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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. International travelers may want to start in Munich, Bavaria. 

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.

This 7-day Austria itinerary links together some of our favorite day hikes, alpine pasture huts, mountain huts, and hotels.

To see how you can extend this route, check out our 2 week Austria road trip. We also recently created this fantastic 10-day Bavarian Alps and Tyrolean Alps itinerary, starting in Munich.


Austria Itinerary Overview

  • 2 Nights in Schladming, Styria
  • 1 Night in the Hochkönig Region, Salzburg
  • 1 Night in Matrei in Osttirol, Easty Tyrol
  • 2 Nights in Mayrhofen, Tyrol
  • Optional: 1-2 Nights in Salzburg

When to do this Austria Road Trip

Summer, or Early Fall. 

Related:


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.


Renting a Car in Austria

We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in Austria. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.

Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your car rental as early as possible.

Check car rental rates here.

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Austria Itinerary 7 Days
Austria Itinerary 7 Days 
  • Day 1: Hohenwerfen Castle, Tennen Mountains, Liechteinstein Gorge, Schladming
  • Day 2: Giglachseen Lakes Hike, Schladming 
  • Day 3: Mühlbach High Trail, Hochkönig Region
  • 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.

Today, we recommend visiting Hohenwerfen Castle, eating lunch at Wengerau Alm, and visiting the Liechtenstein Gorge.

An alternative itinerary for today is to drive to Kleinarl Valley and hike to Lake Tappenkarsee, one of the highest lakes in the Eastern Alps.


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. Check out the 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 hut Werfener Hütte (1969 m), which overlooks the Salzach Valley.

You can also revel in the alpine scenery whilst eating a delicious meal at Wengerau Alm without embarking on a hike. This alpine pasture hut is a mere 2-minute walk from the parking lot. The food and the views don’t disappoint.

Location | Weng 76, Werfenweng 5453, Austria | Google Maps


Visit the Liechtenstein Gorge

Liechtensteinklamm is a deep and narrow gorge a few kilometers south of St. Johann im Pongau in Salzburg. In fact, it’s one of the deepest gorges in the Alps.

It was created by the eroding force of the Grossarler Ache mountain stream over the course of thousands of years.

A safe trail leads through Liechtenstein Gorge, running through illuminated tunnels and galleries, over bridges, and along secured walkways.

It takes only 1 – 1:30 hours to walk the gorge out-and-back. 


Stay in Schladming

After visiting the gorge, continue your drive to 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 and shops, 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 
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 415 meters
  • 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.

 
Mandlwand, Hochkönig, Salzburg

Day 3: Mühlbach High Trail

Schladming - Hochkönig Region

Drive to Erichhütte Car Park, Dienten am Hochkönig

After breakfast, drive 55 minutes to Erichhutte car park along the Hochkönigstrasse road in Dienten am Hochkönig. 

Erichhütte Car Park Location | Google Maps

The most direct route follows the Ennstal Strasse. However, if you have time to expand this itinerary, you may want to visit Ramsau am Dachstein and Filzmoos, before heading to the Hochkönig Region.


Hike the Mühlbach High Trail

  • Car Park: Erichhütte Parkplatz
  • Starting Point: Arthurhaus
  • Ending Point: Erichhütte / Erichhütte Parkplatz
  • Time Needed: 3:30 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 226 meters
  • Elevation Loss: 377 meters
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Mühlbach High Trail (Mühlbacher Höhenweg in German) runs along the foot of the Hochkönig mountains between Arthurhaus and Erichhütte. It’s also stage 2 of Salzburg Almenweg long-distance trail.

The trail traverses mountain pastures and pockets of forest, passing several Almhütten (alpine pasture huts) along the way, including the “Vier Hütten” (Four Huts).

You can start the hike at either Arthurhaus (paid car park/bus stop) high above Mühlbach am Hochkönig, or at the Erichhütte car park (free car park/bus stop) along the Hochkönigstraße road in Dienten am Hochkönig.

We parked at the Erichhütte car park and took Bus 593 to Arthurhaus and then hiked back to our car. The bus takes 40 minutes and costs 5.10 EUR per person. You can pay the bus driver directly with either cash or card.

You can extend this hike by hiking to the Hochkeil summit from Arthurhaus or to the Taghaube Peak from Erichhütte.


Stay in Maria Alm am Steinernen Meer

Luxury | We stayed at the Eder – Lifestyle Hotel, which is located directly in the village center of Maria Alm. We loved the hotel’s atmosphere, innovative cuisine, and creative design. Here’s our Hotel Eder Review

Luxury | Jufenalm BOHO Hotel & Restaurant is a stylish hotel with a “boho meets alpine” design concept. Stay here for the interior design, dreamy mountain setting, views of Steinernes Meer, and natural bathing pond and spa. Breakfast is included and you can dine in the hotel’s à la carte restaurant.

