Großglockner High Alpine Road / Großglockner Hochalpenstraße
Großglockner High Alpine Road / Großglockner Hochalpenstraße is part of the Tentative list of Austria in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the state party.
Map of Großglockner High Alpine Road / Großglockner HochalpenstraßeLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
The road is set to be inscribed either this year or the upcoming ones. I am not surprised it gets an inscription due to the abundance of butterflies in the region.
There was one stop to see many of those but the other stops were closed. They also looked like needing a lot of refurbishing. Thus the main stop for the crowds is the glacier and they provide ample free parking. With proper equipment you can even hike to the glacier and back. One look at the howling tunnel and you will not want to hike there ;)
As much as I think glaciers are in need of protection, and there are already several on the world heritage list including its Swiss neighbour, I don't find adding another unique. In combination with the "natural beauty" and flora/fauna it is more of a nice bonus.
Pro tip: check what brochure they give you at the entrance as they gave me based on the rental car license plate so that's not very useful...I'm surprised they even had Hungarian!
I'm a little surprised there isn't already a review of this site, as it's slated for inclusion in 2019 and also one of the most visited locations in Austria. The Road itself was constructed in the 1930s as a Depression-era employment for Austrians, and was one of the first automobile roads constructed specifically for tourism purposes. It passes through some incredible scenery, with magical views of the Austrian alps on both sides. We visited on a sunny Monday in August 2018, and it was very busy already!
We drove from north to south, and opted to take both the Edelweissspitze and Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe side-tracks for even more scenic views. Note that the latter branch is the only place where you can actually see the eponymous Grossglockner mountain and accompanying glacier.
Scattered along the length of the road is a series of 14 information points, all of which have some interesting info about various topics: construction, local flora or fauna and so on. Lots of parking, souvenir shops, bars/cafes and the like at many of these stops.
Practical info: like the road, the toll is quite steep at 36 euros per car (less for motorbikes and free for bicycles I think). You can return the same day for free, and returning the following day is only an extra 12 euros. But we continued driving south, onwards toward the Dolomites!
Read more from Joel Baldwin here.
2018 Incomplete - not examined
2016 Added to Tentative List
The site has 1 locations