Lake Constance and Rhine Falls Cycling Holiday
Start / FinishConstance/Kreuzlingen / Constance/Kreuzlingen
Distance181 miles/292 kms
A highly enjoyable cycling holiday around beautiful Lake Constance on flat cycle paths and quiet roads. Stay in charming lakeside towns each night as you pedal around the lake through Germany, Switzerland and Austria. This trip also includes a visit to the impressive Rhine Falls further downstream.
This holiday is all about relaxed lakeside cycling on level cycle paths and quiet lanes through sublime scenery and medieval towns. Starting from the pretty town of Constance you’ll cycle in a clockwise direction around the lake. Along the way you’ll explore delightful medieval towns lined with charming half-timbered houses and cobbled streets.
The lake is your constant companion with sailing boats gliding backwards and forwards across its surface. Bathing beaches appear at regular intervals tempting you in for a cooling dip and in the distance the alps create an impressive backdrop to the idyllic scene.
The lake is effectively a large bulge in the Rhine river and this holiday includes a ride downstream along the river bank to the Rhine Falls where the mighty river plummets 75 feet. A boat trip gets you up close and personal to the maelstrom.
Other highlights include the beautiful old village of Meersburg, the incredible Zeppelin Museum at Friedrichshafen, the charming island town of Lindau and the muralled houses surrounding the town square at Stein am Rhein.
All the way around the lake you will enjoy wonderful scenery and easy cycling. The picture-perfect towns and villages provide comfortable places to stay and a great choice of restaurants, bars and cafes.
The route follows dedicated cycle paths along the lake-shore. The terrain is mostly level with very few climbs and therefore this tour will suit anyone with a basic level of fitness.
Itinerary & Map
Most of the route follows level lakeside cycling paths and there is very little climbing. Regular ferries link all the lakeside towns, providing a ‘get-out’ solution if you wish to curtail the day’s ride for any reason.
Day 1: Constance/Kreuzlingen
Arrive in Constance/Kreuzlingen and check-in at your first night’s hotel. After settling in we highly recommend a walk around this beautiful, lakeside town to soak up the atmosphere. The pedestrianised old town with it’s wonderful muralled buildings is gorgeous as is the promenade along the lake shore.
Day 2: Constance/Kreuzlingen – Ueberlingen, 31 miles/ 50kms
Your first ride leads you along the lake shore to the old imperial town of Randolfzell. You then pedal through the pretty countryside of the Bodanrueck Peninsula passing through the charming villages of Guettingen and Stahringen along the way. Before long you arrive on the northern shore of the upper lake. We recommend a stop in Sipplingen to admire the quaint half-timbered houses so typical of this area before cycling the final 7 kilometers to the charming town of Ueberlingen where you will spend the night. It’s a bustling little place with narrow winding streets, more of those half-timbered houses and a pleasant lakeside promenade.
Day 3: Ueberlingen – Kressbronn, 31 miles/ 50kms
Today you carry on along the northern shore of the lake. After 6kms you reach the village of Unteruhldingen. Here you can visit the interactive Lake Dwelling Museum and learn about how the locals lived during the bronze and stone ages.
Pedaling on along the pretty lake shore you soon arrive in Meersburg. This is a gorgeous little medieval place with a castle, a lovely lakeside promenade and a beautiful town square. If you like to stop somewhere for a coffee en-route then this is the place.
The level terrain and stunning scenery help to eat up the miles and before you know it you arrive in the town of Friedrichshafen. Another lakeside promenade with plenty of cafes and restaurants make this a good choice for a lunch-break. We also recommend a visit to the fascinating Zeppelin Museum which offers a comprehensive history of airship construction – in case you’re wondering, Ferdinand von Zeppelin established his famous dirigible factory here at the end of the 19th century hence the airship connection.
A few more kilometers of relaxed cycling bring you to the small town of Kressbronn where you stop for the night.
Day 4: Kressbron – Lindau – Bregenz – Hoechst/Rorschach, 22-31 miles/ 35-50 kms
After a pleasant ride along quiet lanes, passing through a series of small villages, you arrive at a bridge leading you across to the island town of Lindau. The pedestrianised centre and harbour of this charming old town are a delight to explore by bike or on foot.
Press on around the lake following the wonderful lakeside cycle path. After a few kilometers you pass from Germany into Austria and shortly after that you arrive in the elegant lakeside town of Bregenz. The town is famous for its open-air theatre located directly on the shoreline with the stage set in the lake itself. Every summer the theatre stages lavish productions of famous operas.
After leaving Bregenz you reach the Rhine River where it flows into the southern end of the lake (Lake Constance is actually a huge bulge in the Rhine River). The river also marks the border between Austria and Switzerland. You will either stay the night in Hoechst in Austria or Rorschach in Switzerland.
Day 5: Hoechst/Rorschach – Constance/Kreuzlingen, 22-34 miles/ 35-55 kms
Today’s route leads you up the eastern shoreline of the lake through the Swiss canton of Thurgau. The fertile area is well know for its fruit production and apple orchards will be omnipresent throughout today’s ride. Stop in Arbon or Romanshorn for a coffee or lunch and if the weather is warm enough you could also consider a cooling swim in the lake.
