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Bavarian Alps Austria and Germany Road Trip Fussen/Innsbruck/Hallein

Hello,
As part of our Eastern European trip (24 days), we’re planning a road trip beginning second week of May to see the Austria and German Alps. The initial itinerary is:

  • (Day 1) Pick up rental car in Freilassing outside of Salzberg (training in from Vienna) in the morning. Drive to Fussen, Germany. One suggestion on RS forum was to drive via the city of Bad Tölz (short visit) and then drive on the Deutsche Alpenstraße/German Alpine Road. Other suggestions? (https://www.deutsche-alpenstrasse.de/en/home) Spend 3 nights in Fussen.
  • (Day 2) Day in Fussen, see the town and castles and hike to Mary’s bridge, etc.
  • (Day 3) Day trip around Fussen more or less following RS Germany one day road trip (page 139, front of Bavarian Alps section, 13th Edition); Oberammergau, Ettal Monastery, Linderhof Castle, Plansee Lake plus any other suggestions since we’ll have some extra time. Any suggestions to add for stops?
  • (Day 4) Drive to take lifts to the top of Zugspitze, explore Innsbruck and any nearby sights. Spend night in Innsbruck.
  • (Day 5) Long scenic drive towards Hallein (salt mine tour) and Berchtesgaden (Eagle’s Nest, etc.). Haven’t yet decided on exact route but maybe Innsbruck to Lienz and then North on The Grossglockner High Alpine Road? Any experience if the road is open in noted timeframe? And it appears theres a 40e day pass? (https://www.grossglockner.at/gg/en/thehighalpineroad/thehighalpineroad) Any suggestions on adds or different route?
  • (Day 6) See salt mine and Eagle’s Nest area, return car to Freilassing and train into Salzberg for a few days.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated; adds, subtracts, things to be aware of. Thanks.

Posted by
8201 posts

It's obvious that you have spent quite a bit of time mapping out your itinerary. Every time I go into such details on a trip, I never seem to execute so many stops and tourist sights.

Your planned trip over the Alpenstrasse Highway on the map looks to be much farther than i would care to go being the road is so curvy--and with the elevation changes. It might require Dramamine to get through it.

We've made much of your itinerary (many times) starting in Munich, down to Andechs (for the beer) and Fussen--to see Neuschwanstein.. Then we do day trips out of Innsbruck--an incredibly beautiful city and place.

We have made a long day trip driving to Zell-am-See and entering the Grossglockner Highway from the north. The south side of the mountain is about as beautiful of a place as I've ever seen. We went west and came back into Innsbruck thru the Brenner Pass.

We like to get up on the mountains and drive from village to village--stopping along the way. Swarovski crystal factory is just about 10 miles, and the ladies enjoy the experience. The Zugspitze is about 50 miles and it would too be a good day trip.

It's a couple of hours up to Salzburg, and it's one of our favorite cities. Everyone you meet is incredibly warm and friendly. The drive back into Munich is easy--about 2 hours by autobahn.

We used to drive as far and fast as we could on our trips. $8.50 per gallon gasoline in Italy has opened our eyes to traveling a little slower--and better.

Posted by
1321 posts

Day 5 is a lot of driving. If the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße is closed, you could return north thru Osttirol and the Felbertauerntunnel. Another option is to put the car on the train at Mallnitz thru the Tauerntunnel to the Gasteinertal. Last time I did this you had to exit your car and ride in a passenger car (same train).
https://www.felbertauernstrasse.at/en/
https://www.oebb.at/en/regionale-angebote/kaernten/autoschleuse-tauernbahn

Posted by
2920 posts

Hi,

Is it possible to add a day or two before returning to Salzburg?

Day1) This is a 4:30 drive without stopping. FYI. The German Alpine Road isn't all that IMO. Too many way more scenic drives you could do along your trip. We love Fussen and have stayed twice at the Hotel zum Hechten.

The Zugspitze from Ehrwald, Austria side... we've done this also. A single cable car right to the top. It is closed from April 17 to May 12. 2023. The Nordkettenbahn in Innsbruck is open though.

As for staying in Innsbruck, we have loved our stays outside of Innsbruck in the extremely charming old town of Hall in Tirol at the Gasthof Badl five times. It's a 15 min. drive from Innsbruck. The alpine scenery in this area is amazing.

This is where I ask if you could get another night or two... From Innsbruck, head into Italy (20 min. drive) and head to the Val Gardena. So many amazing Dolomite Passes to drive on your way to Lienz, Austria and the Grossglockner Road. Id stay a night or two along this route. We've stayed a few times in the Dolomites and once in Heiligenblut, Austria at the southern end of the Grossglockner Road. Gorgeous alpine village with views of the Grossglockner. IF the Grossglockner is closed then take the 108 road that parallels it (mentioned in a previous post). My opinion... The Dolomite Passes you'd drive are more spectacular than the Grossglockner (and they're all free to drive). Especially The Gardena Pass. We stayed twice at the Ciasa Montanara in La Villa, Alta Badia. Love love it.

Near Berchtesgaden we stayed 5 times in Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden at the Pension Mayringerlehen. Beautiful! Ramsau itself has one of the most beautiful settings in Bavaria, my opinion. The church and it's setting shouldn't be missed. All 15 min. outside of Berchtesgaden. The Rossfeld Panorama Road is another great alpine drive just above Berchtesgaden.

Hope this helps in some way.

Paul

Posted by
2003 posts

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is usually closed from beginning of November to end of April. As you plan to drive in the second week of May it should be open already. Should there be extreme weather conditions, snow chains my be required on the wheels of your car.

Posted by
30 posts

Thanks everyone for the excellent comments and suggestions. I've revised my itinerary to incorporate a number of the suggestions and also thanks for the things to be aware of (closures, chains, etc.). Thanks again.