Abrupt range limits of parapatric species may serve as a model system to understand the factors that determine species’ range borders. Theory suggests that parapatric range limits can be caused by abiotic conditions along environmental gradients, biotic interactions or a combination of both. Geographic ranges of the parapatric salamanders, Salamandra salamandra and S. atra, meet in small contact zones in the European Alps and to date, the cause of parapatry and the restricted range of S. atra remain elusive. We combine multivariate approaches and climatic data analysis to explore niche differentiation among the two salamanders with respect to the available climatic environment at their contact zones. Our purpose is to evaluate whether climatic conditions explain the species’ sharp range limits or if biotic interactions may play a role for range delimitation. Analyses were carried out in three contact zones in Switzerland to assess possible geographic variation. Our results indicate that both species occur at localities with different climatic conditions as well as the presence of a strong climatic gradient across the species’ range limits. Although the species’ climatic niches differ moderately (with a wider niche breadth for S. atra), interspecific niche overlap is found. Comparisons among the contact zones confirm geographic variation in the species’ climatic niches as well as in the conditions within the geographically available space. Our results suggest that the change in climatic conditions along the recognized gradient represents a determining factor for species’ range limits within contact zones. However, our analyses of geographic variation in climatic conditions reveal that both salamander species can occur in a much wider range of conditions than observed within contact zones. This finding and the interspecific climatic niche overlap within each contact zone provides indirect evidence that biotic interactions (likely competition) between the two species may also determine their range limits.