The Hohe Tauern national park extends in East Tyrol and represents the largest protected area of Central Europe.
Image gallery: Hohe Tauern national park
The Hohe Tauern national park in East Tyrol is located in the heart of the Austrian Alps. Extending on a surface of 1,800 sq-km, this nature park comprises three regions of Austria, that are East Tyrol, Salzburg and Carinthia. This national park is by the way the largest protected area of Central Europe and comprises the highest peaks and glaciers of Austria, such as the Großglockner mountain (3,798 m).
The protected area is habitat for plants such as the Alpine toad-flax, the cinquefoil (belonging to the rosaceae), the stevia, cotton grass (belonging to the family of the sorrels) or pine plants such as larch trees. The fauna, however, offers ibexes, Alpine and fire salamanders, owls, water pipits and many more animals.
Innumerable educational and nature trails snake their way across this protected area, some of which have also been established in a family-friendly manner. In a playful way and by means of attracting information panels, the habitat of the animals living in the park is presented in a family-friendly way.
To mention only some examples, St. Jakob in Defereggen offers the "flower educational trail“ (Blumenlehrweg), snaking its way at various altitudes and levels of alpine vegetation in order to provide an insight into the world of the alpine plants. Particularly interesting is also the "Wasserschaupfad Umbalfälle“ (water educational trail), starting at Prägraten and taking to a unspoilt glacier stream in the mountains of the Hohe Tauern. Schedule some 2-3 hours for this hike, that is also suitable for family excursions.