The first portion is for those who enjoy climbing steep, narrow roads into the mountains and don't mind dodging the occasional truck in order to enjoy breathtaking mountain vistas and lovely, flower-covered houses. The second part puts you on one of Europe's great mountain highways, the highway over the Grossglockner. Out of Salzburg, take any road to Bad Reichenhall. From there, follow the little yellow road past Thumsee and pick up #21 to the Austrian border. Then take #312 past Unken in the direction of Lofer. (If you are coming from Munich, take the Traunstein exit, head south through Inzell on #305, and then turn toward Lofer where the road intersects #21.)
At Lofer, take Red Road #311 along the Saalach river southeast to Saalfelden. This valley is enclosed on either side by several 2000-meter peaks rising steeply from the valley floor and is perhaps a mile across at its widest. At its southern entry is the Brandlhof golf course, an 18-hole layout popular with German tourists.
This road between Lofer and Saalfelden, through the Saalach Valley, not only offers mountain views but along the way there are caves open for tours. There are also places to stop for a wander through wooded gorges.
The Rathausplatz at Saalfelden is stunning, with a view of the 2,500 meter Breithorn framed by perfect Austrian architecture.
From here, turn toward Maria Alm and begin the ascent to Dienten, which is a ski resort and an exceptionally pretty town. In between, Maria Alm is a picturesque little village with many hotels and restaurants, and an abundance of flowers decorating the buildings.
The road from there to Dienten is interesting, particularly that portion past Hintertal. But from there on it is narrow, seldom more than a car and a half wide, and climbs to the summit shortly before reaching Dienten.
At this point you can either go straight south to Red Road #311 or continue on to Mühlbach. The road south, to the main highway between Bruck and St. Johann, is very narrow in most places wide enough for only one car (too narrow for a yellow line in the middle). There are turnouts, of course, but traffic is light and there are few trucks. The road is curvy and most of the way is downhill. Soon you cross #311 and continue south, entering the beautiful Gasteiner Valley leading to Bad Hofgastein and Badgastein.