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Lake Constance Cycle Path 77

Lake Constance Cycle Path

Overview

The borders of Germany, Austria and Switzerland invisibly converge in Europe’s third-largest lake, Constance, locally known as Bodensee, fed by the mighty Rhine. Our Lake Constance Cycle Path tour will take you to Europe’s most popular cycling route and the only place where you can wake up in Germany, cycle across to Switzerland for lunch and make it to Austria in time for afternoon tea and strudel. While riding, the eye beholds shimmering waters, a shoreline fringed with orchards and vineyards, and panoramas stretching towards the mighty Alps in the very heart of Europe.

Spend six exciting days discovering medieval towns like Constance, Stein am Rhein, Meersburg and Lindau. Access to the lake is available almost everywhere so there will be numerous opportunities to refresh yourself with a dip in the water. Visit ancient castles and museums in tidy towns, bike through rolling orchards and vineyards, relax in friendly beer gardens and wine bars.

A longer version of the tour (Constance Cycle Path and the Rhein Falls) is available here.

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Konstanz

Welcome to Konstanz (Constance). The largest town on the lake became famous during the Great Schism in 1414 when Europe’s top clergy convened in neutral territory to elect a ‘legitimate’ pope. The original council building still stands and watches over one of Germany’s most controversial statues – a buxom courtesan seen by many as a nod to feminine power. Thanks to the city’s close border with Switzerland, the historic centre is intact and a great place to explore near the cathedral. The two islands of Reichenau and Mainau are easily reached by bike.

Day 2: Konstanz to Radolfzell

Cycling along the southern bank of the lower lake, you pedal through picturesque Swiss fishing villages to Stein am Rhein with pretty frescoed medieval houses. From Stein am Rhein you cycle along the Höri peninsula, where Otto Dix and Hermann Hesse used to live and work. You are heading for today’s destination, the former Imperial but now spa town of Radolfzell. The Untersee is home to a stretch of largely unspoiled nature with sanctuaries of reedy marshland, forest, natural lakes, and wildflower meadows. At the heart of this unique landscape lies the official health resort of Radolfzell with a pretty old town.

Day 3: Radolfzell to Friedrichshafen

From here, you cross the Bodanrück range of hills and encounter a very short incline. Arriving at the so-called Überlinger See, part of Lake Constance, you are rewarded for your efforts with beautiful views of the lake. Known here as the Swabian Sea. Enjoy a break in Überlingen and an ice cream on the pretty promenade. Today’s destination, Friedrichshafen, has the great Zeppelin Museum we can recommend visiting. The Zeppelin airship is a constant floating feature in the skies above the lake with daily sightseeing in good weather. There are many outdoor music and art festivals along the large park and waterfront promenade – all of it rebuilt after WWII.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Waldhorn or similar
  • Cycling for the day: approx. 60 km

Day 4: Friedrichshafen to Höchst

Today you cycle through extensive orchards, through Langenargen with its pretty Montfort Castle, built in the Moorish style. Shortly after you reach the Bavarian town of Lindau, whose harbour is watched over by a 6-metre high lion. The entire old town lies on an island. You should take the next break in Bregenz, the waterfront capital of the Vorarlberg province where the Austrian Alps meet the lake. The Pfänder Mountain gondola is within easy walking distance from the downtown port area. This former Roman stronghold is today a unique combination of seaside resort, trendy arts venue and sporty mountain town. Take your pick of art galleries, shops, restaurants and the world’s largest floating opera stage.

Day 5: Höchst to Konstanz

The last day of your tour takes you through Romanshorn which is home to Switzerland’s largest harbour on Lake Constance. Continue along the banks of Lake Constance back to Konstanz. This stretch is flat and easy to cycle, unless in a stronger westerly wind. You will frequently pass places where you can go swimming and refresh yourself in the lovely cool waters of the lake. Let your tour come to a pleasant end with a wander through the old town or an ice cream down at the harbour.

  • Accommodation: ABC-Hotel or similar
  • Cycling for the day: approx. 50 – 60 km

Day 6: Departure

Departure after breakfast. Optional extra night in Konstanz.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in en-suite double rooms in typical Inns and B&Bs, which are normally of a 3-star standard. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us, and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel from the ones listed above is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Accommodation is on a bed & breakfast basis. When no restaurant location is available on route lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops or you can pre-order a packed lunch at your hotel. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or restaurants in the village near your hotel.

Difficulty & terrain

This holiday is appropriate for cyclists with some experience and requires an average level of fitness; average cycling distance per day is approximately 50-60 km, and the cycling is mostly on dedicated bike lanes with no steep ascents or descents (read more about difficulty grades). If you rent an e-bike, this trip is practically accessible to everyone. The cycling trail is very well way-marked.

We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. There will often be other cyclists around just in case if you are looking for advice or help. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available from April to October. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

The Bodensee region enjoys a transitional climate between maritime Western Europe and continental Eastern Europe, making this region one of the milder areas at this latitude. The average water temperature is 23°C (73°F) in summer, staying around 17°C (63°F) until October making the region one of the milder areas and therefore a perfect travel destination all year round. However, the best time to visit Lake Constance is from June until August, when you will have a pleasant temperature and little rainfall.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice on Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this holiday are Zurich (ZRH), Friedrichshafen (FDH) and Stuttgart (STR).

By train or bus
  • It takes an average of an hour and a half to travel from Zurich Airport to Konstanz by train, over a distance of around 32 miles (52 km). There are normally 55 trains per day and tickets for this journey start from €25.20 when booked in advance.
  • For up-to-date train schedules visit DB or use the Omio planner above.
  • There are public car parks (Fischmarkt, Dammgasse, Lago, Altstadt, Benedikti nerplatz) for approx. 10-20 EUR per day. Free parking on public roads is also available. You can also book car parking in advance for the duration of the tour.
  • Train from the UK: Take the Eurostar from London St-Pancras International to Paris (Gard du Nord). Change and travel to Paris-East, from here there are direct trains to Offenburg where you should change to Konstanz. Total journey time is about 8.5 hours.
  • Drive from the UK: Take the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais (approx. 35 minutes) and then drive to Strasbourg or Zurich and on to Konstanz (approx. 9 hours).

Inclusions

Included

  • 5 overnight stays in private en-suite rooms with breakfast included as described in the itinerary
  • Luggage transfer on all cycling days (no limit on the number of pieces per person, max 20 kg)
  • Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request
  • Bike rental (standard hybrid bike or e-bike)

Bike Rental

We offer rental of standard trekking bikes, perfectly suitable for the routes of the trip, and E-bikes for those who would like to take it easy. All rental bikes are equipped with a pannier, handlebar bag, mileometer, bike lock, pump, repair kit, and one repair set per booking included in the bags.

Reviews

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Rating

     

Katarzyna C

We really had great time! The paths are beautifully prepared, they are not too difficult or deamnding, but offering wonderful views and great attractions.
The trip is also very well prepared, we appreciated all information received about the itinerary and attractions possible to see.
Thank you very much for this experience! I am definitely planning the next trip next summer.