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Self-drive holiday from Salzburg

Lungau – Millstättersee - Grossglockner

© by Großglockner Hochalpenstrassen AG, Foto: Christian Wöckinger

Austria’s compact size, good road network and fabulous landscape are perfect for a self-drive holiday.

We put together some suggestions for a self-drive from Salzburg that gives you a variety of experiences. Visit historic villages and medieval castles, get back to nature on fantastic family-friendly hikes in the Alps, enjoy a relaxing lakeside stay and drive on some truly stunning roads. So let’s hit the road!

Historic Mauterndorf, Lungau

Starting from Salzburg (we’ll get back to the city’s sights at the end of the feature), you head south on the A10 motorway for a 75 km / 47-mile drive before you exit and continue past Radstadt and on to B99. As soon as you have gotten off the motorway, you have more time to enjoy the scenery. Furthermore, the drive over Obertauern and down to the historic village of Mauterndorf gives you the first taste of the Austrian Alps. The medieavel village also has a well-preserved castle with fun for the entire family.

  • Mauterndorf, Salzburgerland, Austria

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    Nature meets history in Mauterndorf

    “Off the beaten track” has over the years become somewhat of a cliché, since there are fewer and fewer such places. In Europe anyway. Mauterndorf, however, is not completely run over by large hordes of tourists as many other places in Austria are. Not because of a lack of things to do or see. There […]

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Lovely Lake Millstatt, Carinthia

Your next destination is Lake Millstatt in Carinthia, southern Austria, a true summer paradise. It’s a short drive of only 58 km / 36 miles. Notwithstanding, you can also opt-in for an excursion through the Maltatal valley and pay a visit to the massive Kölbrein Dam. You can have it all when arriving at Lake Millstatt watersports, biking, hiking or simply relaxing seaside. Lush hills and mountains surround the lake. Several small towns and villages offer plenty of accommodation in all price ranges, either by the lake or in the mountains.

  • Lake Millstatt, Carinthia, Austria

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    Summer paradise Lake Millstatt

    There are plenty of activities to enjoy on and in the area around the lake. Since we had brilliant and warm weather during our stay, we decided to give water activities priority. Well, almost. We went for a short hike in the mountains as well. Mostly for the stunning views of the lake and a […]

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Mesmorizing Mölltal, Carinthia

After chilling out by the lake, the road trip again takes you into the Alps and some stunning scenery. The Mölttal region offers exciting hiking in the Raggaschlucht canyon, easy access via underground funicular and cable car to a hiking area and a ski resort on a glacier. Furthermore, if you make your way to the village of Mallnitz, you will also find family-friendly hiking through a lovely valley rich in natural sights. Next up is a road trip across the Alps when you have enjoyed what nature offers. Any self-drive holiday from Salzburg has to include the astonishing Grossglockner High Alpine Road.

  • Mölltal, Carinthia, Austria

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    Hiking adventures in Mölltal

    We were looking for outdoor adventures slightly off the beaten track, and hiking friends recommended Mölltal Carinthia. The tip turned out to be a success, and we got rewarded with fantastic hiking adventures. Moreover, the views of the fantastic landscape were also outstanding. Stunning hikes Mölltal is a small valley in the northwest of Carinthia, […]

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Grossglockner High Alpine Road

This 48 km (30 mi) long and winding road is one of Austria’s top attractions. The toll road takes you right through the Alpine divide and passes by the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest mountain. Although the drive itself is fabulous with the highest point at Hochtor 2504 metres / 8215 ft above sea level, the views are simply stunning. Moreover, you have plenty of opportunities to stop along the road and should also take the time to stop at the visitors’ centre at the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe, with exhibitions and numerous attractions.

7 to 14-day trip

This self-drive holiday from Salzburg is about 400 km (270 miles) long with 5 stops, which you could make in a minimum of 7 days, including stays in Salzburg. Nonetheless, we recommend staying at least 2 days at all the stops, to fully enjoy the sights.

Check out the round trip on Google Maps.
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  • Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse

    Posted in:

    Self-drive holiday from Salzburg

    We put together some suggestions for a self-drive from Salzburg that gives you a variety of experiences. Visit historic villages and medieval castles, get back to nature on fantastic family-friendly hikes in the Alps, enjoy a relaxing lakeside stay and drive on some truly stunning roads. So let’s hit the road! Historic Mauterndorf, Lungau Starting […]

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  • Main square Hartberg, Styria, Austria

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    Hartberg – Slowness in historic surroundings

    Many old buildings are well preserved, creating a great atmosphere. The historic centre of Hartberg lies within the partially preserved city wall from the Middle Ages (12th and 13th centuries), which once surrounded the entire town. Today, visitors and residents enjoy a place where you can relax and enjoy life – in historic surroundings. The […]

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  • Salzkammergut, Austria

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    Salzkammergut – Austria in miniature

    The contrasts in the Salzkammergut region are significant not only because the landscape alternates between massive mountain ranges, glaciers, lush valleys, and many lakes. But also because the region offers a rich cultural landscape characterized by more than 5,000 years of human activity. The Salzkammergut holiday region covers 58 municipalities in three states (Salzburg, Upper […]

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  • Murauen, Styria, Austria

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    Hiking in the Murauen along the banks of the Mur

    We are not in the tropics but in southern Austria where the river Mur forms part of the border with Slovenia. This landscape, a combination of floodplains and forest is very unlike what we expect from mostly alpine Austria. Nonetheless, we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived. Austria’s second largest river landscape The river Mur […]

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  • Country road Burgenland

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    Hiring a car for your holiday in Austria

    Austria is a small country with short distances, good roads and well-developed tourist infrastructure. Moreover, you can find outlets from most international car rentals in Austria, and there are several local companies as well. Great fly-drive holiday destination Just like in most European countries, driving and parking within the larger cities in Austria can be […]

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Written by Arnold Weisz

Globetrotting multilingual communications specialist born in Vienna, Austria – with passion for scuba diving, golf and culinary delights! 15 years of experience as a scuba- and travel reporter for among others: X-Ray Dive Magazine and Dykking.