Vienna has wetlands? Heck, I didn’t know that, either. But in fact, there is a really BIG park called the Donau-Auen that goes all the way from just north of Vienna to Bratislava. It is the largest protected natural wetland in Europe. It also provides flood protection for Vienna by allowing the waters to spill over along that length of the river. The river has been known to flood the park to a depth of seven meters!
We went on a CLO-sponsored hike through the park and saw wild boar tracks and feeding areas, as well as lots of evidence of beavers. There are not many birds in the park, at least in winter, but they are different birds than we see in the States. I saw one pheasant running across the trail, and our guide said that he normally sees egrets.
There is a big nature center at the park with a few exhibits, activities for children, and a small snack bar. More information at the official website, which is mostly in German. Some nature tours can be arranged in English with advance notice.
(This is an abbreviated version of a post on my blog. The full version, with more photos, can be viewed here.)
Reviewed by Kelly
- Donau-Auen National Park (hours and information here)
- Trails in the Donau-Auen (German, click the trail names to download PDF maps)