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Hallstatt to Salzburg via Grossglockner, can we do it in one day?

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Hallstatt to Salzburg via Grossglockner, can we do it in one day?

Old Dec 27th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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Hallstatt to Salzburg via Grossglockner, can we do it in one day?

I am trying to work out our driving trip through Austria next June. I could break up that particular day and spend a night in Lienz but would then loose a day in Salzburg. Any suggestions?
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Old Dec 27th, 2006, 02:50 PM
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Hi,
You say... "Lose a day in Salzburg" ...out of how many days in Salzburg? You state "driving through Austria". From where and where else are you going? Driving from Halstatt to Salzburg via the Grossglockner doesn't make much sense to me. In Oct. we drove from Ramsau, Germany (by Salzburg) over the Grossglockner and stayed in Heiligenblut (at the end of the Grossglockner). What I can say is we left about 9am. and arrived in Heiligenblut about 2pm. To drive back over the pass or down to Lienz and back up...I don't see it.
Paul
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Old Dec 27th, 2006, 03:35 PM
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You could drive Salzburg - Bad Ischl - Hallstatt- Golling - Bruck -Grossglockner Glacier - return to Bruck - Zell am See - Saalfelden - Lofer - Bad Reichenhall - Salzburg. But that's really pushing it, especially since you never know the traffic on the Grossglocknerstrasse. If you get stuck behind a tour bus (which is a high probability in June), it's slow going. Where are you going after Salzburg? You could do Salzburg - Hallstatt - Salzburg on one day, and then -if you are heading west - the Bad Reichenhall - Lofer - Bruck etc. route on your way west.
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Old Dec 27th, 2006, 06:05 PM
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That is a good question you raise. My suggestion is to take better look at what there is to see in the area before deciding.

For me, it is not only the Grossglsockner Hochalpenstrasse itself but the national park at the end of the road to the west which overlooks the longest glacier in the eastern Alps.

It is called the Hohe Tauren National Park. There are hiking trails, a viewing building, and a tram down to the the glacier. Also in that region is Krimml Falls which are regarded as the highest in Austria.

So if you limit yourself to a simple traverse of the route, you will miss some of the more scenic parts of the journey.

Heiligenblut is a small, but picturesque town on the southern flank of the mountains. The Post Hotel there is a very nice place to stay and, when I was there, served the best Wienerschitzel I have yet found. (And yes I went to that famous place in Vienna where the schnitzel flops over the side of the plate, Restaurant Figlmüller.

So before you decide on time and distance, take a look at a map of the area and decide on your priorities.

I for one enjoyed my traverses of the Hochalpenstrasse - to the extent that I have done it both ways. Just make sure you have good tires and good brakes on your car. The car I had was poorly geared and I either revved the engine up close to redline to gear it down, or dropped down a gear which was too fast and I had to do such prolonged braking that I could smell the brakes. I stopped on the way down to let them cool. No place for brake fade.

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Old Dec 28th, 2006, 12:29 PM
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Thanks to you all for your prompt replies. I see that I should be more specific with my itinerary:

June 13-Arrive in Vienna for 3 nights
June 16- Pick up car in downtown Vienna, tour Danube area from Krems to Melk, and tour Melk Abby. Spend the night in Melk or Enns.
June 17- Drive to Hallstatt, spend the day and overnight there.
June 18- Drive to Lienz tour the city and spend the night.
June 19- Drive the Grossglockner and then on to Salzburg. Overnight in Salzburg
June 20- Leave Salzburg and catch a mini bus from Linz at 1 pm to Cesky Kromluv.

The problem is, I may encounter bad weather when I plan to drive the Grossglockner. I will be forced to drive in rain or fog through the mountains to reach Salzburg if I overnight in Lienz. First, I considered staying in Zell-am-see so I would be on the northern side of the mountains, it will be easy to just change plans and drive up to Salzburg. Or, I can just bite the bullet and plan the 5-6 hour drive through the Grossglockner from Hallstatt and spend the night June 18 in Salzburg. This would give me 2 nights in Salzburg and would allow me to skip the Grossglockner entirely if the weather is poor.


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Old Dec 28th, 2006, 07:41 PM
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OK, that now all makes more sense.

You need not take the Grossglocknerstrasse if the weather is bad. You can also go Lienz - Matrei- Mittersill - and then to Lofer either via Zell am See, Saalfelden, or Kitzbuehel - St. Johann - Lofer, and then on to Salzburg either via Bad Reichenhall or Berchtesgaden. Although the Matrei - Mittersill portion of the road also goes over a pass, it is a wide, well maintained all weather route.

