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Austria Itinerary: 7 Day Road Trip

Austria Itinerary: How to Spend 7 Days in Austria

This one week Austria itinerary starts and ends in Salzburg City. You can also begin your trip in Vienna, but you’ll have longer driving distances on Days 1 and 7. To see how you can extend this route, also check out our 2 week Austria road trip

In one week, you’ll sample some of the most impressive destinations in Salzburg, Styria, East Tyrol, Carinthia, and Tyrol. This is the perfect introduction to the Austrian Alps and its many ranges. We’re going to introduce you to some of our favorite alms and hiking trails that we’re certain you’ll love.

When to do this Austria Road Trip: Summer, or Early Fall.

Driving in Austria: If you’re driving into Austria from a neighboring country, make sure to purchase a vignette (toll sticker). The toll sticker is compulsory on Austria’s motorways and expressways. It must be displayed on the inside of your windshield. Here’s more info re: pricing and your options.

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Austria Itinerary 7 Days
Austria Itinerary 7 Days 
  • Day 1: Salzburg, Hohenwerfen Castle, Tennen Mountains, Schladming
  • Day 2: Giglachseen Lakes Hike, Schladming 
  • Day 3: Salzburger Almenweg Stage 2 Hike, Mühlbach am Hochkönig
  • Day 4: Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Matrei in Osttirol
  • Day 5: Innergschlöss Glacier Hike, Mayrhofen
  • Day 6: Olpererhütte Hike, Zillertal Alps, Mayrhofen
  • Day 7: Innsbruck, Salzburg
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Sandersee, Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria

1 Week Austria Itinerary Map

Austria Itinerary Destinations
Wengerau, Tennengebirge (Tennen Mountains), Salzburg

Day 1: Hohenwerfen Castle and the Tennen Mountains

Salzburg - Schladming

As soon as you pick up your rental car, start your Austria itinerary by driving south to Hohenwerfen Castle in Werfen. The drive takes 45 minutes.


Visit the Hohenwerfen Castle

Cradled by the Berchtesgaden Alps and the Tennengebirge (Tennen Mountains), the 900-year-old Hohenwerfen fortress stands proud atop a steep rock overlooking the Salzach Valley. The fortified medieval castle was constructed in 1077 under Archbishop Gebhard during the investiture conflict.

Gebhard was an ally to Pope Gregory VII who was in continuous conflict with King Henry IV of Germany (Holy Roman Emperor). The building of this castle along with Hohensalzburg and Petersberg Castle was meant to secure the route across the Eastern Alps against the forces of the Holy Roman Emperor. 

When to Visit Hohenwerfen Castle: Early April to early November. See opening hours


Sound of Music Filming Location: Do Re Mi Meadow

Do you remember the Do Re Mi musical scene in the Sound of Music, where Maria and the children learn how to sing on an alpine meadow? Watch the clip again, and take note of the castle in the background. That’s Hohenwerfen Castle with the Tennengebirge forming the mountainous backdrop. You can access this special filming location from the town of Werfen. Head to Gschwandtanger Meadow via Schartenbergstraße. The filming location is marked with an enclosed viewing area.


Eat Lunch at Wengau Alm

Our favorite place in the Tennen Mountains is Wengerau in Werfenweng. From this hidden valley, you can hike to the mountain huts Werfener Hütte or Dr. Heinrich Hackel Hütte. Read more about the hike to Werfener Hütte in Best Hikes in Salzburg

You can also revel in the alpine scenery whilst eating a delicious meal at Wengau Alm – no hike necessary. This alpine pasture hut is a mere 2-minute walk from the parking lot. The food and the views don’t disappoint. 

Address: Weng 76, Werfenweng 5453, Austria | Opening Times: Wed – Sun, 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM


Stay in Schladming

After a delightful alpine meal at Wengau Alm, continue your drive for another 40 minutes to the town Schladming in Styria. You can stay directly in the town center of Schladming, or in Rohrmoos, the village above Schladming.

