Rolling hills with a rocky crown – this wide valley between the Kaiser Mountains to the south and the foothills of the Chiemgau Alps to the north is home to the Kaiserwinkl Region.
The Kaiserwinkl region in the east of Tirol lies between the mighty Kaiser Mountains to the south and the Chiemgau Alps to the north. Its landscape is characterised by rolling hills crowned by the craggy peaks of the Wilder Kaiser mountains. The largest settlement, Kössen, has a population of 4,200 and is famous for its impressive farmhouses with decorative paintings depicting traditional scenes. This town in the east of the region lies on the Tiroler Ache, a rushing mountain river which is popular with watersports enthusiasts. Rettenschöss, the region’s smallest village, is the opposite to busy and bustling Kössen and ideal for those looking to get away from it all. It too has several large farmhouses, some of which are up to 800 years old. Hikers will find a large network of trails in this western corner of the Kaiserwinkl region, including a number crossing the nearby border to Bavaria.
Haven for hot-air ballooning and cross-country skiing
Lake Walchsee lies at the heart of the Kaiserwinkl region and shares its name with the surrounding municipality. During the summer months it is a popular destination for swimming, waterskiing and pedalo trips out onto its turquoise waters. In winter the ski resorts Hochkössen and Zahmer Kaiser provide skiers and snowboarders with an excellent selection of slopes. Cross-country skiing fans are spoilt for choice in this region home to several cross-country skiing centres and a large network of well-maintained trails. An annual highlight is the week-long “Alpin Ballooning” festival held every January which sees hot air balloons in many different colours take to the skies above Kaiserwinkl for a series of competitions and races.