If the Big Bad Wolf would have chased Little Red Riding Hood in one of these forests, the end to the famous fairy tale would have been very different because these storybook forests actually exist and given their enchantment, there could only be a happy ending.
Otzarreta Forest (Spain)
This precious beech tree grove is located in the Gorbea Natural Park. It is a Basque orchard taken directly from one of the stories of the Brothers Grimm. In summer, the sun penetrates the tops of the trees and bathes the forest with light. However in winter, the beech grove is especially beautiful as it is flooded with a heavy fog that bestows every last corner an enchanted and mysterious halo.
Such foliage is also an example of sustainable farming, given periodical pruning of the trees for firewood and to make coal. This controlled pruning facilitates vertical growth, rather than horizontal growth common to beech trees, making this beech grove much more special.
Nagoya Forest (Japan)
The Nagoya Forest, in the region of Chubu, overflows with spirituality as it forms part of an important Shinto cultural center and is a popular oasis in the middle of the city.
It is formed by more than 20 hectares of evergreen trees, such as Sakaki (a variety of Camellia), oak and Japanese honeysuckle. There even exists a camphor tree dating back a thousand years.
The month of May is ideal to visit Nagoya because the forest is taken over by hundreds of dragonflies. As they begin to shine at dusk, the dragonflies surround visitors in a cloud of small lights, floating in the air like little fairies.
Beskydy Forests (Czech Republic)
These forests grow on the back of the Carpathian Mountains, in the Beskydy Protected Landscape Area, and given their great expanse, make up the largest protected landscape in the Czech Republic. The wild vegetation and peculiar wooded architecture of the area create a beautiful backdrop that few places in Europe can boast.
In winter, the entire landscape is covered in snow, offering ideal ski conditions. In summer, the landscape can be explored by following marked routes that cross meadows filled with sheep. Take advantage to taste the local cheeses of the region that are full of incredible flavor!
Hallerbos Forest (Belgium)
Just 30 kilometers from Brussels you can find one of the most beautiful treasures in Belgium: the Hallerbos, also known as the blue forest. During the months of April and May, a dense carpet of wild morning glories and hyacinths covers the forest floor, creating an infinite path of blue and violet.
The flowers extend across the entire surface, reaching all the way to the banks of the streams that cross the forest, as if someone had painted the grove with an enormous brush.
The forest is known for its variety of fauna where various species can be found, such as birds, squirrels, amphibians and vultures.
So if you are considering visiting Belgium this spring, this is a blue treasure you should be sure not to miss!
Slieve Bloom (Ireland)
Slieve Bloom Mountains can be found at the heart of Ireland, linking the counties of Offaly and Laois. Moss cascades and fern forests convert this remote setting into an emerald gem, far from the typical touristic circuits.
The natural park is seldom visited, despite having established areas for camping and walking trails up to 35 kilometers where one can observe birds, moles, otters and deer. If elves were to exist, they would surely live in this forest!