A culinary journey through the Ziller Valley Alps
Along the Tyrolean culinary routes you can track local produce from the field to the harvest to the plate. Food lovers can follow the routes to discover 22 Tyrolean delicacies either by bus, bike or on foot.
One of these gourmet walking routes leads you through the holiday region of Mayrhofen-Hippach in the Ziller Valley to learn about the production of "Ziller Valley Heumilchkäse".
The art of making "Ziller Valley Heumilchkäse"
In the holiday region of Mayrhofen-Hippach you can discover the art of making "Ziller Valley Heumilchkäse" (cheese made from the milk of cows fed exclusively with local grass and hay).
Visit the mountain meadows and see the most important raw material for Ziller Valley milk and cheese in full bloom. Then, take a tour of Mayrhofen’s dairy, the ErlebnisSennerei Zillertal, where the milk from the grazing cows is turned into delicious cheese. The nutritious milk is delivered to the dairy from 380 farmers in the valley, where skilled workers turn it into the popular Heumilchkäse. From a viewing platform, you can look down on the production rooms and watch the individual steps of the cheese-making process. Of course, after the tour, there is also a chance to take part in a cheese tasting.
Top tip: When tasting the cheese, close your eyes to better appreciate the full taste.
Culinary hike from Brandberg to the Kolmhaus
The culinary hike from Brandberg to the Kolmhaus mountain hut leads through grassy fields up to the wild meadows of the alms. From grass on the meadows to hay in the barns: the grass on these very steep fields is often cut by hand rather than used as grazing land. The unusually high amount of herbs produces a very high quality hay. Just a few minutes in the car from the ErlebnisSennerei dairy, the hike to the Kolmhaus starts in the farming village of Brandberg (Zillergrund).
Top Tip: Park your car at the ErlebnisSennerei Zillertal and take the public bus to Gasthof Thanner in Brandberg.
The bus stop is called "Laubichl" and is located directly by the Sennerei. Timetable
Colourful wild flowers of the mountain alms
From Brandberg, the trail leads over meadows and up to the mountain alms towards the Kolmhaus at 1750m. Hikers first follow the narrow path to the high-lying hamlet of Ahornach (some 20 minutes walk). For many years, the alms around Ahornach have provided the basis for cattle farming in the Nature Park community of Brandberg. The mixture of farmed and unfarmed meadows, pastures and forests as well as the limestone and primary rocks offer the perfect environment for a species-rich flora along the whole route. Hikers are rewarded for their efforts during the strenuous uphill hike by an amazing array of flowers such as gentians or even orchids.
From Ahornbach, the path continues approximately 700m further to the Kolmhaus and the hamlet of "Frodls" (approx. 1hr walk) There you can relax on the sun terrace of the guesthouse and enjoy the amazing views over the Ziller Valley Alps.
Top tip: A homemade Kaiserschmarrn (rich pancake dish, made with local hay milk, of course!) is sure to revive even the most fatigued of hikers.
Top tip: On the way back to Brandberg, look out for the historic, listed Mitterstall hut.
When you arrive back in the sunny village, head into Gasthaus Thanner, which is famous for its regional cuisine and fresh trout. From here it is just a short and comfortable bus journey back to Mayrhofen and the ErlebnisSennerei Zillertal (bus stop Laubichl).