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Austria-8 night itinerary late September, feedback and suggestions please

After spending 3 nights in Munich for Oktoberfest we decided to head to Austria. Sept 28- Oct 5. Plans so far;

Depart Munich by train for Salzburg. I have reserved a car for pick up near the train station. We would like to to do the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. Looking for suggestions of a great cable car and/or cog railway. An additional driving route? We are hoping for great scenery, moderate hiking and some r&r along with the High Alpine Road. Where else should we go? I'm not sure where to stay. I would prefer aplace for 2 nights and if there were spa facilities that would be a bonus. I can either return the car after 2 days or return at the end of our trip to VIE. This is the part of the trip I am having the most difficulty trying to figure out. We could spend 3 nights, I really don't like 1 night stays.

We would then like to spend either 3 or 2 nights in the Wachau Valley. There are train connections from Salzburg, but Im not sure if its just easier to keep the car. I have found a great place in Spitz to stay. We would like to cycle, visit wineries and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area along with Melk Abbey and a river cruise. Looking for any cycling or hiking suggestions any other places to see?

Finally either 2 or 3 nights in Vienna. Looking for any great restaurant, lounge/bar recommendations. I haven't booked a hotel yet but lots seems to be available. Our flight back to Toronto is a mid day flight. I had considered going to Vienna first and then the Wachau Valley and from there straight to VIE. Would this make sense? This trip we would like to spend more time outside, in smaller centers and enjoying the beautiful late September, early October weather.

TIA for all suggestions.

Posted by
39 posts

Some ideas for your first few days.
A day-trip from Salzburg would be Berchtesgaden/Königssee and https://www.kehlsteinhaus.de/ (eagle’s nest).
A good base for 2 nights could be Zell am See with a lot of accommodation options in any price range.

Sights while driving from Salzburg to Zell am See:
Hallein salt mine https://www.salzwelten.at/en/salzburg
Remark: the salt mines of Hallein and Berchtesgaden are both in the same mountains. The experience is quite similar. It does not matter which one visit in case you want to.
Museum of the Celts Hallein https://www.keltenmuseum.at/index.php?id=2529
Hohenwerfen Castle https://www.salzburg-burgen.at/en/hohenwerfen-castle/
Ice cave “Eisriesenwelt” https://www.eisriesenwelt.at/en/the-cave/images-video.html
The route via Mühlbach, Dienten and Maria Alm along Hochkönig mountain is the more scenic one.

Around Zell am See
The local mountain is called Schmittenhoehe https://www.schmitten.at/en with several walking and other activity options.
If you want to go up higher Kitzsteinhorn https://www.kitzsteinhorn.at/en/explore/summer/fun-action is the place to go.

Grossglockner High Alpine Road
It makes sense to start early. On a beautiful day it can get quite crowded.

Posted by
2717 posts

I agree with Zell am See as a good place for your 2 nights. Pretty lakeside old town, gorgeous alpine scenery and close to the Grossglockner Road.

Another scenic drive is the Rossfeld Road just outside Salzburg above Berchtesgaden. You can do the quick drive from Salzburg to Hallien, then over the mountains (Rossfeld) to Berchtesgaden via Obersalzburg.

Posted by
848 posts

As mentioned there is the Kitzsteinhorn Top of Salzburg (3,029 metres above sea level) or the Schmittenhöhebahn. You could stay someplace like in Fusch an der Glocknerstraße, if you can get a room. Tauern Spa Therme visit? Krimmler Wasserfälle? Never stayed there, but Berggasthof Wallackhaus on the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße. Heiligenblut or continue south to Lienz? Good place for the view with a car on a sunny day Zellersee: Mitterberghof Jausenstation https://www.foto-webcam.eu/webcam/zellamsee/