Driving the legendary Grossglockner High Alpine Road in the Alps

Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße is one of the most scenic and dramatic routes in the Austrian Alps. Along the way, you will have a driving and nature experience of a special kind on 48 kilometers of high alpine road. It’s one of the scenic Austrian Alpine roads.


Why is it called Grossglockner High Alpine Road?

This toll road is named after the Großglockner, Austria's highest mountain, and leads you into the heart of the Hohe Tauern National Park, to the highest mountain in Austria, the Grossglockner, at an elevation of 3,798m above sea level, and its glacier, the Pasterze.

Where does Grossglockner High Alpine Road start?

The Großglockner High Alpine Road is totally paved and links the state of Salzburg with the state of Carinthia. It’s 48km (30 miles) long and features 36 hairpin bends, running from Fusch-Ferleiten (in Salzburg) to Heiligenblut (in Carinthia).

How long does it take to drive the Grossglockner High Alpine Road?

The drive is very scenic throughout the season and among the most scenic panoramic roads in Europe, with views of numerous mountain summits. Plan about one and a half hours to complete the drive without stops. However, it’s the perfect day trip activity if you are doing a full road trip around the Alps. Every year, the road draws 900,000 visitors from all around the world. On the road, there are plenty of restaurants and snack bars to stop at, and along the route, you can also visit various exhibitions. The road has been featured in the Giro d'Italia bicycle race.

Is the Grossglockner High Alpine Road open?

Set high in the Eastern Alps and winding its way through green alpine pastures and rocky landscapes, the road tops out at 2,504 m (8,215 ft) above sea level, at Hochtor Pass/tunnel. The road is usually open from the beginning of May to the end of October. Beside the standard opening times, access to the road can be limited due to the changing weather conditions at these high altitudes. It’s said to be the highest surfaced mountain pass road in the country.

Opening times of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road:

 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. 

How old is the Grossglockner High Alpine Road?

Built on ancient Celtic and Roman trails, the road follows ancient trails as people crossed the Hochtor almost two thousand years before Christ. Planned from 1924 onwards, it nearly took 5 years, between 1930 and 1935, and 4000 laborers to open it to visitors on August 3rd, 1935.