The Most Stunning Scenery in Europe

Is the view out your window depressingly gray, flat, or non-existent? It might be time to take in some eye-candy scenery.

Perhaps you've dreamed of seeing the rolling green hills of Tuscany, or a medieval monastery floating in the sky in Greece?

If you're tired of looking at other people's fabulous vacations on Instagram, here's a little motivation to book your next trip to Europe, and take in some of the stunning scenery there. There's so many remarkable places to choose from, we've narrowed it down (a little) for you. Here are some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe, as recommended by European Best Destinations, a Brussels-based travel organization.

The Azores, Portugal
The Azores, Portugal

The Azores, Portugal

This archipelago of volcanic islands sits nearly 900 miles off the coast of of Portugal and features vineyards, fishing villages, lake-filled calderas, and landscapes covered in blue hydrangeas. The best times to visit are April to September. Pictured here is the Sete Cidades volcano and village on the island of Sao Miguel.

Photo: Shutterstock

Zaanse Schans, Netherlands
Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

Feast your eyes on this picturesque neighborhood in the Dutch town of Zaandam with historic windmills, fields of tulips, blue canals and quaint homes that re-creates the look of an 18th-century village. Visit shops where craftspeople make traditional wooden shoes using vintage tools, fine chocolates and other artisan handicrafts.

Photo: Shutterstock

Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt, Austria

A beautiful, 16th-century Alpine village perched on the edge of a lake, Hallstatt is a Unesco World Heritage site. The town is named for its long history of salt mining. The scenery is beautiful year round, whether in full autumn color, spring bloom, or with a dusting of winter snow.

Photo: Shutterstock

Bonifacio, France
Bonifacio, France

Bonifacio, France

A village on the southern tip of the beautiful island of Corsica, Bonifacio features a lovely harbor on an inlet and a medieval citadel perched on the limestone cliffs above. The island itself is a haven of history, beaches and beautiful scenery.

Photo: Shutterstock

Mont Saint-Michel, France
Mont Saint-Michel, France

Mont Saint-Michel, France

Mont Saint-Michel is a mysterious-looking, medieval monastery set on a tidal island in Normandy, France. It is one of the most visited landmarks in France.

Photo: Shutterstock

Tuscany, Italy
Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany, Italy

The Tuscany region has no shortage of scenery, with its rolling green hills, vineyards with cypress-lined roads, and medieval villages. It is also home to the city of Florence and Pisa. Pictured is the village of San Gimignano.

Photo: Shutterstock

Rhine Waterfalls, Switzerland
Rhine Waterfalls, Switzerland

Rhine Waterfalls, Switzerland

The largest and most powerful waterfalls in Europe, the Rhinefalls are on the border between Switzerland and Germany, not too far from Zurich.

Photo: Shutterstock

The Svartisen Glacier, Norway
The Svartisen Glacier, Norway

The Svartisen Glacier, Norway

The Svartisen Glacier is actually two glaciers in northern Norway, part of a national park, and close to the Arctic Circle. Visitors can see the glacier by taking a boat in the summer across the lake.

Photo: Shutterstock

The Dordogne Valley, France
The Dordogne Valley, France

The Dordogne Valley, France

One of the most breathtaking villages in France, Rocamadour, clings to the edge of a cliff in the heart of the Dordogne Valley. The village is another world heritage site. The region is home to castles, chateaux, churches, bastides, and cave fortresses, as well as the famous Lascaux Cave.

Photo: Shutterstock

Mullerthal Region, Luxembourg
Mullerthal Region, Luxembourg

Mullerthal Region, Luxembourg

Luxembourg's Little Switzerland, the Mullerthal region is a hilly landscape of unique rock formations popular among hikers for its trails that wander through fields and forests. The area has charming small villages and the ruins of castles, too. Pictured is Schiessentumpel Waterfall.

Photo: Shutterstock

The Douro Valley, Portugal
The Douro Valley, Portugal

The Douro Valley, Portugal

The Douro River flows through northern Spain and into the Atlantic at Porto, Portugal. This enchanting valley is a well-known wine region famous for its Port wines. Take in the stunning landscapes here by train or a boat up the river.

Photo: Shutterstock

The Faroe Islands, Denmark
The Faroe Islands, Denmark

The Faroe Islands, Denmark

Little houses with grassy rooftops, a lighthouse perched on the edge of the world, Puffins, waterfalls and colorful villages -- this place isn't kidding. The autonomous constituent of Denmark sits halfway between Scotland and Iceland in the Northeast Atlantic, and has vast swaths of preserved nature spread out on 18 islands. The name is derived from old Norse and means "Sheep Islands," a name given by the Viking-age settlers. Pictured is the village of Mikladalur, on the island of Kalsoy.

Photo: Shutterstock

Meteora, Greece
Meteora, Greece

Meteora, Greece

The Meteora is an immense natural rock pillar in central Greece with a large, precipitously built complex of Eastern Orthodox monasteries perched atop. Monks built and settled here as far back as the 11th century. Before 1920, the only way to reach the top was in a basket on a system of pulleys. Today there are stairs.

Photo: Shutterstock

Positano, Italy
Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

This charming cliffside village on Italy's Amalfi Coast is a popular vacation destination with steep, narrow streets and a pebbley beach. Its centerpiece is the beautiful 13th-century Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta with its majolica-tiled dome.