If you want easy access to lots of restaurants, shops, and gelaterias, stay in Schladming. If you want more solitude and countryside vibes, stay in Rohrmoos.

Budget | TUI BLUE Schladming is an all-around excellent accommodation in Schladming offering guests a bountiful breakfast (included), spa facilities (saunas), and a great location (located across from the Planai-Hochwurzen Cable Car).

Midrange | Thalers Mariandl in Rohrmoos is an alpine modern B&B featuring bright, beautifully designed rooms, a lovely wellness area, and a quiet location. In the evenings, you can order drinks and snacks from their bar menu. However, if you have an appetite, we recommend eating a hearty Styrian dinner at Die Landalm in Untertal village (Address: Bachweg 120, 8971 Schladming).

Luxury | Stadthotel Brunner is a dazzling modern and barrier-free hotel situated in the heart of Schladming. If you appreciate clean, yet creative interior design, you’ll love staying here. Moreover, Stadthotel Brunner is the perfect retreat for anyone who wants to integrate wellness, yoga, and Ayurvedic cuisine into their vacation. Their on-site restaurant is excellent. Definitely eat dinner here (reservation needed) if you stay.

Book your Stay in Schladming.

 
Ignaz-Mattis-Hütte, Schladminger Tauern High Trail

Day 2: Giglach Lakes and the Schladminger Tauern Mountains

Schladming

Day 2 of your Austria Itinerary takes you to the hidden Giglachsee Lakes in the Schladminger Tauern mountain range. 


Head to Ursprungalm (40-50 minutes)

Ursprungalm is a managed mountain pasture in Preuneggtal valley. If you’re vising in the high season (late June to mid-September), we highly recommend taking the hiking bus to Ursprungalm (Bus line 972). If you stay at Stadthotel Brunner in Schladming or Thalers Mariandl in Rohrmoos, or any other Sommercard-partner accommodations you’ll receive a complimentary Schladming-Dachstein Summer Card, which gives you free rides on regional hiking buses and cableways

If you’re visiting during shoulder seasons (early summer and fall), buses to Ursprungalm are limited to twice a week. If your schedule aligns with the bus timetable, great. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay an 18 EUR toll to drive up to Ursprungalm. Depending on the weather and snow conditions, this toll road is usually open between May and mid-October. Find more information about this toll road here.

From Ursprungalm, you can embark on a number of day hikes, including Giglach Lakes (easy) and the Styrian Kalkspitze (difficult). We’ve summarized your options in our guide to visiting Ursprungalm.


Hike around the Giglach Lakes

  • Total Distance: 8.2 km lollipop circuit 
  • Time Needed: 3 hours without breaks 
  • Altitude Difference: 381 m ascending/descending 
  • Difficulty: Easy

From Ursprungalm, it takes about one hour to reach Oberere Giglachsee (Upper Giglach Lake) along a wide and level path. You’ll first arrive at the mountain hut Giglachseehütte. Continue following the trail to Ignaz – Mattis Hütte, another hut perched above the Unterer Giglachsee. With its lakeside views, this is an ideal place for lunch on a sunny day.

After lunch, continue following the trail around the lake. It takes about 1 hour to complete the circuit. Follow the same trail back to Ursprungalm. 


More Things to Do around Schladming

There are many other hikes you can do around Schladming, including:

  • Wild Waters Theme Trail – Riesachfall to Schladming
  • Preintalerhütte Mountain Hut Trail
  • Alpinsteig durch die Höll Trail
  • Duisitzkarsee – Neualm Circuit Trail

We’ve summarized these day hikes in our Schladming Hiking Guide.


Stay a Second Night in Schladming or Rohrmoos

Budget | TUI BLUE Schladming in Schladming

Midrange | Thalers Mariandl in Rohrmoos

Luxury | Stadthotel Brunner in Schladming

Find a place to stay in Schladming.

