The Road of Dreams was created for us all to enjoy being in the mountains, and experiencing that high alpine feeling, comfortably and safely.
Put this on your list of ‚things to-do‘ when you are staying with us in Zell am See, there could not be a better location from which to start this EPIC JOURNEY.
We tried to capture the essence of the trip in a little sports car, the way that Franz Wallack might have imagined it if he were alive today.
You drive from Zell am See towards, the little town of Bruck, here you will find the start of the road, and you cross the bridge over the river Salzach joining the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, and then you just follow the road.
After, around 17 km you will arrive where we parked shortly for a quick pit stop, the Toll Booth where you buy a ticket and get a map to help find things on this magic road.
Our journey today is not so much about the visitor centres, which is a huge part of the road for family visits these days. However, today our focus was on the driving experience in the alps.
First, get in line, and buy a ticket. You can do it online, but we always like to say hello at the window to whoever is working that day, because it just feels nice.
Now the journey up really starts, with 48 kilometres to the other end of the road from here you get to enjoy 46 hairpin bends, engineered for pleasure and enjoyment. The road has a constant gradient of 12% which makes it very enjoyable to drive, and easy to read. So you can have some fun and enjoy the scenery at the same time.
If you are the passenger, or the driver you will enjoy this if you will love it.
And you just keep driving, gently upwards and onwards ascending into the mountain using a route that has been followed for thousands of years by the Celts, the Romans, traders and migrating animals from North to South.
Remember to check your mirrors.
The first big stop, The Alpine Centre. With a cafe, toilets, a nature museum, a shift shop and some really cool views, this place is a must at some point in the day.
At the top left of the next photo you see the Edelweiss Spitz, which is the highest part of the road, we stop there later on our way back.
First, a quick pit-stop here at the Nature House.
Just follow the signs and off you go.
We drive up to the little tower and then drive down towards the magic lake by the small construction museum and Herberts Hütte known as the Mankeiwirt, which is the Austrian word for Marmot.
Take in the scenery, we always say that if you can share the driving it is always nice because the view from the driver’s seat is awesome, but the view from the passenger seat is also something to treasure.
A lovely place to stop, and take some time. Walk around the lake, pop into the museum and enjoy the sounds and sights.
If you look up at the peak just above the hut, at the highest point, this is the Edelweiss Spitz from the other side now.
We had a cake and a coffee with Herbert, for old time sake, and now it’s time to burn some rubber towards the other end of the road, Heiligenblut.
The scenery where is real, but at the same time un-real, soak it up and make sure you take one of two photographs along the way.
This is the other side of the long tunnel, on the highest point of the main Grossglockner High Alpine road, 2504m above sea level.
We are heading down there now to the town called Heiligenblut, which is the other end of this famous road.
Winding our way down the Alpine Road, and following signs for Heiligenblut eventually you arrive at the only roundabout on the road, and that is where you turn.
If you continue at the roundabout, you can also follow signs to the Kaiser Franz Josef visitors centre, but that was not our mission today.
The Grossglockner standing at 3798m above sea level is the highest mountain in Austria, and it is simply stunning to see it. Especially from this amazing road, when it is nestled in amongst the green valley.
We arrive at the town perched on the hill at 1300m.
We have enjoyed some twists and turns in the road, and so much beautiful scenery and then we arrive here, with one of the best distance views of the Grossglockner from this side.
A brief pit-stop for us today, and then we pass back through the toll station. The day ticket allows you in and out during the day, so driving the road from end to end and enjoying the perfectly engineered corners is, easy.
A quick salute to his majesty, and then enjoy the sound of the engine as your drive back up the mountain road. The next stop for us is the Edelweiss Spitz.
After some extremely enjoyable turns, we arrived at the Edelweiss Spitz, as today was the first blue sky day, and a Saturday it was extremely busy, so we drove with care, and at the top didn’t manage to find a space to park, so we took this shot of the cobbled street on the way down.
Edelweiss Spitz road is only suitable for smaller vehicles. At the top, you can climb a small tower and enjoy 360-degree views. Has to be seen to be believed.
We hope that you enjoyed this blog. There should be enough photos to whet your appetite for a visit. Just ask us for some more information when you check-in and then go and see it for yourself.
The Road of Dreams. The Grossglockner High Alpine Road.
Driving is believing.