This year, boost your mood, health and mindfulness with a day of discovery in one of Europe’s beautiful parks and gardens. Research shows that immersing ourselves in nature offers enormous benefits for both body and soul; absorbing the stillness, fresh air and tranquillity of these spectacular spaces is the perfect way to catch a breath. The following list of vibrant green oases are sure to inspire and delight: in easy reach of each of these European landmarks, there’s a historic hotel waiting to be explored.
Park Angiolina Opatija, Croatia
One of the most beautiful parks in all of Europe, Park Angiolina Opatija in Croatia is a lush, verdant paradise with stunning views and fragrant flowers. Visitors flock to this 20-hectare oasis to follow winding paths and observe numerous species of flora and fauna. The famous Villa Angiolina houses a museum with an impressive collection of artefacts from both modern and ancient times, bringing the story of the coastal town of Opatija to life.
Where to stay: Hotel Villa Astra
Ten minutes away from Park Angiolina Opatija by car, you’ll find the Hotel Villa Astra in the town of Lovran. With seven spacious double bedrooms, an intimate restaurant and a swimming pool, this Venetian Floral-Gothic hotel is a stunning destination in which to unwind.
Jurapark Krasiejów, Poland
Visitors to Jurapark Krasiejow will be transported back in time to a prehistoric era when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Located in the heart of Poland, this unique space is home to some of the most remarkable dinosaur fossil discoveries, meticulously preserved and reconstructed for visitors to the park. Wander through lush green forests and follow rugged trails, marvelling at the life-sized models of these impressive creatures.
Where to stay: Palac Lucja, Zakrzów
Two and a half hours away from Jurapark Krasiejow by car, Palac Lucja in Zakrzów is a striking butter-yellow property near picturesque St Anne’s Mountain. You’ll find 25 comfortably-furnished rooms, delicious food and welcoming hospitality in this historic Polish hotel.
Efteling Fairytale Park, Netherlands
A unique and magical destination, Efteling Fairytale Park in Kaatsheuvel has been delighting visitors since it opened in 1952. It brings nostalgic fairy tales, myths and legends to life through stunningly detailed landscapes, charming characters and captivating rides. One of the largest theme (and most unique) parks in Europe, Efteling Fairytale Park attracts over five million visitors every year.
Where to stay: Golden Tulip Hotel Central, Hertogenbosch
You’ll find Golden Tulip Hotel Central just a 25-minute drive from Efteling Fairytale Park. Impeccable interiors, attentive staff and unique design features combine to make this a truly indulgent holiday destination.
Connemara National Park, Ireland
Spread across 2,000 hectares, Connemara National Park in Mayo is an unmissable natural wonder. Home to a variety of wildlife and wild ponies, you’ll find yourself keen to explore its many trails, losing yourself in the beauty of nature. A trip to the summit of breathtaking Diamond Hill yields spectacular views of Kylemore Abbey and the nearby Twelve Bens mountain range.
Where to stay: Renvyle House Hotel & Resort, Galway
Fifteen minutes north of Connemara National Park is Renvyle House Hotel & Resort, a four-star country house hotel. Located on a 150-acre estate, this coastal destination charms its guests with leisure activities, delicious food and comfortable rooms and suites.
Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park, Norway
Nestled in the heart of Norway lies the stunning Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park, a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Spanning over 1,600 square kilometres, this vast wilderness is home to an array of rare and unique flora and fauna. From the majestic musk oxen to the vibrant Arctic poppy, the park boasts an impressive diversity of wildlife and plant life. Hiking through the rugged terrain of Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella is an experience like no other, with breathtaking mountain vistas and crystal-clear streams at every turn. Don’t miss the chance to witness the park’s iconic reindeer, or take a dip in one of its many secluded lakes. With so much to explore, Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking adventure in Norway.
Where to stay: Phillipshaugen Lodge, Øksendal
Located at the feet of the Øksendal mountains, Phillipshaugen Lodge is surrounded by the beauty of nature. Delicious food and warm hospitality are the hallmarks of a stay at the historic lodge, established in 1899. Relax in the garden, terrace and restaurant and experience the magnificence of the Øksendal region.
This intriguing garden was created by British botanist Ethelbert Lort Phillips, a world traveller who brought many rare plants and birds he encountered on his adventures home to roost here. Located in Leikvin, 7km from Sunndalsøra in northeast Norway, Phillipshagen is a true oasis — the perfect spot for a picnic, surrounded by unusual flora and fauna. The flowering of the immense rhododendrons is a sight not to be missed.
Tivoli Park, Slovenia
The largest green space in the magnificent city of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tivoli Park is the epitome of a well-designed urban landscape. With more than 100 hours worth of walking trails, it’s easy to immerse yourself in exploration, following paths lined with beautiful flower beds, lush trees, and tranquil streams.
Where to stay: Antiq Palace, Ljubljana
A 20-minute walk into the heart of Ljubljana city centre, a distinctive stone archway marks the entrance to Antiq Palace. A luxurious 16th-century palace hotel, Antiq Palace was designed originally as the residential palace of noble Slovenian families, it’s brimming with character and stories — the perfect base from which to explore the many delights of Slovenia.
Strasbourg Botanic Gardens, France
Open daily with free entry, Strasbourg Botanic Gardens are the second oldest botanical gardens in France (after Montpellier Botanical Gardens). Located in the heart of Strasbourg’s Imperial Quarter, the gardens are home to nearly 6,000 plant species as well as remarkable specimens like the pecan tree, a giant Sequoia and five bald cypress trees. Don’t miss the two-storey greenhouse, a treasure trove for tropical greenery.
Where to stay: Hotel Le Bouclier d’Or, Strasbourg
A 25 minute westerly walk from the gardens will bring you to Hotel Le Bouclier d’Or, a gorgeous four-star hotel with historic features that span many centuries. Twenty-two spacious rooms and suites are decorated in either Alsatian or Bourgeois style and you’ll encounter the highest level of hospitality.
Rodini Park, Greece
A mere 3km from the city centre of Rhodes, the intricately designed Rodini Park is renowned for its peaceful atmosphere. Wander through groves of cypress and pine trees and enjoy the sight and sound of the swift-flowing stream. Peacocks roam freely throughout the flora-filled spaces, while an exclusive playground and mini zoo are sure to keep younger travellers entertained.
Where to stay: Allegory Boutique Hotel, Rhodes
A ten-minute drive from Rodini Park is Allegory Boutique Hotel, a unique hotel that occupies a cluster of historic townhouses in the mediaeval heart of Rhodes. Six impressive suites preserve original wooden beams, while earthy colours, thoughtful decor, artwork and rugged stone walls create character throughout.
Schönbrunn Palace Gardens, Vienna
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Schönbrunn Palace Gardens is an awe-inspiring destination within the elegant city of Vienna. Opened to the public around 1779, it is now one of Austria’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing over two million visitors a year. The historic Desert House (formerly known as Sundial House) is worth a visit to explore its valuable collection of succulents.
Where to say: Hotel Erzherzog Rainer, Vienna
Proudly serving guests for over 100 years, Hotel Erzherzog Rainer is a Viennese institution. Located in the vibrant neighbourhood of Freihausviertel, it’s surrounded by artisan stores, galleries and cafés and just a stone’s throw many hotspots and must-see attractions.
Immerse yourself in nature on your next holiday and check our page about Parks & Gardens in Europe which is updated frequently.