Autumn. The sun is fading, we are starting to huddle in warm coats and nature is literally making magic. Some love it, others hate it. Who would also be excited about the drizzle?! But when the clouds part and the true Indian summer reigns, you will surely agree with us that there is no more beautiful sight than the autumn landscape that plays with all its colours. And what’s more, when you look at these magical sceneries from above!

Czechs like to look at the world with a perspective, better said from above. In the waters of the Internet we even read that the Czech Republic is undergoing a kind of lookout revival. Every year a new tower is built somewhere and the old ones get a new coat. While 15 years ago there were about 250 of them on our territory, today their number has almost doubled. And that’s a good number. You will also find a number of them in the Karlovy Vary Region. Which ones are they?

Cibulka on the Šibeniční Hill

Let’s start a bit unconventionally, because the Cibulka tower is undoubtedly unconventional. The lookout tower on Šibeniční Hill near Sokolov was erected in the summer of 2014. It is not a second-use telecommunications tower, but a building designed exclusively for tourism. The slender steel structure, nearly 30 metres high, carries an onion-shaped dome with an observation platform allowing for a magnificent view of the peaks of the Ore Mountains and the Sokolov Basin below, indented by the ridges of the Slavkov Forest.

The tower is one of the most beautiful modern lookout towers in the country, which is why it is so popular. Thousands of people visit it every year. And why Cibulka? It takes its name from the onion-shaped upper part, which is roofed. The easiest access to Cibulka is along the forest road turning off the road from Krajková to Horní Studenec about a kilometre after the village of Libnov.

However, the lookout tower is not the only thing you can admire around Kraslice. While other towns in the Karlovy Vary Region are full of historical sights, spas and mineral springs, Kraslice is famous for its rather unusual sights. Here you will come across, for example, the unusual craft brewery Krušnohor. About 10 kilometres from Kraslice you will find another attraction, the Rotava Organ National Natural Monument. A 6 km long nature trail leads through the site, starting and ending in front of the Rotava town hall. The Rotava Organ is one of the most beautiful Czech geological formations, a massive rock wall consisting of 12-metre high fan-shaped prisms.

Lookout tower Háj

Take a peek over the border. In Ašský headland, about a kilometre above the town, you will find the Háj lookout tower. The 34-metre high building is one of the most beautiful in the region and was inaugurated in 1904. If you climb the 122 steps, you will have a view of the Ore Mountain, Doupovské Mountain, Český Forest, Slavkovský Forest and German Smrčiny. Recently, a new attraction for local visitors has been created at the Bismarck Lookout Tower – a photo point made of solid wood, which encourages you to take interesting photos at this Aš landmark.

Mattoni’s lookout tower in Bučina

Who doesn’t know Heinrich Mattoni. Come and take a look around the place where he grew up. Above the Kyselka Spa, below the Bučina hill, there is an observation tower built by the famous native. The stone cylindrical lookout tower reaches a total height of 13 metres. From the observation platform you can see the valley of the Ohře River with the villages of Kyselka and Radošov with part of the border mountains of the Krušné Moutains with Klínovec and part of the Doupovské Mountains. True, the way up is more difficult due to the high altitude, but we promise it is worth it! You will be rewarded for the challenging hike with a magnificent view.

Although the former glory of the town spa Kyselka near Karlovy Vary is long past, the locality still has much to offer. Those who visit Kyselka should not miss the Mattoni Museum, which gives you a glimpse into the history of the famous Mattoni brand and its founder. The Mattoni Waterfall, with its man-made cave with a drinking fountain set in the rock, should not be missed. And if you still haven’t had enough, head to the Mattoni Trail, which will introduce you to the history of Kyselka and show you the buildings of the former spa, which are gradually undergoing structural renovation. The route of the nature trail largely follows the original promenade paths from Mattoni’s time, when they were still widely used by tourists and are still passable today. Along the way, the trail highlights almost extinct resting places, viewpoints, parks, gazebos and provides more detailed information about the adjacent buildings.

Hartenštejn Castle near Bochov

Above the town of Bochov, roughly between Karlovy Vary and Toužim, you will find a very remarkable place. It is the remains of the late Gothic castle Hartenštejn from the 15th century. In addition to the ruins, there is also a restored lookout tower called Karlovy Vary tower.

