If golfing is more your sport than hiking then Ellmau boast not one but two courses - a 9 hole and an 18 hole course so bring your clubs along. Mind you with distracting views like this it would be easy to be put off your stroke!
Another route leading down from the Hartkaiser to Ellmau is on path number 2 to Rahnhartalm. Lovely varied scenery is seen on route. To prolong this enjoyable hike we did a detour across on path 26a which crosses the river, rather than follow the river straight down back to Ellmau, and eventually brings you just above the Maria chapel with its wonderful views of Ellmau. Certainly beats walking up the steep path to the chapel!
There are several hiking routes up and down the Hartkaiser. Our option was usually to go up in the funicular and then take one of the paths down. Path number 3 leading down to Ellmau has the lovely Rubezhlalm and its old alm hutte where you can sit and enjoy the view from its terrace.
A hike to the Gruttenhutte was a major reason for our return to Ellmau. We nearly reached it on our first visit and it had always bugged me that I hadn't been able to reach it due to time constraints.
The classic route to the Gruttenhutte is: Ellmau (800m) - Wochenbrunner Alm (1085m) - Gaudeamushutte (1267m) -Gruttenhutte (1619m) and then return by Riedlhutte (1200m) - Riesen (951m) - Ellmau (800m). Allow a good 7 hours for the round hike.
Well we did make it on our next visit :-)) please see the travelogue for info.
Equipment: Good hiking boots essential and proper mountain equipment if klettersteig route is taken. If staying overnight at the Hutte (open June- October) reservations are essential as its popular with climbers.
The panoramic Bergwelt path (number 13) in the opposite direction to Astberg - towards the Hohe Salve is also very scenic and crosses many meadows. This path contours to Hochbrixen (you could take a gondola down here to Hopfgarten) and eventually takes you to Hochsoll where there is a gondola down to Soll and another one up to the top of the Hohe Salve with its magnificent panorama. Again allow about 5 five hours for this hike -pick a clear day and you'll have stunning views of the alps on both sides.
From the Jochstube there are many options to continue your hike. You can head back down to the Hartkaiserbahn and Ellmau via R?bezahlalm. A longer hike in one direction on path number 11 takes you across lovely pasturelands to Astberg where you can take the gondola down to Going and then a short walk back to Ellmau. Allow about 5 hours for this hike.
A long distance hiking route taking in the Wilder Kaiser (the savage emperor) route. This narrow, but well maintained accessible path is some 35 km long and runs from kufstein to Kirchdorf near St Johann in Tirol. A well known hutte on this path is the Grutten hutte - a target for us to reach for this visit.
This idyllic walk starts from the top of the Hartkaiserbahn and strikes out on the panoramaweg (path number 6) an easy path enjoying the mountains and abundant flora around. After one hour you'll see the Brandstadl (1,649 m) cable car station and gasthof. From here take path 11to the Jochstube (1,670 m) with its little lake. Enjoy a rest here or something to eat before continuing one of the many paths up here. (see next tip)
The Wochenbrunn Alm is a busy place as its the trailhead for a tour of Ellmauer Halt (highest peak) Its accessible by car for which there is a toll fee of 3 euros. Its for experienced hikers only as the terrain is steep and proper climbing equipment is advisable so you can hook up to the klettersteig (iron ladders) which assist the climbiing of the rock face.
The Gasthof here is a popular eaterie to stock up on those energy levels required for the climbing!