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Motorcycle tour through Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse

Actually, it was supposed to be the end of our vacation. The last attraction – Stelvio, we were driving the day before, now we were about 800 km away from home. The plan was to get up in the morning, eat breakfast and return to Poland. That’s what we did, but on the way, it turned out that someone decided to “improve” our return plan, at the same time organizing the Ironman Triathlon competition on the collision course. We had to wait about 3 hours for them to finish and for the roads to be open again. Somehow we had to use this time, so we didn’t even see how our motorcycle tour through Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse started.

Motorcycle tour through Grossglockner – 48 kilometres ofserpentines and breathtaking views

This is how Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse can be described in short. This is probably one of the most famous high altitude roads in the High Tauern, connecting Salzburg with Carinthia. It was built in the 1930s and runs through all alpine climate zones into the land of eternal ice – the largest glacier in the Eastern Alps – the Pasterze glacier. The Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse was supposed to be technically superior to all similar high mountain roads. Its aim was to attract as many rich and foreign tourists as possible to Austria, which was in crisis after the World War I. Route designer Franz Wallack estimated that the route would be visited by around 120,000 tourists a year. He was called a fantasist. Today he would be a visionary.  Every year Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse is visited by about one million tourists.

The route adapts perfectly to the terrain and surroundings. It has been designed in such a way as to interfere as little as possible with the natural environment and the area of the High Taurian National Park. Below is a map that we found on the official website You can also see there archival photos from the construction of the route and check the current ticket prices.

Motorcycle tour through Grossglockner – what is worth to know

  • The route is open from May to the beginning of November from 5-6AM to 9:30PM (depending on the season).
  • If the melting rate of the Pasterze glacier does not change, it will dissolve completely in about 35 years, so do not postpone the departure for retirement, pack up and start even tomorrow, unless it is the middle of winter.
  • It is located at an altitude of 2571 m above sea level, the maximum slope is 12%.
  • The surface is very good and very well maintained.
  • The route is not difficult and demanding. The bends, although sharp, are very wide and well shaped.
  • Along the route is a mass of viewpoints and good tourist facilities – several restaurants, toilets.
  • The ticket price includes all entrances to the attractions – museums of nature, historical, seasonal and permanent exhibitions. Parking lots are also included in the price.
  • There are several cameras installed on Grossglockner, so you can always check the weather conditions. You can find the link here. And we’ll tell you right away that it’s worth it, because often Grossglockner is completely surrounded by clouds with zero visibility.

Motorcycle tour through Grossglockner – ticket prices valid for 2019

Unfortunately, nothing is for free, the route does not maintain itself – you have to pay for it, so the people entering it are charged a fee. And it’s quite a lot, in our opinion, but it’s definitely worth it. Below you will find a table with current prices for 2019. We have heard that some hotels near Grossglockner reimburse the cost of tickets if you buy a night’s stay, but we never had the opportunity to check it out. We recommend Haus Maria in Bruck an der Grossglocknerstrasse, run by Polish motorcyclists hosts. With the “MOTOTRASA” password you will receive a 10% discount from them.

Grossglockner HochalpenstrasseMotorcycleCarComments
One-day ticket27,50 €37,50 €
One-day ticket for electric vehicles21 €27,50 €
Surcharge for the next day13 €13 €
3-weeks card51 €61 €
Bypass card34 €44 €Valid as a day card for the Grossglockner and Felbertauernstraße (toll tunnel) within 30 days.
Card for 3 passes41 €The price includes three passes Grossglockner, Gerlos and Nockalmstrasse.
Seasonal card106 €106 €Valid from the date of purchase until the road is closed for winter, but no longer than 31 December of a specific year.

A bunch of useful links at the end

  • Grossglockner is one of our favorite mountain routes, we have been there many times and we have always been surprised. Check out our slightly newer entry – Grossglockner on a motorcycle? 5 reasons why we will never get bored with it!
  • We have prepared a ready-made proposal for a trip to the Alps and the Italian Dolomites, which of course also includes Grossglockner. Take a look at our plan day after day – maybe it will help you or inspire you to change your route. The link to the article can be found here.
  • Grossglockner is not the only one of its kind in Austria – you should definitely see Timmelsjoch. You can find some of our pictures and route description at this link.
  • If you are travelling through Austria in transit on motorways, don’t forget the vignette. Current prices can be found here.

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