Nationalpark Hohe Tauern
Over three hundred glaciers, ten thousand animal species and countless jaw-dropping vistas make the Alps' largest nature reserve also its most memorable. Cultural artifacts and natural wonders compete for your attention. The National Park Center -- open daily -- makes for a perfect base camp as you set out to explore this magnificent Austrian treasure.
It's a crystal-clear day, and you're standing in the middle of Hohe Tauern Nationalpark, by far the biggest of Austria's seven national parks -- not to mention the largest nature reserve in the Alps and home to some of the country's most majestic mountains. The famed Grossglockner, one of the Alps’ tallest peaks, towers over its peers at 12,461 feet.
You'll start your journey at the National Park Center in Mittersill, being sure to catch the Eagle's Flight Panorama, a 3-D computer animation that renders a bird’s eye view of the mountains. Next come the Avalanche-Waterfall Dome and the World of Glaciers. A day hike -- one of thirty available -- with a National Park Ranger offers an intimate glimpse of Alpine flora and fauna, plus fascinating local history: Centuries of conservation efforts have successfully preserved cultural sites from Roman times to the Middle Ages, and beyond. Few places in all of Austria let you pack as much into a single day, or leave quite such an impression.