and most of the travel is done by plane or canoe. There are a few luxurious camps made for tourists to visit the park, so keep an eye out for a space!
Yellowstone National Park, USA
Yellowstone was America’s first National Park, and is largely held to be the first National Park in the world. It is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features such as geysers, mud pots and host springs. Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular features in the park, as it is one of the most predictable geographical features on earth (it was also the first geyser to receive a name in the park.) Yellowstone is also home to some amazing animals, some even considered to be endangered or threatened, and includes America’s oldest and largest bison heard.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef was the first coral reef ecosystem in the world to be World Heritage listed. With almost 3,000 individual reefs and coral islands, The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is protected by national parks as part of an effort to preserve the largest reef ecosystem in the world. And isn’t it bloody beautiful! Two million people visit the reefs each year to see the natural wonders under the sea. There are specific zones that are off limits to tourists, so before heading out make sure you know which zones you can and can’t visit!
Have you been to any of these great National Parks?