Grossglockner, Austria

Grossglockner High-Alpine Road

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Located in Europe’s biggest alpine national park, the Grossglockner (3.798 m) is Austria’s tallest peak. It towers above Austria’s other tallest peaks, the Hohe Tauern, and the Pasterze Glacier, the East Alps’ longest and most symmetrical glacier. 

What is the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road? 

The Grossglockner High-Alpine Route is undoubtedly Europe’s most renowned panorama road, and this magnificent alpine environment is now more accessible to the general public than ever before. The Grossglockner Alpine Road receives more than one million tourists each year, making it Austria’s second most popular tourist destination after Schönbrunn Castle. The Grossglockner High-Alpine Road is regarded as a piece of engineering. Franz Wallack, an Austrian civil engineer, worked tirelessly to realize his idea of a north-south link between Salzburg and Carinthia through the Fuscher-Törl. Five years and 4000 workers produced something few believed possible: a technological and organizational achievement that inspired ideas still relevant today. 

Located between Salzburg and Carinthia, the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road is one of Austria’s top 3 tourist attractions. There are 36 bends in it. When the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road winds its way through the mountains, it is filled with floral meadows of vibrant colors, rocky rubble, and ice, and snow. It resides close to the hills, moves along the path of the natural ground, and wraps itself snugly around the mountains. In the top areas, roaring winds, gushing waterfalls, and marmots’ high whistling create an amazing high alpine soundscape. 

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Where is the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road? 

The Grossglockner High-Alpine Road is located in the middle of the High Tauern National Park. With a total of 48 km in length and 36 bends, the Mountain Pass route leads to one of Austria’s biggest national parks that span over Salzburg, Tyrol, and Carinthia. The Edelweissspitze is the highest point on the mountain road at a little over 2,500 meters. Many 3,000-meter peaks are seen from here, but the biggest is the Grossglockner. The 3,798-meter-high mountain dominates the whole area and is also the tallest peak in the Alpine Republic.

Tickets, Prices & Opening Hours 

Normally, the day ticket for a vehicle is 37,50 €, but it is lowered to 27,50 € for journeys that take place after 6 pm. Normally, the day ticket for a motorcycle costs 27,50 €, but it is lowered to 21,00 € for journeys that take place after 6 pm. It will cost 47,00 € for trucks up to 3500kg maximum, 121,00 € for trucks above 3500kg, and it will be free for trucks returning on the same day. The cost of a bus group is 5,90 € per adult and 2,90 € for each kid. It costs €37.50 for a bus with up to six people or an empty bus. The return journey is free on the same day. 

From early May until early November, the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road is open. 6 am to 8 pm from 1 May to 31 May, 5.30 am to 9 pm between 1 June and 31 August, and 6 am-7:30 pm from 1 September to 31 October. 

Day Trip to Grossglockner High-Alpine Road 

Your journey across the Grossglockner may range from being physically demanding to be educationally rewarding. Abundant possibilities exist to immerse oneself in the natural environment of the Hohe Tauern mountains, with many walking paths and hiking tours starting right off of the road. The Pasterze Glacier Trail gets you up close to the glacier’s everlasting ice, while the Gamsgrubenweg trail takes you further into the mountains. Those in favor of multi-day hikes or those attempting long-distance hikes might look at the ‘Glocknerrunde’ circuit and the renowned Alpe-Adria Trail. 

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Additionally, the Grossglockner High-Alpine Route is filled with a wide variety of suitable activities for families, including many exhibits and museums that are conveniently located on each side of the road. Its themes vary from historical construction and present operations to interesting information about the natural surroundings of the Hohe Tauern mountains, and they are all fascinating to read. Visitors come over and over to see the most popular sight in the Hohe Tauern, which is also Europe’s biggest conserved area and is home to over 10,000 kinds of animals, along with more than 1,800 types of plants. The Hohe Tauern National Park has a total area of about 1,856 square kilometers, with 266 mountains surrounded by lush forests, hundreds of lakes, gorgeous waterfalls, untamed rivers, and over 250 glaciers. If your children need a little exercise, numerous playgrounds are located along the route to accommodate them. The journey through the Grossglockner Mountain pass is an interesting and unforgettable experience for people of all ages, without question. 

The Grossglockner Glacier 

The Grossglockner looms above the 8 km Pasterze glacier, the longest in the Eastern Alps. While the Pasterze reached its greatest extent in 1850, the glacier gradually retreats every year. A 2.5-kilometer-long glacial lobe has melted since 2014. Perpetual ice is neither rigid nor constant. Over time, long-term records reveal the ice flow pushing over the bedrock with enormous weight and pressure. During the Ice Age, glaciers sculpted a vast number of European landscapes. When you come face to face with the Pasterze, you get a sense of the tremendous forces that came and continue to come into play. 

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Grossglockner Hike 

Even non-alpinists are familiar with the Grossglockner as a must-see destination because of its lengthy glaciers and other high-elevation features. Through the use of mountain huts located throughout the passes and ridges, hikers may immerse themselves in the history and culture of the Grossglockner. The Grossglockner High-Alpine Route, the country’s highest paved mountain pass road, is named for the massive mountain and aids in its accessibility and renown. 

The views from the top of Grossglockner include Piz Bernina and the Adriatic Sea. To be precise, it is situated in a national park – Hohe Tauern National Park – and adds levels to the fascinating scenery as you climb. One of the most rewarding ways to experience the grandeur of this unique mountain is to participate in a guided trip to the top.

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