Planning your next European motorhome adventure? There’s never a dull moment touring Austria by motorhome. This is a country packed with amazing alpine scenery, glittering lakes, charming architecture, medieval fortresses, and cosy coffee houses.
Austria has so much going for it – from the autobahn to winding roads, your motorhome trip will be full of adventure, nature and culture.
It’s around 650 miles from the UK to Austria, with plenty of motorways to get you and your motorhome there safely. But before you head off on your road trip, there are a few things to consider – from things to see to having the right motorhome insurance.
Here’s a guide to planning your next motorhome trip to Austria.
Best time of year for an Austrian driving holiday
Austria is a popular tourist destination, with crowds heading to the cities and towns for various festivals, celebrations, balls, markets, outdoor events and lidos all year round.
Austria’s seasons are pretty reliable, so you can plan your visit depending on what you want to do and see.
There tends to be plenty of snowfall during the winter months and consistent sunshine in the summer. So, if you’re looking for an easy-going road trip and want to get the best of the warm weather, plan your motorhome trip between April and October.
Travelling to Austria in a motorhome is best avoided between November and March when the weather can be cold, wet and miserable.
January is usually the coldest month (-1°C on average), and the road conditions can become unfavourable fairly quickly – especially at high altitudes.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t visit during the winter. Many people have used their motorhome as a base for a skiing holiday, but you just need to be realistic about the weather and your abilities when driving in snowy and icy conditions.
Driving laws in Austria
First thing to mention is that you drive on the right. It’s an obvious one, but easy to forget when pulling out of a service station on the left side of the road. And in terms of priority, vehicles on a roundabout and anyone descending a mountain road always have the right of way.
Austria has strict rules around drink driving – 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood compared to 0.8 in the UK. So don’t do it.
The same goes for speed limits. Expect frequent use of cameras and hefty on-the-spot fines if you’re caught speeding or committing other traffic offences.
Speed limits throughout Austria are:
- Motorways: 130km/hr (80mph)
- Rural roads: 100km/hr (62mph)
- Urban areas: 50km/hr (30 mph) unless otherwise indicated
If you’re planning to use the tolls while you’re in the country, you’ll need to have a valid toll sticker or vignette displayed on the inside of your windscreen. You can get these online, or from post offices, newsagents and petrol stations once you’re there.
Winter driving rules
If you do find yourself in Austria between November and mid-April, winter or all-season tyres are required by law when driving in bad weather (i.e. snow, mud or ice).
You’ll need a set of winter tyres for your motorhome if you’re going to be there during the winter months as it’s impossible to predict the conditions.
It’s also compulsory to carry snow chains during winter. If you don’t fit them when needed, the police may force you to stop your journey.
What to pack for your motorhome trip
You want your motorhome trip to go smoothly, so that means packing the right things for the Austrian roads.
Make sure you always carry a full, valid UK driving licence, proof of ID (e.g. passport), vehicle registration document (V5), and your certificate of motorhome insurance.
If the motorhome is not registered in your name, you’ll also need a letter from the owner confirming you have permission to drive it.
As well as the required documentation, there are other items you are required by law to carry in your motorhome. If you’re found without them, you could be in line for a substantial fine. Make sure you pack:
- Reflective jackets to be worn in case of a breakdown
- Warning triangle
- First aid kit packed in a strong, secure box
- Headlamp beam deflectors (either stickers or by manual adjustment of the headlights)
- Green card. This is not a legal requirement but will be useful if you need to show your insurance for motorhomes documents at any time as it proves you have the minimum legal level of insurance cover.
Things to do and places to stay in Austria
You’ll need to plan a route for your Austrian adventure. There’s so much to see and do it’s hard to know where to start. Here are a few must-see sights and places to stay to get you started.
Located next to the German border, Salzberg is home to Mozart’s birthplace and was where the Sound of Music was filmed. Take a boat ride on the Salzach, ride the funicular to the Hohensalzburg Fortress and stroll round the old town (a UNESCO World Heritage site).
Where to stay: Panoramacamping Stadtblick
Grossglockner High Alpine Road
A drive up the Grossglockner High Alpine Road guarantees stunning scenery and a few hairpin bends along the way (36 to be precise). Be warned: you’ll be parking your motorhome every 100 metres to take yet another photo – the views really are that good.
Where to stay: Sportcamp Woferlgut or Nationalpark Camping Grossglockner
Dachstein Glacier World
Complete with a suspension bridge, stairway to nothingness, ice palace, gondola and viewing platform, Dachstein has views you won’t forget in a hurry. It’s popular with tourists, so get there early.
Where to stay: Camping Dachstein
Arrange motorhome insurance in advance
There’s a lot to do when planning a motorhome trip in Austria. Before you get behind the wheel, make sure you have the right motorhome protection in place.
At Motorhome Protect, we can arrange the best motorhome insurance to suit your vehicle and budget.
Cover arranged through Motorhome Protect can include unlimited EU cover, unlimited mileage cover and cover for personal items valued up to £3,000 – all essential for a road trip to remember.
Get a quote for motorhome insurance and start planning your Austrian adventure today.
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.