4 Countries Cycling Holiday

  • 4.0
    (1 review)
  • Category

    Cycle Touring
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Leisurely to Moderate
  • Duration/s

    8 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Constance / Constance
  • Distance

    205 miles/330 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeRivers and Lakes
  • Accommodation

    Comfort
  • Tour code

    032-101CDE
Price From £856

Overview

Explore Lake Constance, Lake Zurich and Lake Walen as well as the impressive Rhein Falls on this cosmopolitan cycling holiday that visits four different countries; Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria.

The trip is packed with lots of wonderful places to visit and things to see. Starting and finishing in Constance itself, a charming university city with winding cobbled streets and a small harbour lined with half-timbered buildings, the route leads you first alongside the romantic Untersee (lower lake) to the enchanting town of Stein am Rhein with its fairytale market square.

Cyclists in Stein am Rhein - 4 Countries Cycling Holiday

Cyclists arriving in Stein am Rhein

Cycle to the canton (state) capital of Schaffhausen, dominated by a majestic sixteenth century fort; take a boat trip to the spectacular Rhine Falls – the largest plain waterfall in Europe; spend the night in vibrant, cosmopolitan Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, where you’ll be spoilt for choice with its upmarket shops and restaurants, theatres, museums and galleries. Cycle through scenic towns and alpine villages such as Rapperswill on Lake Zurich, stopping to explore at your leisure.

This self-guided tour follows cycle paths, quiet lanes and minor roads. The route is mostly flat but you will  encounter some slightly more hilly sections in the Appenzell region on route to St. Gallen.

Itinerary & Map

This self-guided tour follows cycle paths, quiet lanes and minor roads. The route is mostly flat but you will  encounter some slightly more hilly sections in the Appenzell region on route to St. Gallen.

View larger map

Day 1: Arrive Constance

Constance - 4 Countries Cycling Holiday

Constance

Check into your first night’s hotel, then get out to explore – there’s lots to see! This charming university city on the shores of Lake Constance still has a medieval feel. Stroll around the pedestrianised Old Town with its winding cobbled streets, historic buildings – many with beautifully painted murals – and lively shops, cafes and bars. Don’t miss the famous Minster (cathedral), which dates from the seventh century and dominates the city’s skyline – climb to the top of the tower for some incredible views.

Day 2: Constance – Schaffhausen, 31 miles/ 50 kms

Schaffhausen - 4 Countries Cycling Holiday

Schaffhausen

Your first day’s cycling starts with a ride along the romantic Untersee (lower lake). You’ll cycle through tiny fishing villages and the enchanting town of Stein am Rhein – take a break to explore its well-preserved medieval centre, with half-timbered buildings and fairytale market square. From here you’ll cycle to your overnight stop in Schaffhausen. The city is the canton (state) capital and is dominated by the Munot, an imposing sixteenth century fort. After settling into your hotel we recommend a stroll through the picturesque Old Town, where many of the houses are richly decorated with oriel (bay) windows and lavish facades.

 

Day 3: Schaffhausen – Rhine Falls – Zurich, 40 miles/ 65 kms

Rhine Falls - 4 Countries Cycling Holiday

Rhine Falls

After breakfast you board a boat for a close-up view of the incredible Rhine Falls, the largest plain waterfall in Europe (150m wide and 23m high!). Afterwards you mount up and cycle through the Glatt Valley to cosmopolitan Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, where you’ll spend the night. Check out ritzy Bahnhofstrasse for upmarket shopping or head to the Niederdorf area in the Old Town for characterful, cobbled streets crammed with shops, cafes and restaurants. Top tip: don’t miss artist Marc Chagall’s extraordinary stained glass windows, created for the thirteenth century Fraumunster church in 1967.

Day 4: Zurich – Lachen, 24 miles/ 40 kms

Rapperswil - 4 Countries Cycling Holiday

Rapperswil

Today you’ll cycle along the lower eastern shore of Lake Zurich – known locally as the Gold Coast, due either to its sunny aspect or high property prices! Take a break in Rapperswil – dubbed ‘Rosenstadt’ or the town of roses – to admire its famous rose gardens. Then stroll through medieval alleys to the impressive, thirteenth century Rapperswil Castle, perched on a rocky hill overlooking the Old Town. Cross over Lake Zurich using the dam, then cycle along the shoreline to the little town of Lachen where you will spend the night.

Day 5: Lachen – Walenstadt, 18 miles/ 30 kms plus boat trip

Lake Walen - 4 Countries Cycling Holiday

Lake Walen

Leaving Lachen you’ll cycle along the Linth Canal, the man-made waterway between Lake Zurich and Lake Walen. At the village of Weesen, you’ll board a boat for an enjoyable cruise to the other end of the lake. You’ll spend the night in the lakeside town of Walenstadt overlooked by the stunning peaks of the Churfirsten mountain range. After settling into your hotel, take a walk along the lake-shore or just relax with a drink, enjoying the spectacular views as the sun falls behind the mountains.

