Alpen road trip

A good way of spending five free days in summer is to go on a road trip! Together with friends from the US, we went to Slovenia, Italy and West Austria. This rather atypical Europe tour was great fun. Covering more than 1800 km on the road, we saw amazing landscapes, lakes, and mountains along with more common tourist destinations like Venice and Garda Lake.

Table of contents


Our five-day 1800 km road trip started in Vienna, going clockwise to Slovenia, Italy, West Austria and back home again.

On the first day we headed South, took a lunch break in Velden and crossed the Italian border at Arnoldstein. We entered Slovenia through a mountain pass to get to the Soca valley in Slovenia.

Colleen took the wheel in Kanal, Slovenia, relieving me from driving the whole way. Switching drivers made it way more relaxing to travel far by car. We found kind and generous couchsurfing hosts in Opatje Selo, Nejc and Tatjana, and stayed the night at their home. They even served us farm fresh veggies and homemade wine from their very own garden and nearby field.

The second day, we went Southwest to Italy to see the Duino-Aurisina and Miramare castles. We drove back to Opatje Selo again and spent another night with Nejc and Tatjana.

Venice and the Garda lake were our destinations on day three. After seeing the sights, we drove north and found a campsite next to the lake, were we spent the night in tents.

On the fourth day, we went up North again and did some sightseeing in Bozen. We then found a private guest house on a mountain in Zillertal / Hochfügen and ran into the people who lived there just as they were leaving. Our timing was incredibly lucky, since they just so happened to have affordable rooms available. Our view of the alpen alm was breathtaking.

The last day, we drove East all the way back to Vienna.


The lovely town of Kanal.

The charming Soca valley.

We did two nights of CouchSurfing with our hospitable hosts Tatjana and Nejc and their cat in Opatje Selo (near Nova Gorica/Gorizia)

From left to right, top to bottom: Dominik, Greg, Valery,
Colleen, Viviana, Tatjana and Nejc

My BMW, in particular the direct steering behavior, has been cat approved.

Cat-Approved BMW

Fiercely battled in the first World War in the area of Krain/Dežela Kranjska with it's new lookout tower.

The view of the historical battlefield.

Having a short snack-break before crossing the border to Italy.



An amazing view from the castle Duino to the Adria.

On top of the castle.

Castello di Miramare

This astonishing castle was built for "Ferdinand Maximilian von Österreich", the brother of Franz Joseph I of Austria. 


This very unique worth seeing place is a tourist stronghold. Thousends of tourists everywhere and high prices. 

Rialto bridge and carnival mask

The view from Rialto bridge.

Piazza di San Marco.

One bridge out of hundreds.

From left to right: (several tourists) Viviana, Colleen, Valerie, Greg and some more tourists

Camping at Lago di Garda

The next stop was a campsite at Lago di Gardo close to Verona.

Sunset at Lago di Garda.

Camping "European style": a novel experience for our American friends.

Profiteroles at the campsite restaurant #foodporn.

Südtirol, Bozen / Bolzano

Heading Northm we stopped in Bozen / Bolzano.

Very typical Tyrolean village and style.


Zillertal / Hochfügen

We spent the night on a mountain near Hochfügen in Zillertal, Tyrol.

The view from our house in the morning.

We did a short hike.

From left to right: Greg, Dominik, Viviana, Valerie, Colleen


A layover in Kitzbühel for lunch.

Tyrolean people do love flowers.

Greg's new haircut in the near future?

Hiking Valerie with a goat head walking stick and Tyrolean hat.

Hiking in the mountains.

Walking down the Hahnenkamm.


The original small town of Hallstatt and not the copied Chinese version in Guangdong.

Main square of this 800 citizen town.

Houses built up in the mountain.


It was a great trip and most probably the maximum you could achieve in only five days.

The costs of fuel and highway toll of this trip was 330 EUR in total (excluding the Vignette in Austria). Split among five people, the trip was rather cheap.

If time and budget aren’t an issue, I’d recommend spending more time in several places than we did. There was much more to see.

I enjoyed Couchsurfing once again and having Tatjana and Nejc as our hosts. They welcomed us as friends and we are so grateful for the stories, food, and wine they shared with us.

It was also great to camp again, even if it was only for a day.

After all this hardcore travelling, talking for hours about small problems and world politics issues in the car, we needed some rest from the vacation. Having many great friends on board definitely made our trip remarkable!

Photo galleries

Find several more pictures on my photoblog:

See also

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