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Hohe Tauern

National Park
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Travel Guides

East Tyrol

AdventureAustria is an independent English owned travel and events agency based in the Tyrolean town of Lienz in south Austria.

We’ve put together the following travel guides to help visitors get the most out of their holiday in Austria. Whether you are planning only to stay in Lienz or planning to venture on to other parts of Austria, you’ll be sure to find some useful information here.

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Active Holidays in Austria

Gartengasse 4/5
9900, Lienz, Austria

+43 699 1731 7344
Skype: Adventureaustria

The National Park Hohe Tauern is the most impressive area of the Austrian Alps.  With an area of 1,856 square kilometres stretching through three national states including Salzburg, Tyrol and Kärnten, it is the second biggest national park in Europe. Impressive glaciers, steep stony cliffs and green mountain meadows make up the unique and beautiful landscape.

It is a landscape populated with unique animals, plants and flowers that thrive together in the most impressive nature protected park in Europe with the glaciers and the peaks of the Grossglockner and Grossvenediger towering above them. Hiking tours, cycling tours and educational trips are possible in the national park.

History and development

The beginning of the National Park Hohe Tauern goes back to the Stone Age. The Hohe Tauern was grounded in 1981, growing each year when in 2003 it was declared as a Unesco World Heritage Park.

Flora and fauna

The remaining tell-tale signs of the last ice age approximately 12,000 years ago, are the glaciers.  The Pasterzen Glacier is the king of the glaciers and with 19 square kilometres is the largest in the Austrian Alps.

The Grossvenediger, which lies on the border of East Tyrol and Salzburg is after the Grossglockner (3,798m), the second highest peak inside the national park and the fifth highest in Austria.

National Park House Matrei

On the Tyrolean side of the National Park Hohe Tauern is the National Park House in Matrei, East Tyrol.  Over two floors of cultural and natural exhibition space, you have the opportunity to learn more about the history, geology, flora and fauna of the park.

More than just a museum

Discover the incredible plant and animal world in this nature protected area.  With help of films and visual animations you can get to know the mountain world like never before.  Discover animals such as birds, eagles, murmeltier, gams, ibex and snow rabbits.  You can also experience the might of the alpine glaciers through and impressive projector screen.

The museum, once an old school house, is home to the National Park House in Matrei.  You will also find special exhibitions around the year where you can learn about culture dating back thousands of years to the Stone Age.

Summer opening times:

June – Monday to Friday 10.00 – 12.00
July to September – Monday to Saturday 10.00 – 18.00

In the connected shop you can also purchase hiking guides, maps and souvenirs.  From Lienz it is just a half hour drive to reach the National Park House in Matrei.

The National Park House in Matrei is the perfect excursion in combination with a hike in the National Park.

The Grossglockner

At the Glocknerhaus in Kals, visitors can learn more about the highest mountain in Austria – the Grossglockner.

National Park Museum Mittersill

A large part of East Tyrol belongs to the National Park Hohe Tauern and lends itself to the different plant and animal world.  In Mittersill in Pinzgau (north of East Tyrol) there is another museum in this wonderful part of Austria.  A trip to the museum is well worth it for all ages. The National Park Museum in Mittersill also demonstrates what the daily work is of the park rangers that work here.

What do the mountains look like from a Stone Eagles point of view?  Which animals live in the shadows of the 3,000m high peaks?  What are the contents of the melted glacier water?  Why do we even need a national park and how did it come about?  In the National Park Centre you’ll be able to get all this type of information and more.  Children will also have fun learning about all the different and interesting facts of the park along with the daily challenges the park has to deal with.

 Opening times: Daily 9.00 – 18.00

We can highly recommend the National Park and from Lienz the drive to Mittersill takes you through the spectacular Felbertunnel and impressive canyon.  The route is north from Lienz and takes approximately 1 hour.

Pilgrim Church Maria Schnee in Obermauern - a picturesque mountain village

With the church of Maria Schnee, the village of Obermauern in Virgen is home to one of the most visited pilgrim churches in the region.  The town of Obermauern itself is like a scene from a picture book, nestled between the mountains and rolling green fields.

A cultural gem

The central part of the town is the Pilgrim Church Maria Schnee.  It was built in 1456 and painted by Simon Von Taisten – the painter from Görzer Frafen.  It is estimated that the oldest parts of the building are from the early Gothic times.

The town of Virgen is also well worth visiting with its many walking routes, impressive mountains scenery and one of the oldest churches in East Tyrol.

Don’t forget to check out the other regions of East Tyrol including Hochpustertal, the Lienzer Dolomite region and the Defereggental region.