It doesn’t always take a high Alpine peak to see into the distance. The towers of the Bavarian low mountain ranges, hilly landscapes or river meadows provide good views and a new perspective. 12 Tips for the Far-Sighted
Oberreith near Wasserburg am Inn: Animals, Sensations and Good Views
The village of Oberreith is located ten kilometres to the north of Wasserburg am Inn in a beautiful forest and meadow landscape. The wildlife park there, with its native animals, is not only an attractive destination for families. Birds of prey can be experienced up close in the falconry. In addition, a forest ropes course invites you to try balancing and climbing. Guests can also expect numerous other activities and games, including archery. The indoor hall with a large play area is a welcome option in bad weather.
One exciting highlight is the thrilling flight on the 400-meter-long Flying Fox, which lets you traverse the entire wildlife park suspended from a wire rope. The launch point is from the top platform of a lookout tower that rises 35 metres high. The tower was built at the highest point of the grounds and offers magnificent views stretching from the Inn hill country to the mountain peaks of the Chiemgau and Berchtesgaden Alps.
wildpark-oberreith.de (only in German)
Ratzinger Höhe: A View of the Chiemgau
Ratzinger Höhe, named after a district in the municipality of Rimsting, is a nearly 700-metre-high ridge nestled between Lake Chiemsee and Lake Simssee. The charming Alpine countryside, adorned with meadows, clusters of trees, woods and quaint hamlets with orchards, entices you to go for a hike.
At an elevated location, a 16-metre high lookout tower invites you to soak in the views. It can be found in Hitzing. The four-storey tower constructed from fir wood is 16 metres high and was an attraction at the State Garden Show in Rosenheim in 2012. Later it was erected on the Ratzinger Höhe ridge.
Visitors can look out into the distance through two telescopes on the viewing platform: To the south, they have a view of the Chiemgau Alps, which extends from the mountain ranges Hochstaufen and Untersberg to the Hochfelln and Hochgern, the Hochplatte and the Kampenwand. To the west, they can see as far as the Wendelstein, Hinteres Sonnwendjoch and Grosser Traithen in the Mangfall Mountains. Even Lake Chiemsee and Lake Simssee can be seen. There’s also an “adventure trail” with information and play stops that’ll take you leisurely from Rimsting to the tower in about two hours.
Taubenberg Mountain near Miesbach: With a View of Munich
The Taubenberg mountain stands almost 900 metres high in the district of Miesbach. Located in front of the Tegernsee mountains, it is a popular hiking area and an important water supply area for Munich. In 1910/1911, a lookout tower was erected east of the peak at a height of 892 metres. It is 30 metres high and can be climbed using two spiral staircases, each with 105 steps running in opposite directions. When visibility is good, there are beautiful views of the Schliersee and Tegernsee mountains and across the Munich gravel plain to the Bavarian capital.
The tower is open from May to October. You can borrow the key to the tower at the “Berggasthof Taubenberg” restaurant with its panoramic beer garden. You can reach the tower from the restaurant in about fifteen minutes. A circular trail also leads to the pilgrimage church of Nüchternbrunn. You can get to the Berggasthof restaurant directly by car or on various hikes whose starting points can be reached by train or car.
taubenberg.de (only in German)
Lindau Lighthouse: Beautiful Both Inside and Out!
In Lindau on Lake Constance, ships are greeted not only by a safe harbour, but by a very beautiful one. The lighthouse was built in the southern part of the Old Town, which is situated on an island. A proud, larger-than-life Bavarian lion made of stone and, opposite it, the New Lighthouse signify the entrance to the harbour.
The tower – Bavaria’s only and Germany’s southernmost lighthouse! – went into operation in 1856. Its total height measures 36 metres, while its platform height is 33 metres and its base has a circumference of 24 metres. One special feature is the large clock on the façade. Once you have climbed the 139 steps to the platform, you have a sweeping view: over the city, the shores, Lake Constance and the mountains all around that loom in the Allgäu, in the Austrian Vorarlberg and in eastern Switzerland.
Illustrations and texts adorn the interior walls of the lighthouse. They recount amusing anecdotes and facts worth knowing about Lindau and Lake Constance. The guided tour “The Wife of the Bavarian Lighthouse Keeper” (Die Frau des bayerischen Leuchtturmwärters) also provides detailed information about the remarkable building.
