Hintersteiner See bathing lake is 4km above the centre os Scheffau. It’s a beautifully clear and clean lake that spans 56 hectares and reaches 36m in depth.
Hintersteiner See is in the middle of the Wilder Kaiser nature reserve, one of the most recognised mountain ranges in the Tyrol. The beaches are a mix of sandy patches and rockier shores, so make sure to bring along swimming shoes to protect your feet.
You’ll find all the facilities you need for a day by the water here. There’s a café on the south bank, changing rooms, meadows, and sun loungers and parasols. There's also a car park, but the lake is easily reached by public transport.
Scheffau is fairly quiet, so it’s quite common to spend laid-back evenings in the hotel, enjoying a few after-dinner drinks without having to leave the building.
Scheffau’s main town has very little by way of shops. The upper section is a small village with a couple of sporting goods stores, selling a range of typical mountain clothing and accessories.
Scheffau has one village pub to visit, if you're after a traditional, small-town feel. They serve a basic menu of beer, wine and spirits. Since it's authentically Austrian, smoking is still allowed inside.
The resort is quiet, but livelier evening spots can be found in nearby Ellmau or Söll.
Tiny Scheffau has a charming village centre with a few cafés, bars and restaurants serving Austrian and Italian fare. Though if you want greater choice, you may have to venture to Ellmau or Söll for a bit more variety.
In the lower part of the village is Gastof, serving traditional Austrian cuisine at pretty reasonable prices. This restaurant is great for families as it has a good-sized play area.
With views of the lifts, Aualm is ideal for a quick lunch at the bottom of the mountain. Whether you choose a burger, dumplings or currywurst, you’re bound to have a hearty midday meal with great views from the outdoor sun terrace.
Whether you want takeaway or a sit-down meal, Donatello Ristorante Pizzeria creates scrummy pizzas for decent prices. Everything is freshly made to order and there’s a great selection of both pizza and pasta to choose from.
If you speak German, the clue’s in the name here – Scheffau, or 'steep meadow', is a hillside village, so you’ll get some good exercise just walking around town. The village centre is lively and the perfect place to stop for a mid-stroll coffee.
There’s a train station in St Johann, 30 minutes away by bus, which offers trains to excellent locations like Kitzbühel (10 minutes) and Worgl (50 minutes), and even Salzburg (2 hours 20 minutes), Innsbruck (1 hour 30 minutes) and Munich (2 hours 30 minutes).
With your Wilder Kaiser Guest Card, you’ll get free use of the Kaiserjet bus service, which links Scheffau to the neighbouring villages of Ellmau, Going and Söll – and stops at the village centre, summer lift stations and leisure spots. The post bus will cost a bit extra, but it’s useful for getting to St Johann, Westendorf, Kitzbühel and Worgl.
There are 13 lifts in the SkiWelt area, which are free to use if you purchase a Hiker’s Experience Pass – well worth it if you plan on doing a lot of walking or just want to get up high to see the views.
There are over 700km of trails, so it’s easy to get out and explore this extensive and truly beautiful region. The distinctive Wilder Kaiser Mountains are a rocky maze of scenic fields and lush mountain pines. On the other side, the Kitzbüheler Alps offer panoramic paths and spectacular views, easily reachable with summer lifts. A good place to start is by strolling to the neighbouring towns of Söll and Ellmau, and you simply must take a walk to the stunning Hintersteinersee lake. A Hiker’s Experience Pass will give you access to all the lifts and walkers’ buses.
A more challenging hike to a nearby waterfall, with incredible views down the valley towards St Johann. Catch the bus to Going Dorf and then follow route 818, which winds past farmhouses and the Badasee lake. Stay on route 818 as it winds up through the forest. After around 2 and a half hours you’ll reach the waterfall. Route 817 will take you back towards Going – and there’s great hut to stop at along the way.
Follow the Blaikner Weg to the Blaiken guesthouse and then cross the bridge and carry on towards Seebach. Along the way, you’ll come to the Rosemarie Café, one of the best cafés in Scheffau. Enjoy drinks and scrummy homemade cakes here. To get home, follow route 56, cross the Seebach bridge and take the path bath to the village via the Niederscheffau farm.
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