National Parks in Austria

Discover the spectacular natural beauty and diversity of alpine ecosystems with the National Parks of Austria, prime natural destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. From lush mountains and steep valleys in the Alps to wildlife and stunning flora.

Currently, there are 6 national parks in Austria, including the well-known Hohe Tauern National Park and Kalkalpen, as well as other protected areas of immense ecological and tourist value.

List of National Parks in Austria

Gesäuse National Park

Gesäuse National Park, with its dramatic mountain landscapes and rivers, is a favorite destination for hiking and rafting enthusiasts, offering spectacular views and rich biodiversity.

Thayatal National Park

Thayatal National Park, located on the border with the Czech Republic, stands out for its river valleys and mixed forests, providing essential habitat for a variety of flora and fauna.

Danube Floodplains National Park

Danube Floodplains National Park protects one of the last large wetlands in Central Europe, where the Danube flows freely, providing refuge to many aquatic species and migratory birds.

Neusiedler See-Seewinkel National Park

Neusiedler See-Seewinkel National Park, an internationally important wetland, combines saltwater lagoons, meadows, and vineyards, making it a paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers.

Protected Areas of Austria

In Austria, there are 1663 recognized protected areas, covering approximately 29.28% of the territory, equivalent to about 24,572 km² of the country’s total 83,912 km². This includes 482 nature reserves, 20 national parks (several of which are fragments of the 6 main recognized ones), 50 nature parks, 1 natural area, 4 nature and landscape protection areas, 274 landscape protection areas, 325 sections of protected landscape, 5 flora protection areas, 10 resting areas, 8 special conservation areas, 18 local natural protection objects, 6 protected habitats, 3 protected biotopes, 3 ecological development areas, 12 biosphere parks, 10 regional protection areas, and 1 ex-lege protection area of 69 hectares located in Vienna (Landschaftsschutzgebiet Ex Lege: Spk-Fl. N. Bo Per 1.3.1985).

Map of Austria's national parks and protected areas of the country

Biosphere Reserves

In Austria, several Biosphere Reserves stand out, each with unique characteristics significant for biodiversity conservation and the preservation of natural landscapes:

Walser Valley or Grosses Walsertal:

  • Location: 192 km² in the western part of Austria.
  • Designation: Since the year 2000.
  • Description: This alpine valley hosts six villages where extensive agriculture, livestock farming, and forestry are practiced. The inhabitants, known as Walser, maintain a traditional lifestyle at altitudes ranging from 1500 to 2000 meters.

Salzburger Lungau & Kärntner Nockberge:

  • Location: 149 km² in Upper Carinthia, in the Nock Mountains.
  • Designation: It was the Nockberge National Park between 1987 and 2012.
  • Description: This park is a classic example of interior alpine landscapes, with high mountains and deep valleys, spanning altitudes from 600 to 3000 meters. Its biodiversity includes typical meadows and wetlands of the central Alps.

Wienerwald (Vienna Woods):

  • Location: 1050 km² west of the city of Vienna.
  • Designation: Since the year 2005.
  • Description: Covering a rolling landscape between the northern Alps and the Pannonian Basin, this forest is known for its unique geology, with limestone and dolomite rock formations. Additionally, it hosts rich biodiversity and contains evidence of an extinct sea in the marine terraces.

Lower Mura Valley:

  • Location: 131.8 km² in southeastern Austria.
  • Description: Located near the border with Slovenia’s Mura River Biosphere Reserve, this valley is part of the European Green Belt and is one of Austria’s largest floodplain forests. Its significance lies in its contribution to biodiversity conservation in the region and its connection to the former Iron Curtain.

Nature Reserves

In Austria, several nature reserves highlight the beauty and importance of biodiversity in various regions of the country:

Lake Körber (Körbersee)

Location: Southwest of the town of Egg, in Vorarlberg.

Description: This small lake, situated at 1600 meters above sea level in the "Lechtaler" Alps, offers an impressive landscape. It is accessible only on foot, with an estimated walking time of 45 minutes, adding a sense of tranquility and preservation to its surroundings.

Rhine Delta in Lake Constance

Location: In Lake Constance, forming an extensive wetland covering about 2000 hectares.

Description: This delta is an important ecosystem that includes epipelagic zones, reed beds, wet meadows, and riparian forests. Its biological diversity and role in water regulation make this reserve a vital area for conservation.

Loser Plateau

Location: In the Totes Gebirge massif, in the Salzkammergut district.

Description: This relatively flat area, covering about 4 km², is part of a larger mountainous massif. It is notable for its numerous caves, with around 230 cataloged, making it a place of both geological and biological interest.


Location: In the municipality of Prellenkirchen, in Lower Austria.

Description: This reserve, with an area of 2.25 km², is part of Natura 2000 and features a unique ecosystem. It is characterized by its rocky topography and dry steppe vegetation, with dry meadows and forests. The slopes, mainly composed of limestone and dolomites, along with a thin layer of humus, create an extremely dry and specialized environment.