2021 january

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Neusiedler See-Leithagebirge World Heritage nature park

This part of the Neusiedler See region is notable for its rich diversity in a relatively small area. The vineyards nestled between ridges of sandy limestone hills and the extensive reed belt of Europe’s largest steppe lake combine with semi-natural mixed woodland, dry grassland and wet meadows to create a highly varied landscape. The Leithaberg has extensive forests with dry grassland and fallow land lower down the valley, interspersed with villages and vineyards, wine alleys and the wide reed belt of the Neusiedler See.


This young nature park has many cultural sights ranging from traces of early settlements and the Amber Road trade route to well preserved wine alleys. Apart from marked hiking, running and Nordic walking trails, and extended network of cycle paths criss-crosses the region, which is notable amongst other things for its thousands of cherry trees that in mid-April spread a white veil of blossom over the region. The nature park sets a good deal of store by eco-mobility, as illustrated by the “Gmoabus” in Purbach and Breitenbrunn and the seasonal buses plying between all of the municipalities in the nature park.


Rosalia-Kogelberg nature park

This nature park covers 13 communities in the Mattersburg district. The landscape is characterized by the low mountains of the Sopron and Rosalia ranges and the extensive and fertile Wulka valley and presents a varied picture with hedgerows and fruit meadows, vineyards and chestnut groves. The Mattersburger Hügelland bird sanctuary is home to the largest natural population of the common scops owl (Otus scops) in Austria.


Visitors can take advantage of a well developed network of paths for hiking, Nordic walking, jogging, skating, cycling and mountain biking in this variegated cultural landscape. Sights include the Kegalberg in Rohrbach with its noble chestnut trees and the new viewing tower in Bad Sauerbrunn. There are also a number of interesting cultural monuments, such as Burg Forchtenstein. The Nature Workshop in Marz offers guided walks that give an insight into the indigenous flora and fauna.


Landseer Berge nature park

Landseer Berge nature park is situated between the foothills of the Alps and the Pannonian plain and is an old border region full of ruins and excavated sites. Of particular interest are the basalt rocks and old forests of the Pauliberg, the Heidriegel, a semi-natural oak and pine forest and the intact Rabnitztal with its wetlands and fruit meadows.


Schwarzenbach has the oldest Celtic fortifications in Austria, where a Celtic village with six faithfully reproduced late Iron Age buildings was erected recently following extensive excavations. The Landseer ruin offers a splendid view over the border and is also the venue of numerous cultural events. The “Fledermausarena” is organized by the nature park every year, offering visitors a professional introduction to the life of bats. The ruin offers a habitat and feeding ground for eight different species.

The nature park provides plenty of opportunity for discovering the natural features and above all the culture and history of the region.


Geschriebenstein-Írottkő nature park

This transborder nature park is situated in an extensive wooded area with oak and hornbeam forests and the 884 m Geschriebenstein, the highest elevation in Burgenland. From the tower on the Geschriebenstein, though which the boarder between Austria and Hungary runs, visitors are offered a magnificent panoramic view from the Alps until deep into the Pannonian plain, whose southern end contains many interesting plants in the dry grasslands, fruit meadows, vineyards and fruit orchards.


The nature park has more than 500 km of marked hiking trails on both sides of the border, and visitors can also discover the region on the various nature trails, which provide information about wine, hunting, rocks, forests, cereals, fungi and butterflies.

One feature of the nature park is its endeavour to revive old crafts, as illustrated by the renovated lime kiln, a charcoal stack, demonstration smithy and watermill.


Weinidylle nature park

The Weinidylle nature park is in the eastern half of the south Burgenland district of Güssing and also includes part of the wine-growing district of Deutsch Schützen – Eisenberg. The hilly landscape is characterized by small meadows and fields, lowland forests and old oak groves. The small-scale vineyards and romantic wine alleys are a particular attraction of this region.


The richly structured cultural landscape can be discovered on the many marked hiking trails and cycling paths. Visitors can find out how wine was made now and in the past in the historical Heiligenbrunn wine alleys and in Moschendorf Wine Museum. All of the natural and cultural features of the nature parks are described on 26 panels that can be consulted on a visit to the area. There is a nature trail encircling the artificial lake in Urbersdorf, named after the great botanist and humanist Carolus Clusius. Numerous natural monuments in the form of huge old oak trees that can be found on the way provide welcome shade on hot summer days. The adjacent game preserve contains wild pigs and boars, various species of deer and rare old breeds of domestic animals.


Raab-Örség-Goričko nature park

Europe’s only triborder park is situated between the Lafnitz in the north, Stadelberg at the Slovenian border in the south and the distinctive floodplains of the Raab. The hilly landscape is notable for its elongated fields, meadows and woodlands, vineyards and fruit orchards interspersed with remote farms and scattered settlements.


The Hungarian section of the nature park features extensive woodlands and fens, home to a wide range of sub-Alpine and mountain plants. The woods are mostly beech and pine, while the fens are the habitat of the round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), an insect-eating plant species. The animal life in the nature park is also diverse. Apart from a variety of marten and bird species, the reserve contains the most species-rich population of butterflies in Hungary. The region is also notable for its rich history and culture, which continues in Slovenia around Grad Castle.

A number of themed trails (Old Border, Apple Trail, Life Trail, Wild Game, Corn Trail, Hill Graves, Pilgrim Trail, Peace Trail and Stoagupf) offer visitors an entertaining introduction to the special features of the nature park. The recently renovated Tabor Castle contains a wine-drinking tavern and a shop where fruit growers can sell their produce and is also the venue of cultural events in the summer.


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