Daniel in Nördlingen: A Crater as Far as the Eye Can See
Nördlingen is the urban centre of an extraordinary landscape: the Nördlinger Ries, which was named after the town of 20,000 inhabitants, was formed when a meteorite smashed a crater into the earth's surface 15 million years ago. The crater has a diameter of up to 25 kilometres, and its rim can still be discerned as a chain of hills all around.
The town’s late Gothic St George’s Church was built between 1427 and 1505. From its tower, called Daniel, which can be seen from afar, you have a wonderful view over the Old Town, the town wall, surrounding villages and all of the Ries. First, however, you have to climb over 350 steps leading up to the 90-metre-high Daniel.
A watchman has lived in the tower room for many generations. As tradition would have it, he calls out “So G’sell so” into the night every half hour between ten and twelve o’clock in the evening. The chant, once shouted by all the town’s watchmen at the same time, is thought to have been intended to guarantee that all the watchmen were at their posts and not asleep.
bayerisch-schwaben.de (only in German)
Bird Observation Tower in the Danube Moss: Greylag Goose and Osprey
The tower at Mooswaldsee Lake in Leipheimer Moos is home to great ornithological discoveries. It is part of the Swabian Danube Moss. The moor landscape around the lake lies to the north-west of Günzburg. It is the habitat of rare plants and animals such as marsh helleborine and cotton grass, bluethroat and snipe.
With the help of an installed telescope, visitors can observe the birdlife from the viewing platform. Information boards help to identify the birds, and an ornithologist is often present to give expert information. In the evening, for example, you can experience the impressive spectacle of greylag geese rushing into Mooswaldsee Lake to spend the night, see little ringed plovers raising their young or, if you're lucky, spot an osprey. A nesting platform has been specially installed for the birds of prey on an open forest area north of the tower. A boardwalk leads through the moor, with information boards about the flora and fauna along the way. The trail can also be explored with the help of a listening tour app, which can be found at
bayerisch-schwaben.de (only in German)
Schwedenschanze in Hofheim: A Box Seat in the Hassberge Mountains
In Central Europe, there are numerous prehistoric and early historic hillforts that are commonly referred to as “Schwedenschanze”, or “Swedish redoubts”. Such a hillfort can be found, for example, on the Rennweg above Eichelsdorf, north of the Lower Franconian town of Hofheim on the ridge of the Hassberge mountains. It was constructed there, at an elevation of about 500 metres, probably during the Celtic period (circa 800 BC until the birth of Christ).
Information boards provide details about the site. The Schwedenschanzes were used by the Celts as the seat of the druids and as ritual towns. Later, during the Thirty Years’ War, many Schwedenschanze were converted into fortified ramparts where people could take refuge from the Swedish troops. In 2001, a 30-metre-high lookout tower with three viewing platforms was erected at the Eichelsdorf Schwedenschanze. The view extends far over the Grabfeld and the Hassberge mountains, to the Steigerwald and Spessart, to the Hohe Rhön and to the Thuringian Forest. At the base of the tower, a hut that is open on weekends invites visitors to stop for refreshments.
baysf.de (only in German)
The Klausenturm Tower at Mehlmeisel: A Fichtel Mountains Viewpoint
The Fichtel Mountains extend to the north of Bavaria and north-west of the Czech Republic. They reach heights of up to 1,000 metres. The name does not originate from the spruce tree, but probably developed from the given name “Vyt - Veit”. In the Middle Ages, “Vythenberg” was the name given to Ochsenkopf mountain, where the Sank Veit mine was located. The highest mountain peak is the 1,051 metre high Schneeberg, while other prominent mountains are the Ochsenkopf (1,024 metres) and Kösseine (939 metres).
