Topography: Most of country Alpine or sub-Alpine; heavily wooded mountains and hills cut by valleys of fast-flowing rivers. Plains around Vienna and Danube Valley in northeast only lowland areas and contain most of population. Danube, flowing east through northern provinces and Vienna, principal river. Of total area, 20 percent arable land, 29 percent pasture, 44 percent forest, and 7 percent barren.

Climate: Continental weather systems predominate; temperatures and rainfall vary with altitude. Temperate, cloudy, cold winters with frequent rain in lowlands and snow in mountains; cool summers with occasional showers. Humidity highest in wetter western regions, diminishing toward east.