September 2012
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The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is a panoramic road in Austria

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is a panoramic road in Austria, in the state of Salzburg.
• It connects the state of Salzburg with the state of Carinthia.
• It is named after the Großglockner which is the Austria’s highest mountain.
• It leads with numbered hairpin curves to the Kaiser Franz Josefs Höhe Visitors’ Center.
• It has a panoramic view of the Pasterze Glacier and the Großglockner Mountain itself.
• The road is a toll road.
• It has toll booths at Ferleiten in the direction of Salzburg.
• Motorists arriving from the south from Carinthia come through Heiligenblut.
• The country’s highest peak is called Grossglockner.
• It is located on the border between Carinthia and the East Tyrol.
• Grossglockner High Alpine Road, with its gorgeous panorama’s is highly recommended to get a great view.

Opening Times

• Usually the road opens in first days of May until 15 June: 6am – 8pm.
• 16 June until 15 September: 5am – 9.30pm
• 16 September until end of October: 6am – 7.30pm.
• Last admission: 45 min. before night closure.

There are many informative signboards that give insight into the fascinating landscape and the fauna and flora along the Grossglockner High Alpine Road:
• Alpine Nature Show Museum (2,260 m) – to learn about the highly sensitive and many-faceted Hohen Tauern region.
• Fuscher Törl gate (2,428 m) – a memorial designed by the internationally renowned architect, Clemens Holzmeister.
• Hochtor (High Gate) (2,503 m) – highest point on the main road with the border between the states of Salzburg and Carinthia.
• “Celts, Muleskinners and Romans” nature trail.
• Kaiser Franz Josefs Höhe Visitor Center (2,369 m) – 4 floors with everything there is to know about glaciers and ice featuring the Glockner cinema, Glockner panorama room, “Power Room” and changing special exhibitions.
• Gamsgruben trail – easy access panoramic trail from Kaiser Franz Josefs Hohe above the Pasterze Glacier to the Wasserfallwinkel Glacier.

Serpentine curves (Wilfried-Haslauer-Haus)
• The opening of the Felbertauern Road (1967) and the Tauern Motorway (1975) throttled traffic by nearly 15 per cent.
• It also permanently changed the character of the Großglockner High Alpine Road.
• This road is from the only transalpine road over the 158 kilometres (98 mi) main alpine crest between the Brenner Pass and the Katschberg Pass, to an excursion road from a catchment area with a radius of around 130 kilometres (81 mi).
• The Glockner Road also reflects the material advance of the people.
• Increasing the number of visitors made the stage-by-stage modernization of the road necessary after 1953.
• The road was increased from a width of 7.5 metres (25 ft), to 15 metres (49 ft) in place of 10-meter (33 ft) bend radius.
• There are 4,000 parking places instead of 800 and an annual capacity of up to 350,000 vehicles.
• In 1937, the road could only be traversed for 132 days, but in 1963 the road could be traversed for 276 days.
• The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is normally open from the beginning of May to the end of October.

In Austria, one can find:
– Glaciers
– Meadows
– Alpine valleys
– Wooded foothills
– Gently rolling farmland
– Vineyards
– River gorges
– Plains
– Semi-arid steppes
• One quarter of Austria’s population lives in Greater Vienna.
• This is a European metropolis that is located where the Danube meets the easternmost fringe of the Alps.
• This is not far from the border with Slovakia and its capital Bratislava.
• Virtually all government, financial and cultural institutions, as well as national media and large corporations are based in Vienna.
• The capital dominates Austria’s cultural and political life.

Places to see in and around Austria

1. Lake Constance
• This is a big lake situated in Vorarlberg.
• This lake is shared with Switzerland and Germany.

2. Kaprun
• This is a part of the Europa Sport Region.

3. Pinswang
• This is one of the most ancient settlements of the North Tyrolean Ausserfern.
• This is on the border with Bavaria.
• It takes a short walk or drive to the famous King Ludwig’s castles.

4. Salzkammergut
St. Anton
• This is a popular ski resort in Austria.
• This resort is on the Vorarlberg-Tyrolean border.

5. Thermenland
• This is one of Austria’s warmest lakes.

6. Zell am See
• This is one of the most important alpine tourist towns in Austria.

7. High Mountain National Park
• This is in the Zimmertal Alps.
• It peaks up to 3476m, narrow gorges and steep cliffs.

8. National Park Thayatal
• This park combines beautiful valley landscapes with a variety of castles and ruined fortresses.

9. Grossglockner
• The country’s highest peak is called Grossglockner.
• It is located on the border between Carinthia and the East Tyrol.
• Grossglockner High Alpine Road, with its gorgeous panorama’s is highly recommended to get a great view.

