If you consider yourself a driving enthusiast, you have to take a ride on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. Located at the foot Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road is easily the most scenic driving strip in all of Europe. Some would say the world.
This marvel of 1930s engineering provides total immersion in Austria's highest Alps with views of forest-fringed waterfalls and pastures flecked with wildflowers, sapphire lakes and Austria’s highest peaks encrusted with pearly white glaciers. The drive is dramatic and the pristine Alpine landscapes of the Hohe Tauern National Park are positively uplifting.
Stretching from Bruck in Salzburgerland to Heiligenblut in Carinthia, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road goes on for 48-kilometres and features 36 hairpin bends and a 9% average slope gradient. Amongst the highlights of the drive is the Panorama Stage of the road, some 10 kilometres long at elevations above 2,400 metres. Here, the Grossglockner and its glacial fields meet you at eye-level.
The Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe is located at the end of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, offering visitors a diversified program on four floors, including exhibitions and a cinema. Close by, in the Wilhelm Swarovski Observation Station, cutting-edge optical equipment lets you watch mountain climbers and wildlife.
For nature up close and personal, take the 30-minute hike down to the Pasterze Glacier. At 8 kilometres, the deeply crevassed glacier is the longest in the Eastern Alps and, as the signs remind you, it is retreating rapidly. The fact that it has shrunk to half its size since the 1850s is a timely, if somewhat frightening, a reminder of the impact of global warming and the fragility of Alpine ecosystems.
|Day ticket for cars
|Day ticket for motorcycles
Beginning of May to the beginning of November until May 31: from 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
June 1 – August 31: 5:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
From September 01: 6:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.