Wilder Kaiser, located in the Tirolean Alps of Austria is the perfect place to go if you love skiing and other winter activities.
Many people understandably come for the famous (and fabulous) skiing at SkiWelt Ski Resort. But to only go skiing would be a shame. There are so many other fun winter adventures.
This is a two-part post. This post covers the winter adventures you can do in Wilder Kaiser. I’ll be returning again in summer to compare the landscapes and adventures. I can’t wait. Be sure to watch for it.
Where is Wilder Kaiser?
Wilder Kaiser is conveniently located in the Tirolean Alps of Austria between Innsbruck, Munich, and Salzburg.
Where to Stay in Wilder Kaiser
There are four villages that comprise Wilder Kaiser; Ellmau, Going, Scheffau and Sölll. Ellmau and Söll are the largest of the four villages and the most popular with English-speaking tourists.
Going and Scheffau are smaller and are more popular with German-speaking tourists.
I stayed in Söll and enjoyed my stay there.
Winter Activities in Wilder Kaiser
Skiing at SkiWelt in Wilder Kaiser
Without a doubt, skiing is the most popular winter activity in Wilder Kaiser and for good reason – SkiWelt is AMAZING! And as someone who grew up skiing in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, I don’t say that lightly.
So what makes skiing at SkiWelt Kaiser-Brixental so amazing?
It’s one of the largest and most modern ski resorts in the world. You’ll find 284 km of ski runs. While it’s technically possible to ski them all in one day, it would be a challenge. It’s much more enjoyable to stay for a few days and have time to explore the hill.
There are an incredible 90 lifts – some of them with heated seats and 70 ski huts.
Despite being gigantic, it retains some of the Gemütlichkeit (coziness) the Tirolean Alps are known for.
To help skiers navigate the best runs there are two suggested routes that are well signed. This helps you from feeling overwhelmed.
You’re treated to almost constant views of the alps including the nearby Kitzbühl Alps even from the huts.
The mountain huts vary in style, but many of them are purposely rustic to retain that feeling of coziness. They serve up traditional hearty Austrian fare.
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Catch the Sunrise at SkiWelt Kaiser-Brixental
One of the other things I loved about SkiWelt was all the ways they create special moments for skiers. For example, SkiWelt Brixen and SkiWelt Westendorf both open early at 7:30 on selected Thursdays to that you can catch the sunrise from the top of the mountain!
Then, you can either continue skiing or refuel to a mountain hut for a hearty Austrian breakfast before continuing your day of skiing. I’m coming back to experience this next winter.
Be Bewitched by Skiing Witches at SkiWelt Söll
Of special interest to younger skiers are the skiing witches. You can meet them Thursday to Sunday at 10:30 at the witches hut, aka, the Simonalm. They’ll be brewing a large cauldron of witches brew. It’s rumored to have magical powers – if you’re brave enough to try it. The witches are also famous pranksters.
These witches ski of course so you may also run into them on the slopes.
Night Skiing at SkiWelt
You can also go night skiing at SkiWelt. You have a choice of SkiWelt Brixen, Westendorf or Söll, the largest with 10 km of illuminated slopes. Check the SkiWelt site for exact times and days.
Ladies and Men’s Day at SkiWelt
If you’re looking to save some money, consider skiing on Ladies Day, every Wednesday from 08.01. – 13.03.2020. The normal fare during the high season is €53.50 but on ladies’ day you’ll only pay €40.00. The fare, of course only applies to women.
But men don’t worry, you get your day too. The same deal applies to men every Tuesday from 07.01. – 13.03.2020.
Related Reading: Wilder Kaiser What to See and Do in Summer and Why You’ll Love It
Visit the ALPENIGLU – Igloo Village
Stop by for a drink, take a tour of the village or if you like to keep things cool, spend the night in the igloo hotel.
The SkiWelt Ski Season
The peak season is 21.12.2019 – 13.03.2020 but it’s also open pre-season: 07.12. – 20.12.2019 and post-season: 14.03. – 13.04.2020. Check the SkiWelt site for the most up-to date information.
Snowshoeing in Wilder Kaiser
One of my favourite winter activities is snowshoeing and it’s exceptionally beautiful in Wilder Kaiser. Not only is it beautiful, but you can also do a unique snowshoe – to the aforementioned “Bergdoctor” house Köpfing.
