Silvretta Hochalpenstrasse, Austria.
When in Austria.. hit it!
The Silvretta-hochalpenstrasse is maybe not the most known road in Europe.. But ever since I’ve driven it I want to go back! One day I was visiting my girlfriend in Germany and her dad asked me if I wanted to drive up there. I replied: “ I’m from Holland so every slight rise in elevation and sharp curve is exciting for me”.
Next day we were off, destination: Austria. We bought a road vignette at the border and opened the throttle! Once we reached the Montafon district I was already amazed by the ride that took us there. Mountains and curves, show a Dutch biker these things and you’re sure of some blood getting pumped to places I will keep unannounced.
Just getting there is awesome!
I absolutely loved the road through the Montafon heading up to the main attraction, the Silvretta-Hochalpenstrasse. Even the highway sections of the trip didn’t bother me because there was so much to look around at. By the time we hit the toll booth of the Silvretta we had driven 194 kilometers already. That’s why we decided to make a little stop halfway up the Silvretta. The view from up there was amazing! Looking down on the valley we just came up from, we could see the whole road we had driven up to get here. Amazing curves and heavy elevation. As a more off-road type of guy, I was extremely proud that I could curve at the speeds I did. Until I saw someone on a Ducati roar up the mountain and slam her bike into the curves and rush through. I was amazed and humbled… I wonder if there is someone on this green earth that has mastered all the disciplines of motorcycle riding. ah well… let’s just focus on what we think is fun 😉
With empty bladders we set off to finish climbing the mountain. Doing so we took some more amazing curves and enjoyed the scenery. Rushing streams and beautiful lakes passed by as we tried to avoid hitting the local cattle. Yes that’s right… cattle. There are numerous cows walking about on the pastures surrounding the Silvretta-Hochalpenstrasse. They just roam around minding their own business because the pastures aren’t fenced. It’s their mountain so why shouldn’t they be allowed to roam free!? Passing by the cows we finally ended up at the Silvretta Stausee which is basically a big lake formed by a dam.
Second stop! Silvretta Stausee.
The Silvretta Stausee is situated at a height of 2000 meter and is surrounded by mountain peaks covered in snow. This is also the highest point of the Silvretta-Hochalpenstrasse. At this lake we took our second stop to enjoy the scenery. We did this at the Piz Buin Gasthof. Here we enjoyed a typical Austrian snack called Germknödel, a rich pastry served warm and filled with a plum compote and sprinkled with a lovely puff of powdered sugar.
All rested and my girlfriends bladder also finally empty, we continued our trail heading down the mountain and into a very cool valley on the other side. Leaving the jagged peaks behind, we journeyed into the tree filled valley on the road called the Silvretta Strasse. This road follows a river that flows from the Silvretta Stausee all the way down out of the valley. Along this road we stopped for gas in a little town and a quick drink.
Kayak floaters 🙂
After that we moved on down, deeper into the valley where we made our third and final scenery stop. We stopped at a dirt patch next to the river and we spotted a few kayakers. They were practising how to get their buddy’s out of the water when they couldn’t get out themselves. They tied one of the kayakers to a lifeline and the tied up kayaker jumped into the water, grabbing the ‘unconsciously’ drifting buddy. When he would grab onto him the rest of the group on the shore, pulled them both in. It was fascinating to watch them do this over and over again and it looked quite fun too!
We walked a little bit further into the forest crossing the river via a hanging bridge and rested a little bit in the shadows. We drank some water while we enjoyed the beautiful place we where in.
After we soaked up as much as we could we went on our way again.
We drove on down the road and saw this cool looking little castle mounted on the hillside. The road led right to it! As we drove closer we could see that the road curved to the left and crossed the river. This way we got a good view of the little castle. We snaked up and through the valley ultimately to end up on the highway back home. After a day of relaxed riding I was content with all the things we’ve seen and I went to bed with a big smile on my face!
Cost: 12 euro per bike to keep this road maintained and open.
Amount of traffic: Depending on the season, it gets pretty busy but it didn’t feel crowded to me.
Bearded_Vstromrider rating: 8/10 no off-road so no 10
Silvretta-Hochalpenstrasse? Yeah you better ride it!