7 of the best wildlife destinations in Europe

Decades of David Attenborough documentaries have opened our eyes to our planet’s astonishing biodiversity, from the lush rainforests of the tropics to the vast penguin colonies of Antarctica. Yet with so many fantastic tour operators specialising in wildlife holidays to all corners of the globe, it’s easy to overlook the rich ecosystems and remarkable species that we have on our doorstep here in Europe.

 

A European wildlife-themed tour is a way to reconnect with nature, learn more about the challenges that our native species face, and discover another side to familiar destinations. It’s also a great option if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint by holidaying closer to home, and you may find you return from your trip with a new-found passion for the natural world, or a desire to learn more about conservation and rewilding.

 

So this year, why not swap the Serengeti for Spain, the Amazon for the Azores, or the Galapagos for the Outer Hebrides? To inspire your next trip, we’ve picked out seven of the best wildlife destinations in Europe...

 

  1. Finland

The forests of eastern Finland are one of the best places in the world to view brown bears safely at close quarters, and an encounter with these magnificent beasts is an unforgettable experience. Explore! offer a popular 4-day ‘Brown Bear Weekend’ break, where you’ll spend the night in a hide observing bears, with the chance to also see owls, wolverines, foxes and elk.

 

  1. Spain

Spain is not the first country that comes to mind when you think of wildlife, yet this is where you’ll find the world’s most endangered cat species, the Iberian lynx. On Shearings’ 8-day ‘Traditions of Andalucia’ tour you’ll have the opportunity to visit Doñana National Park, situated just a few miles from the Costa del Sol and home to wildlife including lynx, wild boar, mongoose, deer and Spanish eagles.

 

  1. Iceland

Iceland is best known for its geothermal wonders and otherworldly landscapes, but it’s also a fantastic wildlife destination, particularly once you take to the water. Discover The World offer a special ‘Into the Blue - Whale Watching in Iceland’ tour which includes whale watching excursions in three different locations, with the chance to spot species including sperm whales, humpbacks and orcas. And keep your eyes peeled for Iceland’s rich birdlife, including puffins, white-tailed eagles, guillemots, kittiwakes and eider ducks.

 

  1. Scotland

The craggy coastlines and brooding islands of western Scotland support a magnificent array of wildlife, including dolphins, seals and seabirds galore. Set sail from Oban on St Hilda Sea Adventures’ 5-night ‘Inner Hebrides Wildlife Cruise’ and search for otters, sea eagles and maybe even a spot of sunshine as you cruise amongst misty lochs, ancient forests and colourful fishing harbours.

 

  1. Belarus

Belarus is probably not even on your radar as a holiday destination, but this enigmatic former Soviet state is one of the last places where you can still see the primeval forest that once carpeted Europe. On Intrepid’s 9-day ‘Highlights of Belarus’ tour you’ll visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, part of the UNESCO-listed Bialowieza Forest, home to centuries-old oak and pine trees, wolves, elk and European bison, the continent’s largest land mammal. 

 

  1. Romania 

Romania is home to a surprising diversity of landscapes, and much of the country remains wild and untamed. Spend 11 days exploring with Exoticca’s ‘Mysteries of Transylvania & Danube Delta’ tour and you’ll experience the best that the country has to offer, from the mountains that inspired Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ to the incredible birdlife of the Danube Delta. This important wetland habitat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to species including pelicans, egrets, vultures, eagles, cranes and ibis.

 

  1. Azores

This Portuguese archipelago out in the Atlantic is perhaps stretching the geographical definition of Europe, but it’s still a relatively short flight to get here from the UK. On land you’ll find spectacular volcanic scenery, pretty villages and bubbling hot springs, while the surrounding seas are rich in marine life. Saga’s 14-night ‘Whale Watching in the Azores’ itinerary takes you to four different islands in search of cetaceans, with the chance to spot humpback, fin, pilot, sperm and sei whales, bottlenose and common dolphins, and perhaps even the magnificent blue whale

Find Wildlife Tours

Money saving   Don’t forget you’ll receive a cashback on selected trips booked through TourHound. Sign in here.
21 Nights

Rajasthan Panorama

Rajasthan conjures up images of maharajas and palaces and is regarded as one of the most colourful and exciting states in all of India. Marvel at the beauty of this region’s diverse landscapes, as you travel across deserts, lakes and national parks.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £68pp
Starts:UK
Ends: UK
Group Size:8- 28
Operator:Wendy Wu

What’s included
  • image
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £3390pp including flights £161 per night View
show more
14 Nights

Highlights of Sri Lanka

Marvel at magnificent temples, see the World Heritage Rock Fortress at Sigiriya, search for elephants and other wild animals at Yala National Park, discover the fascinating caves at Dambulla and explore the ruined cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £61pp
Starts:UK
Ends: UK
Group Size:8- 28
Operator:Wendy Wu

What’s included
  • image
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £3490
£3065pp including flights
£219 per night View
show more
9 Nights

Golden Triangle

The fabled Golden Triangle is the classic introduction to the vast and beautiful India.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £46pp
Starts:UK
Ends: UK
Group Size:8- 28
Operator:Wendy Wu

What’s included
  • image
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £2290pp including flights £254 per night View
show more
17 Nights

Kerala & the Southern Highlights

This fascinating tour will entice even the most widely travelled individual. Southern India is very different from the north, providing stark contrasts between spices, food, cultures and climate.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £68pp
Starts:UK
Ends: UK
Group Size:8- 28
Operator:Wendy Wu

What’s included
  • image
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £3390pp including flights £199 per night View
show more
17 Nights

