- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- German Phrases
Grossglockner High Alpine Highway
Grossglockner High Alpine Highway Review
This is the excursion over the longest and most spectacular highway through the Alps, officially named the Grossglockner High Alpine Highway—the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse. The road was completed in 1935, after five years of labor by 3,200 workers. From Heiligenblut the climb begins up the Carinthian side of the Grossglockner Mountain. The peak itself—at 12,470 feet the highest point in Austria—is to the west. The Grossglocknerstrasse twists and turns as it struggles to the 8,370-foot Hochtor, the highest point on the through road and the border between Carinthia and Salzburg Province.
A side trip on the Edelweiss-Strasse leads to the scenic vantage point at the Edelweissspitze. It's an unbelievable view out over East Tirol, Carinthia, and Salzburg, including 19 glaciers and 37 peaks over the 9,600-foot mark. The rare white edelweiss—the von Trapps sang its praises in The Sound of Music—grows here. Though the species is protected, don't worry about the plants you get as souvenirs; they are cultivated for this purpose. However, it is strictly forbidden to pick a wild edelweiss (and several other plant species), should you happen to come across one.
You can get somewhat closer to Grossglockner peak than the main road takes you by following the highly scenic but steep Gletscherstrasse westward up to the Gletscherbahn on the Franz-Josef-Plateau, where you'll be rewarded with absolutely breathtaking views of the Grossglockner peak and surrounding Alps, of the vast glacier in the valley below, and, on a clear day, even into Italy.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
Our 40th anniversary (20 day) trip to Germany-Vienna: Part 1 - Castles
Overview: My wife and I celebrated our 40th anniversary with a trip to Germany and a side trip to Vienna. Read more
Report Abuse We recently returned from Bavaria, Germany and Austria (Sept 1-20). Read more
Hi, my boyfriend and I are planning a 20 day backpacking trip in May. Read more
· News & Features
With Art Basel Miami now in town, it's prime time to consider the 7 reasons why you should be taking a... Read more
New York City offers irresistible retail therapy during the holiday season.... Read more
Next year, crazed soccer fans the world will descend upon Brazil, host of the 2014 World Cup.... Read more