Top 7 Breathtaking Mountain Roads of Austria

Last Updated on 3rd April 2024 by admin

Austria, a country nestled in the heart of the Alps, beckons road trip enthusiasts with a network of scenic mountain roads that carve through breathtaking landscapes. These meticulously engineered routes take drivers on unforgettable journeys, offering heart-stopping panoramas, charming villages, and the thrill of navigating switchbacks and mountain passes.

Austria is a European country rich in culture, and Austria’s tourist attractions are very famous throughout Europe. Austria also has a well-developed road network with beautiful scenic views that let you reach your destination comfortably. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography buff, or simply seeking an adventure on the open road, these beautiful roads of Austria promise to captivate your senses and leave you awe-inspired.

1) Grossglockner High Alpine Road

Grossglockner High Alpine Road Austria

One of the topmost surfaced mountain pass road in Austria – the Grossglockner High Alpine Road is the most beautiful. Undisputedly it is the king of Austrian mountain roads, which is a 48-kilometer long masterpiece, designed by Austrian architect Franz Wallack. A visit to the Grossglockner High Alpine Road starting from the Haus Alpine Naturschau to the Heiligenblut is open for visitors.

On the other hand, it has nexus with Bruck in the state of Salzburg with Heiligenblut in Carinthia through Fuscher Torl as well as Hochtor Pass up to 2504 meters. Apparently, the road is given the name of Grossglockner, which is Austria’s highest mountain. It is actually made for a long route. This engineering marvel winds its way up to an elevation exceeding 2,500 meters, offering unparalleled views of majestic 3,000-meter peaks, including the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest mountain.

Visitors can stop at informative exhibits and the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe visitor center, soaking in the splendor of the surrounding glaciers and alpine meadows. This might be one of the most amazing rides of one’s in a lifetime. The amazing view of the rodeside is breathtaking. Mountains, snow, clear sky, tunnels, what else a person would ask for a perfect ride. 

2) Gerlos Alpine Road

Beautiful Gerlos Alpine Road, Austria

But Austria’s mountain magic extends far beyond the Grossglockner. Buckle up for a journey on the Gerlos Alpine Road, a 12-kilometer scenic route that winds its way between Krimml and Königsleiten in the Pinzgau region. Designed by the same architect as the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Franz Wallack, the Gerlos Alpine Road seamlessly integrates with the landscape, offering a smooth ride with dramatic scenery between Salzburg and Tyrol.

The Gerlos Alpine Road is a popular choice for families and those seeking a more relaxed driving experience compared to some of the more challenging mountain roads in Austria. This mountain pass meanders through rugged terrain, offering sweeping views of crystal-clear lakes, verdant valleys, and towering peaks.

Travelers can also explore attractions such as the Durlaßboden Reservoir and indulge in authentic Tyrolean cuisine at local mountain huts. The road is well-maintained and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, including the Hohe Tauern National Park. Along the way, you’ll find several scenic pullovers where you can stop and take in the breathtaking scenery.

3) Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road

Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road

The Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road, also known as the “Secret Passage,” is steeped in history and natural beauty. Road is 35-kilometer scenic route that climbs a staggering 1,860 meters from Sölden in Austria to Meran in Italy. This road is not for the faint of heart, with 60 hairpin bends and a steep incline, but the reward is a truly unforgettable driving experience.

As you ascend the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road, you’ll be treated to ever-changing views of the Ötztal Alps on the Austrian side and the Ortler Alps on the Italian side. The Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road is open from late spring to early fall, depending on the weather conditions. There is a toll to drive on the road, which can be paid by credit card or cash.

The road also crosses the main Alpine ridge, making it a unique opportunity to drive from one country to another in a breathtaking setting. The Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road is a paradise for thrill-seekers, offering a challenging and rewarding driving experience.

4) The Nockalm Road, Carinthia

nockalm road austria

For a unique experience, consider the Nockalm Road, a scenic 34-kilometer route nestled in Carinthia’s Nock Mountains. This charming drive winds its way through gentle slopes and rolling hills, offering a more relaxed alternative to some of the more high-altitude, challenging roads. These routes are a haven for motorcyclists and cyclists alike, offering stunning vistas and a true connection with the mountains.

