Grossglockner Road – Austria

Alpine Driving at Its Most Beautiful

Feast your eyes on the essence of alpine beauty and take the white-knuckle, breathtaking drive along Austria’s lofty Grossglockner Road. Named after the country’s highest peak and traversing some of Austria’s most scenic regions, the road was an important trading route between Germany and Italy in the Middle Ages.

The fantastic Grossglockner Road (now also Highway 107) was built between 1930 and 1935, and while most adventurers strike out today from Salzburg, the road actu­ally begins farther south, in the heart of Hohe Tauern National Park. Almost 700 square miles in size, it boasts 300 mountains over 9,840 feet (3,000 meters), 246 glaciers, lush valleys, and dozens of pretty villages in which to seek a good meal and a simple over­night guesthouse.

Spectacular vistas of the park’s centerpiece, the towering Grossglockner, 12,460 feet tall, make it hard for drivers to keep their eyes on the hairpin turns. The 47-mile strip from Bruck to Heiligenblut is the most riv­eting, highlighted by the Edelweiss-Spitze and Franz-Josephs-Hohe, two awesome panoramic terraces at 8,500 feet and 7,800 feet respec­tively. Throw in the fantastic 6-mile sector called the “Road of the Glaciers” and you’ll have an unforgettable journey.

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