 
Salzburger Almenweg, Hochkönig Mountains, Austria

Day 3: Salzburger Almenweg Stage 2

Schladming - Mühlbach am Hochkönig

Drive to Mühlbach am Hochkönig

After breakfast, drive 45-minutes to Mühlbach am Hochkönig. 


Hike the Salzburger Almenweg Stage 2

  • Trailhead: Erichhütte Parkplatz (Parking Lot)
  • Destination: Arthurhaus (1503 m)
  • Distance: 11.3 km point-to-point
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Altitude Difference: 566 m ascending, 405 m descending
  • Time Needed: 3:30 hrs without breaks

Marked by the blue Enzian alpine flower, the Salzburger Almenweg is a 31-stage long-distance hiking trail in Salzburg. As the name suggests, this is a thematic hiking trail linking the region’s mountain pastures (Almen in German). 

Today, you’re going to hike one stage of the Salzburger Almenweg. Because this is a point-to-point hike, we recommend leaving your car at your hotel and taking a hiking bus to the trailhead. Hop on bus 593 (direction Dienten am Hochkönig). Get off the bus at the stop: Dienten a. Hgk. Parkplatz Erichhütte.

When you stay in a hotel in Mühlbach, the hotel will give you a Hochkönig Card. This gives you free transportation on local buses.

From here, you’ll walk the full stage. The hike ends at the alpine lodge and restaurant Arthurhaus. From here, hop on Bus 593 to Mühlbach. If you’re staying at Hotel Bergheimat, you can walk to the hotel (1 hour).

Learn more about this trail here: Best Hikes in Salzburg


Stay in Mühlbach am Hochkönig

Mid-Range Aparthotel Bergtraum is located close to the hiking bus stop (important for tomorrow’s hike). Guests love the modern and comfortable rooms, the friendly hosts, and the varied breakfast.

Luxury Hotel Bergheimat is located on a mountain slope high above the town center of Mühlbach. With delicious alpine views and a restorative wellness area, this family-run hotel will feel like the ultimate alpine vacation spot. Breakfast and dinner included in the room rate.

Book your Stay in Mühlbach am Hochkönig.

 
Driving the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austrian Alps, Austria

Day 4: Grossglockner High Alpine Road

Mühlbach am Hochkönig - Matrei in Osttirol

On day 4 of your 1 week Austria itinerary, you’ll drive the famous Grossglockner High Alpine Road (Großglockner Hochalpenstraße). This road is typically open from May 1st until November 1st, weather permitting. 


Drive the Grossglockner High Alpine Road

The 48-km Grossglockner High Alpine Road is a paved serpentine road that steers you into the heart of Hohe Tauern National Park and directly to the base of the Grossglockner (3,798 m), Austria’s highest mountain. The alpine road stretches between Fusch an der Großglocknerstraße in Salzburg with Heiligenblut am Großglockner in Carinthia. 

The drive from Filzmoos to Fusch an der Großglocknerstraße is about 1 hour. You’ll pay a 37.50 EUR toll (see pricing table) to access the road.

Find out where to stop and hike along the road: Großglockner Hochalpenstraße Guide 


Continue Driving to Matrei in Osttirol

The road ends in Heiligenblut am Großglockner. You could stay here, but we recommend continuing your journey to the town Matrei in Osttirol (East Tyrol). That way you’re well-positioned for tomorrow’s hike.


Stay in Matrei in Osttirol

Budget | Zedlacherhof is a lovely and authentic place to stay when you’re on a budget. Located in Zedlach village, 4.5 km from the town center of Matrei in Osttirol, this family-run guesthouse is advantageously surrounded by mountains. The hosts are extremely welcoming and helpful.

Mid-Range | AlpenParks Hotel Matrei is located directly in Matrei and offers both double rooms and family studios. The breakfast is excellent and the alpine views are superb.

