Lake Fertő is situated on the territory of Austria and Hungary, and it was nominated jointly by the two countries for inclusion on the World Heritage list. Part of the Fertő-Hanság National Park, in 1979 it was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, and it is regarded as one of the internationally significant natural water areas of Europe. It is the most western example of the Eurasian steppe lakes, and at the same time it is Europe's largest salt-water lake. The water is shallow, the depth of the water constantly changes, but on average it is always below one metre. It has dried up several times, last time being between 1865-1871. It is fed mainly by two streams and rainwater, it has no natural drainage, its water is drained off by the Hanság main channel. The thick reed-beds and the 80 or so marshy areas form a veritable bird paradise.
In the course of archaeological explorations tools from the 6th century BC, indicating human settlement were found. Celts and Romans lived here, for example the remains of a bath from the time of Marcus Aurelius (161-180) were found. The settlements situated near lake Fertő -Fertőrákos, Balf, Hidegség, Fertőboz, Hegykő -have their origin in the Middle Ages. The notable palaces of the region -Fertőd and Nagycenk -were built in the 18th century. The local people have traditionally explained the continually changing landscape with proverbs and legends, which have become inseparable parts of the cultural heritage of this region.
The landscape around lake Fertő -Neusiedler See -is the result of a unique natural and geographical process, in which the still traceable cultural history of the ethnic groups that have followed one another here has played a significant role.