There are 44 individual countries in Europe, each one with its own spectacular landscapes and scenic wonders. Snow-capped mountains, layered canyons, cascading waterfalls – the list simply goes on. But in such a diverse continent, which country is the most beautiful? While beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, we’ve compiled a list of the top countries in Europe that we find the most stunning. All you have to do is visit and see for yourself!
Which Country Has the Most Beautiful Scenery in Europe?
When it comes to natural beauty, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and Iceland are considered to be the most scenic countries in Europe. However, Austria, Ireland, France, and Slovenia are also teeming with breathtaking sights and landscapes.
So, if you’re looking for picturesque views and awe-inspiring beauty, you can’t go wrong with any of these destinations. We’ll explain a bit more about what makes each place special to help you decide which country to visit.
As one of the top tourist destinations in Europe, Italy is guaranteed to delight travelers with its array of romantic landscapes. The northern part of the country is home to turquoise lakes (Lake Como, Lake Garda, etc.) and craggy mountain ranges (Italian Alps).
But in the south, you have lush islands and miles of beautiful Mediterranean coastline, not to mention fantastic islands like Sicily, Ischia, and Capri.
And don’t forget the central part of Italy! Here, you’ll find the rolling hills of Tuscany, the colorful fishing villages on the Italian Riviera, and the wild volcanic mountains of Etna and Vesuvius. You can really pick anywhere in Italy, and you’re guaranteed to discover something beautiful along the way!
If you’re a fan of snowy peaks, charming villages, and mirror-like lakes, then Switzerland is a must-see on your European trip.
Dominated by the Swiss Alps (make sure to visit the 14,692-foot Matterhorn), this landlocked country is an ideal destination for hikers, climbers, or winter sports enthusiasts.
However, there are plenty of other breathtaking sights in Switzerland to check off your bucket list. Start with Oeschinensee, a glistening blue alpine lake situated in the Alps. Or make your way to Rhine Falls, the largest and arguably most powerful waterfall in all of Europe.
The Moiry Icefall, Aletsch Glacier, and the Aare Gorge are just a few other natural landscapes worth visiting as well.
Spain is one of the most geographically diverse countries in Europe. And while most people come here for the vibrant cities or sun-soaked beaches, most of the country remains relatively unspoiled by mainstream tourism.
In fact, very few people know that Spain is also home to glacial lakes, volcanic islands, and even a barren desert!
The tallest and most picturesque mountains are located in the north (Pyrenees, Picos de Europa) and south (Sierra Morena, Sierra Nevada). You can also choose to visit the Canary Islands in the Atlantic or the Balearic Islands on the Mediterranean side.
But if you’re looking for something off the beaten path, head to Las Médulas in León, Bardenas Reales in Navarra, or Monfragüe National Park in Extremadura.
Over the last few years, Iceland’s tourism has grown exponentially. But once you step foot on this Nordic island, you’ll feel as if there’s nothing around you except pristine natural beauty. As one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe, Iceland is known for its volcanos, glaciers, and waterfalls.
Make your first stop at Seljalandsfoss (the tallest waterfall in all of Iceland) or the iconic Mt. Kirkjufell (the most photographed mountain in Iceland). Adventure lovers can also hike through the glaciers of Vatnajokull National Park or explore the blue walls of the Crystal Ice Cave in Vatnajökull Glacier.
And if you’re visiting from September and March, you’ll also get the chance to experience the natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights.
Austria’s landscape is often unfairly compared to that of Switzerland. And while both countries have towering mountain ranges, tree-covered valleys, and sparkling lakes, there’s something more untouched about Austria’s beauty.
For example, take Weissensee, which is known to be the purest swimming lake in the Alps. Or Wachau, a quaint region with rolling hills, historic fortresses, and acres of vineyards.
Of course, Austria is one of the best places in the world for hiking, especially in Karwendel, Zillertal, or the Wilder Kaiser region.
On a warm spring or summer day, the trails can be busy. But once you see those sprawling mountain views, you’ll easily see why they’re so popular.
There’s a reason Ireland is referred to as the Emerald Isle. That’s because most of the country is covered in lush green fields.
However, there’s more to the island than just hills, pastures, and meadows. Ireland is also famous for its rugged coastline, tranquil lakes, and majestic mountains.
One of the most famous sights in Ireland is the Cliffs of Moher. Here, you’ll find near-vertical 700-foot cliffs snaking along the waves of the Atlantic. For something quiet, head to Killarney National Park. This scenic treasure chest is filled with lakes, mountains, and forests that you can explore in peace.
France is the most visited country in all of Europe. But while most tourists stick to the bustling cities, France has a wealth of beauty to offer those who venture off the beaten path.
From the lavender fields in Provence to the wild shores of Normandy, you could easily spend your entire trip soaking in the picture-postcard setting of France.
If you’re looking for a vacation destination, head to the French Riviera on the Mediterranean coast for spotless beaches and clear waters.
Or if you want to get lost in the vineyards, visit one of the many wine regions, including Bordeaux, Alsace, or Champagne. The Loire Valley is also a top choice for history buffs, as there are numerous chateaus, castles, and cathedrals scattered along the River Loire.
Most people coming to Europe overlook Slovenia for some of its more popular neighbors. But spend a few days here, and you’ll quickly discover that it’s a hidden gem when it comes to scenic landscapes.
The crown jewel of Slovenia is Lake Bled, a dramatic lake in the Julian Alps featuring an island with a beautiful church. But outside of Bled, there are many other mountains, lakes, and charming towns that are worth your visit.
The Logar Valley is especially noteworthy (the Solcavska Panoramic Road has some of the best viewpoints in the country). Or travel underground to witness the magical karst formations in Postojna Caves.
Of course, you can also relax on the shores of one of the many smaller lakes, such as Lake Bohinj, Lake Jasna, or Lake Trboje.
As you can see, Europe is easily one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Although these countries are the most scenic, each place has something to offer in terms of breathtaking sights and stunning natural wonders.
From the sun-soaked beaches on the Mediterranean to the peaks of the highest mountains in the Alps, Europe is guaranteed to have something to delight in terms of beauty.