September 2012
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The Hohe Tauern – a mountain range on the main chain of the Central Eastern Alps in Austria.

The Hohe Tauern or High Tauern is a mountain range on the main chain of the Central Eastern Alps in Austria.

Overview of The Hohe Tauern

• This comprises of the highest peaks east of the Brenner Pass.
• The crest forms the southern border of the Austrian state of Salzburg with Carinthia and East Tyrol.
• A small part in the southwest belongs to the Italian province of South Tyrol.
• The range includes Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner.
• The stratum term “Tauern” originally meant “High mountain passes”.
• It came to be applied to the mountains themselves during the peak of mining operations during the Middle Ages.
• There is an affiliation with the Celtic Taurisci people or the Roman city of Teurnia.
• The range is bounded by the Salzach valley to the north, the Murvalley and the Murtörl Pass to the east the Drava valley to the south and the Birnlücke Pass to the west.
• The eastern end of the Hohe Tauern is formed by the Hafner subgroup of the Ankogel range.
• This includes the easternmost peaks above 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) in the Alpine chain.

Its most important parts are (from West to East):
• Venediger Group (including the Großvenediger, 3,666 metres (12,028 ft), and Lasörling, 3,098 metres (10,164 ft)).
• Granatspitze Group (including the Großer Muntanitz, 3,232 metres (10,604 ft), and Granatspitze, 3,086 metres (10,125 ft)).
• Glockner Group (including the Grossglockner, 3,798 metres (12,461 ft)).
• Goldberg Group including the Hoher Sonnblick (3106 m).
• Ankogel Group (including the Hochalmspitze, 3,360 metres (11,020 ft), Ankogel, 3,246 metres (10,650 ft) and Reißeck, 2,965 metres (9,728 ft)).

Further parts of the Hohe Tauern south of the main crest of the Alps are (from West to East):
• Rieserferner Group (Hochgall, 3,436 metres (11,273 ft)).
• Villgraten Mountains (Weiße Spitze, 2,962 metres (9,718 ft)).
• Schober Group (including the Petzeck, 3,283 metres (10,771 ft) and Hochschober, 3,240 metres (10,630 ft)).
• Kreuzeck Group (Polinik, 2,784 metres (9,134 ft)).
• With an area of about 1,834 square kilometres (708 sq mi), it is by far the largest of Austria’s seven national parks as well as the largest nature reserve in the Alps.
• It is divided into a core zone.
• This includes the Grossglockner and Grossvenediger massifs.
• This is with complete prohibition of agricultural use.
• There is a fringe zone used for forestry and alpine-meadow farming.

The park of the IUCN II category comprises:
• The Pasterze
• Glaciers
• Krimml Waterfalls
• Several glacial valleys
• Alluvial fans
• Extended tundra areas and forests

Among the flora of the Alps are:
• Swiss Pines
• Alpenrose
• Endemic saxifraga rudolphiana

The fauna includes:
• Chamois
• Alpine ibex
• Red deer
• Griffon vulture
• Golden eagle
• The former extinct bearded vulture
• Alpine marmot

Quick facts about The Hohe Tauern

• Countries : Austria, Italy
• States : Salzburg, Carinthia, Tyrol, South Tyrol
• Part of : Central Eastern Alps
• Highest point Großglockner elevation : 3,798 m (12,461 ft)
• Length : 130 km (81 mi)
• Width : 50 km (31 mi)
• Geology : Gneiss, Schist
• Orogeny : Alpine
• Period : Paleozoic

The Hohe Tauern are crossed by three tunnels:
• Tauern Railway Tunnel between Bad Gastein and Mallnitz, finished in 1906.
• Katschberg Tunnel on A10 Tauern Autobahn (European route E55) leading fromSankt Michael im Lungau and the Tauern Road Tunnel to Rennweg.
• Felbertauerntunnel on B108 Felbertauern Straße highway, between Mittersill and Matrei in Osttirol Grossglockner High Alpine Road.
• The best-known mountain pass road of the Hohe Tauern is the scenic Grossglockner High Alpine Road.
• It was inaugurated in 1935.
• It includes a tunnel at an elevation of 2,505 metres (8,219 ft) under the Hochtor Pass (2,573 metres (8,442 ft)).
• East of it, the Katschberg Pass (1,641 metres (5,384 ft)) on B 99 Katschberg Straße highway parallel to the Katschberg Tunnel links Sankt Michael and Rennweg.
• Another road crosses the Staller Sattel between Sankt Jakob in Defereggen and Rasen-Antholz at 2,052 metres (6,732 ft).

