Discovering Austria's Nockalm Road: An Unforgettable Drive with 52 Hairpin Bends

Nockalmstrasse (Nockalm Road) is a breathtakingly beautiful drive in Carinthia, in the Karnten region of Austria. It’s one of the scenic Austrian Alpine roads.

Nockalm Road

How long is the Nockalmstrasse (Nockalm Road)?

Tucked away in the Nockberge National Park, this lower alpine road is 34km (21.12 miles) long. It’s a toll road running north-south from Innerkrems to Ebene Reichenau.

When was the Nockalmstrasse (Nockalm Road) built?

The road was completed in 1981.

Is the Nockalmstrasse (Nockalm Road) challenging?

This picturesque journey boasts 52 hairpin bends (104 in total for the round trip) winding gracefully through the mountainous terrain and serene valleys. The road conditions are nearly flawless, and the curves are harmoniously distributed, making for an enjoyable ride. As the road ascends, reaching a maximum gradient of 12%, the vistas continually evolve, revealing ever more expansive landscapes. With each upward twist and turn, the stretches of straight road lengthen, offering captivating panoramic views of the spectacular surroundings.

Is the Nockalmstrasse (Nockalm Road) open?

Set high on the southern part of the country, in the Carinthia's Nock Mountains, the road tops out at 2.042m (6,699ft) above the sea level, by Eisentalhöhe. It’s open from the beginning of May to the end of October. Between 6:00 pm and 8.00 am, motorcycles are not allowed.

Is the Nockalmstrasse (Nockalm Road) worth it?

Navigating through this exceptional landscape is unquestionably a rewarding experience. It offers numerous spots for capturing memorable photographs. The road is particularly busy on weekends and during peak holiday seasons. The road's gentle gradient is an ideal factor that amplifies the distinctive appeal of the Nockbergs and their unique, rounded summits, known as 'Nocken'. These geological wonders are unique within the entire Alpine region. A journey through the Nockbergs is an enduring memory for every nature enthusiast. The path winds through Europe's sole national park nestled in gentle high mountains, housing the largest swaths of spruce and stone pine in the eastern Alps. As you journey through this mountainous landscape, you will be treated to sweeping panoramic views in every direction and you'll discover a myriad of inviting wooden mountain huts serving delicious Carinthian specialties. A key highlight of this drive is the multitude of impressive vantage points that provide awe-inspiring views.
Pic: Andeas Madritsch