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, Mühlbach am Hochkönig
  • 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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Grossglockner High Alpine Road - Austria 1 Week Itinerary

1 Week Austria Itinerary Map

Austria Itinerary Destinations
Wengerau - Tennen Mountains - Austria Road Trip Itinerary

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. Tripadvisor Reviews

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 alm restaurant is a mere 2-minute walk from the parking lot. The food and the views don’t disappoint. 

Address: Weng 76, Werfenweng 5453, Austria | Tripadvisor Reviews | 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.

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 is an alpine modern guesthouse featuring bright, beautifully-designed rooms, an extensive spa area, and a quiet location. You can walk to the center of Rohrmoos in a few minutes.

Luxury | Hotel Schwaigerhof is the place to stay when you don’t want to worry about where to eat, or what to do. This full-board hotel (breakfast and dinner included) spoils guests with its pools (indoor and outdoor), wellness area, and views of the Dachstein massif.

Look for accommodation in Schladming.

Hiking Schladminger Tauern High Trail, Austrian Alps | Moon & Honey Travel

Day 2: Giglach Lakes and Mühlbach am Hochkönig

Schladming - Mühlbach am Hochkönig

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

Drive to Ursprungalm

To start the hike to Giglachseen, you’ll first need to drive to the alpine hamlet Ursprungalm via a toll road (4.20 EUR per car). It takes about 30-minutes to drive up the Preuneggtal Valley to Ursprungalm. Depending on the weather and snow conditions, this toll road will open May 21, 2020 and it will stay open until mid-October. 

Hike around the Giglach Lakes

  • Total Distance: 8.2 km
  • Time Needed: 3 hours
  • Altitude Difference: 381 m
  • Difficulty: Easy

From the alm, it takes about one hour to reach Oberere Giglachsee along a wide and level path. You’ll first arrive at the mountain hut Giglachseen Hütte. 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. 

Drive to Mühlbach am Hochkönig

After your hike, drive to Mühlbach am Hochkönig, where you’ll stay two nights.

Stay in Mühlbach am Hochkönig

Mid-Range | Hotel Alpenrose is located close to the hiking bus stop (important for tomorrow’s hike) and has an on-site restaurant, sauna, relaxation room, and garden. Breakfast is included. You can also opt for the well-priced half board offering.

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.

Look for accommmodation in Mühlbach.

Hiking the Hochkönig Mountains, Austria Itinerary

Day 3: Salzburger Almenweg Stage 2

Hike the Salzburger Almenweg Stage 2

  • Trailhead: Erichhütte Parkplatz (Parking Lot)
  • Destination: Arthurhaus (1503 m)
  • Distance: 11.3 km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Altitude Difference: 566 m ascent, 405 descent
  • Time Needed: 3:30 h

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 alms, or high alpine pastures. 

Today, you’re going to hike one stage of the Salzburger Almenweg. Because this is a point-to-point hike, we recommend 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 Bergheimatyou can walk to the hotel (1 hour).

Learn more about this trail here: Best Hikes in Salzburg

Stay a Second Night in Mühlbach am Hochkönig

Mid-Range | Hotel Alpenrose

Luxury | Hotel Bergheimat 

Look for accommmodation in Mühlbach.

Driving the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austrian Alps, Austria

Day 4: Grossglockner High Alpine Road

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 36.50 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, a 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.

Midrange | 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.

Look for accommodation in Matrei in Osttirol.

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

Innergschlöss Glacier Trail - Best Day Hikes in 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 guesthouse (there’s a fee unless you overnighted there) and take the Vendiger 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
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Altitude Difference: 777 m ascending
  • 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 fariy-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 Matrier 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 | Alpin Lodge das Zillergrund is a stunning family-run 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.

Look for accommodation in Mayrhofen.

Suspension Bridge Olpererhütte, Zillertal Alps

Day 6: Zillertal Alps

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 total
  • 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 | Alpin Lodge das Zillergrund 

Look for accommodation in Mayrhofen.

Innsbruck, Austria

Day 8: 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. With 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.

  • Today - January 20, 2021 - marks the beginning of a new chapter for the US-American people, the world, and our beautiful planet. Feeling optimistic that our imperfect, yet resilient and brave nation is finally back on track and moving in the right direction. May all that is good in this world bless @joebiden and @kamalaharris as they forge ahead and rebuild a traumatized, but not broken USA.
  • We’re answering a bunch of your questions about the Dolomites in our stories. If you’re curious about underrated hiking trails, where to stay (with/without a car), and when to go (good weather/less people), take a look.
  • Happy New Year! 

Like most of you, we won’t be traveling or going anywhere too exciting for the next few months.

In the meantime, we thought we’d share some of our favorite Tenerife photos from last January.

Tenerife was never on our radar. But, we saw a petsit opportunity pop up and Kati applied immediately. It was one of the best travel decisions we’ve ever made.

We’re crossing our fingers that we can return to the Canaries at the end of this year.

Where do you hope to hike in 2021??

#tenerife #canaryislands
  • Merry Christmas! We hope the holidays bring you peace and respite wherever you are.

We’re spending the rest of the year reading, resetting, playing backgammon, and watching @bridgertonnetflix.

Until 2021!
Sabrina and Kati

Photo: Tenerife, Canary Islands - December 2019
  • Have you signed up for our newsletter?

Tomorrow, we‘re sharing where we want to travel to in 2021 in our monthly newsletter.

We‘re also sharing what‘s changing for us personally next year.

To sign up, click the link in the bio. You’ll get our “Secret Hiking Destinations in Europe” ebook when you opt in.
  • Path of the Larches is a short scenic trail between the Rü and Rudiferia farmsteads above San Cassiano in Alta Badia. You can hike this short trail anytime of year.