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Hohe Tauern National Park

Virgin & cultural landscape – The fascination of the national park

The Hohe Tauern National Park is one of the most unique landscapes on earth. With an area of 1,856 km² it is the largest protected area in the Alps, and it is Austria's first national park.

The nature region extends over Tyrol, Carinthia, and Salzburg. Along with the highest mountain in the country, the Großglockner at an impressive 3,798 m, more than 200 summits over 3,000 m reach towards the sky. With around 180 km² almost 10% of the national park is covered by glacier ice.  

279 mountain streams in the national park flow from the high mountains into the valley. Vast glacier fields, rock walls, meadows, mountains lakes, and rushing glacier streams - the landscape of Hohe Tauern National Park could not be any more fascinating.

Home for border crossers

These vast alpine, virgin landscapes arose after the last Ice Age around 12,000 years ago. Slowly, this barren region of rock and scree was taken over by plants and animals. There were species from the Central Asian tundra, the Arctic area, and the Siberian tundra. In the beginning, they lived in the valley areas, and with an increase in temperatures due to the receding glaciers, they moved up into the mountain region.

The extraordinary and impressive biological communities living here are extremophiles thriving where others couldn't exist. In the valleys, spruce from the Balkans as well as larch and pine from the Asian tundra are indigenous. A hike from the valley in the mountains leads through forms of vegetation typical for the Alps and is like a 4,000 km long journey to the Arctic.

A habitat of extremes

Despite harsh living conditions, one third of all plant species in Austria can be found here in the Hohe Tauern National Park along with 10,000 animal species. Many of these high mountain creatures have developed special adaptations in physique, physiology, and even behavior, because here, deep winter lasts 8 months.

There is basically no spring or autumn. In the summer months however, the Hohe Tauern emits an unbelievably vibrant energy. You can see the flora and fauna in all its glory. .

Natural and cultivated landscape

The valleys have been settled by people for 5,000 years. Over the centuries, vast hill farms have been established high over the tree line. Grazed by cattle and cared for by farmers, a symbiosis has developed between wild nature and cultivated land.

A special feature of this national park is the combination of natural landscapes as well as farmer-cultivated lands in a protected area. The Hohe Tauern National Park will impress you with more than just its exceptional variety of plant and animals species. With over 200 3,000 m high peaks, it radiates majestic power and sovereign tranquility, which makes this region a recreational oasis.


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