Except for perhaps Switzerland, no country packs in the scenery quite like Austria. So, if you’re thinking about going on an amazing adventure this summer, you’ll want to put this nation at the centre of your plans.
Soaring peaks. Cute mountain villages. Long stretches along the tranquil River Rhine. Austria has all these and so much more.
But how can you experience all of this during your trip? If you’re on a bus tour, you’ll barely have time to appreciate anything before your guide drags you off to the next attraction.
Consider campervan hire. It’s a popular way to explore Austria, as it allows you to move at your pace. You’ll also save loads on accommodations, as you carry it with you wherever you go. But there’s one last problem – where will you go?
Allow us to help you with that one. In this blog, we’ll share our top five favourite road trip routes in Austria. Let’s get going.
Grossglockner High Alpine Road
Mountain lovers won’t want to miss this one. At 2,504 metres above sea level, it is the highest paved road in all of Austria – and it is a beauty. It crosses the spine of the Eastern Alps dramatically – 48 kilometres and 36 hairpin curves later, your mind will still be spinning.
Despite the relatively short distance, you’ll spend hours on this route. Scenic pull-offs, museums, and hiking trail line the route from start to finish. You’ll swear you’ve pulled over for the last time – only to stop the van again a short time later.
Plan your whole day around this route – you’ll not want to be in a rush. But once you finally finish, roll into Camping Sportcamp Woferlgut, where a luxurious swimming pool awaits.
B200 Highway, from Warth to Muselbach
In the western panhandle of Austria is Tirol, one of the country’s most mountainous regions. So, you’ll want to plot a route through this area. Of all the roads in the region, few are as scenic as highway B200.
This twisty road tightly hugs the banks of creeks and the sides of mountains, affording stunning views. In places, the terrain is extreme, the highway passes through protective sheds, which protect motorists from avalanches and rock slides.
Along the way, you’ll pass through several resort towns and villages. This road is only 50 kilometres from end-to-end, but it might take you more than a day to complete – it’s that scenic. After that, keep rolling on to Camping Lindau Am See, where you’ll spend a night on gorgeous Lake Constance.
Romantic Road of Austria, from Salzburg to Vienna
Like Germany, Austria has plenty of cute villages and towns in its countryside. And just like its cousin, Austria has a Romantic Road of its own. In this country, they’ve laid out a 380-kilometre-long route from Salzburg to Vienna that takes in its best sights. It’s not just historic town centres you’ll get to see – there’s numerous castles, palaces, and monasteries along the way as well.
The town of Bad Ischl, the Göttweig Benedictine Monastery, the Lake Mondsee Neolithic Pile Dwellings (UNESCO World Heritage Site) are all highlights. But take your time along this stretch – your trip’s highlight is bound to be something you won’t ever suspect.
Styrian Wine Route
Into wine? Slowly make your way along the Styrian Wine Route. Located in rolling agricultural land south of Graz, it takes on an appearance that many compare to Tuscany.
As you make your way along one of eight identified roads through the Styrian wine country, you’ll stumble across dozens of vineyards. Here, they take the ideals of the Slow Food movement to heart – from the vintages to your meals, everything you’ll get adheres to this higher standard.
Route of Emperors and Kings (Austrian portion)
Back in the days when several royal families ruled the European continent, the Austrians were no pushovers. Their territory covered not just modern-day Austria but parts of Germany, Hungary, and other European countries.
Through the middle of it all ran the River Danube. Today, an epic road trip route that covers the history of this kingdom runs along this waterway. Follow it through Austria, and you’ll find palaces, castles, and monasteries that all had importance during the days of Marcus Aurelius, House Hapsburg, and other famous rulers.