Matrei lies in the heart of the Hohe Tauern National Part in East Tirol. It is surrounded by majestic mountain peaks over 3,000 m high including the Großglockner, Austria's highest mountain, and the Großvenediger (3,674 m) to the north.
Almost 4,700 people call this quiet corner of East Tirol home, living in several villages in the Tauertal Valley and the upper Iseltal Valley. Matrei is the largest town in the region and is the main destination for tourists visiting the National Park, which despite its popularity has managed to maintain its unspoiled natural charm. In winter, skiers and snowboarders flock to the nearby resort of Kals-Matrei. From the town centre there are excellent views of Schloss Weißenstein, a castle perched high on a rocky outcrop in the Dolomites and dating back to around 1100. Families with children will enjoy the easy walks in the Zedlacher Paradies, a 600-year-old larchwood forest to the west of the village where curious little adventurers will find plenty of fairytale characters keeping watch. Another attraction well worth a visit is the Tauerntal Valley to the north with its Maria Schnee chapel carved into the rock face.