The history of the castle was not very long. Already in the 16th century it is mentioned as abandoned and at the end of the 18th century as demolished. The castle’s demise was greatly aided by its sale to the postmaster of Bochov, Beer, who sold Hartenštejn for building stone for the construction of houses in the town. The whole of Bochov is thus essentially built on the foundations of this castle.

In 1927, the castle was bought by the town of Bochov, which began its restoration. However, the work was interrupted by World War II. Hartenštejn underwent further reconstruction in 2006, when the Karlovy Vary Tower was repaired and has been used as a lookout tower since 2011. The castle grounds are open all year round, the Karlovy Vary Tower only from April to October. So hurry up and you can still catch the views of Bochov, the Doupov Mountains, the Krušné Mautains with Klínovec, Špičák and Plešivec, the Krašov transmitter, Třebouňský Hill, the Vřesová power plant and, in good visibility, the Pilsen basin.

Goethe’s lookout

From the woods straight to the city. The most beautiful of Karlovy Vary’s four lookout towers was built about two kilometres east of the town on the Height of Eternal Life. The lookout tower, named Goeth’s Lookout, stands in the middle of the Karlovy Vary spa forests and has several marked trails leading to it, and is also accessible by road. There is even a bus stop of the regular city bus line below the lookout tower. The Goethe Lookout is thus a great place to take a trip, whatever your physical condition.

The romantic lookout tower has been standing above Karlovy Vary since 1889. The impulse for the construction of the tower is said to have been given by Princess Stephanie, the wife of Crown Prince Rudolf of Habsburg, who fell in love with the place. The tower was originally named in her honour. In the years that followed, however, it was renamed many other names: the Adalbert Stifter Lookout, the Stefanik Lookout and the Stalin Lookout. It has been called Goethe’s only since 1957. And nobody minds anymore.

The neo-Gothic brick building is strikingly reminiscent of a castle or a castle with a cylindrical tower. On the ground floor there is a café. If you want to look out over the landscape from the highest point in Karlovy Vary, you will have to climb a spiral staircase up to the observation deck. The total height of the tower is 42 metres. Admission to the observation tower is free and opening hours vary depending on the season.


Diana Lookout Tower

You can make your walks along the promenade in Karlovy Vary more interesting by playing the chimes that are installed here. If you want to have Karlovy Vary in the palm of your hand, head to the Diana Lookout Tower, which is accessible from the Grandhotel Pupp. It is said that those who have not been to Diana have not seen Karlovy Vary.

You can either climb up on your own or take the cable car, which first left here in 1912. After a few minutes, you’ll reach the lookout tower. Here you have a choice whether to take the stairs or the lift to the top. If you opt for the former, you’ll have 150 steps to climb before you’re rewarded with a view of the countryside. Again, entry is free.

From the Diana lookout tower you can see the town of Karlovy Vary itself, above which the tower rises, as well as the Slavkovský les, the Doupovské hory or the surroundings of Cheb. The name Diana is derived from the goddess of hunting. An earlier name of this place in the middle of the spa forests was the Height of Friendship, which has been preserved to this day.

Lookout tower on Krásenský Hill

It would be a sin not to end our sightseeing tours in a beautiful place, i.e. in Krásno. A few kilometres from the village of Krásno, in the middle of the Slavkov Forest, stands one of the most remarkable lookout towers in our country. The unique shape of the twenty-five-metre tower, whose spiral staircase winds unusually around its outer perimeter, may remind you of the Babylonian ziggurat. And it is this external staircase that makes the building so unique.

Although the tower looks fabulous, it was built in the interwar period. It was inaugurated in June 1935. The entire structure is made of natural stone from a nearby quarry. The lookout tower has been called variously over time – Krásenka, Krásno, or Adolf Hitler’s Watchtower. In 2011, the building even won the poll for the most beautiful lookout tower in the Czech Republic and did not escape the attention of filmmakers.

Even the journey up will be an experience. You can watch the landscape from every step of the stairs. From the top platform you can look out over the beautiful protected landscape area of Slavkovský Forest. But you will also see Klínovec and other peaks of the Ore Mountains, the Doupov Mountains, the distant Vladař Table Mountain or the Krašov transmitter. On all sides of the hill there are porcelain plates that will help you to orientate yourself in the landscape, as they describe the whole circular view. It is worth mentioning that you will not find any refreshments at the lookout tower, so it is recommended that you take some snacks with you.

Wherever your steps take you, you will always be rewarded with an unforgettable view and you will always have the right perspective!