The charm of the Hohe Tauern National Park
A step away from Val Pusteria, there is one of the best landscapes on earth: the Hohe Tauern National Park. Founded in 1981, with its 1,800 square km of extension it is the largest national park in Central Europe. With 260 3000-meter peaks, 340 glaciers, waterfalls, alpine lakes and mountain pastures cared for for centuries by mountaineers, this area offers unforgettable experiences.
It is surrounded by the high peaks of Austria, with the Grossglockner and Grossvenediger mountains, alpine meadows and 120 huts. Like the Jagdhausalmen: the oldest alpine huts in Austria, among the most photographed in the park, are 15 huts framed in the mountains that recall a Tibetan scenery. And they indicate one of the first human settlements, which has inhabited the valleys of the High Tauern for 5000 years.
This is one of the largest protected areas in the Alps, because it has a very interesting ecosystem made up of unique flora and fauna. Among the animals, for example, we have the bearded vulture, the black salamander, the alpine ibex and the glacier buttercup. One of the points of interest not to be missed within the Hohe Tauern National Park is the paradise of Zedlach: a larch forest that has lived undisturbed for six centuries. Along the thematic trail, there are seven different locations that offer an overview of the history of the forest and the animals that inhabit it. The journey takes about three hours and is not particularly difficult. For those who want to take a break on the road, the Wodenalm mountain hut and the Kräutergasthaus Strumerhof are a recommended stop.
The kingdom of water, on the other hand, is part of the Umbalfälle nature trail. Close to the banks of the Isel, we discover the impressive stepped waterfalls of this river which according to many is the oldest in East Tyrol. The paths around the falls can be a bit slippery especially for the little ones, but the main path is quite easy and fascinating, especially when you arrive and find yourself immersed in the mist of the waterfall.
Alongside the protection of the environment, environmental education and visitor awareness are also among the objectives of the natural parks. To carry out this educational work are the visitor centers that offer the public a central theme in each. There are three in the Hohe Tauern National Park: in Matrei in East Tyrol, interactive information awaits you, the Bios visitor center takes you into the fantastic world of natural monuments, and the Mittersill visitor center offers an itinerary with nine information stations along the which the visitor flies in a virtual world through the most beautiful places of the Hohe Tauern National Park.