Weirdest Places in Europe: 8 Unusual Natural Wonders


Europe is best known for its delicious cuisine, historical architecture, art scene and rich cultural heritage. But some of the weirdest places in Europe are also full of natural wonders that you have to see to believe.

If you haven’t been, you might have the islands of Greece, fjords of Norway and the Swiss Alps on your bucket list. But that’s not all there is to this diverse continent. It is also home to some of the greatest wonders of nature. Some of these are beyond extraordinary and deserve a special mention.

Come with us as we uncover the most bizarre natural attractions on this beautiful continent.


Soca River, Slovenia/Italy

Visitors describe it as one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe and for good reason. The Isonzo (Italian) or Soca River is world famous for its stunning turquoise waters. It is among just a handful of rivers with this captivating color. This surreal appearance is part of the reason Disney chose this destination to shoot the film Prince Caspian. But appearance is not the only reason it makes the cut for our list of weirdest places in Europe.

The river begins its journey in Trenta Valley from the springs of one of peaks of the Julian Alps. Right from the start the water is crystal clear. It winds its way through cascades and waterfalls, through panoramic landscapes in alpine meadows. Part of its path runs through stunning karst terrain featuring caves, sinkholes and limestone formations. It forms exhilarating rapids along the way and eventually ends up in the Adriatic Sea.

The 138-kilometer-long river is incredibly clear all the way, offering visibility to great depths. It is therefore a popular destination for whitewater rafting, kayaking and other water adventures. Other water activities here include canyoning and hydrospeeding. The water is also remarkable in that it remains icy cold even at the peak of summer. Seeing as it runs through the Triglav National Park, this river sits in the heart of natural beauty.

Stone Forest (Pobiti Kamani), Bulgaria

Over an area of about 8 kilometers on the coast of the Bulgarian Black Sea is one of the weirdest places in Europe. It closely resembles an archaeological site but is in fact a product of nature at its best. Pobiti Kamani, or the Stone Forest, consists of broken pillars of stone of varying sizes.

They occur in groups, with one of the largest groups boasting 300 columns of up to six meters in height. Some are hollow while others are solid; none of them have a solid foundation. Rather, they stick loosely to the ground. The Bulgarian name Pobiti Kamani in fact means “stones beaten into the ground.” To date, geologists are yet to establish how they formed.

Pink Granite Coast, France

In keeping with its romantic image, France boasts an entire coastline of romantic rose-pink rocks. Extending all the way from Brehat to Trebeurden, this bizarre landscape covers about 16 kilometers. It consists of the rarest type of granite, pink granite. Only two other destinations in the world have a similar coastline – in Corsica and in China.

The fascinating rocks in the coast of France are a product of volcanic activity. They came into existence when magma rose to the surface and slowly cooled to form granite. It was initially a mountainous massif but with thousands of years of erosion, it turned into a granite massif. Further erosion fractured the massif into the beautiful pink rocks. Birds love this natural wonder just as much as humans. Vast colonies of cormorants, gannets and puffins reside here.

Blue Caves, Greece

The Blue Caves of Greece are not just one of the weirdest places in Europe. They are also among the most beautiful works of nature anywhere in the world. Though there are multiple blue caves sites in the country, each of them offers an incredible visual experience. When the sun hits the waters in these caves, they turn into various shades of blue. Each of these caves has natural windows that allow sunlight to work its magic on the water.

Some of the most famous among these are the caves of Zakynthos Island and the Blue Grotto on Kastellorizo. In Zakynthos, the phenomenon is visible around limestone formations. These formations are remnants of ancient caves. The best time to see the visual show here is between morning and noon. It’s not just the waters that turn blue, but the limestone walls too.

Kastellorizo’s Blue Grotto offers a bit of a caving adventure. The entrance to the caves is just one meter high. It requires the right sea conditions and a small boat to squeeze through. Once you make it inside, the cave is about 35 meters high. The water here turns a vibrant shade of turquoise, lighting up the entire cave. Plan your trip in the morning for the best light effect.

Cave of Crystals (Giant Geode of Pulpi), Spain

Caves seem to hold special significance among the weirdest places in Europe. Yet another cave in Spain makes the list, this time thanks to the enormity of its crystals. The Pulpi Geode is the largest crystal cave globally. Located in Andalusia, Spain, the cave itself is 11 cubic meters (390 cubed feet). Inside, it has selenite gypsum crystals that grow to a length of up to 2m (6ft+) and 8m (26ft) wide.

Though the crystals stopped growing tens of thousands of years ago, it was only in 1999 that geologists found it. Authorities opened it to tourists in 2019. The only comparable crystal wonderland in the world is the famous Naica Mine in Mexico. Its crystals grow to a length of 15m (49ft).

Petrifying Well, England

For a long time, this strange attraction baffled residents and visitors alike. Any objects thrown into this well would turn into stone within a span of three to five months. Initially, locals attributed it to witchcraft, but modern science has cracked the mystery.

As one of England’s oldest attractions, the petrifying well has received visitors since 1630. It sits in the heart of yet another cave, Mother Shipton’s Cave. Its secret lies in the high mineral content of the water. It comes from an underground aquifer and consists of calcium carbonate, zinc, magnesium, aluminum and iron. This combination of minerals forms a type of limestone around objects as water evaporates.

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Among the most iconic natural attractions in Europe is the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast. This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of huge basalt columns. The approximately 40,000 columns are a product of volcanic action. The hexagonal stones sit against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and are intricately interlocked.

This entire area resembles a huge puzzle board. In some spots, it forms an artistic pavement and in others, it rises to form geometric hills. In all, this natural wonder covers an area of 70 hectares. You can enjoy a great view from the dramatic cliffs surrounding the coastline. But you can also follow a footpath all the way to the ocean walking on these amazing rocks.

Silfra Rift, Iceland

One of the weirdest places in Europe offers you a diving adventure between two continents. This rift runs through Iceland separating the North American and Erasian tectonic plates. It has remarkable visibility up to 100 meters, ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. It is the only place on the planet where you get to dive between two continental plates.

The water in this fissure is glacial meltwater coming from a nearby glacier, Lanjokull. Before it gets to the spring feeding the fissure, it goes through an extensive filtration process through layers of lava. As a result, it is very pure, explaining the visibility. But due to its glacial source, it is also extremely cold year-round. It never freezes and is therefore accessible throughout.

The rift widens by about 2cm every year and during earthquakes, there are remarkable shifts in the depths. This is therefore a living diving site with new caverns and tunnels to explore every time you visit. To see this rift, come to Thingvellir National Park and get into the waters of the Thingvalavatn Lake. (The national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site).


Uncover the Unexpected in the Strangest Places in Europe

If you love to have your mind blown, these are some of the most fascinating destinations to visit. The weirdest places in Europe showcase the mystery and power of nature at its best. They are a great demonstration of what natural forces can achieve when left to their devices.

Though Europe is among the smallest continents, it is full of hidden gems for nature lovers, if you know where to look. For ecofriendly destination lovers, consider visiting some of its lesser-known ecotourism spots while you are here. Explore additional extraordinary attractions in the bizarre natural wonders of Asia and the weirdest natural wonders of Africa.

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