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Highlights of Lake Constance by bike

from $1,899.00

Explore Lake Constance by bike on gentle cycling trails, stopping for lunches at waterfront restaurants and discovering some of the cultural and historic highlights of this region, staying in Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

  • Reviews 9 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy
    3/8
All about the Highlights of Lake Constance by bike.

Bordered by the majestic Alpine peaks of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, the turquoise shoreline and pebbly beaches of Lake Constance are shared between three countries. As Central Europe’s third largest lake, cycling around the lake is special in that you visit all three countries in a week.
Hosting a huge 270km lakeside cycling path, it’s a beautifully flat journey from one country to the next, where you’ll take in the sights and scents of cherry orchards, wildflower fields and daisy-strewn meadows.
Cross the mighty Rhine Delta that straddles the border between Austria and Switzerland and encounter wonderful wildlife, including kingfishers hidden in the reeds. Take a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters during stop-offs, visit half-timbered frescoed towns for lunch (kretzer (perch) and zander (pike-perch) are Konstanz specialities), and then admire the myriad of Baroque churches and Gothic cathedrals.
Brimming with historical and cultural highlights, jump off your bike to visit fairytale Meersburg boasting twin castles, steep streets and vine-covered hillsides. Get a true taste of Germany when cycling through the Bavarian vineyards – local Muller-Thurgau wines come from Riesling and Silvaner grapes for which Lake Constance is famous. For chocolate-lovers, mediaeval Stein am Rhein boasts an array of lovely chocolate shops, and you can visit the C11 monastery while you’re there.
During the week you’ll stay in an old coaching inn, a riverside hotel that used to be a C15 customs warehouse, and a luxury lakeside mansion – including two nights in Konstanz and two nights in Bregenz. You are free to try some of the many local restaurants for your evening meals.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 7 nights accommodation, hotel-to-hotel in a mix of *** and **** hotels
  • All buffet breakfasts
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Ferry ticket from Staad to Meersburg
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Flat and flexible cycling along beautiful lakeside paths, wildflower fields, vineyards and cherry orchards
  • Historical and cultural: Baroque churches, Gothic cathedrals, fairytale palaces, romantic castles
  • Postcard-pretty villages, half-timbered, frescoed towns, cafe-lined waterfronts and stunning mountain views
  • Wonderful flora and fauna en route, including kingfishers, cormorants and red-crested pochards.
  1. Day 1 Day 1 Arrive in Bregenz

    After arriving at your hotel, a historic coaching inn, in the centre of Bregenz, you can explore the ancient cobbled streets of the old town before dinner on the courtyard terrace. (Staying at the Hotel Weisses Kreuz, Half Board)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 Bregenz to Arbon 24km/15mi or 41km/26mi

    Today you’ll cycle west along Lake Constance’s southern shore before crossing the mighty Rhine delta that straddles the border between Austria and Switzerland. It’s an area of great natural beauty and a refuge for wildlife – be sure to keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers in the reeds. Your final stretch takes you around the lake to historic Arbon where you’ll find pretty half-timbered houses and a C16 castle. (Staying at the Hotel Seegarten, Half Board)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 Arbon to Stein am Rhein 42km/26.5mi or 59km/37mi

    There are two routes today – if opting for the shorter route you can take the train to Guettingen this morning. Otherwise, you’ll pedal clockwise around the lake and pass waterfront villages affording lots of panoramic sun terraces for coffee stops and lunch. In the afternoon, you coast effortlessly between sleepy harbours before arriving in mediaeval Stein am Rhein. (Staying at the Hotel Rheinfels, Half Board)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 Stein am Rhein to Konstanz 45km/28.5mi

    After freewheeling east this morning, you’ll soon cross the border to enter Germany. In the Hornstaad Nature Reserve you may spot cormorant and red-crested pochard. Cycling along the Gnadensee you’ll soon reach the UNESCO Heritage Site of Klosterinsel Reichenau, the first populated area on Lake Constance and home to an impressive C8 Benedictine abbey. It’s then on to the unofficial regional capital, Konstanz. (Staying at the Hotel Halm, Breakfast only)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 At Konstanz

    Today you can spend the day exploring the narrow streets of Konstanz: visit the Altstadt, Munster and the lively centre crammed with quirky shops and museums. Alternatively, you can hop on a boat (payable locally) to visit Mainau Island’s palace and landscaped rose gardens. If you take your bike, you can pedal back at leisure along traffic-free lakeside cycle paths. (Staying at the Hotel Halm, Breakfast only)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 Konstanz to Friedrichshafen 25km/16mi

    Pedal through oak forest this morning to catch the 15-minute ferry ride (included) to fairytale Meersburg – built on a steep vineyard right by the lake, it boasts twin castles and many museums. It’s a perfect place to stop for lunch! Then, pedalling south, it’s a gentle cycle into Friedrichshafen. (Staying at the Hotel Buchhorner Hof, Half Board)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 Friedrichshafen to Bregenz 33km/21mi

    Today you head to lovely Lindau, a stunning island village surrounded by cobalt blue waters with long-distance views of razor-edged peaks across the lake. En route you cycle past the pretty village of Langenargen and through peaceful vineyards and cherry orchards. After lunching in an idyllic setting near the lake, a final push alongside the lake takes you back down to Bregenz. Time permitting, you could take the cable car up Pfander mountain (1,064m), for a fantastic vista of your entire route, giving you a real sense of achievement! (Staying at the Hotel Weisses Kreuz, Half Board)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 Leave Bregenz

    Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in Austria for all customers under 12yrs. As we are unable to provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own. Please see our Planning you holiday page for full details.