10. Villgratental
• At the feet of mountain peaks you’ll find luscious valleys.
• This includes Villgratental.

11. River Danube
• The river Danube created some beautiful valley landscapes.
• Here you’ll now find famous vineyards.
• Wachau and Dunkelsteinerwald in Lower Austra are fine (and protected) examples.
• The valley landscapes and hillsides are dotted with countless picturesque villages.

12. Historical places

• Austria boasts a wealth of majestic architecture and historic structures.
• It was long a centre of power in the Holy Roman Empire.
• Here you will find palaces and magnificent city architecture.
• Addition to these you will find grand cathedrals, monasteries and churches.

• This is the country’s capital and most popular destination.
• It is packed with Medieval and Baroque structures.
• Schonbrunn Palace with its 1441 rooms is the absolute highlight.
• Tiergarten Schönbrunn, is the oldest zoo in the world.
• The 12th century St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the most prominent religious building.
• Salzburg combines delightful Alpine surroundings with a beautifully preserved historic center.
• Innsbruck, at the heart of Tyrol is a historical place. The Mariazell Basilica in Mariazell is one of the country’s most visited attractions and an important pilgrimage destination.

Murauer Bier
• The Murauer Brewery has a permament brewing museum.
• Turn up on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
• The tour includes the museum, brew house, a video presentation and a free Murauer beer or lemonade in any of their bars in the town.
• Price: 3€

Judenburg Sternenturm
• There is a (locally) famous planetarium.
• The town also has a town tower.
• It offers views of the entire area.

Burg Riegersberg
• This wonderfully preserved medieval castle is privately owned by the ruling family of Liechtenstein.
• Entry is cheap.
• The castle can be reached by walking up the original access path that winds its way through the castle’s defensive gates.
• There is a cable car which ascends the other side of the hill.

Zotter Chocolate
• Also near, Riegersberg is the Zotter chocolate factory.
• They make all their chocolate in an ethical and organic manner.
• The tour of the factory allows you to taste all of their varieties of chocolate (around 150).

Things to do there:

– Skiing and Snowboarding
– Cycle Touring
– Music
– Movies

• Most trails and mountain huts are maintained by the Austrian Alpine Club.
• Some are run by other equivalent organizations, such as the German, Dutch and Italian Alpine Clubs.
• Mountain huts are meant to be shelters, not hotels.
• During the high season (August), it’s a good idea to book in advance.
• Prices for the night are usually around 10-20€ (half for Alpine Club members).
• Meals and drinks are quite expensive.

Best time to visit / climate

– Austria has a temperate continental climate.
– Summers last from early June to mid-September.
– It can be hot in some years and rainy in others.
– Winters are cold in the lowlands and very harsh in the Alpine region.
– In alpine region the temperatures often drop below -10° C (14° F).
– Winters last from December to March.
– In the Alpine region large temperature fluctuations occur all year round and nights are chilly even in high summer.
– The area around Vienna often experiences strong easterly winds.
– The high season is August.

Location on Google Maps

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Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:,+5661+Rauris,+Zell+am+See+District,+Salzburg,+Austria&hl=en&geocode=FUVvzgIdGvfDAA&hnear=Grossglockner+High+Alpine+Rd&t=m&z=14

How to get to Austria?

1. By plane
• There are 6 airports in Austria with scheduled flights.
• The most important international airport is Vienna.
• This has connection to all major airports of the world.
• Other international airports include Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz, and Salzburg.
• They provide domestic flights as well as connections to some European countries.
• Those airports are particularly popular with cheap airlines such as Ryanair.
• For traveling to the western states it is recommended to use the very close Munich airport.
• The most common airports to visit Vorarlberg are Altenrhein (Austrian), Friedrichshafen (Ryanair, Intersky) and Zurich (Swiss).
• If visiting Austria for winter sports, choose airport considering cost and duration for the whole trip (plane+transfer).

2. By Bus
Eurolines Austria has bus schedules from Austria to all major European countries and back.

3. By Car
From Germany
– Motorway A8 from Munich to Salzburg.
– Motorway A93 from Rosenheim via Kufstein to Innsbruck, Tyrol.
– E43 (A96) from Leutkirch via Wangen to Bregenz, Vorarlberg.
– E56 from Regensburg via Passau to Linz, Upper Austria.
From Italy
– Motorway A23 to Villach, Carinthia.
– E54 via Brenner to Innsbruck, Tyrol.
From Slovenia
– E652 to Villach,Carinthia.
– E57 via Spielfeld to Graz, Styria.

4. By Train
• The OBB (Austrian Railways) operate high-speed ICE and RailJet trains from cities like Zurich,Munich,Frankfurt, Passau, and Budapest.
• Eurocity trains are the next fastest trains.
• Regional trains called EURegio and simplyRegionalzug are also avialible from all 8 of Austria’s neighbors.

Austria & the Alps 2000 – 2007 DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Austria Frommer’s Austria

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