A Tourist Guide to the Grossglockner and the Grossglockner Alpine Road, Austria
The Grossglockner is the highest mountain in Austria and can be considered as “a must see” if you travel to Tyrol or Carinthia. You can view this mountain in as well Tyrol as Carinthia and is with its height of 3798 meters (12461 feet) the highest mountain of the Glockner group in the Hohe Tauern Range and even entire Austria.
It is often said “if you didn’t visit the Grossglockner, you haven’t seen Austria. This beautiful country in Europe has so many beautiful places to visit but if you once saw this beautiful mountain in the eastern Alps, you will never forget it and even hope to return back.
Before you consider climbing this mountain or you want to drive on the Grossglockner Alpine Road to enjoy the amazing views of this mountain, you need to inform if Grossglockner weather circumstances are good enough to have the most beautiful sights. A few clouds may not be a reason to cancel your trip but it would be regrettable that misty weather should avoid missing the highest peaks of this mountain. It is best to plan your trip if the sky is blue and you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view.
The first climb to the summit of the Grossglockner dates back to 1799-1800. Franz Xavier, count of Salm Reifferscheid organized an expedition to conquer him in reaching the summit of the Grossglockner as first one. Unfortunately, they reached the summit of the Kleinglockner instead of the Grossglockner. Next summer, the Klotz brothers and two carpenters from Heiligenblut succeeded to reach the summit of the Grossglockner.
The Pasterze glacier is with its 10 kilometers in length, a surface area of 20 square km and a depth of 300 meters located at the foot of the Grossglockner and still the longest glacier in the eastern Alps. You can reach this glacier by cable car after 142 meters.
It is a dream of many climbers to reach the top of the Grossglockner but you need a good condition to succeed. There are two routes to climb this mountain; one from Heiligenblut where you can already view the mountain from the village but the most popular one starts from Kals, a mountain village in Ost Tyrol.
The Grossglockner Alpine Road attracts annual more than one million visitors. This road was built between August 1930 and August 1935 conform the plans of engineer Franz Wallack and reaches a height of 2572 meters (8438 feet). More than 3000 people worked on this project and it almost a miracle that the construction was finished in only 5 years. It is only possible to drive on this 48 km Grossglockner Alpine Road from May to early November.
A popular observation point is the –Franz Joseph Hoehe and from there you can walk to enjoy some beautiful panoramic views of the Grossglockner mountain covered with snow, the Pasterze glacier, alpine fauna and flora, some waterfalls and you will meet certainly some marmots. These marmots are not afraid of tourists and you can take some beautiful shots of these funny animals. They have plenty of work during the summer months to provide enough food for the winter period.
It may also be possible to view the golden eagle flying who lives in the Grossglockner area. During your drive on the Alpine Grossglockner Road you can meet several cows and some wild alpine animals, for example the Capricorn and some others. With some luck, you discover even an edelweiss flower. These flowers are rarely to find and are protected flowers in Austria and you may never cut them.
The Grossglockner is a tourist attraction in the region Tyrol and Carinthia in Austria and offers breathtaking views for every tourist. You can drive by car, take the bus, cycle or even walk on the Grossglockner Alpine Road. This most spectacular Alpine road of Austria and even Europe reflects a harmony between the beautiful Grossglockner Mountain, ice-landscape, fauna and flora and the surrounded landscape of the High Tauern National Park.
Conquering the mighty snowfields, sparkling glacier and the rocky summit is the ultimate dream of most mountain climbers and a highlight of every vacation in the Alt Tauri National Park. A trip on the Alpine Grossglockner Road may not be missed during your holiday in the Alps of Austria and will always stay in your memories.