The Waldviertel (Forest Quarter) is the northwestern region of the Austrian state of Lower Austria. It is bounded to the south by the Danube, to the southwest by Upper Austria, to the northwest and the north by the Czech Republic and to the east by the Manhartsberg (537 m), which is the survey point dividing Waldviertel from Weinviertel.
The Thayatal-Podyjí National Park along the border to the Czech Republic encompasses unspoiled countryside rich in fauna and flora just waiting to be discovered. The particularly large diversity of flora, fauna and natural habitats is concentrated in a relatively small area. The origins of this diversity to be found beside the meandering river lie in the different types of bedrock and in the slopes which differ in aspect. As this area was a prohibited zone during the time of the Iron Curtain, a large variety of animal and plant species was able to establish itself undisturbed.
In the summer black storks can be seen looking for food in the River Thaya and emerald lizards sun themselves on the rocks amongst the yellow irises. Evidence of wildcats has been recently rediscovered in the Thaya Valley. Numerous castles and ruins dot this spectacular countryside and fascinating tales and legends have left their mark on the national park.