Photo: Shutterstock

The Hallerbos Forest, Belgium
The Hallerbos Forest, Belgium

The Hallerbos Forest, Belgium

This ancient forest carpeted with bluebells looks like something out of a fairy tale. In autumn it is carpeted with orange leaves. The forest is just a few miles outside of Brussels.

Photo: Shutterstock

Bled, Slovenia
Bled, Slovenia

Bled, Slovenia

The glacial Lake Bled sits at the foothills of the Julian Alps. An 11th-century castle sits on a cliff overlooking the lake, (in the picture at right) and on the island in the lake is the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria, with its steep staircase and bell tower. The Bled Castle is one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Photo: Shutterstock

Oludeniz, Turkey
Oludeniz, Turkey

Oludeniz, Turkey

A resort town on Turkey's southwest coast, Oludeniz has a stunning turqouise lagoon and a luxurious sandy beach. Nearby is the scenic Gemiler Island with its archeological ruins, and Butterfly Valley, which is home to a diverse population of butterflies.

Photo: Shutterstock

The Lofoten Islands, Norway
The Lofoten Islands, Norway

The Lofoten Islands, Norway

Norway's Lofoten Islands sit far above the Arctic Circle. This peaceful archipelago offers one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe and is inhabited only by a few fishermen. This is a good place for kayaking, fishing, and seeing the Northern lights.

Photo: Shutterstock

Kjerag, Norway
Kjerag, Norway

Kjerag, Norway

The Kjerag is a 3,642-foot mountain popular among hikers who can handle the 6- to 10-hour round trip to the top, which offers breathtaking views of the fjord below. You've may have seen pictures like this one of the Kjeragbolten, the boulder that is wedged between two mountain faces.

Photo: Shutterstock

Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Blagaj is a village with a Dervish monastery built around 1520 and features elements of Ottoman architecture. Nearby is the city of Mostar, which has one of the country's most beautiful bridges.

Photo: Shutterstock

St. Kilda, Scotland
St. Kilda, Scotland

St. Kilda, Scotland

This Scottish archipelago includes the westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides and has the highest cliffs in the United Kingdom, and it clamors with the sounds of thousands of sea birds and the roar of the ocean. The island contains unique architectural features from the late middle ages and prehistoric periods. Civilians were evacuated in 1930, and now only servicemen remain. 

Photo: Shutterstock

Omis, Croatia
Omis, Croatia

Omis, Croatia

This port town in the Dalmatia region of Croatia on the Adriatic is a popular tourist destination for its big sandy beaches, secluded coves and blue waters. It sits at the end of a scenic canyon.

Photo: Shutterstock

Algarve, Portugal
Algarve, Portugal

Algarve, Portugal

The beautiful Algarve region is the southernmost region of the country. The area features gorgeous beaches, golf resorts, and whitewashed fishing villages transformed into resorts. Pictured is one of the sea caves in the region.

Photo: Shutterstock

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

This forest reserve in central Croatia is known for a chain of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls, that extend into a limestone canyon. Walkways and hiking trails wind around and across the water, and an electric boat links the 12 upper lakes and four lower lakes.

Photo: Shutterstock

Trolltunga, Norway
Trolltunga, Norway

Trolltunga, Norway

Trolltunga ("Troll's tongue") is a rock formation that juts horizontally out from the cliff of a mountain, 3,600 feet above the lake Ringedalsvatnet in Norway. This might be one you've seen a few times on Instagram, but you can't beat the view, and it might help to know that some hikers end up waiting in line quite a while to get out on the Trolltunga to get that lonely-looking moment. The hike is a long and hard one, and takes about 10-12 hours round trip.

Photo: Shutterstock

Aix-en-Provence, France
Aix-en-Provence, France

Aix-en-Provence, France

Rolling hills, vineyards, purple lavender fields, red poppies and yellow sunflowers -- it's the stuff of the great impressionists and that's why so many of them painted the landscapes here.

Photo: Shutterstock

Ischia, Italy
Ischia, Italy

Ischia, Italy

Ischia, Italy is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Naples known for its mineral-rich thermal waters. The castle here dates as far back as 474 BC, the oldest in Europe. "The Talented Mr. Ripley" was filmed in Ischia.

Photo: Shutterstock

Dark Hedges, Ireland
Dark Hedges, Ireland

Dark Hedges, Ireland

If it looks like a scene from "Game of Thrones," it's because it is -- this avenue of beech trees along a road in Northern Ireland was used for a filming location depicting the King's Road in the show. The trees were planted along the entrance road when the estate was built in 1775, many of them are the originals.

Photo: Shutterstock

Isola Bella, Taormina, Italy
Isola Bella, Taormina, Italy

Isola Bella, Taormina, Italy

This little island near the beautiful town of Taormina, in Sicily, is picture-perfect. Audrey Hepburn used to spend her holidays here. A hotel sits just opposite the island.

Photo: Shutterstock

Madeira, Portugal
Madeira, Portugal

Madeira, Portugal

Four little islands off the northwest coast of Africa, Madeira is known for its wine of the same name, as well as its mild climate. There are plenty of hiking trails to experience the scenery and sub-tropical vegetation, ocean views, and waterfalls. Pictured here is the botanical garden in Funchal.

Photo: Shutterstock

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