I have driven it a couple of times coming from Cortina and had no problems. It just isn't as scenic as the Grossglockner.
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Old Dec 29th, 2006, 01:59 PM
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Treplow, is Lienz a very interesting city to visit? I have noticed both good and bad "reviews". What if I skipped the Grosslockner all together and visit Berchtesgaden with Eagles Nest and Mt. Jenner? It would be easier but would I be missing the true Austrian mountain experience?
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Old Dec 29th, 2006, 02:38 PM
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Lienz really isn't that much of the "true alpine experience". The prettiest place along the Grossglockner route (in addition to the impressive glacier) is the village of Heiligenbluth. That's the one you usually see on the post cards.

Starting in Salzburg, I think the following will give you a few nice "alpine experiences": Take a one-day trip on the B-305 to Berchtesgaden, but about halfway before you get to Bgd'n look on your left for the turn-off to the Rossfeld. The Rossfeld Hochbergstrasse will take you to the parking lot at the Obersalzberg where you pick up the special busses to the Kehlsteinhaus (aka Eagle's Nest). If you misss the turn-off, just continue on the B-305 to the Berchtesgaden RR station and pick up the road to the Obersalzberg.

After visiting the Kehlsteinhaus, drive to the Berchtesgaden RR station. That's where the road to the Jenner and Koenigseee branches off. But if you have been to the Kehlsteinhaus,then you can skip the Jenner. Rather take a boat ride on the Koenigsee, but don't get off of St.Bartholomae; continue to the end of the lake and return. The wait for getting back onto the boat at St. B. is not worth the stop. Then return to Salzburg, with perhaps a short stop at Maria Gern.

Otherwise, continue from the B'gadn. RR station on the B-305 to Schneizlreuth. There,turn right and follow the B-305 to Reit im Winkel. Watch out: just before Inzell, the B-305 turns left. Follow the signs to Reit im Winkel. Reit is a very typical alpine village.

From R. follow the B-305 to Unterwoessen, Grassau. Past Grassau,at the traffic circle, the B-305 turns left. You keep on going straight to the Autobahn Munich Salzburg.

Another, 2-day trip, is: Salzburg - Bad Ischl - Hallstatt. Stay overnight there. Then take the road to Bischoshofen - Saalfelden, via Muehlbach am Hochkoenig - Dienten - Maria Alm. This is phantastic pass road trip, very scenic and not crowded with toutists. Maria Alm is a nice Tirolian village. Be sure you pick the Muehlbach - Dienten road, not the croweded B-311 through St. Johann
After Saalfelden, follow the road to Lofer, Schneizlreuth and either Bad Reichenhall - Salzburg or Berchtesgaden - Salzburg.
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Old Dec 29th, 2006, 04:07 PM
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Treplow, thanks so much for your great ideas! Now I'm excited. Do you think your suggestions for touring the areas around Berchtesgaden will be as "Alpine" as Grosslockner? It would certainly be easier and more on our way.
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Old Dec 29th, 2006, 06:01 PM
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Of course every one has another definition of "Alpine". For me, who grew up in the area I was describing to you and who now lives in Colorado, my suggestions certainly qualify as "alpine". In ther words, you got cragly mountains to look at, varian-style houses and villages, etc.with a modicum of nice restaurants with good views and food as well as oads that are not jammed. thers may define "alpine" as clambering up steep mountains trails away from people.
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Old Dec 29th, 2006, 07:37 PM
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Lienz is another town in south Austria.
If you go farther south you reach the Dolomites, famous for their steep sided peaks. Other than the Ötztal, particularly the western ridges where there is a small glacier still groomed for summer ski activity, the high relief of the Grossglockner area is outstanding mountain terrain.

It has been a while since I was able to do it, but I have hiked to the top some of the 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado (Holy Cross, Harvard, and Yale.) You will be rewarded for visiting the area just as the above poster said.

If you want mountains, I would almost recommend cutting time in the cities and heading for the mountains. That is what I do!!

Seeing the sights of Salzburg does not take all that long; two days perhaps depending on whether or not you want to attend a performance at that magic show known as the Marionetten Theater.

But that fort up on the hill, a stroll around the old town, and a visit to Mirabell Gardens just about does it for me in the city part. I do recommend not missing the water display at Schloss Hellbrunn. It is fun and the engineering aspects of the hydraulics should intrigue anyone who can spell hydrostatic.

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Old Dec 29th, 2006, 07:49 PM
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PS OOPS forgot one of the highlights of my last visit: A guided tour of the Festspielhaus. People who waste money on one of those chintzey SOM tours which leave out the Festspielhaus would do better to see one part of the set that is real: The main auditorium carved into the side of the mountain. (That is where the von Trapps performed and then escaped to hide in the convent before they took to the hills where the Swiss border was conveniently moved about 150 miles east for the movie.)

