Location: Province of Tyrol, Austria
Length: 32 km
Wide: 5 m standard, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 5): 4
Highest point: 1441 m
Operating times: throughout the year
Drautal Straße B 100, Pustertaler Höhenstraße
Route: Sillian – Abfaltersbach – Anras – Leisach
The Pustertaler Höhenstraße is known for being one of the most scenic drives in Austria. Located in the upper Puster Valley in the Province of Tyrol, the Pustertal High Mountain Road crosses the charming Alpine landscape, winding its way through meadows, thick woods and a variety of small but picturesque mountain villages.
The Pustertaler Höhenstraße, part of the extreme course of the Dolomites cycling tour leading from Lienz via Gailberg and Kartitschersattel, is particularly enjoyed by racing cyclists due to its steep slopes and was also featured twice by the famous Giro d’Italia. In addition to the breathtaking views, this route also offers a challenging experience of fitness and endurance.
This enchanting high mountain road runs through the Lienz region of Austria and offers impressive views of the lofty Lienzer Dolomites. The Pustertaler Höhenstraße covers around 32 km from start to finish and can be completed in less than 1 hour, although it is worthwhile to take it easy and include time to take some breaks to enjoy the great views and the multitude of beautiful places you’ll encounter along the way.
Starting from the small market town of Sillian, close to the Italian border, the Pustertal follows a eastwards, uphill direction towards Leisach, near East Tyrol’s capital Lienz. With a maximum slope of 17%, this curvy mountain road will provide an unforgettable driving experience through the Austrian countryside. Most importantly, it’s open all year round and has no toll fee.
On the ascending road you will pass through the lovely village of Anras. Well worth a visit, you will find in its center an interesting baroque style church and lots of places where you can get a drink or a snack. Equally worth visiting is the castle of Anras, built in the twelfth century and home to many interesting exhibitions and events.
The highest point of the Pustertal High Mountain Road is at 1441 m, which is reached again with an impressive 12% gradient.
Along the way you can also make a small detour and visit the Assling Wildpark, a game park with over 100 animals of 30 different species. Here you can observe the wildlife in their natural environment or you can take the fast route: a twisting descend through a summer toboggan that goes through the park, a favourite for families with children.
Finally, the end point of the journey is Leisach, a typical Tyrolean village with a fascinating architecture. The main points of attraction are the Lienzer Klause, a very old fortress dating from the 13th century and the medieval five-storey parish church, built in Gothic and Neo-Gothic styles.
Photos: almhotel-lenz.com, walderhof.it, fotocommunity.com, panoramio.com, ytimg.com, vivosuedtirol.com, schlosserei-konrad.at, wikimedia.org, osttirol.com, feriendorf-hochpustertal.com