Location: Gurktal Alps, Austria
Length: 8.7 km
Wide: 5 m standard, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 10): 9
Highest point: 1,795 m (5,889 ft)
Operating times: open all year
Route: from Ebene Reichenau to Turracher Höhe Pass
Turracher Höhe Description
Turracher Höhe or Turracherhöhe is both a village and a pass across the Alps, in Gurktal Alps, Austria. The two places sharing the same name are separated by the border of the federal states of Styria and Carinthia.
The pass has a high altitude of 1,795 m (5,889 ft) above the sea level and a gradient of maximum 23%. It used to be the steepest Carinthian pass road, but it’s more gentle today as the roadway was moved.
To reach the pass, you should start your trip from Ebene Reichenau. Starting from that point, the ascent will be 8 km long and the elevation gain 721 heightmeters, with an average percentage of 7%.
The road is asphalted and open most time of the year. Even though the weather in the Alps is harsh and unpredictable, the road taking travelers to the pass is cleared of snow during winter, so it’s rarely closed.
As you would expect from a mountain road taking you to a pass, especially one located in the Alps, it features a winding design and cars slide smoothly on this curved road. Also, the Turracher Höhe road was known to be the steepest Alpine road in Europe. It had a gradient of 34%, at km 60. It also featured a test stretch for Porsche cars. Nowadays, the gradient has decreased to 23%, which still is a lot. The Carinthian side is the one having this still high gradient.
Overall, the curved road and the ascent, paired with an incredible scenery make this road a special one, worth of a drive.
The Alpine landscape
Those driving in this area, towards the pass, are surrounded by an amazing landscape that includes pine forests and a beautiful view of the Nockberge Mountains. This is also a great opportunity to those that love hiking, mountain biking or other outdoor leisure activities. Moreover, during winter, this is the perfect place for winter sports. Many people come here for skiing or snowboarding.
The Turracher Höhe Pass is accessible throughout the year and has many fun elements to offer, both to passionate drivers and travelers. Driving towards the pass is a pleasure, and the Alpine landscape only improves the experience.
Photo sources: https://www.turracherhoehe.at/de/sommer/vielfalt-am-berg, https://press.porsche.com/prod/presse_pag/PressResources.nsf/Content?ReadForm&languageversionid=929661&hl=christophorus-389-free, https://www.turracherhoehe.at/en/fotopoint/gipfelkreuz, http://jagersmond.com/location/summer