Look for accommodation in Maria Alm.


Or, Stay in Dienten am Hochkönig

Midrange-luxury Apartments | The Peak Hochkönig is an aparthotel in the town center of Dienten. All apartments are decorated in an alpine-modern style and have fully-equipped kitchens, dining areas, seating areas, and washing machines. Some apartments have saunas. Extra perk: underground parking. 

Midrange All-Inclusive | Hotel-Gasthof Salzburger Hof is an all-inclusive, family-friendly hotel in Dienten. Stay here for the excellent food, friendly staff, and children’s facilities and programs (e.g. kid-friendly dinner, supervised summer program for kids ages 4+, play area, library, etc…).

Look for accommodation in Dienten 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. 

Pricing | 37.50 EUR/vehicle see pricing table


Continue Driving to Matrei in Osttirol

The road ends in Heiligenblut am Großglockner. You can stay here, but we recommend continuing your journey to the town Matrei in Osttirol, so that 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.

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.

Book your Stay in Matrei in Osttirol.


Another option: You can also drive a bit further 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

Matrei in Osttirol - Mayrhofen

From Matrei in Osttirol, continue your drive to Gschlöss Valley and park at the car park at Matreier Tauernhaus.

Matreier Tauernhaus Paid Car Park | Google Maps

From the car park, take the Venediger Taxi (5 EUR one-way) to the small alpine hamlet of Innergschlöss, which is the starting point of the Glacier Trail. 


Hike the Innergschlöss Glacier Trail

  • Trailhead: Innergschlöss
  • Distance: 9.1 km circuit
  • Time Needed: 5 hours
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 680 meters
  • Difficulty: Moderate

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. 


Drive to Mayrhofen

Südportal Felbertauerntunnel – Mautstelle (Toll Station)

After leaving Matreier Tauernhaus, continue driving north on 108 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.

Midrange | 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 sun-kissed “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. This lively and charming town is the perfect base for exploring the dramatic 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


Stay a Second Night in Mayrhofen

Budget Landhotel Rauchenwalderhof

Midrange | 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.

If you’re ending your trip in Munich, we highly recommend visiting Garmisch-Partenkichen on your return journey.


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
  • Must-Do Hikes in Salzburg, Austria 🇦🇹 

1. Lake Tappenkarsee
2. Hofpürgl Hut to Sulzenalm 
3. Rötelstein Peak 
4. Bachlalm to Neustadtalm 
5. Mühlbach High Trail 
6. Taghaube Peak
7. Riemannhaus 
8. Werfener Hütte
9. Hochkeil 
10. Liechtenstein Gorge

More hiking tips 👉 @moonhoneytravelers

💾 Save for next summer 

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  • This picture-perfect Almdorf backed by the Dachstein south face is located along the 5 huts trail in Styria. It’s also possible to hike here from Bachlalm in Salzburg. 

Both trail guides are on the blog.

📍Styria, Austria 🇦🇹 

📆 late October
  • Hiking in the Julian Alps in Slovenia 🇸🇮 

📆 Late October 

More hiking tips 👉 @moonhoneytravelers

#juliskealpe #triglavskinarodnipark #hribi #hribovc #mojaslovenija #julianalps #slovenianalps #slovenia #visitslovenia #feelslovenia #hikingblog #mountainhiking #sloveniahiking #hiking #nature #outdoortravel #traveleurope #alps
  • The best viewpoints in the Wachau Valley in Lower Austria:

1. Seekopf lookout tower accessible via the Meurersteig trail from Oberkienstock village 

2. Rotes Tor (Red Gate) in Spitz an der Donau (Photo) 

3. Kanzel viewpoint, just off the Vogelbergsteig trail, near Dürnstein

4. The Druiden Türme viewpoint of the Aggstein castle ruins

5. Dürnstein castle ruins

📍Spitz, Wachau, Austria 🇦🇹
  • Walking towards the unmistakable Mandlwand.

📍Hochkönig, Salzburg 🇦🇹
  • Where to watch the sunset in the Wachau Valley in Lower Austria 🇦🇹…

The Rotes Tor (Red Gate) is a historic monument above the town of Spitz an der Donau. It offers a captivating view of the village, bounded by sloping vineyards, and backed by the Danube.

How to Get There: From the Spitz village center, locate the church square and then follow the sign to Rotes Tor (15 minutes).