Highlights of India

From the desert forts of Rajasthan, past the magnificent Taj Mahal and on to holy Varanasi – this tour covers many of northern India’s incredible highlights.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £76pp
Starts:UK
Ends: UK
Group Size:8- 28
Operator:Wendy Wu

What’s included
  • image
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £3790pp including flights £223 per night View
show more
13 Nights

Inspiring India

India - You'd be mad not to go!" - Joanna Lumley

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £54pp
Starts:UK
Ends: UK
Group Size:8- 28
Operator:Wendy Wu

What’s included
  • image
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £2690pp including flights £207 per night View
show more
28 Nights

Grand Tour of India

Become acquainted with one of the most vibrant countries in the world. Embark on a journey from the deserts of Rajasthan in the north, to the backwaters of Kerala in the south, to experience this land of extraordinary contrasts.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £128pp
Starts:UK
Ends: UK
Group Size:8- 28
Operator:Wendy Wu

What’s included
  • image
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £6390pp including flights £228 per night View
show more
12 Nights

Walking in the Rockies

Enjoy hiking in some of the most beautiful scenery on earth - the spectacular and rugged Rocky Mountains. Visit stunning national parks, including Kootenay, Yoho and Jasper discovering unspoilt views of jagged mountain peaks, glaciers and waterfalls as we explore on foot.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £49pp
Starts:Calgary
Ends:Calgary Airport
Group Size:4- 12
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Explore!

What’s included
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £2430pp excluding flights £203 per night View
show more
12 Nights

Backroads Of Kerala

On this cycling tour of southern India we travel into Kerala's rural backwaters.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £28pp
Starts:Kovalam
Ends:Kochi
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Easy
Operator:Explore!

What’s included
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £1739
£1391pp excluding flights
£116 per night View
show more
12 Nights

Senegal and Gambia River Cruise

On this African adventure we discover two different nations: tropical Gambia and exotic Senegal.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £32pp
Starts:Dakar
Ends:Dakar
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Explore!

What’s included
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £1575pp excluding flights £131 per night View
show more
14 Nights

Madagascar Wilderness Trek

Verdant rainforests and dramatic landscapes are the setting for this hiking adventure in Madagascar.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £39pp
Starts:Antananarivo
Ends:Antananarivo
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Explore!

What’s included
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £1945pp excluding flights £139 per night View
show more
15 Nights

Central American Highlights

This trip crosses five Central American countries in just two weeks, taking in rich wildlife, rainforests and volcanoes, as well as sacred Maya sites, revolutionary cities and local indigenous villages.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £42pp
Starts:Antigua
Ends:San Jose
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:FullOn
Operator:Explore!

What’s included
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £2099pp excluding flights £140 per night View
show more
23 Nights

Himalayan Kingdoms

High amongst lofty mountains, embark on an incredible journey through the breathtaking Indian state of Sikkim and the magical kingdom of Bhutan, a lesser known but truly spectacular section of the Himalayas

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £120pp
Starts:UK
Ends: UK
Group Size:8- 18
Operator:Wendy Wu

What’s included
  • image
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £5990pp including flights £260 per night View
show more
10 Nights

On Foot in Kerala

Discover the diversity of tropical Kerala on this walking holiday to India's far south.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £16pp
Starts:Kochi
Ends:Kochi, Kerala, India
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Explore!

What’s included
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £995
£796pp excluding flights
£80 per night View
show more
12 Nights

Contrasts Of Colombia

Colombia is currently one of South America’s most exciting destinations, with a rich cultural heritage, many areas of outstanding natural beauty and a notoriously friendly and welcoming population.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £46pp
Starts:Bogota
Ends:Cartagena
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Explore!

What’s included
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £2299pp excluding flights £192 per night View
show more
7 Nights

Krakow to Budapest Adventure

On this trip we discover the historical European cities of Krakow and Budapest.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £20pp
Starts:Krakow
Ends:Budapest
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:Full On
Operator:Explore!

What’s included
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £995pp excluding flights £142 per night View
show more
12 Nights

Indian Wildlife Adventure

Joining an adventure deep in to the heart of India, we discover magnificent wildlife and scenery in four different national parks that have one wonderful thing in common: Bengal tigers!

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £42pp
Starts:Bhopal
Ends:Mumbai
Group Size:4- 14
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Explore!

What’s included
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £2650
£2120pp excluding flights
£177 per night View
show more
13 Nights

Adventures In Patagonia

On this trip through Argentina and Chile, we walk among the glacial lakes and mountain ranges of Torres del Paine National Park, discover the captivating city of Buenos Aires and admire views of the awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £60pp
Starts:Buenos Aires
Ends:Buenos Aires
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Explore!

What’s included
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £2999pp excluding flights £231 per night View
show more
16 Nights

Adventures In Patagonia + Iguazu Extension

On this trip through Argentina and Chile, we walk among the glacial lakes and mountain ranges of Torres del Paine National Park, discover Buenos Aires and admire views of the awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £73pp
Starts:Buenos Aires
Ends:Buenos Aires
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Explore!

What’s included
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £3669pp excluding flights £229 per night View
show more
7 Nights

Walking in Portugal - Eastern Algarve

Based in the historic town of Tavira, this walking trip combines scenic coastal and inland walking.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £15pp
Starts:Tavira
Ends:Tavira
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Easy
Operator:Explore!

What’s included
  • image
  • icon5
compareCompare £770pp excluding flights £110 per night View
show more
filter
Filter options

Africa Australasia Central America Central Asia Europe Far East Indian Subcontinent Middle East North America Polar South America South East Asia
tour hound
Why TourHound?