Location: Provinces of Salzburg and Carinthia, Austria
Length: 41.1 km
Built: 1930 – 1935
Wide: 7.5 m, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 5): 4 – 5
Highest point: 2572 m
Operating times: May – October
Großglockner Straße (B 107)
Route: Fusch – Gemeinde Heiligenblut
The Grossglockner High Alpine Road (German: Großglockner Hochalpenstraße) is the highest paved mountain pass road in Austria. It connects the provinces of Salzburg and Carinthia via two major mountain passes: Fuscher Törl and Hochtor Pass.
Completed in 1935, this road is thought to be the prototype of scenic road building in Europe and it made accessible to the public Austria’s highest summit: the Grossglockner, with an altitude of 3,798 m. Also known as “the black mountain”, the Grossglockner is one of several 3,000 m peaks found in the area.
This spectacular mountain road is opened between the beginning of May and the end of October, but the portion between Ferleiten and Heiligenblut is accessible also during winter . Another interesting fact about this road during winter time is that snow depths of more than 10 m are a common occurrence here, the record snowfall being 21 m in 1953.
Located at the heart of High Tauern National Park, one of the largest nature reserves in Central Europe, the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße is one of the most important touristic landmarks in Austria. Built from the beginning as a scenic route that is in total harmony with the majestic alpine landscape, a drive on this road is considered compulsory for visitors of the Austrian Alps. An important fact to mention is that the Grossglockner is a private road and you will be asked to pay a toll for the passage.
Starting from the village of Fusch, the Grossglockner Alpine Road has a length of 41.1 km and a width of 7.5 m. It crosses several vegetation zones: from pristine mountain pastures, through the rocky environment and going up high to the perpetual ice of the the Pasterze, the longest glacier of the Eastern Alps.
Having earned the title “The most beautiful road in the Alps”, the Grossglockner has a maximum slope gradient of 12% and a number of no less than 36 impressive hairpin bends that were intentionally designed to offer unforgettable views into the picturesque alpine landscape.
Navigation on this route is easy as you will find the milestone marked 0 at Gasthof Lukashäusl at the Glockner Bridge. From here onwards, there are granite stones with kilometre markings found on the roadside at least every 200 m.
The highest point of the mountain road is the Edelweissspitze located at 2572 m. Here you will find a stone tower with an oval base that has an excellent 360-degree view over the surrounding peaks and glaciers, a parking lot and a “bikers point” for motorcyclists. To the northwest of the summit there is also a refuge with a restaurant and accommodation facilities, the Edelweißhütte.
Photos: grossglockner.at, c1.staticflickr.com, upload.wikimedia.org, hotel-sonnblick.at, osttirol.com, thecolcollective.com, cookiesound.com, files.lampenhaeusl.at, gerlhof.at, nationalpark.at, meurers.net, blog.osttirol.com , hohetauern.at
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