Luxury | Natur- und Wanderhotel Outside combines alpine charm with modern sensibilities. Located in the center of Matrei, this 4-star hotel checks all the boxes: spa and wellness, regional sourcing of ingredients, gourmet food, and fresh design.

Book your Stay in Matrei in Osttirol.


Another option: You can also drive a bit futher and stay at Matreier Tauernhaus, which is located at the trailhead for tomorrow’s hike. We loved staying here, the food is to die for. Bonus: parking is free when you stay the night the guesthouse.

Book your Stay at Matreier Tauernhaus.

 
Innergschlöss Glacier Trail, Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria

Day 5: Innergschlöss Glacier Trail and Hohe Tauern National Park

Matrei in Osttirol - Mayrhofen

From Matrei in Osttirol, continue your drive to Gschlöss Valley. Put “Matreier Tauernhaus” in your GPS. You’ll park at the Matreier Tauernhaus (there’s a fee unless you overnighted there) and take the Venediger Taxi (5 EUR one-way) to the small alpine hamlet of Innergschlöss, in order to start the Glacier Trail. 


Hike the Innergschlöss Glacier Trail

  • Trailhead: Matreier Tauernhaus
  • Distance: 18 km circuit
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Altitude Difference: 777 m ascending/descending
  • Time Needed: 4-6 hours. 4 hours for the Glacier Trail Loop. 1.5 – 2 hours to return to Matreier Tauernhaus (walking). Or, simply take the Venediger Taxi back.

The Innergschlöss Glacier Loop Trail (Gletscherweg in German) is a hike that combines fairy-tale-like scenes of wooden cottages with imposing landscapes of ice and moraine. 

Learn More About this Hike: Secret Escape to Innergschlöss


Drive to Mayrhofen

Südportal Felbertauerntunnel – Mautstelle (Toll Station)

After leaving Matreier Tauernhaus, continue driving on 108 (north) in the direction of Südportal Felbertauerntunnel. You have to pay a toll of 11 EUR (private cars) to drive through the tunnel. See current pricing here.


Stay in Mayrhofen

Budget Landhotel Rauchenwalderhof is a cozy and traditional guesthouse in Mayrhofen with an attractive price point. Guests love the location, outdoor swimming pool, and hospitality. Breakfast is included.

Mid-Range | We stayed in the 4-star Alpenhotel Kramerwirt, a family-run hotel in the center of Mayrhofen. This traditional Austrian hotel exhibits a high standard of hospitality, food, and comfort. We loved the spaciousness, light, bedding, and design of our sunkissed “Superior Room.” In the evening, local bands and ensembles perform on the outdoor patio. Their breakfast buffet is also outstanding. As soon as you finish breakfast, you’ll be excited for the next morning.

Luxury | ElisabethHotel Premium Private Retreat- Adults only is a stunning newly renovated hotel with a marvelous spa and wellness center and an on-site Tyrolean restaurant. Bedrooms are spacious, extremely comfortable, and immaculately clean. Your breakfast and dinner (half board) are included in the room rate.

Book you Stay in Mayrhofen im Zillertal.

 
Suspension Bridge Olpererhütte, Zillertal Alps

Day 6: Zillertal Alps

Mayrhofen

Mayrhofen is a quintessential alpine town in Tyrol. Lively and charming, Mayrhofen is the perfect base for exploring the celebrated Zillertal Alps. And when you’re not hiking, there are plenty of restaurants, cafés, and shops to keep you busy. Here’s our guide to the best things to do in Mayrhofen in Summer.


Hike to Olpererhütte in the Zillertal Alps

With one full day in Zillertal, we recommend hiking to Olpererhütte. There are a few ways to get to this celebrated mountain hut, but we’ve outlined our favorite way in this Olpererhütte trail guide

  • Route: Schlegeis Stausee (1,785 m) – Friesenberghaus (2,500 m) – Olpererhütte (2,389 m) – Schlegeis Stausee (1,785 m)
  • Distance: 13 km circuit
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Altitude Difference: 820 meters ascending, 854 meters descending
  • Time Needed: 7 hours

Stay a Second Night in Mayrhofen

Budget Landhotel Rauchenwalderhof

Mid-Range | Alpenhotel Kramerwirt

Luxury | ElisabethHotel Premium Private Retreat- Adults only

Book your Stay in Mayrhofen im Zillertal.

