Thaya Valley National Park

Small is beautiful: This motto applies especially to Austria’s smallest national park.

Thaya Valley National Park is right along the border with the Czech Republic and features an incomparable variety of flora and fauna in a confined area. This rich natural diversity can be explored on bicycle, hiking, on guided tours and at the national park visitor center.

The valley has been largely protected from human encroachment by its inaccessibility and its peripheral location on the Czech border, with the Podyjí National Park directly adjacent to it. As a result, one of Europe’s most scenic water gaps has been preserved in its original state. Along the river loops that the Thaya has carved into the granite formations of the Waldviertel there is a variety of closely intermeshed habitats: Meadows and hillside forests, dry grassland and rocks provide space for many species of rare plants and animals. Black storks and green lizards, European otters and extremely shy wild cats have all found refuge here. The botanical treasures include martagon lilies, Hungarian irises, burning bush, the feathergrass Stipa dasyphylla, military orchids and many more. Besides the natural landscape, the national park region is fascinating because of its castles and ruins and the rich history surrounding them.

Experiencing the great outdoors
Thaya Valley National Park offers a variety of experiences. One is at the national park visitor center near Hardegg, where nature’s magnificence is presented in a multimedia exhibition about the tales the Thaya has to tell. Every weekend from Easter to All Saints’ Day (November 1) there are guided tours or events on selected topics and short guided tours through the exhibition at the national park visitor center and through the national park. (Please note: The exhibition is currently being redone and is closed until further notice.)

A cross-border system of hiking trails enables visitors to make impressive observations of nature and takes them to some of the most scenic lookout points. Young visitors can look forward to a great adventure playground as well as tours in the exhibition with the mascot Max the Badger.

  • Incredible diversity of species in a tiny area
  • Cross-border national park
  • Exhibition in national park visitor center on the tales the Thaya has to tell
  • Numerous guided tours and events
  • Special programs for children and pupils
  • Well-signed system of hiking trails
  • Rental Nordic walking sticks at the national park visitor center

Thaya Valley National Park