Whether you are a petrol head, car launch organizer or just looking for your next incentive idea, the Carinthia region in Austria is definetely worth paying a visit. It offers some of the most scenic and fascinating driving roads in the world, which also served as magnificent backdrops for many popular movies. Twisty bends between green mountain meadows, panoramic views of the Alps, healthy mountain air and roads to die for make it an unforgetable experience for both motorists and cyclists. Here is our pick of the “must drive” roads in Carinthia:
1. THE GROSSGLOCKNER HIGH ALPINE ROAD
ONE OF AUSTRIA’S TOP 3 DESTINATIONS AMIDST THE ALPS
48 kilometers long, 36 hairpin bends and an artistically planned-out route distinguish this beatiful scenic road in the Caritnhia region in Austria. The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is like an ornament of ribbons located between green mountain pastures, colourful flower meadows, rocky rubble, ice and show. It nestles up against hills, follows the course of the natural ground and fits the mountains like a glove.
Located at the foot of Austria’s tallest mountain, the High Alpine Road takes you up as high as 2,571 meters above sea level. The end point is the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe high above the Pasterze, the longest glacier in the Eastern Alps. Whooshing waterfalls, the shrill whistling of marmots and the howling wind in the summit regions create an unforgettable high alpine soundscape.
Once the road has been laboriously cleared of snow in spring the Grossglockner High Alpine Road can be opened to traffic every year in late April/early May. Guests from all over the world experience the fascinating alpine world on a road that is accessible to everyone until late October/early November.
More information can be found on www.grossglockner.at
2. THE VILLACH ALPINE ROAD
SPECTACULAR MOUNTAIN ROAD UP TO THE DOBRATSCH
There is no doubt that the panoramic road up to the Villach Alp is one of the most beautiful in all of Austria. It offers fantastic views of the city of Villach, the Julian Alps and the prominent south-flank of the Dobratsch, the largest landslide region in the eastern Alps. The reward of conquering 1,200 altitude metres from Villach-Möltschach up to the Rosstratte car park at 1,732 m above sea level are sensational views of the karst summits in the neighbouring countries Slovenia and Italy. Look forward to 16.5 adventurous kilometres amidst Carinthia’s oldest preservation area while breathing healthy mountain air.
Tip: the bikers’ point on the Rosstratte and numerous car parks along the Villach Alpine Road offer the most varied views of the Dobratsch and its surroundings.
More information on: www.villacher-alpenstrasse.at
3. THE NOCKALM ROAD
GENTLE MOUNTAIN ROAD WITH NUMEROUS ATTRACTIONS
Inviting, unhurried and overwhelmingly beautiful: soft green mountain pastures, pink alpine rose in bloom, sparse larch forests, rustic cabins and easy hiking trails line the 35 kilometer Nockalm Road. The road located between Innerkrems in the north and Ebene Reichenau in the south is, without a doubt, one of the most varied and beautiful alpine roads you can experience by car, motorbike or bus. The panoramic road winds up and down between the “Nock’n” through 52 bends and numerous turns with gentle incline. Numerous free exhibitions can be discovered in the Nockalmhof Biosphere Park Center and hiking in the habitat of the treasured spike lavender plant is just as much fun as visiting the numerous alpine huts and mountain inns.
More information on: www.nockalmstrasse.at
4. THE GOLDECK PANORAMIC ROAD
FANTASTIC VIEW OF THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF THE ALPS
The Goldeck Panorama Road, with a length of 14.5 km runs from Zlan to “Seetal” Goldeck terminal parking area at an altitude of 1,895m. It offers the perfect mix of driving entertainment and hiking fun. The road leads to a viewpoint with a particularly beautiful panorama of the Millstatt Alpine Meadow and Lake Millstatt, the Nockbergs, the Gail Valley, Karawanken and the Drau Valley. It can also be the starting point of many walks, hut hikes and mountain tours.
More information on: www.goldeck-panoramastrasse.at