There are numerous bridle and foot paths, in part used since ancient times in Mountain pass.
• Riffeltor Kaprun to Heiligenblut
• Bockkarscharte Ferleiten to Heiligenblut
• Sonnblickscharte Rauris to Heiligenblut
• Vorder Umbaltorl Pragraten to Ahrntal
• Obersulzbachtorl Pragraten to Wald im Pinzgau
• Untersulzbachtorl Innergschlöß to Wald im Pinzgau
• Schwarzkopfscharte Innergschlöß to Bramberg
• Pragratertorl Pragraten to Defereggental
• Glodistorl Lienz to Kals
• Antholzerscharte Rein in Taufers to Rasen-Antholz
• Krimmlertorl Krimmler Achental to Obersulzbachtal
• Goldzechscharte Rauris to Heiligenblut
• Kalsertorl Lienz to Kals
• Ober Tramerscharte Rauris to Döllach
• Kleine Elendscharte Bad Gastein to Gmünd
• Kleine Zirknitzscharte Rauris to Döllach
• Mallnitzerscharte Mallnitz to Gmünd
• Große Elendscharte Mallnitz to upper Maltatal
• Unter Pfandlscharte Ferleiten to Heiligenblut
• Bergertorl Ferleiten to Heiligenblut
• Kaprunertorl Kaprun to upper Stubachtal
• Virgner or Defereggertorl Defereggental to Virgen
• Backlenke or Trojerjoch Defereggental to Prägraten
• Felber Tauern Matrei in Osttirol to Mittersill
• Kalser Tauern Kals to Mittersill
• Hohe Tauern Bad Gastein to Mallnitz
• Niedere or Mallnitzer Tauern Bad Gastein to Mallnitz
• Fuschertorl Ferleiten to the Seidlwinkeltal
• Klammljoch Defereggental to Sand in Taufers
• Arlscharte Gmund to Sankt Johann im Pongau
• Kals Matreiertorl Kals to Matrei
• Stanz Bad Gastein to Rauris

Places to see in and around Austria

1. Lake Constance
• This is a big lake situated in Vorarlberg.
• This lake is shared with Switzerland and Germany.

2. Kaprun
• This is a part of the Europa Sport Region.

3. Pinswang
• This is one of the most ancient settlements of the North Tyrolean Ausserfern.
• This is on the border with Bavaria.
• It takes a short walk or drive to the famous King Ludwig’s castles.

4. Salzkammergut
St. Anton
• This is a popular ski resort in Austria.
• This resort is on the Vorarlberg-Tyrolean border.

5. Thermenland
• This is one of Austria’s warmest lakes.

6. Zell am See
• This is one of the most important alpine tourist towns in Austria.

7. High Mountain National Park
• This is in the Zimmertal Alps.
• It peaks up to 3476m, narrow gorges and steep cliffs.

8. National Park Thayatal
• This park combines beautiful valley landscapes with a variety of castles and ruined fortresses.

9. Grossglockner
• The country’s highest peak is called Grossglockner.
• It is located on the border between Carinthia and the East Tyrol.
• Grossglockner High Alpine Road, with its gorgeous panorama’s is highly recommended to get a great view.

10. Villgratental
• At the feet of mountain peaks you’ll find luscious valleys.
• This includes Villgratental.

11. River Danube
• The river Danube created some beautiful valley landscapes.
• Here you’ll now find famous vineyards.
• Wachau and Dunkelsteinerwald in Lower Austra are fine (and protected) examples.
• The valley landscapes and hillsides are dotted with countless picturesque villages.

12. Historical places

• Austria boasts a wealth of majestic architecture and historic structures.
• It was long a centre of power in the Holy Roman Empire.
• Here you will find palaces and magnificent city architecture.
• Addition to these you will find grand cathedrals, monasteries and churches.

