Holidays to Ellmau let you explore a picturesque village, surrounded by wooded hills and meadows and sheltered by the awesome Wilder Kaiser, or Wild Emperor, mountains.
Ellmau’s charming village centre has attractive shops and cafés to stroll around and, in the summer months, its squares and streets are buzzing with regular evening festivals. The traditional folk and pop bands keep the atmosphere alive every Tuesday evening, and food and craft stalls pop up around the village too, selling local fare like dumplings and bratwurst.
From meadows to mountains
The Wilder Kaiser mountains are known for their scenic walking routes, with lots of them starting from the meadows around Ellmau. And you can still reach those iconic mountain views without the walk by hopping on the modern gondola, which runs through the summer. There are weekly guided walks too, and all of them are free when you stay in the town.
Out and about
• Lakeside promenade
• Transport museum
• Wildlife spotting
Things to See and Do in Ellmau
Lake bathing in Going
Catch a bus from outside the music pavilion - they run every 30 minutes - and in less than 15 minutes you’ll be in at the bathing lake in Going. Open from 9am to 7pm when there’s good weather, it has a flat, white, sandy beach, with separate areas for children and non-swimmers.
Fun by the water
The lake can heat up to a pleasant 24ºC during warmer months, making it a popular summer haunt for families. There’s a 100m-long open-air waterslide, kids' play space, platforms and more, for fun on the lake.
Beautiful natural lake
Internationally regarded as the most beautiful natural lake in the Tyrol, the waters are fed by natural springs from the Wilder Kaiser Mountains. The lake is set in grassy meadows with a stunning mountain backdrop.
Ellmau has the occasional pop-up market to browse. They range from local handmade crafts to farmers' markets, and are great for picking up a bargain souvenir.
Think the local sports shops only sell equipment? Look again and you’ll find a collection of quality activewear and mountain clothing if you fancy a wardrobe refresh in that department.
Ellmau is a relatively low-key resort but is still a good place for a couple of laid-back evening drinks. The pretty village is a wonderful place to mooch round and explore on foot after dinner.
For a bit of nightlife buzz, take your pick from the handful of pubs and bars in Ellmau’s town centre and enjoy a drink with regulars and other tourists. You might even strike lucky and catch some live music at D'schupf café and bar.
There are lots of local dishes to try in Ellmau. You’ll find fresh and refined versions of historic specialities like the sweet germknödel (yeast dumplings) with poppy seeds and butter, or brodakrapfen, hot crullers filled with fresh cheese. Other European cuisines are also served in the huts, restaurants and cafés that are dotted around the resort and at the top of the lifts.
Alpine snacks at Wochenbrunner Alm
Set high up in the mountains overlooking Ellmau is Wochenbrunner Alm, a modern yet traditional hut in a picturesque and tranquil setting. You may also be able to spot several Alpine animals whilst enjoying a cold drink and a snack.
A meal to remember at Memory
In the centre of town is the modern and stylish Memory, offering an amazing range of dishes including wood-fired pizzas that are cooked right in front of you in the open kitchen.
Cuisine with a view at Restaurant Kaiserhof
Just out of town is the Restaurant Kaiserhof, a fine-dining restaurant serving up beautifully prepared dishes with attentive service. There are also great views from their outdoor terrace.
The centre of Ellmau is a lovely place to stroll around in the evening, when the restaurants are buzzing, and there are often festivals going on as well. Further out, there are over 700km of walking and hiking trails – no wonder the area has been awarded the Austrian Hiking Seal of Approval.
The nearest station is in St Johann, which can be reached by post bus or taxi. There are two types of service – slower local trains or fast intercity trains – and they run to Kitzbühel (7 minutes), Salzburg (2 hours 25 minutes) and Innsbruck (1 hour 30 minutes).
Regular post buses run to St Johann, Westendorf, Kitzbühel and Worgl. There’s also the free Kaiserjet shuttle service, which will take you to the neighbouring towns of Scheffau, Söll and Going as well as lift stations and leisure spots. Buses don’t run in the evenings though, so you’ll need to use taxis instead.
There are 12 lifts in the area that run throughout the summer months. A Hiker’s Experience Pass will give you access to all of them, perfect if you want to do lots of exploring.
Walking is incredibly popular in and around Ellmau, where the idyllic scenery brings people back year after year. It’s so good it has even been granted the Austrian Hiking Seal of Approval. There are over 700km of marked trails so, no matter what your skill or fitness level, you’ll never be bored. The one-hour walk to Scheffau is a good place to start, and there are also gentle walks around the golf course and to nearby Going. A Hiker’s Experience Pass will give you access to all the lifts in the area, so you explore up in the peaks as well.
Hintersteiner See lake
This varied walk starts with a bus journey to neighbouring Scheffau. From there it’s a gentle, though uphill, walk along a paved, tree-lined road to the lake. It’s usually pretty quiet, though it does get busier on very sunny days. The walk takes about 1.5-2 hours, and it’s well worth it. Take some lunch and have a picnic by the water before heading back.
A trickier hike that takes around 5 hours, but it’s worth it for the views. Take the bus to Going Dorf and follow signs for route 818. The path winds past farmhouses and Badasee lake before reaching the forest. Stay on route 818, which gets steeper and narrower through the trees. After around 2.5 hours you’ll reach the stunning Scheleirwasser waterfall, and another half an hour will take you to the Steigenbach waterfall. Route 817 takes you back to Going.
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