The Nockalm Road isn’t about breakneck speeds; it’s about savoring the journey. Cruise along at a comfortable pace, taking in the beauty of the Nockberge mountains, Europe’s largest stone pine forest, and the colorful pastures dotted with grazing sheep.

The Nockalm Road offers more than just stunning views. Be sure to stop at the numerous lookout points for breathtaking panoramas. Explore the fascinating exhibitions along the route, which delve into the region’s geology, fossils, and alpine farming traditions.

5) Villach Alpine Road

Villach Alpine Road, Austria
Image Source: Facebook 

The Villach Alpine Road, also known as Villacher Alpenstraße, is a scenic mountain road located in Carinthia, Austria, close to the borders of Italy and Slovenia. Villach Alpine Road, a 16.5-kilometer scenic route that winds its way up the Dobratsch mountain near Villach. With 116 curves and an elevation gain of 1200 meters, this road offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, lakes, and valleys.

Stop at the various viewpoints along the way to soak in the breathtaking scenery. The Aichinger Hütte lookout point offers panoramic views of the Gailtal valley, while the Rosstratte car park at the summit provides a breathtaking vista of the entire region.

The Villach Alpine Road is a popular destination for motorists, cyclists, and hikers. It’s open year-round, but during the winter season (from mid-November to mid-April), the road is maintained by the City of Villach and its trafficability depends on the weather conditions. If you’re looking for a scenic drive with stunning views, the Villach Alpine Road is a great option.

6) Silvretta High Alpine Road

Silvretta High Alpine Road

The Silvretta High Alpine Road is a famous and beloved panoramic route nestled amidst the Austrian Alps. It connects the Montafon region in Vorarlberg with Paznaun in Tyrol, offering a breathtaking journey through stunning alpine landscapes.

The road stretches for 22.3 kilometers (13.8 miles) and boasts 34 curves, climbing up to an elevation of 2,032 meters (6,667 feet) at the Bielerhöhe pass. The scenic drive winds its way through dramatic mountain scenery, with sparkling lakes, lush meadows, and towering peaks along the way.

The road is typically open from June to October, depending on weather conditions. During winter, Bielerhöhe can be reached via the Vermunt cable car and the Tunnel Bus. If you’re looking for a scenic drive with stunning views and plenty of outdoor activities, the Silvretta High Alpine Road is a must-visit. Just be sure to check the opening times and weather conditions before you go.

7) Kaunertal Glacier Road

kaunertal glacier road, Austria
Image Source: Facebook 

The Kaunertal Glacier Road is a panoramic toll road hailed as one of the most beautiful roads in the Alps. It winds its way through the Kaunertal Valley in Tyrol, Austria, up to an elevation of 2,750 meters (9,022 ft) at the edge of the Weißseeferner glacier. The 26-kilometer (16-mile) route with 29 hairpin bends offers a dramatic ascent, showcasing a diverse alpine landscape along the way.

The road is usually open from May to late October, depending on weather conditions. The road can be narrow and winding in some places, so be sure to drive slowly and carefully. The high altitude can also cause issues with car performance, so make sure your vehicle is in good condition.

Travelers can also visit the Gepatsch Stausee reservoir or explore hiking trails to experience the region’s natural beauty up close. Overall, the Kaunertal Glacier Road is a must-drive for anyone visiting Tyrol, Austria. Just be prepared for the tolls, potential weather challenges, and the exciting twists and turns!

Planning Your Mountain Drive

Austria’s mountain roads are typically open from May to October due to weather conditions. Be sure to check the specific opening dates and road closures before embarking on your trip. Tolls are usually applicable on these scenic routes, but the fee is a small price to pay for an unforgettable adventure. So, buckle up, gear down, and get ready to be awestruck by the breathtaking beauty of the Austrian Alps.

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