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Where you stay
Hotel Weisses Kreuz
The Hotel Weisses Kreuz is an old coaching inn, and it’s central location makes it perfect for exploring Bregenz; it is only a couple of blocks from the lakeside and about a 5-minute walk from Bregenz station. Bregenz is on the eastern shore of Lake Constance, close to the ‘four-border corner’ with Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The building has been impressively modernised in the last few years – bedrooms are spacious and light with dark carpets, light wooden furniture and big windows onto the street at the front or onto courtyard and the old town at the back.
Hotel Seegarten
The 42 room Hotel Seegarten is on the outskirts of Arbon set amid large gardens and fields. It is a short 5 minute cycle to the marina and the centre of the village, and very close to the Arbon Strandbad – the waterfront swimming area that serves the village. The rooms have been furnished in a simple but modern style, with neutral colours and each of the modern rooms are equipped with direct dial telephones and televisions.
Hotel Rheinfels
Historically, this family-run hotel dates back to the C15 and was originally a customs warehouse for goods such as salt being transported up and down the Rhine River. It was also a guild house. The hotel is located right on the River Rhine at the north end of the bridge in Stein am Rhein. There are 16 spacious and light rooms with ensuite bathrooms with bathtub and/or shower, WC, hairdryer, minibar, TV, radio alarm clock, free Wi-Fi within the hotel, direct dial telephone, safe and a unique view of the Rhine. The restaurant offers traditional cuisine using fresh seasonal ingredients. There is a terrace with fabulous views over the river. The restaurant is closed on Wednesdays (excluding during July August). The hotel also has a boat for trips up the river and onto the lake – the MS St Georg, that seats up to 60 passengers.
Hotel Halm
The Hotel Halm in Konstanz is a grand central hotel separated from the waterfront by the railway station, so you can shorten the cycling on this day, as the train will drop you at the front door! It is an impressive historic building with views from many of the rooms out over the lake, and it is located right in the heart of the town, which is why dinner has been left up to you in Konstanz – the town is full of restaurants and cafes squirreled away down cobbled streets as well as along the waterfront by the harbour, so it is a pleasant place to stroll around before and after a meal out. The interior is impressive – there is a grand reception area and bar, and a rather incongruous Moroccan style dining room with very high ceilings which is rather unusual, but very lovely nonetheless. Bedrooms upstairs are light and modern, and the breakfast here is a feast fit for a king!
Hotel Buchhorner Hof
The Hotel Buchhornerhof is located overlooking the waterfront, on the road leading into the town centre – ideally situated for a stroll. It is a traditional building with a turret on the corner, and lots of attractive window boxes filled with flowers. Inside it retains a traditional charm, with wood panelled walls, stuffed animals on the walls, stained glass windows and snug corners with leather sofas where you can relax with a drink from the attractive horseshoe shaped bar. The bedrooms here are light and modern and equipped with all the mod cons you would expect in a 4 star hotel.
Eating and Drinking

We have included all breakfasts, leaving you free to try some of the many local restaurants. Look out for local specialities like kretzer (perch) and zander (pike-perch) on the menu, accompanied by fine local wines.

The emphasis in this region is very much on local produce, and what appears on your plate will be whatever is in season; broccoli, asparagus, spinach and mushrooms are all grown in local market gardens, and desserts are often fruit based using locally grown apples, plums raspberries and strawberries.

Cycling Conditions
Classification
: SelfGuided
Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
Average daily distance: 33.8km (21.4miles)
No. of days cycling: 5
Terrain and route: The suggested cycle routes are along broad and flat cycle paths, which are car-free and well sign-posted.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 15/08/2019
5/5

Mrs Turner

An excellent week cycling round Lake Constance. The route took in many villages and towns with opportunities for sightseeing and refreshments. The lakeside sections provided beautiful views and lots of picnic opportunities. The cycling was not difficult and the distances each day allowed for leisurely cycling with lots of breaks. On the shortest day there was plenty to see en route so we did not arrive at our destination too early. The directions were clear and easy to follow. We had been warned that it is busy in August and certainly at the weekend especially the route was well used but it never felt over crowded and in many ways this added to the atmosphere. For anyone who does not like cycling on roads this trip is ideal, the majority was on dedicated cycle paths and the short sections that were on roads usually had a dedicated lane. We also found that motorists were much more considerate of cyclists than we are used to! The hotels were all good with individual charms, the quality of the food was very good and we enjoyed every meal and not having to find restaurants in unfamiliar places every day. This is one of few holidays we have said we would consider doing again as there is so much more we could explore.

Reviewed On 12/07/2019
5/5

Mrs Watkinson

We had a fantastic holiday. We were particularly impressed by the company that provided the bikes as they went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect and that we were happy with the bikes before we set off.

Reviewed On 18/09/2018
5/5

Mrs Stevenson

Great way to explore a region little visited by Brits. Despite no Headwater rep and notes which show their age (and accuracy) the maps and general set up for cycling made this a great holiday.

Reviewed On 10/09/2018
4/5

Mr Reynolds

an excellent location for an easy cycling holiday with many options to vary the length of the cycling day due to the number of stations close to the route.

Reviewed On 07/09/2018
5/5

Ms Clarkson

Beautiful lake with some great cycles - different scenery every day. Perfect iced coffees and strawberries for sale on the way.

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