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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 become somewhat of a cliché since fewer such places exist. In Europe, anyway. Mauterndorf is not entirely 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. On the contrary, there are plenty of activities […]

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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 in Carinthia. The tip was a success, and we were rewarded with fantastic hiking adventures and outstanding views of the tremendous landscape. Stunning hikes Mölltal, a small valley northwest of Carinthia, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers […]

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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 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. You 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 at least 7 days, including stays in Salzburg. Nonetheless, we recommend staying at least 2 days at all the stops to enjoy the sights fully.

Check out the round trip on Google Maps.
  • Astonishing viewing platforms, Karren, Vorarlberg, Austria

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    5 stunning viewing platforms in Austria accessible by cable car

    Austria boasts a number easy accessible viewing platforms, where you simply board a cable car. To truly appreciate the Alps, you have to get up on the mountains. 1. Dachstein Skywalk From Ramsau, in Styria, you can pick up the cable car to the Dachstein massif. You can enjoy the stunning view from 2 spectacular […]

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    Ski resorts near Vienna accessible by train

    Are you looking for some excellent ski resorts near Vienna that you can easily access by train? We’ve got you covered! Check out these fantastic ski destinations that offer excellent family-friendly slopes and unforgettable skiing experiences. Hop on a train and get ready for an adventure. Stuhleck ski resort – Spital am Semmering At Stuhleck in […]

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  • Sking on the Planai, Schladming, Styria, Austria.

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    Schladming: A Ski Destination with a World Cup Flair

    The historic small town in the Styria region of Austria, with about 4500 inhabitants, is surrounded by the majestic Dachstein mountains. The winter season usually starts at the beginning of December and runs until the beginning of April. Skiing day and night Schladming offers 123 km of slopes spread over four interconnected ski areas: Planai, […]

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  • Railjet from the Austrian State Railway in a winterlandscape

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    6 cool ski resorts reachable by train in Austria

    Austria’s airports are well-connected to major cities and central train stations. Therefore, we have put together a list of excellent ski resorts that are easily reachable by train, including some info on how to get there from the airport. Moreover, many ski resorts offer inexpensive or free transfers to and from the nearest train station […]

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  • Hking in Southern Styria

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    Hiking among the vineyards in Southern Styria

    Hiking in wine regions has become popular in Austria. Many people enjoy the rolling hills and soft landscape as a contrast to the fantastic opportunities for alpine hiking in the Alps. We, therefore, ventured out on a 5.8 km (3.6 mi) long hike in southern Styria through vineyards, forest groves, and open farm landscapes. Nature […]

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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.