Großglockner Hochalpenstraße Road
The Großglockner Hochalpenstraße Road is Austria′s tourist attraction number 2 (after Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna), measured in the total amount of visitors it attracts. It is a road up to the glacier by the Großglockner, with 3,798 metres the highest mountain of Austria and one of the highest of Europe.
To stay with superlatives: it is most probably the easiest mountain to get access to, since the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße Road leads cars straight up to high alpine terrain, which you would normally have to hike to in hours and hours of hard work. The scenery around the road is nothing but stunning: high mountains, glaciers and bizarre rock formations are supplemented with rare flora and fauna.
The Großglockner Hochalpenstraße Road was built between 1930 and 1935, much like the Gaisberg Panoramastraße to fight unemployment and boost tourism in Salzburg. It is in within the Nationalpark Hohe Tauern, and so you could be lucky and observe the ibex or more likely marmots at the Franz-Josefs-Höhe.
Großglockner: Austria′s number two attraction
Signposts and little museums that are included in the road fee make the ride over the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße Road an experience that rivals Disneyland - but much less tacky. It peaks at Austria′s longest glacier, the Pasterze and if you want to cross the Alps, you can go towards Heiligenblut in Carinthia - but in that case you would leave Salzburg, and honestly, you don′t want that, do you?
The highest point you will access by car only is the Edelweißspitze at 2,362 metres; from its peak you will be able to see up to 37 mountains higher than 3.000 metres and 19 glaciers. If you are going to Salzburg, if you are getting hold of a car and if you plan to do only one day trip - the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße Road is where you want to go!
The road is generally open from May to November; keep in mind that you enter high alpine terrain, so even if you go in August, leaving the city of Salzburg at boiling 30 degrees Celsius, bring a warm jacket and expect possible snowfalls. The road office in the valley will inform you about any possible obstacles, so there is no safety issue involved.
Official website - opens in new window
Wikipedia on the mountain - opens in new window
Community by the Grossglockner - opens in new window