An advantage of backpacking is of course making friends from all over the world. During my trip in Lombok I met and traveled together with my Austrian friend. Last summer I decided to visit her in Austria where we made this amazing road trip through a large part of Austria by car.
First our base was Steyr in the north of Austria, but we also camped a few nights in the south and west of the country. I’ve adapted the road trip route, classified by state, so that it’s also possible for you to make this road trip through Austria.
Road trip Austria in 1 week
Chances are that your road trip starts in Vienna, the capital of Austria. There’s plenty to see and do in Vienna including several museums, palaces and markets. It’s possible to rent a car and start your road trip through Austria from Vienna in a perfect way!
From Vienna it’s more than an hour’s drive to the small town of Melk on the Danube, where you can visit the Melk Abbey. The Benedictine Abbey is located on a rock and was founded in 1089. In addition, the Burgruine Aggstein castle, a 20-minute drive from Melk, is also well worth a visit. This castle dates from the 12th century and is located at an altitude of no less than 480 meters. This gives you a fantastic view over the Danube.
From Melk you can continue your way south and view the Lassingfall. It’s about a 45-minute walk along the river to reach the 90-meter waterfall.
Make sure to drive further south to the Grüner See. The crystal clear green water comes from the melting snow of the karst mountains and has a temperature of just 6-7 ° C. Put on your walking shoes and walk around the lake to enjoy the view.
When you continue your road trip to the east of Austria, you will pass Gesäuse National Park with a beautiful view from your car.
Driving through Austria is always fun thanks to all the beautiful mountains and lakes! Especially in the Upper-Austria there are many lakes such as the Traunsee, Attersee, Wolfgangsee, Mondsee.
I can advise you to find a guesthouse or camping site in this area and make trips from there. The city of Salzburg is also fairly close to where you could also spend the night. Or stay just as us at the Seller See, a bit further down south in the Salzburg state.
Be sure to visit nearby Hallstat on the Hallstätter See, but keep in mind that it is quite touristy. The Dachstein glacier is practically around the corner from the village of Hallstat. Here you can buy a combination ticket for the various sights including the fascinating Dachstein ice caves and the beautiful 5-fingers viewpoint. For an overview of all combination tickets and prices, visit the Dachstein info website.
The 380 meter high Krimmler Wasserfälle is the highest tiered waterfall in Europe and therefore definitely worth a visit! I can advise you to walk / hike to the highest point because the view is very beautiful. Count on a climb of about an hour. It’s a fairly easy climb, so sturdy walking shoes are not really necessary. Flip flops, on the other hand, are also not recommended!
At the bottom of the waterfall you’l also have a great view. But count on getting pretty wet! At that time I was very happy with my Drybag.
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Parking is quite easy and costs €5 for the whole day. Entrance to the waterfall costs also €5.
Carinthia, in the south of Austria, is also worth visiting during your road trip. Visit Klagenfurt and the nearby Wörthersee. It’s also cool to visit the Wildensteiner Wasserfall.
If you like to, you can cross the border to Slovenia. The impressive Peričnik waterfall is only half an hour’s drive from the border with Austria. The fairytale Lake Bled is also no more than half an hour away. You could even decide to drive to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia! Read all about the sights in Ljubljana here.
Accommodations on the way
In the large cities and somewhat touristy villages there are generally enough accommodations. Camping is also a popular option. Officially wild camping (with a number of strict rules) is allowed, but the most comfortable option is to simply choose a campsite.
The base of our road trip through Austria was Steyr for a few days at first. With a tent and some camping gear in the trunk, we first left towards the south of Austria. There we stayed 2 nights at a campsite at the Wörthersee and finally a night at the Seller Zee.
On some days we drove about 5 – 7 hours, so if you prefer to drive a little less in a day, you can choose to camp more often throughout the country.
At the camping at the Wörthersee we were quite outstanding with our tiny tent between all the luxury campers! When the sky start looking very threatening, we decided not to test the waterproofing of the tent, but to spend the night in the car. We had experienced crazier things while traveling together in Asia. Who knew that a back seat can still be quite comfortable.
Eventually we slept in the car at the camping at Seller Zee aswel (as shown in the picture below). Ultimately, these are the “adventurous/basic” experiences that make traveling so much fun for me!
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