By the way that famed gazebo is or was a discarded piece of cheap carpentry dumped on the grounds of Schloss Hellbrunn. I have heard that the Salzburgers woke up to the fact that it lured in tourists and have taken steps to rescue it after some eager visitors stomped a hole in the floor doing their revival of the tryst scene between Liesl and the Nazi postboy.

When I saw it last, it was an abandoned derelict with peeling paint.

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Old Dec 30th, 2006, 03:45 PM
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Bob_brown, I saw a documentary on Salzburg that explained the history of the "Gazebo", very amusing.

Treplow, I traced the tours through Mittersil, Rossfeld, Maria Alm and Reit im Winke with Viamichelin and it looks very interesting. Could I skip the Grossglsockner and still see enouph of this region? I know asthetic questions like this are difficult to answer but you seem to know the area.
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 03:01 PM
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I tried to avoid answering your question because I know I'm starting whole new discussion. But, yes, if you can fit in the two side trips I outlined for you, I would skip the Grossglockner. This way you have more variety of mountain views and also have a bit more flexibility: Save the day trips for days when the weather is good. You don't need perfect weather to enjoy Salzburg, but you want to have clear wetaher to enjoy the mountain views.

My favorite places: Hallstatt, the trip across the pass from Muehlbach am Hochkoenig to Saalfelden/Maria Alm, and Reit im Winkel. Lots of good photo ops.

If you get to Reit around lunch or early dinner time, drive about 4 km on the road from Reit to Koessen. On your right you will see the sign to the Peternhof, a resort with good food and great views of the mountains (Wilder Kaiser, etc.) It will take you about 1 1'2 hrs. from Reit back to Salzburg

And don't forget: To drive the Austrian autobahns you need a toll decal, availbel for about $10 for 1 week at any gas station.

However, if the trip from Hallstatt to Bischofshofen , and north of Reit i. Winkel back to Salzburg is the only time you use the Austrian autobahn, take a good look at your road atlas: There are side roads you can use from Golling to Bischofshofen (after Hallstatt) and from Bad Reichenhall to Salkzburg without using the Austrian autobahn. I don't mind spending the $10, it's the principle!
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Old Jan 1st, 2007, 05:32 PM
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Treplow, thank you for your suggestions. I think I will alter my plans to the following;
Instead of an overnight in Hallstatt I will drive on to Zell am See via 164 through Saalfelden. Thus I will complete that scenic route.

The next morning if the weather is good I will drive up the northern half of Grossglocker and drive back the same way. I can then drive on to Salzburg. If there is more time that day I can complete the drive up 305 to Reit im Winke or leave that for the next day after a walk through Salzburg.
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Old Jan 1st, 2007, 06:13 PM
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Enjoy your trip(s).

If you make Reit im Winkel part of your Grossglockner trip, on the way back go from Bruck to Zell am See (be sure you take the by-pass, although it is in a tunnel with terrible exhaust gas air) to Saalfelden, Lofer. In Lofer turn left onto the B-312 toward St. Johann i. Tirol.

18km out of Lofer, in Erpfendorf, turn right and follow the sign to Koessen. It's a nice drive alonmg a valley.

Before you get toKoessen, you come to an intersection (13km from Erpfendorf), the road to Koessen veers to the left, that to Reit i. Winkel to the right. You will be entering R.i .W.the back way (8km), passing the driveway to the Peterenhof on your left.

Depending on the timing, there is another good place to eat in Waidring, in a resort on your left. Can't think of the name right now.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 11:02 AM
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Bookmarking - some great advice here for Alpine drives.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 12:04 PM
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thanks,flygirl, for finding this thread! We will be in this exact area in Sept....were thinking about the train but I think now we will drive..

interesting about the SOM tour also...when I watched the movie just recently I,too, noticed that the Swiss border had been moved!
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 11:37 AM
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Just a short trip report. We left Hallstatt early in the morning and drove the Grossglockner starting on the Northern end. We drove south as far as the Grossglockner peak and then returned the same way we came in. It was a real highlight of our trip.

My suggestions are to get a very early start or plan to spend one night on the Grossglockner. There is so much to see, the glacier, lots of stops for views and some very short trails.

Surprisingly it was not a frightening drive. The drive up Mount Washington was more of a "nail biter". Something not to miss is the incredible alpine flora. Each square foot contains a bonanza of tiny, unique flowering plants.

After Hallstatt and the Grossglockner Salzburg was a bit of a letdown. To drive into the center was most difficult and the historic center was mobbed. The castle was very interesting but still this was my least favorite part of Austria. Just my personal opinion, you may love it.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 03:03 PM
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http://www.alpineroads.com/
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