This year I first heard of the Kaiser Mountains region in Austria, which looked quite interesting: Beautiful mountain peaks, wonderful lakes and a lot of activities to fulfill your adventure lust. Shortly after that, I was about to head there – to attend the “Bergsportwoche” (German for “Mountain Sports Week”), which takes place once a year during summer. And there we go, I will share my 3-day itinerary of the Kaiser Mountains region with you.
- 1 What is the “Bergsportwoche”?
- 2 3-day itinerary Kaiser Mountains “Bergsportwoche”
- 3 Hotels in Ellmau
- 4 Conclusion
What is the “Bergsportwoche”?
During the “Bergsportwoche” participants can attend mountaineering activities for a discounted price. The activities are all led by experienced guides and participants can choose how long they want to take part in the “Bergsportwoche” (3 to 6 days). What I really liked about the concept is, that everybody can separately choose his activities – therefore it is possible to create a schedule full of activities that you really want to try – for a really fair price!
In the evening most participants met at a regular’s table (Stammtisch), had dinner, drunk some beer and just enjoyed the time together, which was perfect to get a group dynamic.
*I got invited to the “Bergsportwoche” by Visit Wilder Kaiser, so I didn’t pay for attending. Still, all opinions in this article are my own.
3-day itinerary Kaiser Mountains “Bergsportwoche”
Sunrise at Astbergsee
(Morning – Sunrise)
Directly on my first full day in the Kaiser Mountains region, I went for a little sunrise mission: Our goal was the nearby Astbergsee (Astberg Lake), which is located on the Goinger Astberg. It offers a perfect reflection of the Kaiser Mountains – and in my opinion a must-do for every photographer that visits the Kaiser Mountains. To reach it you can simply drive up by car and walk the last 15 minutes.
Canyoning for beginners
(Morning – Afternoon)
After my sunrise mission, I made a short nap and then went to the Canyoning – which I really didn’t know what I can expect. I can already tell you though that it was absolutely awesome! But let’s start at the beginning: After our guide introduced us to what we will do today we drove to a little climbing park where we learned the basic skills to abseil ourself. That was really important as abseiling is an important part of the Canyoning in the afternoon – and absolutely necessary.
For those of you that read my post of Lahti in Finland – you will know that I can need some more climbing lessons! 😀
After we did the practice it was time to prepare for the actual Canyoning. I know, I still didn’t tell you what it really is. So, Canyoning basically means entering a canyon/gorge and use different techniques (abseiling, climbing, etc) to get out again. Sounds scary, but believe me, it’s too much fun to miss it!
Equipped with a wetsuit we started to abseil with our guide into a big gorge, that was full of ice cold water. There were options to take cliff jumps (which I obviously took!), but you will not get forced to do it. I have to admit that Canyoning needs some overcoming in the beginning, but once you are inside the gorge it is just an amazing experience! I will definitely do that again in the future.
Here are some more impressions:
After a tiring but fun day, it was perfect to join the Stammtisch (Regular’s table), enjoy a tasty dish, some beer – and talk with the other participants about their experiences and impressions of the day. The atmosphere was like in a huge family – which was quite relaxing after a day full of sports activities.
On day 2 another premiere was waiting for me: An E-Mountainbike tour over several hills. I just tried an E-bike in Finland (for some hundred meters) and was curious if it would really be that easy to climb all these hills with the support of a little motor. And it was, kind of!
I took most of my images in this post with my smartphone. Want to know some of my favorite tricks to improve your smartphone pictures? Check out my 5 smartphone photography hacks!
While you still need to invest your own power and energy, it is a perfect way to combine a bike tour with enjoying your surroundings. And the landscapes around the Kaiser Mountains region are honestly just insane! On our tour, we took remote paths with cows, conquered more than 1’000 meters in height and over 35 kilometers in total. So what I can say is: It was so much fun and still a great activity to stay active, while not being too exhausting.
After the really active morning and a great lunch in the mountains, we were supposed to climb in the Kaiser Mountains. Unfortunately, the weather was really bad (thunderstorm, rain) and we had to cancel this activity. But if you make it to the Kaiser Mountains and attend the Bergsportwoche I’m sure it would be a great addition to your itinerary!
Sunset at Hintersteiner See
We already saw the Hintersteiner See (Lake) before and it was clear we have to get there for sunset – so we did it! And it was definitely not a bad decision. The Hintersteiner See offers beautiful, almost tropical beach like, water and is a perfect location to calm down – or take some images during sunset.
But you can decide on your own if it’s worth it, here is the picture I took there:
(Morning / Full day)
Hiking Tour / Mountain Breakfast
On my third full day in the Kaiser Mountains region in Austria, I was supposed to join a hike up to the “Zettenaiserkopf”, a beautiful hike that would take 5 hours in total, including a distance of 9 kilometers and over 700 meters in height. Unfortunately, the weather was still really bad and we had to find an alternative program. While some of us decided to improve their climbing skills in a climbing hall, I went for a wonderful mountain breakfast.
It consisted of mainly local products and the atmosphere was absolutely incredible. You just felt like you are at home with friends – and the food was delicious!
Local alcohol tasting
In the afternoon we spontaneously joined another group for an alcohol tasting in a local distillery, which produces high-quality gins, schnapps and much more. As I am a huge lover of gin I really enjoyed the tasting, which was completed with a huge selection of local food. Our guide also gave us interesting information while trying out the different types of alcohol. This is definitely something you should consider doing when visiting Ellmau or the Kaiser Mountains region!
Hotels in Ellmau
During my time in the Kaiser Mountains, I stayed in the lovely 4-star hotel Kaiserblick (which means Kaiser view). The name dates back to its perfect location for a hotel in Ellmau: offering a beautiful view of the prominent Kaiser Mountains. If you decide to stay there I would suggest getting a room with a view of the Kaiser, as it was just an incredible feeling to see the peaks once you get up.
What I personally loved about the hotel (next to the big room) were the meals (tasty buffets combined with dishes & live cooks) and the cozy spa area. For me, the Kaiserblick is definitely a hotel in Ellmau I can recommend!
So let’s get to an end: What do I think of the Bergsportwoche and would I recommend it? I personally think that the Bergsportwoche in the Kaiser Mountains is an amazing idea – you are able to do different sports activities for a fair price and also connect with like-minded people that have similar interests. The concept is very well thought and worked out perfectly and really smooth. Even though there were some circumstances that the organizers can’t influence (bad weather), they always did a great job and offered alternative programs.
The next Bergsportwoche in the Kaiser Mountains region will take place from 29th June to 6th July of 2019 and I can recommend almost everybody that is interested in outdoor adventures, sports and being in nature to consider attending it! There are various activities so everybody will find something that fits his interests and level of fitness. You will definitely have a great time there! For more information, you can check out the Bergsportwoche 2019 on their website.