• This is the country’s capital and most popular destination.
• It is packed with Medieval and Baroque structures.
• Schonbrunn Palace with its 1441 rooms is the absolute highlight.
• Tiergarten Schönbrunn, is the oldest zoo in the world.
• The 12th century St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the most prominent religious building.
• Salzburg combines delightful Alpine surroundings with a beautifully preserved historic center.
• Innsbruck, at the heart of Tyrol is a historical place. The Mariazell Basilica in Mariazell is one of the country’s most visited attractions and an important pilgrimage destination.

Murauer Bier
• The Murauer Brewery has a permament brewing museum.
• Turn up on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
• The tour includes the museum, brew house, a video presentation and a free Murauer beer or lemonade in any of their bars in the town.
• Price: 3€

Judenburg Sternenturm
• There is a (locally) famous planetarium.
• The town also has a town tower.
• It offers views of the entire area.

Burg Riegersberg
• This wonderfully preserved medieval castle is privately owned by the ruling family of Liechtenstein.
• Entry is cheap.
• The castle can be reached by walking up the original access path that winds its way through the castle’s defensive gates.
• There is a cable car which ascends the other side of the hill.

Zotter Chocolate
• Also near, Riegersberg is the Zotter chocolate factory.
• They make all their chocolate in an ethical and organic manner.
• The tour of the factory allows you to taste all of their varieties of chocolate (around 150).

Things to do there:

– Skiing and Snowboarding
– Cycle Touring
– Music
– Movies

• Most trails and mountain huts are maintained by the Austrian Alpine Club.
• Some are run by other equivalent organizations, such as the German, Dutch and Italian Alpine Clubs.
• Mountain huts are meant to be shelters, not hotels.
• During the high season (August), it’s a good idea to book in advance.
• Prices for the night are usually around 10-20€ (half for Alpine Club members).
• Meals and drinks are quite expensive.

Best time to visit / climate

– Austria has a temperate continental climate.
– Summers last from early June to mid-September.
– It can be hot in some years and rainy in others.
– Winters are cold in the lowlands and very harsh in the Alpine region.
– In alpine region the temperatures often drop below -10° C (14° F).
– Winters last from December to March.
– In the Alpine region large temperature fluctuations occur all year round and nights are chilly even in high summer.
– The area around Vienna often experiences strong easterly winds.
– The high season is August.

Location on Google Maps

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Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:,12.327347&spn=0.008539,0.013797&fb=1&gl=in&hq=Hohe+Tauern+National+Park&hnear=Hohe+Tauern+National+Park&cid=0,0,7445133428529088469&t=m&z=16&iwloc=A

How to get there?

1. By plane
• There are 6 airports in Austria with scheduled flights.
• The most important international airport is Vienna.
• This has connection to all major airports of the world.
• Other international airports include Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz, and Salzburg.
• They provide domestic flights as well as connections to some European countries.
• Those airports are particularly popular with cheap airlines such as Ryanair.
• For traveling to the western states it is recommended to use the very close Munich airport.
• The most common airports to visit Vorarlberg are Altenrhein (Austrian), Friedrichshafen (Ryanair, Intersky) and Zurich (Swiss).
• If visiting Austria for winter sports, choose airport considering cost and duration for the whole trip (plane+transfer).

2. By Bus
Eurolines Austria has bus schedules from Austria to all major European countries and back.

3. By Car
From Germany
– Motorway A8 from Munich to Salzburg.
– Motorway A93 from Rosenheim via Kufstein to Innsbruck, Tyrol.
– E43 (A96) from Leutkirch via Wangen to Bregenz, Vorarlberg.
– E56 from Regensburg via Passau to Linz, Upper Austria.
From Italy
– Motorway A23 to Villach, Carinthia.
– E54 via Brenner to Innsbruck, Tyrol.
From Slovenia
– E652 to Villach,Carinthia.
– E57 via Spielfeld to Graz, Styria.

4. By Train
• The OBB (Austrian Railways) operate high-speed ICE and RailJet trains from cities like Zurich,Munich,Frankfurt, Passau, and Budapest.
• Eurocity trains are the next fastest trains.
• Regional trains called EURegio and simplyRegionalzug are also avialible from all 8 of Austria’s neighbors.

Austria & the Alps 2000 – 2007 DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Austria Frommer’s Austria

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

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Blogs / Sites about Austria – Hohe Tauern National Park

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Images and photos of Austria – Hohe Tauern National Park

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Videos of Austria – Hohe Tauern National Park

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