Like a 380km-long string of pearls, the Romantic Road of Austria connects our country's most beautiful landscapes, passing fantastic lakes and mountain panoramas, as well as especially worthwhile villages. Starting from Salzburg, the road leads you through the provinces of Upper Austria and Lower Austria to the capital Vienna, lifting the lid on a world of palaces, monasteries, castles and museums along the way.
This route stretches over 400km from the lovely lakeside town of Zell am See, famous for its glacier and its location on the outskirts of National Park Hohe Tauern, through the beautiful alpine landscape of Tirol until reaching the shores of Lake Constance in Bregenz.
From Zell am See you drive towards the Krimmler Waterfalls with an impressive height of 380 meters, then you head over the Gerlos mountain pass (making a stop at the Durlassboden reservoir) into the beautiful Zillertal. From here, head towards Lake Achensee, sometimes called the fjord of the alps, due to its unique location amid a marvelous alpine landscape. From Achensee, drive along the River Inn until the city of Innsbruck, Tirol's major town, from where you drive westwards along the Inn until Zams to visit the mystic Zammer Lochputz gorge.
Drive further west into Vorarlberg and take a detour from Bludenz into the Brandner valley to visit the Bürs Gorge and the Kesselfall Ravine. From there it is only a short drive to the eastern shores of Lake Constance and to the cultural rich capital of Vorarlberg, Bregenz.
This round trip covers a distance of 410km, starting in the mountainous province of Eastern Tirol, before passing though Carinthia - Austria’s sunny southern province, famous for its wealth of lakes - until finishing in the southeast of Styria.
From your starting point in Lienz, follow the River Drau towards Carinthia. Make a stop at the Galitzenklamm Gorge, to marvel at this natural wonder or to let off some steam with outdoors sports such as rock climbing or Via Ferrata. Drive on to Lake Weissensee on a high plateau in Carinthia, renowned for its unspoiled nature and healthy climate. From there you can head on to Lake Millstätter See and explore the surrounding Nockberge mountains. Driving further you will pass by two more enchanting lakes: the calm Lake Ossiach and the fancy Wörthersee. Be sure that you make a stop at Klagenfurt and explore the historic city center.
Driving further eastwards will lead you into the province of Styria and its capital city of Graz. Located along the River Mur, Austria’s second biggest city is renowned not only for its UNESCO awarded historic center and its Mediterranean flair, but especially for its cuisine. Follow the River Mur to the south and continue your culinary exploration by visiting the Southern Styrian wine region, also called the Austrian Tuscany, due to its landscape of gentle hills and its offer of excellent wines. Driving further east along the Mur, you can stop at Mureck to visit its beautiful wetlands. Drive on until you reach the small town of Bad Radkersburg, close to the Slovenian border, where you take a break in the thermal spas.
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