Motorhoming in Austria – General Information
The land of mountains, musicians, lederhosen and The Sound of Music, Austria is an ideal location for motorhome rental allowing you to experience the great outdoors as well as some beautiful cities such as Vienna, Salzburg, Graz and Innsbruck. The country has always been popular with skiers during the winter and walkers or mountaineers during the summer, but now it is also becoming popular for campervan hire and motorhome rental so why not try somewhere a little different.
Situated right in the heart of Europe, Austria is landlocked between its neighbours Switzerland, Liechtenstein, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, Germany, Italy and Slovenia. With nearly half the country covered by forest the remainder is made up of farming land, the beautiful Alps with its highest mountain the Grossglockner at 3,798 meters/12,465 feet and of course the Danube valley with the River Danube flowing all the way to the Black Sea. On its journey the Danube also travels though the Black Forest; famous for its gateaux, a chocolate, cream and cherry cake. Delicious!
Austria’s official language is German with some regional dialects; however English is widely spoken so you should never have a problem communicating. The weather here is moderate with pleasant warm summer days and cool nights. During the winter there is plenty of snow at higher levels between December and April and in the lowlands there is less snow and crisp air.
Unlike Portugal, in Austria it is forbidden to stop overnight on the side of the road or in the forest unless you are on an official site, so plan your journey to ensure you don’t get caught out. There are plenty of rest areas along the motorway network which have very good facilities for motorhome rental or campervan hire vehicles, there are also campsites both inside and outside the main tourist areas’ so finding somewhere to stop for the night isn’t a problem.
Important to know.
To travel on the Austrian motorways you need a ‘vignette’ which comes in the form of a sticker that is attached to your windscreen. Check if your campervan hire or motorhome rental has one, if not you can easily get one from petrol stations near the motorway, vignettes are valid from one week up to one year. If your vehicle is over 3.5 tonnes it will be equipped with a GO-Box which means that you don’t have to stop at the tolls or use a special lane, as the tolls are collected automatically via the box.
For more information on the Aire de Service visit the links below which give detailed locations for motorhome and campervan stopovers. These pages are in German and French but a translation tool will easily change it into something you can understand.
Austria, famous for its mountain scenery, composers and of course ‘The Sound of Music’ but that’s not all. Here are ten of the best places to visit with a motorhome rental or campervan hire vehicle (including the above mentioned film).
Austria can be roughly divided into three parts; all incredibly contrasting. There are the soaring Eastern Alps covering the majority of the country, the Danube Valley in the north east which is home to the magnificent architectural Habsburg cities of Vienna; the capital, and Salzburg; Mozart’s birthplace, and the western most part which is a narrow corridor just 32 km wide at its narrowest point between Germany and Italy.
Off the beaten track can mean so many things in Austria, trekking in the high mountains, walking in the pastures or it could mean just visiting places outside the main tourist destinations, however even the tourists hotspots aren’t like some of the tourist traps in other parts of Europe. What ever off the beaten track means for you, here are a few suggestions for visitors with campervan hire or motorhome rental to experience.
Austria has some extremely good roads which is great for campervan hire vehicles. The roads are long, wide and unchallenging, it also has some very beautiful and not so unchallenging ones, but with the outstanding views you won’t notice the bends. Take your time and visit both the scenic countryside and the beautiful cities.
Named after Austria's highest mountain, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road is a route that offers truly stunning panoramas of the Austrian state of Salzburg, which has made it the second largest tourist attraction in the entire country. A toll road full of hairpin curves and views of the Großglockner Mountain and Pasterze Glacier this route offers a gorgeous look at some beautiful parts of Austria. Instead of hiking up the mountain this road trip route will allow you to drive up Grossglockner Mountain, and you will have your choice of where to stop including the villages of Bruck, Heiligenblut (located at the foot of the mountain in Carinthia), Obervellach and Lend. Just keep in mind when planning your Austrian road trip that this road is usually closed for the winter, starting in November.
Whether you are staying in Salzburg for the day or for a few nights there are plenty of options for visitors with campervan hire or motorhome rental vehicles. There are two Aire de Service in the centre of the city near the Mirabell Gardens and another three on the outskirts. Of course you will be travelling around from Salzburg and there are a large number of Aires and camping sites all within easy reach with a variety of facilities.