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    National Parks in Austria

    Austria's six national parks offer visitors the chance to discover nature in its original, untouched state and to come face to face with scenic beauty.

     

    What is a National Park?

    National Parks are designated by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) based on strict criteria. In these spaces, preserving ecosystems is the number one priority. They also offer uniquely pristine surroundings to be enjoyed by visitors.

    1. Hohe Tauern National Park in Carinthia, Tirol, and SalzburgerLand

    Austria’s oldest and biggest National Park is known for its biodiversity: 50% of all Austrian animal species (10,000 in total) can be found here, including golden eagles, chamois, and marmots. The area’s rich, beautiful landscapes include Weißsee Glacier World, Pasterze glacier (Austria’s biggest glacier, where you’ll catch an icy breeze even at the height of summer), and Europe’s highest waterfalls, the Krimml falls.

    Siezenbach in spring
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    Gesäuse National Park

    Facts & Figures

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    • Area
      1,800 km2 / 444,790 ac
    • Provinces
      Carinthia, Tirol, Salzburger Land
    • Highest mountain
      Großglockner
    • Altitude
      1,000 – 3,798 m / 3,281 – 12,461 ft
    • Hiking trails
      4,300 km / 2,672 mi
    • Animal species
      10,000
    • Geology
      1% bodies of water, 32% agriculture, 54% glaciers, scree corridors, cliffs, and heaths

    5 Must-Sees at Hohe Tauern National Park

    Krimml Waterfalls

    Feel the cool spray on your face: Crashing down over 385 metres (1,263 ft) in cascades, these are Europe’s highest waterfalls.

    Adorable Marmots

    Usually shy, some of these large rodents have gotten used to people and can be spotted at the Hohe Tauern National Park. Listen for their distinctive whistle which is used to warn others of impending danger.

    Weißsee Glacier World

    The area's snowy 3,000-metre (9,843 ft) peaks and deep blue Alpine lakes make for a great day trip.

    Rock-Climbing Chamois

    One of Austria’s most iconic animals, the chamois is found on sheer mountain peaks at altitudes of 1,000 – 3,500 m (3,281 – 11,483 ft).

    Hiking with Park Rangers

    Wildlife watching, discovering ferns and moss, learning about local insects: A ranger-led hike gives you insight into the unique flora and fauna of the Alps’ biggest nature reserve. From exploring Vulture Valley to snowshoe hiking, the park’s specialized tours let you do a deep-dive into the region.

    2. Kalkalpen National Park in Upper Austria

    Located at the northern edge of the Alps, Kalkalpen (literally: Limestone Alps) National Park is known for its wild forests and crystal-clear mountain streams which are home to rare species of animals and plants.

    Exploring the area on bike is a treat – and hikers will find hundreds of kilometres of trails. Park rangers can take you on guided hikes to explore the wilderness a little further.

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    martagon lily in national park Kalkalpen
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    • Danube meadows near Stopfenreuth / Donau-Auen National Park
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      3. Donau-Auen National Park in Lower Austria

      Located between Vienna and Slovakia’s capital Bratislava, these wetlands are home to over 800 species of plants and animals.

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    • Landscape near Apetlon / Nationalpark Neusiedler See / Burgenland
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      4. Neusiedler See-Seewinkel National Park in Burgenland

      This steppe National Park in eastern Austria features sweeping reef-studded bodies of water, large meadows, and saltwater lakes.

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    • Gesäuse National Park
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      5. Gesäuse National Park in Styria

      Established in 2002, Austria’s newest National Park features impressive cliffs and crystal-clear mountain lakes.

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    • Evening in the Thaya Valley National Park
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      6. Thayatal National Park in Lower Austria

      Unspoiled wilderness featuring thick forests, steep cliffs, blooming meadows: Explore along the Thaya river and spot a wildcat in its enclosure.

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    Your Austria Soundtrack: Listen to Indie Rock

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