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Grossglockner High-Alpine Road

Grossglockner High-Alpine Road

Austria’s top views: travelling through the Hohe Tauern National Park on the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road

Winding its way through green alpine pastures and rocky mountainscapes, the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road has been considered a masterstroke of engineering ever since its completion in 1935. Austrian civil engineer Franz Wallack pursued his vision of a North-South connection between Salzburg and Carinthia via the Fuscher-Törl with great determination. Within a construction period of just 5 years, 4000 labourers achieved what few had thought possible: a technical and organisational accomplishment which, in turn, gave rise to innovations that have remained relevant to this day.

Every spring since the road was completed, Wallack’s legendary blue snow-throwers are used by Salzburg’s and Carinthia’s maintenance teams, who set out to release the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road from its thick blanket of snow. Designed by Franz Wallack himself, the machines were made to withstand the harsh conditions of a high-alpine terrain. Each spring, the meeting of the two snow-thrower teams at the ‘Hochtor’ county border causes a media circus and a wave of celebratory joy.

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Scenic drives & lookout points amidst Austria’s highest mountains

The beginning of May marks the start of the summer season on the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road. In due course, thousands of cars, camper-vans, motorbikes and cyclists make their way over the legendary mountain pass. The resulting views of the Hohe Tauern mountainscape are phenomenal, and are best enjoyed at some of the many designated lookout points. A stop-off at the Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Höhe is a particular highlight along this route – taking you so close to the Grossglockner you’ll almost feel like you could reach out and touch it. It also serves as a starting point for numerous hiking routes, such as the ‘Gamsgrubenweg’ trail and the Pasterze Glacier Trail.

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A road to discovery for the whole family

Your trip over the Grossglockner can be anything from sporty to informative. A number of walking trails and hiking tours start off directly along the road, providing many opportunities to immerse yourself in the natural landscape of the Hohe Tauern mountains. The Pasterze Glacier Trail takes you right up close to the glacier’s eternal ice, while the ‘Gamsgrubenweg’ path leads you further towards the heart of the mountains. Long-distance hikers and those in favour of multi-day treks should check out the ‘Glocknerrunde’ circuit, as well as the highly acclaimed Alpe-Adria Trail.

The Grossglockner High-Alpine Road is also lined with plenty of family-compatible activities, including numerous exhibitions and museums situated on either side of the road. Their topics range from insights into the historical construction and current operation of the road, to fascinating details about the natural environment of the Hohe Tauern mountains. If the kids need a little runaround, there are several playgrounds along the way (i.e. at the ‘Piffkar’, the ‘Fuscher Lacke’ or the ‘Schöneck’). One thing is certain: a drive over the Grossglockner mountain pass is a fascinating and memorable experience for all ages.

Facts and figures: the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road

  • Ranks among the TOP 3 attractions in Austria
  • Spans a total of 48 km from Salzburg to Carinthia
  • 36 bends – cornering fun for bikers and motorsports enthusiasts
  • Takes you deep into the 1800m2 Hohe Tauern National Park
  • The road’s highest point is the Edelweißspitze at an altitude of 2500 m
  • Direct views of the Grossglockner and its 3798m peak
  • Construction started on 30 August 1930
  • The grand opening ceremony took place on 3. August 1935
  • Every year, the road draws 900,000 visitors from all around the world

Can you add an interesting fact or figure about the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road?

Are you ready to cruise along this legendary high-alpine road? You can certainly look forward to a unique and memorable excursion.

If you have any questions, or would like to find out about discounted day-trip tickets for cars and motorbikes, please contact us or send us a no-obligation holiday enquiry. You can also call us on +43 4824 2700-20 – we will be delighted to assist you.

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