Three Lakes in the Waldviertel

Last updated on October 16th, 2020 at 07:52 am

The three artificial lakes in the Kamp valley of Lower Austria are popular destinations for day trips in the warmer seasons of the year.

Stand-up paddlers, fishermen and those just wishing to cool off from the summer heat can take advantage of the waters. But there are also extensive trails popular in autumn and spring for both walkers and bikers on the lake shores and in the surrounding forests.

The three lakes placed third in a national competition in 2019 to find the loveliest location in Austria.

Ottenstein Reservoir

The Ottenstein reservoir in the Kamp valley
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The Ottenstein reservoir (‘Ottensteiner Stausee’) is the largest and most westerly of the three artificial lakes. The reservoir branches out into lake arms that remind visitors of Scandinavian fjord landscapes. At their largest, the waters cover around four and a half square kilometres and reach west towards Zwettl Abbey.

Two former fortified castles dating back to the Middle Ages stand on opposing shores of the lake. The ruins of Lichtenfels are on the northern side, while Ottenstein Castle (‘Burg Ottenstein‘) is located near a popular bathing and boating area and has been converted into a hotel and restaurant.

Hotel OttensteinHotel Ottenstein
The hotel accommodation is near Ottenstein reservoir and is part of the castle complex which is now used as an event location and restaurant.

Dobra Reservoir

The Dobra reservoir and castle ruins
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The Dobra reservoir begins almost directly after the Ottenstein reservoir dam and stretches five kilometres downstream. It offers a number of bathing areas and a popular campsite on the northern shore.

The ruins are also on the northern side of the artificial lake. They date from the Middle Ages and can still be visited. One of the longest flying fox trips in Austria can be taken from the fortress tower across the lake to the other shore.

Thurnberg Reservoir

Thurnberg reservoir
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The Thurnberg reservoir is the smallest and most easterly of the three artificial lakes in the Kamp valley.

It is only two kilometres long and lies between the villages of Krumau and Thurnberg.

The Kamptal Seenweg is a walking trail which follows the Kamp valley almost 100km from Rosenburg in the west through to Nebelstein in the east. The two sections covering most of the lakes from Wegscheid to Ottenstein are estimated to take just under six hours.