179km (111 miles) SW of Munich, 32km (20 miles) S of Ravensburg
Crossing the causeway to an island city symbolized by lions may give the brief impression that you're in Italy. Yet Lindau doesn't need comparisons to Venice to impress the visitor. From its origins in the 9th century, and throughout the Middle Ages as a free imperial town of the Holy Roman Empire, Lindau became the center of trade between Bavaria and Switzerland. In 1804 it joined Bavaria and welcomed the lion that keeps watch at the harbor entry. Today you can wander at will through the charming maze of winding narrow streets lined with houses that have stood the test of time. At the harbor stand two lighthouses: One, Mangturm, was built in the 1200s, the other in 1856. Each tower is some 37m (120 ft.) tall and can be climbed by the athletic via narrow spiral staircases. The reward is a panoramic vista of the Alps, both Swiss and Austrian.