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.
• 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.
• All accommodation
• 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
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DAY 1 - Arrive in Bregenz
After arriving at your hotel, a historic coaching inn, in the centre of Bregenz where you can explore the ancient cobbled streets of the old town.
DAY 2 - Bregenz to Arbon
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 16th century castle.
DAY 3 - Arbon to Stein am Rhein
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 medieval Stein am Rhein.
DAY 4 - Stein am Rhein to Konstanz
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 8th century Benedictine abbey. It's then on to the unofficial regional capital, Konstanz.
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.
DAY 6 - Konstanz to Friedrichshafen
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.
DAY 7 - Friedrichshafen to Bregenz
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!
DAY 8 - Leave Bregenz
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