Wilder Kaiser

10 tips & highlights for the perfect summer holiday in the Wilder Kaiser

Hello there” at the Wilder Kaiser in Tyrol! One of the most scenic holiday regions in Austria awaits you here at the foot of the majestic Kaiser Mountains.

On one side of the valley: the rugged, untouched mountain peaks of the Wilder Kaiser, which soar into the sky like spikes. On the other side: A lovely mountain landscape (by Tyrolean standards), which is easily accessible thanks to mountain railways. The beauty of the Wilder Kaiser region: You can have both.

Which places on the Wilder Kaiser can we particularly recommend? In this blog article we will tell you our personal highlights for a successful summer holiday. So if you are looking for insider tips for special hikes or excursion destinations, then you have come to the right place on our travel blog.

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1. Capture the reflection of the Wilder Kaiser in Astbergsee

Let’s start right away with one of the most famous photo motifs in the Wilder Kaiser: the Astbergsee. Or rather the reflection of the spectacular mountain scenery of the Wilder Kaiser in the lake.

The Astbergsee is a reservoir located on the Astberg of the same name at about 1,200 meters above sea level. Please do not expect a lonely natural jewel – here the spectacular view of the mountain panorama is in the foreground.

Our tip: In order to be able to capture the reflection perfectly, there must be as little wind as possible . So pay attention to the weather forecast. The best times to visit are usually (not always) around sunrise or sunset.

The Astbergsee is right next to the mountain station of the Astbergbahn. If you come outside of the operating hours, you can hike to the lake. The hike starts in Going and takes you in about 1.5 hours and 500 meters in altitude to Astbergsee. We ourselves rode the e-bike across the road to the Brenneralm. From there it is about a 10-minute walk (private road through the forest).

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2. Hike to the Gruttenhütte

One of the most well-known huts in the Wilder Kaiser is the Gruttenhütte, which is beautifully situated. It sits enthroned at 1,620 meters above sea level at the foot of the steep mountain massif and impresses with a magnificent view.

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Our route: Wochenbrunner Alm – Gaudeamushütte – Klammlweg

We opted for the very worthwhile ascent via the Klammlweg. To do this, you first hike from the car park at the Wochenbrunner Alm (easily reached with the free hiking bus) via a fairly steep forest road to the Gaudeamushütte.

From there it goes through the forest quite comfortably uphill before it gets steeper and the most exciting section of the entire hike awaits, the so-called Klammlweg. The passages, some of which are secured with ladders and ropes, make the ascent a great mountain experience.

Important: You should definitely be free from giddiness and sure-footed . In some places easy climbing is necessary. The fact that the Klamml via ferrata of the same name (don’t get confused!) also runs here is somewhat unpleasant, so you have to be particularly careful of falling rocks.

After a good 1.5 hours and a little more than 500 meters in altitude you have reached your destination, the Gruttenhütte. For ambitious alpinists, things really get going here, because some tours start from the Gruttenhütte.

We, on the other hand, enjoy Kaiserschmarrn, Kaspressknödelsuppe and the fantastic view. From the hut it then goes back down into the valley via the wide forest road (and the Ellmau stone circle) or path 825.

Here you can find more information: Gruttenhütte via Klammlweg (Tourism Association Wilder Kaiser)

3. Marvel at the sunrise from the mountaineer’s grave

Hike under the sparkling starry sky , then slowly get an idea of ​​the outlines of the mountain scenery in the twilight and finally marvel at the most beautiful morning light – all of this is simply pure magic!

All night owls probably know the problem: getting up early is a challenge. And getting up at 4 a.m. is another number. But believe us: as soon as the first rays of sunshine peek out from behind the peaks, all the effort is forgotten.

Our route: Wochenbrunner Alm – Gaudeamushütte – Bergsteigergrab

A beautiful and comparatively easy-to-reach spot for the sunrise on the Wilder Kaiser is the so-called mountaineer’s grave on the Baumgartner Köpfl.

It starts at the car park at the Wochenbrunner Alm (this early in the morning can only be reached by car or pre-booked taxi). From there you first hike over the wide, quite steep forest road to the Gaudeamushütte.

From the Gaudeamushütte, the serpentines continue up towards the mountaineer’s grave. The path is not technically demanding and not exposed, but of course you should be particularly careful in the dark. Be sure to bring a headlamp !