Day 6: Walenstadt – Feldkirch, 34 miles/ 55 kms

Feldkirch - 4 Countries Cycling Holiday

Feldkirch

After a few miles cycling you’ll enter the Alpine Rhine valley. From here it’s a short cycle ride to the principality of Liechtenstein. Marvel at the soaring mountains, verdant valleys and fairytale castles of this tiny, landlocked country, tucked away between Switzerland and Austria. After traversing this minute country you cross into Austria to the town of Feldkirch, where you’ll spend the night. This beautiful medieval city is a delight to explore on foot. If you still have some energy, we recommend taking a short walk from the Old Town to the Schattenburg, the castle that dominates the city.

Day 7: Feldkirch – St. Gallen, 27 miles/ 45 kms plus train ride

St Gallen - 4 Countries Cycling Holiday

St Gallen

Today you’ll continue to cycle alongside the Rhine for a little longer. Then you’re in for a treat: a cog-wheel mountain train ride from Altstaetten up to the village of Gais. From here you’ll cycle across the alpine meadows to St.Gallen, one of the highest cities in Switzerland. The ride is a little hilly, but the superb views make it all worthwhile. Don’t miss the main attraction of St. Gallen, the Abbey of St. Gall and the Abbey Library, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Day 8: St. Gallen – Constance, 27 miles/ 45 kms

Arbon - Lake Constance - 4 Countries Cycling Holiday

Arbon

After breakfast you’ll freewheel downhill from St. Gallen to the town of Arbon, on the shores of Lake Constance. Take a break to wander through the narrow medieval streets of the Old Town and visit Castle Arbon, which houses the town museum and features a great stone tower to climb. From Arbon you’ll enjoy an easy ride along the lake-shore past apple orchards and through charming waterfront villages before a triumphant return to Constance for the final night of your holiday.

Day 9: End of trip

After breakfast it’s time to check out and return home, or head off on your next adventure

Dates & Prices

2017 Arrival Dates
Arrivals daily from 22 April to 15 October
Low season:22 - 28 April and 01 - 15 October
Mid season:29 April - 19 May, 18 - 30 June and 27 August - 30 September
High season:20 May - 17 June and 01 July - 26 August
2017 Prices
032-101CDE
Per person - 2 sharing
Double/twin
Low season
Single
Low season
Double/twin
Mid season
Single
Mid season
Double/twin
High season
Single
High season
IGNORE
Sleeps X
IGNORE
Sleeps X
Comfort category £856 £1084 £951 £1179 £998 £1227    
Accom Type 2                
Accom Type 3                
Accom Type 4                
Accom Type 5                
Accom Type 6                
Accom Type 7                
Accom Type 8                
Accom Type 9                
Accom Type 10                

Price Includes

8 nights accommodation. See notes below
Board basis: Bed & Breakfast
Luggage transfer
Maps and route information
Entrance to the Rosgarten museum
Boat trip to the Rhinefall Rocks
Boat trip Weesen to Walenstadt
Train journey Alstaetten to Gais
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)
Cycle helmets
Tourist tax (1-4 euros per night, payable locally)

Supplements

Single (£230)
Extra night Constance, double/twin (£63)
Extra night Constance, single (£87)
Bike hire, includes lock and pannier (£67)
Children's bike (£34)
Electric bike (£154)

Reductions

Free for children up to 5 years
50% for children 6-13 years sharing with 2 adults
25% for children 14-17 years sharing with 2 adults

Notes

Comfort: Good quality 3 star hotels
Deposit per person £100

Practical Information

Bikes

Unisex hybrid - 032

Example of bike used on this tour

The bikes provided on this tour are comfortable unisex bikes with deep step-through frames, 24 gears and rim brakes. They are also equipped with a waterproof pannier, a lock and a puncture repair kit.

E-bikes are also available as are child seats, child trailers and trailer bikes. All are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Helmets are not provided and we therefore recommend bringing your own.

 

Accommodation

The categories of accommodation available on this tour are shown below.

Comfort: Comfortable accommodation in 3 star hotels.

Local taxes
Some hotels in some countries have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.

Getting There

Fly to Friedrichshafen or Zurich airports – Innsbruck, Munich and Stuttgart airports are also viable alternatives but slightly further away.
Research flights from the UK here.

From Friedrichshafen airport there is an hourly shuttle to Lake Constance, which connects with a catamaran that will take you straight to the town of Constance. The total journey time will be around 70 minutes.

From Zurich airport there are regular trains to Constance and the journey time is around 1 and a half hours.
Research train times here.

Gallery

Reviews from Flexitreks

By: Noel McLean - September 2015

I enjoyed the tour a great deal, scenery spectacular, the ride was quite easy to do; the only real challenge was after leaving the cog train at Gais!.
There was an initial hiccup on arrival at Konstanz, but this was resolved after some negotiations, I believe the main cause was most like that of poor communication, vis a vis language.
Once again, I personally enjoyed my trip, thank you for all your efforts.
Kindest regards

Noel McLean

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