Lower Austria is the largest province of Austria and covers almost a quarter of Austria`s total area. More than 40 % of the land surface is farmland and further 40 % are forest. Agriculture has always been of great importance. From the flat Marchfeld region and its crispy vegetables to the hilly Waldviertel region with sheep and goat products as well as the well-known grey poppy, to the Mostviertel region with its full flavoured perry and dirndl fruit products until the Weinviertel region with its DAC wines – each region has its unique specialties.
Gentle hills, flat plains and the Alpine foreland
Lower Austria offers a broad range of scenic and touristic highlights. It hosts several UNESCO World Heritage sites, two national parks, 9 mountain experience worlds, among them the Schneeberg with 2,076 m above sea level and at the same time the highest point of the province. The Danube is flowing entire 286 km through Lower Austria. Landscape and nature can be explored through 15,000 km long hiking trails and 4,200 km long bike tours. Lakes, like for example Erlaufsee or Lunzer See – by the way one of the coldest lakes in the country – invite visitors to go swimming or boating. Also in cultural terms there is a lot to discover: a large number of monasteries and convents, around 600 museums, more than 50 venues for summer theatres and festivals, more than a hundred castle gardens, convent and monastery gardens, theme and adventure gardens, parks and private show gardens.
Regional delicacies and culinary highlights
Lower Austria also offers a lot of culinary specialties: Apricot dumplings from the Wachau region, poppy and carp from the Waldviertel region, pumpkin specialties from the Weinviertel region, perry and cider from the Mostviertel region and much more. Typical dishes are for example the Veltliner or Riesling foam soup, Mostbratl (cider-roast pork), blood sausage and Saumeisen (minced meatballs), potato dumplings and game specialties as well as the Hauerjause (regional snack) at the Heurigen (wine tavern). Typical regional products are apricots, dirndl fruits, pears and poppy, but also carp, pumpkin, asparagus, potatoes and numerous different grain types and bread specialties.
Closely experience the cuisine
The exceptional restaurant culture, from Heurigen (wine tavern) to top restaurants, invites visitors to stay for a while. Traditional cuisine is combined with modern elements and used are high-quality, seasonal ingredients. Gourmet festivals like “Gourmet chef meets hut landlord”, “Field tests in the Mostviertel”, “Dining in the Weinviertel” or “Waldviertler Häferlguckerl” (culinary interested persons) invite to experience the regional cuisine. For some types of fruit there are even own region’s fairs organised: dirndl fruit, damson plum, apricot and plum or even chilli and herb festivals. And also the dry-fishing should not be forgotten, which is a traditional custom in the Waldviertel. Around Easter you can walk through vineyards, taste wines – “In die Grean gehen” – and closely experience the spring in the Weinviertel. During the wine autumn you can also taste new wines or personally get to know the farmers in one of the numerous demonstration sites and watch when they manufacture their products.