Once at the top, the valley is at your feet. With a bit of luck , the wafts of mist hang below while you can greet the first rays of sunshine up here – what a backdrop!

The way back to the valley follows the same path. Be careful when hiking downhill: the stones are still slippery in the morning!

Our tip: If you don’t feel confident enough to do the tour on your own, you can also do it with a mountain guide. The guided tour takes place every Friday between May and October. Here you can find more information: Guided sunrise hike (Tourism Association Wilder Kaiser)

4. Visit the Hintersteiner See

What a natural gem! The Hintersteiner See lies high above the village of Scheffau, surrounded by a beautiful mountain backdrop. With its crystal-clear, turquoise-blue water, the Hintersteiner See is one of the most beautiful lakes not only in Tyrol but in all of Austria.

A circular route runs around the Hintersteiner See in about 1.5 hours. On the north bank you hike along the paved road, on the more untouched south bank it is a bit more secluded through the forest.

Swimming is allowed, but only at the lido, which is located in the east of the lake, in the immediate vicinity of the parking lot.

Speaking of parking: A small downer about the Hintersteiner See is its popularity – which is not least due to the fact that the lake is very easy to reach. We definitely recommend arriving with the free hiking bus from Scheffau. On nice days, the parking lot is quickly overcrowded!

5. Hike through the Rehbachklamm

The mountain weather leaves a lot to be desired during your summer vacation? Sometimes it has to be, nature is happy. We can warmly recommend the hike through the Rehbachklamm gorge as a destination on days with unstable weather . It shouldn’t pour (otherwise it’ll be slippery and uncomfortable), but just between us: dirty autumn weather suits this gorge almost better than bright sunshine.

The entrance to the Rehbachklamm is in Scheffau, about a 10-minute walk from the town center. The path through the gorge leads up over bridges and stairs .

A total of about 300 meters of altitude must be conquered. This makes you sweat a bit, but you are not quite exhausted at the end of the day. A perfect little adventure!

Once at the top, we definitely recommend a stop at the Hinterschießlingalm. From this picturesque alpine pasture you can enjoy (on a clear day) a fantastically beautiful view. And in general, we really liked the cozy ambience.

6. Enjoy an alpine breakfast on the Au Hoch-Alm

We dare to say: The best and most lovingly prepared mountain breakfast in the Wilder Kaiser region is in the Au Hoch-Alm. This rustic Alm is a little insider tip and definitely worth a visit.

As is part of a real alpine breakfast, there is a short hike beforehand : you can reach the alpine pasture from the Brandstadlbahn mountain station (Scheffau) in about 45 minutes on foot.

The breakfast is a dream come true for slow food fans. (Almost) everything comes from our own production or cultivation or from nearby farms. From the jams to the cheese – everything tastes fantastic. Our absolute highlight: the oven-fresh Strietzel (yeast braid), which is available for every table.

Important: Pre-order is absolutely necessary!

Here you can find more information: Breakfast on the mountain (Tourism Association Wilder Kaiser)

7. Explore the filming locations of the Bergdoktor

Bergdoktor fans probably already know what we are talking about. Yes, the Wilder Kaiser region is the location of the hit series. And yes, you can actually explore some of the filming locations.

We come out as the ones who have only seen a single Bergdoktor episode, but we have to admit: we too thought it was pretty cool to walk in the footsteps of the series .

The most well-known film locations include the Gruberhof (Söll), the Bergdoktorpraxis (Ellmau) and the village square in Going with the inn (which is actually not an inn at all). Several hikes and e-bike tours lead you to the famous film locations.

You can find more information here: Bergdoktor tours (Tourism Association Wilder Kaiser)

8. Marvel at the view from the Marienkapelle over Ellmau

A wonderful place for a short evening walk is the Marienkapelle in Ellmau. It is the symbol of Ellmau and is enthroned in a prominent position above the town centre.

A short, steep climb takes you up. Once at the top, a fabulous view over Ellmau and the Kaiser Mountains awaits you. We were here at sunset and would highly recommend visiting at this time of day.

Here you can find the route description: Ellmau village tour (Tourism Association Wilder Kaiser)

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9. Eat & drink well: Culinary tips for the Wilder Kaiser

Kaiserschmarrn, Kasspatzln and Kaspressknödel: Yes, Tyrolean cuisine is hearty. But above all so delicious! Of course, good food is also part of a successful summer holiday. And you will find what you are looking for in the Wilder Kaiser region, we can promise that much.

