Looking for culture, history, and the great outdoors? A trip to Austria is filled with natural beauty and cultural highlights. Renting a car is the most independent way of discovering the country?s different regions.
The Austrian Tourist Office has curated a range of Austria road trips with some of their favorite recommendations. With over 10 itineraries to choose from, there is a route that fits your interests. You can explore Vienna and Salzburg, follow the culinary guide through the SalzburgerLand, visit Graz in 24 Hours, explore the Arlberg region, and much more.
In addition, the Austrian Tourist Office offers a comprehensive, 9-stage tour of the entire country, "The Journey Through Austria."
Stage One, from Bregenz to Lech, is a 48-mile stretch that takes you from Bregenz, along Bodensee lake, through the Bregenzerwald all the way to Lech. The path winds through the capital of Austria's westernmost province of Vorarlberg (Bregenz) which dates back 2,000 years to Celtic times and still maintains its medieval flair. Don't miss the onion-domed Martinsturm (St. Martin's Tower), a Baroque landmark, as well as the contemporary art museum Kunsthaus Bregenz.
Later on the journey, Stage Four, from Zell am See to Villach or Velden, will delight nature lovers with a drive on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, leading straight into Hohe Tauern National Park. The 30-mile route continues on to the highest mountain in Austria, the Grossglockner. Among the sights are Alpine meadows, mountain forests and dramatic cliffs. Don't be surprised to see marmots and ibex along the way. A variety of spots along the road offer playgrounds for children to experience nature and have a bit of fun at the same time.
Good to know: An international driver's license is required for all car rentals; it is fairly simple to obtain one from a local auto club. Multiple road regulations are enforced along this itinerary. All drivers are required to carry a reflective safety vest in the car at all time. Prior to entering Austria's motorways and highways, a toll sticker (Vignette) is required on all vehicles. Stickers can be obtained from the gas stations as well as post offices and sundries, and seat belts are required for all children. Also, anyone under the age of 12 must sit in the back seat. See here for more information on driving regulations in Austria.