The Großglockner is the highest mountain in Austria., standing 3,798m in the Austrian Alps. Roughly translated, it means "Great RInger". We were lucky enough to enjoy the beauty of the panoranama and sights of the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße (Großglockner Alpine Highway) yesterday. At the commencement of the drive, which is in the Hohe Tauern National Park just past the town of Fusch in Austria, the temperature recorded was 4ºC. This ranged through to -1.5ºC at the 2,100m level.

Although at most times we were amazed by the awe of the sights, it is worth noting that this is not a trip for the faint hearted. The road can be narrow in some places with tall cliff faces on one side, high climbs on the other, not to mentioned wet from the melting snow with the ocassional snow and ice making the challenge even larger. For the inexperienced drivers, regular tour busses challenging you from the opposite direction can very qucikly change the mood of the adventure.

The 185km drive from home to the entrance of the Alpine Highway was a pleasant one, the navigation system taking us into some quaint but very pretty Austrian towns, health spa, golf courses and ski fields, then a fantastic country route along the mountain range. After paying our entrance fee and the guidebook, the adventure began.

We can can not recall how many times we said "wow", "wah" and "ooohhh - it was simply of these things "to die for!". We looked forward to seeing the "Marmot", an alpine groundhog or large ground squirrel but inclement weather sent them inside. These things are called the Alps Mouse, their fat make great ointments which ease muscle aches, cramps and according to an alpine shop assistant, headaches.

The ocassional restaurants, information centre and museum throughout the 54km Alpine drive made the trip all the more interesting. In Austria, one can't go past the Vienna Schnitzel of course and we trip a rather large dumpling for dessert called the "Germnudeln" - most recommended. Just like a large Chinese steamed bun ("Tai Pau" in cantonese) in a syrup made from melted butter mixed with black pine sugar - definately not Cholesterol free!


September 30th, 2007

Navigate to Florence
Navigate to the Hochalpenstrasse


Images of the Hochalpenstrasse




We found the people along the Alpine HIghway friendly, but perhaps not until we start speaking and smiling a lot. A young lady very excitedly told us how to use the Marmot ointment, where and how to find live Marmot along the highway and finally gave us good advice on the route we should take to avoid inclement weather.
The history of the Alpine road, its inhabitants and wildlife was well documented and displayed. We enjoyed the interesting presentations. We rate this 3 out of 5.

Oh yes, we will definately be back. Perhaps in the summer season when the road is less slippery or prone to dangerous "black ice". We were treated well, we saw lots and had a great experience overall. Being close to home is also a great motivation for coming back. We rate this 4 out of 5.

Not a cheap drive, The entrance cost €28 for the day trip but that comes down dramatically if you purchase seasonal passes. Food prices were better than what we had experienced in Munich. We rate this 3½ out of 5.

Again, in the absence of a perfect science to perform an overall rating, our “emotional” rating methodology should suffice.  Purely by emotional traits, we would rate the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße a 3½ out of 5.

Hochalpenstrase, AT




Overall Score