Lonely Planet Writer

See the stunning photos of this Alpine route through Austria

There are beautiful roads dotted all over the world, but a Polish photographer has captured a set of particularly stunning photos of a famous Austrian road.

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

Photographer Mikołaj Gospodarek has taken gorgeous images of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which is deemed to be one of the most attractive roads in Europe.

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

The road snakes across the mountains from Bruck in Salzburg to Heiligenblut in Carinthia via Fuscher Törl and Hochter Pass.

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

Mikołaj Gospodarek has travelled to the road every year since 2008 to take pictures of it across the different seasons.

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

“I drove to the Dolomites, and out of curiosity I wanted to see the Grossglockner High Alpine Road,” Mikolaj told Lonely Planet. “I was struck by the space, silence and mountains the first time I drove it.”

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

The road, which is named after Austria’s highest mountain, first opened in August 1935.

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

When asked what makes it so special, compared with other places he has photographed, Mikolaj explained that the challenges of such an undertaking made the project worthwhile.

View from Edelweissspitze on Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
View from Edelweissspitze on Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

“Grossglockner High Alpine Road is a difficult place as there are only good conditions for a few days per year,” he explained. “At other times you encounter a lack of light and the road can be closed.”

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

The photographer explained that capturing the perfect shot often involves long waits and getting “lucky,” and it has taken him several years to capture these images.

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

If he embarks on a project, he has to be satisfied with the results before publishing it, whether that takes one month or ten years to accomplish.

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

His favourite seasons are autumn and winter, and his images show the mountain during snowy conditions to perfection.

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

Mikolaj (pictured below at The Dolomites) is based in Munich, Germany, and also loves photographing the Tatra Mountains and travels frequently to the Dolomites in Italy.

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

His images were captured with Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 5D Mark I cameras, and he shoots with Lee Filters and 16 mm to 400 mm lenses.

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

Mikolaj graduated from the faculty of film and photography at the School of Art and Design in Lodz with a master of arts.

View from Edelweissspitze on Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
View from Edelweissspitze on Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

He has worked for eight years in the St. Paul Edition as a photographer and photo-editor.

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

His images of the road show a stunning range of mountaintop views, glacier lakes, waterfalls and roadside huts.

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

Grossglockner High Alpine Road draws tourists from all over the world because of its beautiful scenery and vistas.

A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
A view of Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

Those who travel on the 47.8 km road must pay a toll and it is only open from May to October.

View from Edelweissspitze on Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek
View from Edelweissspitze on Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which runs from Bruck, Salzburg, to Heiligenblut, Carinthia. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek

As these photos above show, it is worth it, as it offers Austria’s highest vista and breathtaking views.

Photographer Mikołaj Gospodarek pictured at The Dolomites in Italy.
Photographer Mikołaj Gospodarek pictured at The Dolomites in Italy. Image: Mikołaj Gospodarek