The Austrian Alpine Grand Tour
On most of our driving holidays, we find a tenuous excuse to head for the alps. “you’re interested in the French Grand Prix, you say? Well we must go via the Grossglockner High Alpine Road!”. But with the Austrian Alpine Grand Tour, we have a legitimate excuse. Because this is the Grand Tour that heads to the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, we’re off to the Austrian Grand Prix!
Set in stunning alpine surrounds, the Red Bull Ring is an absolute joy. The chaps dress in in Lederhosen, the chapettes dress in Dirndl, and the Stiegl comes in Steins! We love Austria, and the Austrians love their motor-racing! But as any Grand Tourist knows, that’s just the half of it.
Day 1 is Baden-Baden (again), so make sure you pack your Tuxedos for a night in the Grand Casino. Day 2 we start driving, onwards to the German High Alpine Road, a stunning route that runs from Lake Constance, through the Bavarian Alps, to Konigsee. Depending upon how you look at it, the German Alpine Route has pro’s and cons. Pro’s are that its 280 miles long. Con’s are that it’s 280 miles long. But don’t worry, we make sure you only get to drive the good bits. At the end of the day we arrive at Salzberg, and the stunning 5* Sheraton Grand, where you’ll spend the next two nights.
Day 3 is Grand Prix Day, and we all head to Spielberg. Unlike most Grand Prix days, there’s actually an opportunity to do a bit of driving. If you’re happy to add an extra 45mins to your journey, then the Rossfeld Panorma Strasse is just off the motorway and definitely worth a visit. Nothing gets you in the mood for F1 like driving up a mountain pass and thinking that if only you hadn’t chosen to be an accountant, you could definitely have been a pro racing driver.
As it’s a quick jaunt back from the Grand Prix to Salzberg, you should be super refreshed for Day 4. As any Grand Tourist knows, Day 4 is when the proper driving starts. The route from Salzburg to Davos is pretty straightforward if you’re keen to head straight to the hotel. But we don’t advise it. Take the scenic route and you’ll have the Stelvio, Umbrail, Fuorn, Fluela, and Maloja Passes. Plus the Punt gal Dam and the Munt la Schera tunnel. Depending on your route, this can be a long day, but it’s worth every second! By nightfall you also get to relax in the stunning Intercontinental Davos. We figure that if a hotel is good enough for Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Despots, its probably good enough for us.
Day 5 we head to Dijon, and you can take it as fast or slow as you like. Head straight there and you’ll be there in time for a spot of lunch and sightseeing. Take the scenic route and you’ve got another incredible day ahead of you – the Furka, Grimsel and Susten Passes. Aka: “The Big 3”. By the way, final night is group dinner night, so try to make it back on time! If you’re late then you have to sit on the naughty step (the Irish Pub in Dijon).
Day 6 is usually the morning after the night before, so you can either trundle back to blighty at your own pace. Or, you can go and see it the Nordschleife is open!