The Klausenturm tower in the south of Mehlmeisel provides a beautiful view of the trio of peaks and other mountains. It rises almost 50 metres high between the treetops. Information boards inside inform visitors about which forest animals live at which tree heights. You can reach the Klausenturm tower from the “Bayreuther Haus”, an excursion restaurant with a car park 350 metres away. Other leisure activities include a wildlife park, which can be explored on a circular trail. An elevated path leads directly over the lynx and wild boar enclosure. There is also a forest museum and a forest playground and discovery trail for children.
mehlmeisel.de (only in German)
Wittelsbach Tower in Bad Kissingen: Noble Views
The Wittelsbach family ruled over Bavaria for 738 years as princes, and later as kings, and left their mark on the land. The ruling family also left its mark on the Lower Franconian spa town of Bad Kissingen: magnificent buildings such as the classicist arcade building, the neo-Baroque Regentenbau, the large Wandelhalle and the Kurtheater. The city didn’t want to be left behind and decided to dedicate a lookout tower to the dynasty. The foundation was laid to mark the centenary of the Bavarian Kingdom in 1906, the building was inaugurated in 1907 and renovated in 1970.
Wittelsbach Tower is located on the 400-metre-high Scheinberg mountain in Arnshausen, a district of the spa town. It stands at 33 metres high, with the viewing platform at a height of 25 metres. From there, visitors can look out over the town, the Saale valley and as far as the Sodenberg mountain near Hammelburg. Today, at the base of the tower, you will also find an adventure brewery with a restaurant, which is a popular destination among excursionists and hikers. Hiking trails lead to the wine villages of Wirmsthal and Ramsthal.
badkissingen.de (only in German)
The Himmelsleiter in Tirschenreuth: A Sea View
Tirschenreuth is the main town of the so-called Stiftland, the northernmost tip of Old Bavaria, and less than 20 kilometres from the border with the Czech Republic. The name Stiftland dates back to the Middle Ages and early modern times, when the Waldsassen monastery was a large landowner in the area and in the adjacent Egerland. Pond farming has been practised here, in the northern Upper Palatinate, for around a thousand years. Even today, there is a sea of fish ponds surrounding Tirschenreuth, where carp, pike or tench are bred.
Cycling and hiking trails run through the unique water landscape with its approximately 4,700 ponds. The literal highlight of every tour is the 20-metre-high "Himmelsleiter", or "ladder to heaven", located one and a half kilometres outside of Tirschenreuth. The modern, transparent, staircase-like construction with its slender steel supports blends inconspicuously into the landscape. The platform itself provides a wonderful view over the sea of ponds.
oberpfaelzerwald.de (only in German)
Haidel Tower near Freyung-Grafenau: A Stand-Up Tower
The landscape around the holiday town of Grainet is unspoilt. It is located in the lower Bavarian Forest east of Freyung and close to the border with the Czech Republic. The 1,167-metre-high wooded, rather unassuming Haidel mountain with its flat ridge is one of the popular hiking destinations there. A lookout tower was opened on the peak for the third time in 1999. The two predecessors (one built in 1934, the other in 1970) had both fallen victim to the harsh climate that prevails in the “Woid” (forest).
The current Haidel tower is made of Douglas fir and larch and is 35 metres high. The viewing platform can be reached by climbing 159 steps. From there you can look out over the hills of the Bavarian and Bohemian Forests, into the Austrian Mühlviertel and even as far as the Alps. A board provides information about the panorama. Various hiking tours lead up to the Haidel. For example, it takes about two and a half hours from the hiking car park in Obergrainet.
bayerischer-wald.de (only in German)
Ossinger Tower near Königstein: A Border Crosser
The Ossinger is a 651-metre-high elevated area near Königstein in the district of Amberg-Sulzbach. Politically, it’s considered part of the Upper Palatinate, but geographically, as the highest “mountain” in the Hersbrucker Alb, it’s in Franconia. The 22-metre-high Ossinger Tower has stood at its peak since 2013. From the viewing platform you can look out over the Upper Palatinate as well as Franconia: To the north-east is the imposing, million-year-old basalt mountain of the Rauhen Kulm – a volcano that can never erupt; to the east you can see the heights of the Upper Palatinate Forest; to the west you can see the Moritzberg, Nuremberg’s local mountain, Hohenstein Castle, a prominent landmark of the Franconian Alps, and Veldenstein Castle in the Veldensteiner Forest.
Below the tower, visitors can stop at the rustic Ossinger-Hütte on weekends to quench their hunger and thirst. There are many paths leading up to the Ossinger. One circular trail, for example, starts at the open-air swimming pool in Königstein. It is marked by the number 16 and is five kilometres long. On the way back, weary feet can find relief in the Kneipp pool just opposite the natural swimming pool.
ostbayern-tourismus.de (only in German)