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Grossglockner High Alpine Road - Austria

Grossglockner High Alpine Road Grossglockner High Alpine RoadGrossglockner High Alpine RoadPasterze GlacierPasterze GlacierGrossglockner High Alpine Road

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is one of the most scenic and dramatic routes in the Alps. The road goes from Lienz north through the Hohe Tauern National Park and passes right under the highest mountains in Austria. Both sides are extremely windy and steep, with many hairpin bends all the way up.

There are many places to stop and enjoy the view as the road leads over the 2500m summit. This is well above the snow line and in June when the road has just been cleared the snow is piled almost 15 feet deep alongside the road.

The most scenic part of the road is at Franz Joseph's Hohe, a viewpoint set right beneath the Grossglocker Mountain with views of the Pasterze Glacier below. A funicular railway takes you down to where the glacier was in 1968 when it was built. As the ice has receded since then, it's a steep walk down into the valley. It's a strange world there with the snowy peaks above and hundreds of metres of ice below and makes you feel unbelievably small!

The whole Grossglockner route is incredible, especially early in the summer when there's still snow on the mountains, reaching down like fingers into the sheltered valleys. It is however an extremely hard drive with miles and miles of hairpins on both sides although these are really well built. It is also a quite expensive toll road, at upwards of €25 for a day pass. However the views are fantastic and it is well worth the long and hard drive. You'll want the whole day to appreciate the dramatic beauty of the Grossglocker so it's worth camping close to the pass and then again not far from the other side.

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