 
Innsbruck, Austria

Day 7: Innsbruck and Salzburg

Your 7-day Austria itinerary concludes with a visit to Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, and the drive back to Salzburg.


Explore the Historic Old Town of Innsbruck

Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Innsbruck is Austria’s most enchanting city. Small and extremely walkable, the Altstadt (old town) encompasses Innsbruck’s most beautiful buildings and restaurants. In a few hours, you can visit the Hofburg (Imperial Palace), check out the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof) and Helblinghaus, and visit the City Museum.


Return to Salzburg City

The fastest way to Salzburg City cut through Germany. Please check with your car rental company whether you can drive through Germany. You may need to pay an extra fee. Otherwise, you can drive back to Salzburg through Austria – it’s just a bit longer.


Where to Stay in Salzburg (City)

Budget | B&B Flöckner is an excellent bed and breakfast in Salzburg. Located within walking distance to the historic center, this quiet, clean, and comfortable accommodation is a perfect landing place.

Midrange | Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg boasts outstanding views of the Hohensalzburg Castle from the dining terrace, an excellent breakfast (accommodating all dietary needs), and newly renovated rooms.

Luxury | Hotel Sacher Salzburg is a grand and historic hotel dating back to the 19th century. Located on the banks of the Salzach River, this fine Salzburg hotel offers marvelous city views, luxuriously furnished rooms, and superior customer service. The breakfast is excellent.

Book your Stay in Salzburg (City)

 
@moonhoneytravelers
  • A few photos from the easy hike across Ochsengümple and over the Rauhekopfscharte saddle to Stuttgarter Hütte in the Lechtal Alps, Austria.

This hike begins with a cableway ascent to Rüfikopf from Lech am Arlberg. 

Trail guide on the blog. 😃🥾🏔
  • September is hands down the best month to hike in the Alps:

☀️The weather is generally stable. Thunderstorms are extremely rare. 

🥾There are far less people on the trails. 

🍺Mountain huts and alpine pasture huts are open most of the month.

💶 Hotel rates are lower than in July & August.

🌅 The days are shorter, so it’s easier to experience brilliant sunrises and sunsets in the mountains.

📍Pala Group, Italian Dolomites
  • I recently learned a new German word and I’m obsessed with it: Kuschelwetter.

“Kuscheln” means to cuddle or to snuggle.

“Wetter” means weather.

So “Kuschelwetter”means cuddling weather. 

Isn’t that the sweetest word?

📍Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi, South Tyrol
  • A few photos of the Sesto/Sexten Dolomites. 

1. Dreischusterspitze
2. Innichen/San Candido
3. @naturhotel_leitlhof 

📍South Tyrol, Italy (Dolomites)
  • The Emperor’s Crown Trail (“Kaiserkrone” in German) is a 65-km trail that circuits the Wilder Kaiser massif in Tirol, Austria.

This is one of the most enjoyable and leisurely treks we’ve hiked in Austria because of the superb quality of the mountain huts, the comfort of the valley accommodations, and the easy-moderate difficulty of the trails.

The Emperor’s Crown is one of the best treks to do if you’re new to multi-day hiking in the mountains. The entire circuit follows red trails (intermediate), steering clear of highly-exposed and technically-difficult pathways.
  • View of Haunold from @naturhotel_leitlhof in San Candido/Innichen in Alta Pusteria/Hochpustertal. 

We wrote about our stay here: www.moonhoneytravel.com/best-dolomites-hotels-italy/

📍South Tyrol, Italy (Dolomites)