There is a great selection of cafés and restaurants in the four towns of Going, Ellmau, Scheffau and Söll. From hip to traditional – there is something for every taste. We would like to introduce you to a few of our favourites.

Nani Café & Concept Store (Söll): Our favorite café! This hip eatery serves wonderful breakfasts as well as lunch specials. Everything tastes fantastic and is prepared with a lot of love. The coffee is great too. We recommend!

Restaurant Sonneck (Ellmau): We ate excellently in the Restaurant Sonneck. This quite chic but very cozy restaurant is located directly on the golf course and also impresses with a fantastic view of the Kaiser Mountains.

Eismanufaktur kEISer (Going): This friendly ice cream factory in the center of Going probably has the best ice cream far and wide. Be sure to try the unusual varieties such as yeast dumplings.

Gasthof Lanzenhof (Going): Traditional, very good cuisine is available in this rustic inn. The menu features Tyrolean classics such as Schlutzkrapfen or Kasspatzln.

Helenes Kaffee Werk (Scheffau): This very nice café in the center of Scheffau is perfect for afternoon coffee and cake.

10. More practical tips for your holiday in the Wilder Kaiser

Orientation on site at the Wilder Kaiser: The 4 holiday locations

The four holiday locations at the Wilder Kaiser are ranked from east to west:

Going and Scheffau are a little quieter and cozier than the rest, while Ellmau and Söll are a bit livelier. Here you will also find the largest range of hotels and restaurants. Scheffau is the furthest away from the main road. So if you want it to be particularly quiet, you are in good hands there.

Interesting facts about the region & what to expect

Perhaps you are wondering what specifically characterizes the Wilder Kaiser region? What distinguishes the Wilder Kaiser from other holiday resorts in Austria? We start the attempt to describe the region in a few keywords.

  • Impressive panorama: No matter where you are – the mighty Kaiser Mountains are always in view. We are of the opinion that the Wilder Kaiser is one of the most photogenic mountain ranges in the Alps.
  • Unspoilt & developed for tourism: Does that sound contradictory? No. Because you can actually have both here during your vacation. On the one hand, the unspoilt Kaiser Mountains are enthroned (almost) without mountain railways, which are ideal for alpine tours. And on the other hand, thanks to the mountain railways of the SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental ski area, you can reach higher altitudes quickly and comfortably – perfect for families with children, older people or for lazy days.
    • Sustainable: You notice immediately when you arrive: In the Wilder Kaiser region, great importance is attached to sustainability and nature conservation. For example, the hiking bus network is incredibly well developed. You can get by without a car. Our tip: help and get a “dirt bag” from the tourist office to simply dispose of the rubbish you find on your hiking trails.

Local transport: Free buses from A to B

Pretty cool thing: If you stay overnight in the Wilder Kaiser region, you will receive the GuestCard free of charge. And with that you can use all buses for free during your holiday .

The so-called KaiserJet is of particular interest . This bus connects all four town centers as well as the valley stations of the mountain railways and well-known excursion destinations.

There is a hiking bus for two destinations that are a little further away : on the one hand to the Hintersteiner See, on the other hand to the Wochenbrunner Alm (starting point for many hikes).

And last but not least, you can also use the regular buses to Kitzbühel, St. Johann, Wörgl and Kufstein free of charge.

In short: There are really few regions where it is as easy to get around as in the Wilder Kaiser.

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Best travel time & events at the Wilder Kaiser

If it’s easily possible for you, then we would rather avoid the months of July and August . Due to the school holidays in Austria and especially in Germany, the summer months are, as expected, busiest.

From the end of August it gets quieter and in September you can still enjoy really great late summer days at the Wilder Kaiser. May and June can also be pleasantly warm at times. Of course, especially in the off-season, you have to hope for good luck with the weather – but that actually applies to mountain holidays in Austria all year round anyway.

Good to know: There are really great events in the Wilder Kaiser in every season. The following are particularly popular:

  • Kaiserschmarrn Festival (Ellmau)
  • Gourmet Festival (Scheffau)
  • Almabtrieb (Söll)
  • Bergdoktor-Fantage
  • or various village festivals and music evenings

Here you can find more information: Events (Tourism Association Wilder Kaiser)

Transparency: advertising

This trip and our blog article were created in cooperation with the Wilder Kaiser Tourist Association. Thanks very much! Of course we are free to report. This cooperation has no influence on our honest opinion.

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