After pedalling through a series of small Swiss villages you cross back into Germany and arrive back in Constance/Kreuzlingen where you first arrived 5 day ago.
Day 6: Constance/Kreauzlingen – Stein am Rhein – Schaffhausen, 32 miles/ 50 kms
Lake Constance is actually two lakes and so far you have cycled around the larger Upper Lake (Obersee). Today you set out along the southern shore of the Lower Lake (Untersee). The cycle path leads you through some lovely old lakeside villages such as Ermatingen, Berlingen and Steckborn, – all good choices for coffee stops. At the point the lake narrows to once again become the Rhine River you arrive in the medieval town of Stein am Rhein. It’s worth spending a bit of time here so park the bikes and take a wander through the lovely old square lined with ornately muralled townhouses. There’s also a lovely riverside promenade with plenty of inviting cafes and restaurants.
After leaving Stein am Rhein the cycle path leads you through forests and across open farmland. The Rhine River is never far away and before long you arrive in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen. This beautiful old town has a pleasant pedestrianised area and two charming town squares. It also has a natural, outdoor pool located in the Rhine River itself – a unique experience.
Day 7: Schaffhausen – Rhine Falls – Constance/Kreuzlingen, 35 miles/ 55 kms + boat trip
It’s only a short ride from Schaffhausen downstream to the impressive Rhine Falls. Here the mighty river plunges 75 feet with 600,000 liters of water passing every second. Your holiday includes a boat trip out to the base of the falls allowing you to experience the sheer power of the thundering torrent close-up.
Afterwards, mount-up and start to make your way back to Lake Constance – this time following a route through pleasant countryside on the other bank of the Rhine river. At Stein am Rhein you cross onto the Hoeri peninsula and cycle along the lake shore to Gaienhofen where you take a short ferry ride across to Reichenau. Once an island, Reichenau is now connected to the mainland via a causeway. Enjoy your final cycle across this fertile, scenic strip of land back to Constance/Kreuzlingen where you spend the last night of your holiday.
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast it is time to check-out and head for home or your next adventure.
Dates & Prices
|2017 Arrival Dates|
|Arrivals daily from 01 April to 24 October|
|Low season:||01 - 28 April and 01 - 24 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|
Per person - 2 sharing
|Accom Type 2|
|Accom Type 3|
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|Accom Type 7|
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|Accom Type 10|
Board basis: Bed & Breakfast
Maps and route information
Entrance to the Rosgarten museum
Boat trip to the Rhine Falls rock
Boat trip: Gaienhofen - Reichenau incl bike
Bike hire (see supplements)
Tourist tax (payable locally)
Extra nights, double/twin (£58)
Extra nights, single (£77)
Bike hire, includes lock and pannier (£67)
Electric bike (£154)
Children's bike (20, 24, 26 inch) (£34)
50% for children 6-13 years sharing with 2 adults
25% for children 14-17 years sharing with 2 adults
Deposit per person £100
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 tandems, child seats, child trailers and trailer bikes. All are subject to availability at the time of booking.
The category of accommodation available on this tour is shown below.
Comfort: Pleasant 3 star hotels and guest houses. All are en-suite.
Some hotels 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.
- Date - 19/07/2016
- Name - Wendy
- Service rating - 4.0
- Service comment - I generally had a good experience with our consultant but we received the itinerary very late which included our hotels and this did not give us a sufficient amount of time to really iron out any queries I had. With respect to this, I had a query regarding accommodation in a town which was not on the generic itinerary and I dropped my consultant an email which she never replied to. It turned out to be the only part of the trip that I was disatisfied with.
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - The holiday was brilliant and lived up to and beyond our expectations! The bikes and associated bike paraphernalia were absolutely top quality and the service from the guys at Radweg-Reisen was second to none. Our only complaint would be the two night stay at a town called Gailingen which was such a disappointment. The hotel was lovely but the generic itinerary on the Flexitreks website sold us with a two night stay in a town called Stein am Rhein which was the reason I chose Flexitreks over any other tour company. Our itinerary arrived only a week or so prior to our departure which meant little time to query and/or change any accommodation arrangements. Instead of Stein am Rhein two night stay was instead in a neighbouring town (Gailingen) but it was a difficult 10km ride up a hill and through a forest to get between the two towns. We were really disappointed with this arrangement as it meant we had to catch a cab back to Stein am Rhein for dinner on the second night and really only had those few hours to explore one of the most beautiful towns on the lake. I understand that accommodation can not be guaranteed to be in the towns listed on the web site but there were numerous other towns closer to Stein am Rhein which were far more accessible by bike and far more beautiful. In addition to this, the first day on the generic itinerary advertised the ride as approx 55kms from Konstanz to Stein am Rhein. For us, staying in Gailingen, this became a 65km day on day one and the last ten kilometers were up a very steep hill and though a forest. Thankfully the rest of the journey was wonderful and we quickly got over our difficult first day and the disappointment of not staying in or near Stein am Rhein but we did feel a bit ripped off.
- Flexitreks response - Thanks for the comprehensive feedback Wendy. I know that Ally has been in touch with you regarding the Stein am Rhein/Gailingen issue and I'm sorry that this marred an otherwise highly enjoyable holiday. Having brought the issue to our attention, we are now working closely with our local suppliers to solve this issue for future customers.