Austria, having an area of only 83,858 km sq., is one of the smallest states of Central Europe. It share borders with Hungary, Germany, the Swiss Confederation, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Slovakia and Liechtenstein. The country is rich beyond compare with lakes, forests and mountains that make this country an absolute dream for every lover of nature. The moderate climate with its marvellous cold winters so rich in snow and the basking heat of its hot summer days make Austria a top destination for a holiday in any season.
Austria is situated in the South-East of Central Europe. It stretches from the Eastern Alps, which account for almost two thirds of the country, to the Pannonian Plain. Thanks to this central position between Western and Eastern Europe, Austria has always been a hugely important centre of commercial and cultural exchange. With the inauguration of the Schenger Agreement there are no border controls between Austria and Italy and as well between Italy and Germany. The borders to the other European member states are still subject to control and supervision. For the entry into Slovenia, Hungary, Switzerland and Liechtenstein one needs relevant official documentation..
This Central European state is made up of many different landscapes, climates and ecological habitats. The Austrian landscape is characterised Alpine regions, gently undulating countryside and wide plains. The Alpine and Carpathian foothills, the Wiener Becken and the Austrian part of the Pannonian Plain in the East are the most important economic and residential areas of the country. The highest mountain of Austria is Grossglockner having a height of 3.797m and the most important river is the Danube which spans the country over a distance of 350 km.
Austria is situated within the Central European climatic zone. Austria has a Western to Northwestern climate which is influenced by the Atlantic ocean and by the continental climate of the eastern Europe. Rainfall decreases on the eastern side of the country and also increases with altitude.
The variety of landscapes and climates gives host to a great diversity of flora and fauna. Austria is one of the most forested countries in Europe having a forested area of approximately 47% of the territory.
The Pannonian region is characterized by bush-forests, deciduous forests and heath land. In Burgenland, on the eastern side of the Neusiedler See lake one finds the highly unique salt-steppe flora.
Austria is home to European fauna such as deer, hares, stags, pheasants, partridges, foxes, badgers, martens and squirrels. Typical examples of the Alpine fauna are chamois, marmots and jackdaws.
The fauna of the Pannonian region is typified by the extraordinary range of bird life around the steppe lake that is the Neusiedler See.
Thanks to the great diversity of its natural landscape and the many attractions that go with such diversity, Austria is a real adventure for the whole family. And it doesn’t matter if its spring, summer, autumn or winter - it will always be a trip filled with wonder and discovery.
National Parks in Austria:
National Park Kalkalpen
National Park Donauauen
National Park Hohe
National Park Thayatal