Expat Club visits incredibly beautiful places. Some of them can justifiably be called as natural wonders. And since we are traveling to increasingly farther places, we are adding more and more of them to our calendar. Still, as you can see below, you do not necessarily have to travel far to see some of them. Some are just a short bus ride away from Brussels.
The Strokkur Geysir at about 2 hours driving from Reykjavik is a feisty lady. Erupting thousands of liters of piping hot water every 7 to 8 minutes, it is a true marvel to to see. Around it you will find several bubbling hot pools of mud. We visit this destination on our annual trip to Iceland in the fall.
VESUVIO NEAR NAPLES (ITALY)
With its last eruption in 1944, the Vesuvius volcano near Naples is still considered to be active. This fire-spitter caused the death of thousands of citizens of Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 A.D. Nowadays you can drive and walk up and look straight into its beautiful crater.
AURORA BOREALIS (TROMSØ, ROVANIEMI & ICELAND)
Besides the “fakest” but incredibly lovely and nice destination of Rovaniemi in Lapland, Santa’s official hometown, another reason to visit this town would be to go for Aurora Borealis hunting. Expat Club offers trips to Norway, Iceland and Lapland in Finland, to witness this out-of-this-world natural wonder. In the future we may also witness it in Alaska.
WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER (UNITED KINGDOM)
Visible from France on a clear day, the White Cliffs of Dover are the iconic gateway to England. Spreading out over many miles and towering up to 100 meters above the Channel, they provide an incredible view from the dozens of ferries that come into Dover Harbor every day.
MATTERHORN, ZERMATT (SWITZERLAND)
Although this mountain is called Il Cervino from the Italian side, with the village Cervinia at its base, the Matterhorn is undoubtedly one of Switzerland most iconic natural wonder. Towering 4.478 meters above sea level, this monolith can only be conquered by the most experienced climbers. For the less experienced people, Zermatt Air can fly you around it as well.
THE FJORDS (NORWAY)
Although Norway is a rather stretched country, it does not explain why it has the world’s third longest coastline (after Indonesia and Canada). Of course the total length of over 58.000km can only be explained by the spectacular fjords that reach from the Atlantic Ocean deep inland. Every year we travel to the far North and visit Tromsø, from where you can see the Northern Lights.
PLITVIČE AND KRKA NATIONAL PARKS (CROATIA)
One of Europe’s most impressive natural wonders can be found in the Adriatic country Croatia. Numerous water basins at various heights are connected through an intricate system of waterfalls, with walking paths in between for us to enjoy. The Plitviče Lakes National Park is one of the highlights on our Croatia trip in the Spring. Equally impressive are the falls in the Krka National Park.
BLACK FOREST (GERMANY)
One of the largest forests in Western Europe can be found in the German State of Baden-Würtemberg, the Black Forest. Home of the Cuckoo clocks (who hasn’t one?), the forest is dense with evergreen, high hills and picturesque villages. We always stop in Freiburg, the largest city, and drive through it on our way to the first destination on our Stunning Switzerland trip in the summer.
RHINE FALLS, SCHAFFHAUSEN (SWITZERLAND)
On the border with Germany, the Rhine river literally falls into Switzerland before meandering through the Swiss landscape again back into Germany. These are Europe’s largest waterfalls and offer a fantastic sight from both sides, or on a little island right in the middle.
GULFOSS WATERFALL (ICELAND)
There are countless waterfalls in Iceland, but the Gulfoss is the largest of them all. Dropping down in two stages towards the Atlantic, it offers a spectacular sight in the summer and winter alike.
AARE GORGE (SWITZERLAND)
More water wonders, the Aare Gorge in Central Switzerland is a steep gorge carved out by the Aare river that originates from countless streams in the Grimsel valley. During our Switzerland trip we’ll take 45-60 minutes to walk through it before driving up the beautiful Grimselpass.
NATURAL BRIDGE ÉTRETAT (FRANCE)
One of Claude Monet’s favorite places to paint, Étretat on the French side of the Channel is a true gem of a coastal city. The only thing missing is a white sandy beach — it is rather rocky — but the primary reason to visit Étretat would be the natural bridges that stick out into the sea.
The closest natural wonder at just 45 minutes from Place Schuman, the Hallerbos attracts tourist from around the world. Every April it blooms with millions of bluebells. A fantastic sight!
TULIP FIELDS (HOLLAND)
OKAY, we get it, the Dutch tulip fields are not natural wonders. It’s all planted, and even the tulips are literally designed, both in color and shape. But notwithstanding these technical details, the tulips are living things and seeing endless flower beds in all colors is just incredibly beautiful. Point made, you have to see this for yourself!
ALETSCH GLACIER (SWITZERLAND)
Europe’s largest glacier originates among other big mountains from the Jungfrau and Eiger. During our Stunning Switzerland trip we look at this natural wonder from the South Side by ascending the 2900 meters high Eggishorn.
CAVES OF HAN-SUR-LESSE (BELGIUM)
An absolute must-see destination in Belgium, the caves of Han-sur-Lesse are one of a kind. Having received 3 stars in the famous Michelin guide, you can walk through it for about 1 mile, taking you through endless corridors and incredible large rooms with thousands of stalactites and stalagmites.