Neusiedler See is considered the fourth largest lake in Central Europe, yielding Balaton, Constance and Geneva.
Its age is 20 thousand years, it is believed that it appeared as a result of fluctuations of the earth’s crust at the end of the ice age. This flat saline lake is today a popular holiday destination and a unique biosphere reserve. Together with its surroundings, it is included in the UNESCO list.
Neusiedler is located on the border of Hungary and Austria. According to tour operators offering tours to Hungary, about 77 percent of its area belongs to the Austrian land of Burgenland, and its southern part belongs to the Hungarian Gyor-Moson-Sopron. From the south and southeast there are national parks – Austrian Neusiedlerse-Seewinkel and Hungarian Fertё-Hanság.
The total lake area is three hundred and fifteen square kilometers, the average depth does not exceed one meter. The shape is irregular, extending from south to north with a length of 36 km. Its width ranges from six to twelve kilometers. The lake is at an altitude of 115 meters and has a total catchment area of more than one thousand square kilometers. The rugged coastline has several deep bays. On the lake there are large islands, many shallows and small islands.
Neusiedl-Ze belongs to the basin of the Raby and Danube rivers, several streams flow into it, the largest of which is Vulka. The water in Neusiedler is lightly salted, and its level is subject to serious fluctuations. For the history of its existence, it has completely dried up several times.
In 1956, the Austro-Hungarian Commission was established to monitor the water level. To maintain it at a constant rate, the flow of the lake is regulated.
But despite this, to avoid fluctuations completely fails. In 1965, the lake level after heavy rains increased by 35 cm, in 2003 it fell – by 30 cm.
The lake surface is overgrown with reeds. There are about fifteen species of fish in Neusiedler See, of which the most common are the windfish, carp, pike perch and pike. Its water is rich in various species of invertebrates, and many rare insects inhabit the reed.
Tourists, who decide to spend their holidays in Hungary, can observe more than 300 species of migratory and nesting birds under natural conditions on Neusiedler See. Among them are many herons, wild geese, toadstools, puffing, warmers and many others.
On the territory of the national park along the coast of the lake there is a path where visitors and ornithologists can observe the fascinating biosphere of the reserve.