I did this with a group of Germans who were very excited to see the house and the landscapes that they’d only seen on TV. Even if you’re not familiar with the TV show (I’ve heard of it but admittedly haven’t watched it) it’s worth doing.
It’s a fun adventure. You get a different perspective of the winter landscape than you get when you’re skiing.
You’ll work up an appetite that you can satisfy with local Tirolean food at an alm. When I was there in February it was surprisingly warm enough to sit outside so we got to enjoy the alps even more.
I went with local guide Georg Treichl. He speaks English. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll find more info here: https://www.wilderkaiser.info/en/soell/info/tiroler-bergwanderfuehrer-treichl-georg.html.
Related Reading:Best Ski Resorts in Austria
Enjoy the Stunning Winter Landscapes of Wilder Kaiser
One of the most famous landscapes in Wilder Kaiser is the Hintersteinsee (Hinterstein Lake). It was voted The Most Beautiful Place in Tirol in 2018.
It’s quiet and peaceful in winter. However, there aren’t any winter hikes or snowshoe trails by the snow-covered lake. The road to reach it can also be treacherous in winter. For those reasons, I recommend going once the snow has melted a bit so you can see the lake.
I can’t wait to come back here in summer when it’s in its full glory. There’s also a hiker’s shuttle that can take you there in summer (not available in winter).
Related Reading: 12 Things to do in Innsbruck, Austria
Evening Winter Activities in Wilder Kaiser
The adventures don’t stop in Wilder Kaiser when the sun goes down. Besides night skiing, you can also:
Enjoy Après-Ski Fun at the Ski Show
On selected Monday evenings in Ellmau, you’ll find music mulled wine stands and a festive après-ski atmosphere. Then, at 8:30 local skiers will demonstrate their skills. You can expect synchronized skiing to music and nostalgia skiing. The night ends up with a bang that lights up the night sky with a flurry of fireworks.
This event is especially popular with families.
You can start the fun even earlier with a torchlight hike. Meet at the Ellmau Tourist Information Office at 7:45 p.m.
Further details: https://www.wilderkaiser.info/en/
Moonlight Tobogganing at Söll
While in North America we tend to think of tobogganing or sledding as something that’s just for kids. Not so in the Alps! in Söll there’s a 4 km long toboggan run. It’s open during the day, but I recommend doing it at night when it’s illuminated for a unique adventure.
I didn’t get the chance to do it in Söll but I love it so much that I do it at least once every winter.
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Wilder Kaiser: Go or No Go?
Definitely go! I loved my time here, I just wish I had more of it. There’s so much to do. I could have easily spent a week here and still not done everything I wanted to.
It will become my go-to destination when I need a weekend getaway from Munich.
You’ll enjoy visiting Wilder Kaiser if you love the idea of active relaxation. I always come back more rejuvenated than ever after engaging in winter activities with fresh mountain air.
There are activities for every fitness level so it’s suitable for everyone.
It’s a great destination for both couples, solo travelers or families. I visited by myself and found the locals to be very friendly – especially after living in Germany :).
Related Reading: The 7 Best Microspikes for Hiking in Winter (2023): And Why You Need Them
Know Before You Go to Wilder Kaiser
- Plan to spend at least a few days to a week to experience all the winter activities.
- Don’t just go skiing one day at SkiWelt. There’s SO much more to do in Wilder Kaiser.
- Ski at SkiWelt but also get off the slopes to try snowshoeing, winter hiking, and tobogganing.
- Plan some evening adventures as well for a unique and beautiful experience. The night sky illuminated from snow is breathtaking.
- Plan your activities first, so you can see whether you should stay in Ellmau, Going, Scheffau or Söll.
- You can get to Wilder Kaiser from Kufstein with a shuttle. The cost is €15 each way. Details here: https://www.tirol-taxi.at/en-train-station-transfers.
- There are also shuttles to the ski lifts.
- If you plan to visit multiple villages and don’t have a car, you can have the option of either public transport (https://www.wilderkaiser.info/en/travel-planning/bus-timetables-stops/mobile-wilder-kaiser.html) or taking a taxi.
If you love winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing and winter hiking, you’ll love Wilder Kaiser!
Note: Thank you to Wilder Kaiser Tourism and iAmbassador for making my visit possible. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.