Nature Explorer Melanie Hahn from Austria introduces us to one of her favorite places to observe wildlife: the Hohe Tauern National Park with its marmots.
Experiencing nature, unwinding from the stresses of everyday life, and embarking on new adventures... To combine all that, you don't always have to embark on a trip around the world. Our Austrian Alps offer the perfect combination of all these factors. How about a short (weekend) getaway in the Hohe Tauern National Park in search of marmots and co?
for a multi-day getaway in Austria is definitely the region around Kaprun and the Hohe Tauern National Park. With
- beautiful alpine panoramas along the Grossglockner High Alpine Road,
- Europe's largest waterfalls,
- snow-covered glaciers,
- gorgeous lakes, and
- endless opportunities to experience our wonderful Alps up close,
the region really has it all.
In addition to the unique alpine nature, the Hohe Tauern massif also offers a valuable habitat for numerous alpine plant and animal species. Eagles and birds of prey dominate the skies and glide along mountain ridges, while ibexes and chamois roam the often very rocky slopes. And don’t forget the lively marmots that climb merrily out of their burrows, especially in the morning hours, to enjoy the sun on small rocks. In recent years, these furry alpine inhabitants have conquered my heart and have become the eye-catcher in many of my photos.
Probably the most famous place that some marmots call home is around Franz-Josef-Höhe on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. There you may not only take wonderful (short) hikes with a view of the glacier tongue of the Pasterze, but also observe the jolly alpine creatures. With a little luck, you can also see ibexes, chamois or golden eagles. Along the 48km long Grossglockner Road there are many more stops for hikes with fantastic alpine panoramas. My personal favorite is the short hike to the Nassfeld waterfall (about 1.5km before reaching the Franz-Josef Höhe).
offers many more opportunities to experience the Alps in all their facets. A good starting point for planning possible hikes are the National Park’s Visitor Centers. There, you will receive the most important information about the protected animal and plant species but can also let the national park rangers tell you what you should pay attention to in order to be able to observe the park’s wildlife with ease.
Melanie Hahn is an Austrian winemaker with a great passion for landscape and wildlife photography. Being outdoors and working with nature has always played a tremendous part in her life. Her work in the wine industry presented the opportunity to gain experience in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, where she lived for extended periods of time. Thanks to her many travels, she has had the chance to explore diverse landscapes and observe the native wildlife.