Valley routes and riverside roads are towered over by looming mountains, themselves marked by the serpentine passes carved into them. Sprawling cities that achieve a blend of the contemporary and the classic, with streets that are flanked by both striking modernity and elegant artistry. Austria is a country of contrasts, each one serving to accentuate the unyielding beauty that is apparent in every aspect of it.
Grossglockner High Alpine Road
Ranging 48 kilometres and reaching heights of over 2500 metres, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road presents an undoubtedly majestic experience for adventurous drivers. Punctuated by elegant turns, the route’s climbing stretches are flanked by sweeping greens and sheer, rugged mountain terrain, while the soaring, frigid peaks of 3000 metre tall mountains stand tall in the distance. Surrounded by the crisp air of lofty mountain heights, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road’s serpentine features and picturesque scenery cement its position as one of Austria’s most beautiful driving roads.
Silvretta High Alpine Road
At 25 kilometres long, the Silvretta High Alpine Road – a route that connects Paznauntal Valley with the Montafon region – presents a thrilling prospect to the daring driver. A series of corners and hairpin turns are scattered across the mountain’s panoramic landscape, each connected by lengths of tarmac reaching ever-higher towards the peak. At 2032 metres high, said peak soars above the region below, rewarding the intrepid with an absolutely breathtaking look down at what surrounds them. Rolling blankets of green, white, and grey, the road ascending up the mountain’s face acting as an accent to it all.
Hahntennjoch Pass Road
Connecting Salvesental Valley and Bschlabertal Valley is the Hahntennjoch Pass Road. At 29 kilometres long, the pass’ sheer face is lined with sweeping panoramic views over the land. The ascent is characterised by the rugged, rocky face texture of its landscape, the sprawling stretches of it divided by the twists and turns of the path snaking its way up towards the peak. Once this point is passed, however, a dramatic change in the experience is brought to life. While the ascent presents itself as a monolith – a staggering pillar that almost seems to challenge intrepid drivers – journeying past the peak transforms it into a winding, meandering expedition through verdant carpets of green, with charming old farm houses scattered across it.
Nockalm Road stands in stark contrast to the dizzying heights and imposing, stone-laden faces of other mountain routes. 35 kilometres long, the alpine road offers those driving across it a more moderate experience, immersing people in the pleasure of the drive rather than the thrill of it. Its bends and its turns blend into the terrain, as if they had always been part of the stone pine forest flanking it. The vast length of grey accentuates the rise and the fall of the land, instilling a distinct sense of awe as it immerses you in a breathtaking driving experience.
Gerlos Alpine Road
With graceful, twisting curves embedded into rolling green pastures, and towering waterfalls providing a stunning backdrop against the winding trail, Gerlos Alpine Road grants its drivers with an utterly unique experience, nestled away into the heart of the Eastern Alps.Totalling 69 kilometres from start to finish, the road provides a beautiful route to cruise through. Gliding across the surface of the road and immersing yourself in the natural masterwork that encompasses the Gerlos Alpine Road delivers a distinct sense of awe, every step of the way.
A sheer ascent leads adventurous drivers over the mountain’s stony surface. Frozen peaks loom over the hairpin switchbacks and climbing straights. Patches of green and yellow cover the rocky landscape below, while a serpentine length of grey carves a line through it. Sölk Pass stands as a challenge to drivers, as if daring them to engage with an ineffably exhilarating drive. While the view across the land below is indeed stunning, to ascend the pass is its own reward.
Austria is brimming with driving experiences, themselves filled with contrasts. Cities blend modernity with the timelessness of classical artistry. Frosted peaks sail into the sky, lining the horizon. Between them lies all manner of beautiful experiences, from the fairytale to the graceful and elegant. Whether you choose to travel the cities in utmost comfort with a chauffeured limousine, unfurl the roof of a convertible and let the crisp air rush past you, or scale its mountain passes in an SUV or an exotic supercar, Austria’s drives lack nothing.