Nature and Climate
Find out about Austria's weather and climate, wildlife and plants and its broad variety of landscapes.
Due to the relatively large West-East expanse, Austria is divided into three different climatic regions:
- East: Pannonian climate with a continental influence – low precipitation, hot summers, but only moderately cold winters.
- Alpine Regions: Alpine climate - high precipitation (except inner alpine valley regions such as the Upper Inntal), short summers, long winters.
- Remainder of the Country: Transient climate influenced by the Atlantic (in the West) and a continental influence in the South-East.
In Austria, one can mostly find characteristics of a Central European fauna, with species including deer, stag, rabbit, pheasant or fox.
Native to the Alpine regions are the chamois, groundhog, eagle and mountain jackdaw, whereas the Pannonian fauna is popular for its vast bird population in the reed beds of the Neusiedler See such as heron, spoonbill, wild goose and many more.
In recent years, Austria has become home again to a small bear population, which can mainly be found in the heavily wooded Southern and Central mountainous regions.
The diversity of climatic conditions accounts for the country's species-rich flora. Austria is one of Europe's most wooded countries. Characteristic are the hardwood forest (oak, beech), the mixed forest (beech, fir) and in higher altitude regions fir, larch and pine.
Especially diverse and colourful is the Alpine flora, which includes Edelweiss, Arnica, Alpine Rose, Heather and much more.
The Northern edge of the Alps is especially dominated by grassland. Typical in the Pannonian region are the scrub forest, mixed deciduous forest and the steppe moors. East of Lake Neusiedl one finds a unique salt steppe flora.
Austria's national parks, that stretch across 3 percent of the whole country, show the diversity of the landscape with its partly unique natural landscapes, such as the rain and primeval forests.
National Parks and Biosphere Reserves in Austria
Austria's strictly protected national parks and biosphere reserves offer visitors the chance to discover nature in its original, untouched state first-hand.Find your favourite
Austria's Most Beautiful Lakes: Cool down the Austrian Way
Austria's most beautiful bathing lakes to spend a summer day swimming, paddling - or just lazing around all day.Pick your favourite
Austria’s Prettiest Places, According to Austrians
Find out about the magical places chosen by Austrians as the country’s most beautiful spots.Where are the top spots?