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Port-Cros, France

Port-Cros is the smallest of the three Iles d’Or off the Côte d’Azur. Just one kilometre wide and three long, its hilly, wild terrain is crossed by signed trails and its ridges provide fantastic views of the sparkling sea.

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Rago, Norway

Even the non-national park bits of the Nordland region of Norway are spectacular. Rago itself is a particularly impressive sight to behold. Rugged rock formations, boulders and steep mountains jut out of the often other-worldly landscape.

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Kalkalpen, Austria

Four-fifths of Kalkalpen national park is given over to forest, forming the largest forested region in central Europe. Cutting through the dense trees are rivers, canyons and gorges, popular with rock climbers, as well as cyclists, walkers and skiers.

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Sarek, Sweden

Things you won’t find in Sarek: marked trails, cabins, cafes, other people. Things you will find: about 100 glaciers, six of Sweden’s highest summits and white-water rapids. The tourist board advises good map-reading skills and knowledge of this type of terrain for those who want to visit.

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Saxon Switzerland, Germany

Dramatic and unusual landscapes fill this region in eastern Germany (not Switzerland), which has more than 700 summits for rock climbers and hundreds of kilometres of marked hiking trails. The park’s prime attraction has to be the Bastei, a rock formation towering 194 metres above the river Elbe.