Lake Constance Cycling Holiday
Start / FinishConstance / Constance
Distance148 miles/238 kms
Cycle around beautiful Lake Constance on idyllic lake-shore cycle paths. Stay in charming medieval towns each evening and enjoy daily rides through sublime alpine scenery. Cool off with a dip in the lake at one of the many bathing beaches. If a ride get’s too much just hop on a lake steamer and cruise to your overnight stop.
Lake Constance is actually a large bulge in the Rhine River and comprises of two lakes – the Obersee (Upper Lake) and Untersee (Lower Lake). Your cycling holiday will start and finish in Constance, a pretty German town with a small harbour lined with half-timbered buildings. The route will lead you first around the Lower Lake, taking in the gorgeous medieval town of Stein am Rhein, and then the remaining 4 days are spent circumnavigating the larger upper lake.
The daily rides will unveil the lakes many highlights including the tiny flower island of Mainau with its amazing butterfly house, the medieval lakeside towns of Meersburg and Lindau, the Zeppelin Museum at Friedrichshafen and the famous theatre on the lake at Bregenz.
Throughout the holiday you’ll enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the lake and surrounding countryside with the Alps providing a dramatic backdrop in the distance.
The route follows dedicated cycle paths along the lake-shore. The terrain is mostly level with very few climbs and will therefore suit anyone with a basic level of fitness. E-bikes are also available and regular ferries link the main towns, providing cyclists with a means of shortening the rides if desired.
Itinerary & Map
The route follows dedicated cycle paths along the lake-shore. The terrain is mostly level with very few climbs and will therefore will suit anyone with a basic level of fitness. E-bike are also available and regular ferries link the main towns providing cyclists with a means of curtailing the day’s ride if necessary.
Please note that it’s possible to start this tour at any of the overnight points along the route.
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 – Stein am Rhein/Gailingen, 28-35 miles/45-55 kms
Lake Constance is actually two lakes – the Obersee (Upper lake) and the Untersee (lower lake). Your first ride leads you along the northern shore of the lower lake to the old imperial town of Randolfzell. You then continue along the western shore, around the Hörl peninsular towards the Swiss border. You’re still cycling along the shore of the lower lake but the further you go the narrower the lake becomes. At the border the lake once again becomes the Rhine River (Lake Constance is really just a big bulge in the river’s course) and shortly after that you arrive in the beautiful, medieval town of Stein am Rhein. The old town is enchanting place, especially its main square lined with muralled, half-timbered buildings. You will spend the night here or in the village of Gailingen, 10kms away.
Day 3: Stein am Rhein/Gailingen – Überlingen, 28-34 miles/45-55 kms + boat trip
Today’s ride leads you along the southern shore of the lower lake on a peaceful cycle path past small Swiss fishing villages. You pass through Constance again before arriving on the shore of the Upper Lake. We highly recommend detouring onto the miniature island of Mainau to admire the extraordinary diverse gardens, the 13th century baroque palace and – our favourite – the stunning butterfly house. From here its only a short pedal, past the wonderfully named village of Dingelsdorf, to Wallhausen where you enjoy a short ferry ride across the lake to Überlingen. This spa town is famous for its gothic cathedral and health treatments. It also offers a charming lakeside promenade and a bustling, pedestrianised centre with many bars, cafes and shops. You’ll enjoy spending the night in this pleasant little town.
Day 4: Überlingen – Kressbronn/Wasserburg/Lindau, 31-38 miles/50-60 kms
Today you cycle along the northern shore of the lake, first through the small villages of Uhldingen and Unteruhldingen where you can stop to admire the reconstructed lakeside dwellings at the open air museum. Further along you cycle through Meersburg, a lovely medieval lakeside town with distinct upper and lower levels joined by stairs and a rather steep street. Cycling on you reach the university town of Friedrichshafen where we highly recommend a visit to the fascinating Zeppelin Museum that pays tribute to local inventor, Ferdinand von Zeppelin and his groundbreaking airships. You then cycle on to nearby Kressbronn where you will spend the night. On some occasions you may cycle slightly further to Wasserburg or Lindau, depending on hotel availability.
Day 5: Kressbronn/Wasserburg/Lindau – Höchst/Rorschach/Arbon, 22-38 miles/35-60 kms
The route continues along the northern shore of Lake Constance to Lindau, a well preserved medieval town on a small island. We recommend stopping for a wander around the old town and perhaps a coffee at one of the many street cafes overlooking the small harbour. Afterwards, cross the border into Austria and continue on to Bregenz, the capital of the Vorarlberg region. The city is famous for it’s impressive annual drama productions on a stage set on the lake itself. Ride on through a nature reserve and into Switzerland to your overnight stop in either Höchst, Rorschach or Arbon.
Day 6: Höchst/Rorschach/Arbon – Constance/Kreuzlingen, 22-35 miles/35-55 kms
Your final day completes the circle back to Constance/Kreuzlingen with an enjoyable ride along the lake’s Swiss, southern shore. Pass through Arbon and Romanshorn each with it’s little harbour, and then a succession of small, sleepy lakeside villages surrounded by apple orchards. Finally you arrive back in Constance to complete the journey you began 5 day before. Surely a celebratory meal in one of the town’s many resturants is in order?
Day 7: Departure
After breakfast it is time to check-out and head for home or your next adventure.
Dates & Prices
|2018 Arrival Dates|
|Arrivals daily from 24 March to 15 October|
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|Deposit per person||£100|
Board basis: Bed & Breakfast
Maps & route information
Entrance to Rosgarten museum Constance
Boat trip Wallhausen/Dingelsdorf - Überlingen
Bike hire (see supplements)
Tourist tax (approximately €2pppn, payable locally)
Extra night Constance, single, comfort (£78)
Extra night Constance, double/twin, superior (£78)
Extra night Constance, single, superior (£98)
Bike with pannier & lock (£74)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£171)
Child bike (£39)
50% for children 6-13 years sharing with 2 adults
25% for children 14-17 years sharing with 2 adults
No reduction 18 years plus
Superior: A mix of 3 & 4 star hotels and inns
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 handlebar bag, an odometer, a lock, a pump 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.
Below you will find examples of the accommodations typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.
Comfort: Pleasant 2 to 3 star hotels and guest houses. All are en-suite.
Constance: Hotel Ko-one
Stein am Rhein/Gailingen: Hotel Rheingold
Überlingen: Hotel zum Römer
Kressbronn-Nonnenhorn: Gasthof zur Kapelle
Kressbon-Tunau: Landgasthof Dorfkrug
Lindau-Zech: Hotel-Gasthof Zum Zecher
Höchst: Das Smarte Hotel
Rorschach-Staad: Hotel-Restaurant Weisses Rössli
Superior: Comfortable accommodation in 3 and 4 star hotels.
Constance: Hotel Barbarossa
Kreuzlingen: Hotel Kreuzlingen am Hafen
Stein am Rhein/Gailingen: Hotel Chlosterhof AG
Überlingen: Parkhotel St. Leonhard
Lindau: Hotel Lindauer Hof
Wasserburg: Hotel Gierer
Arbon: Hotel Römerhof
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 - 22/10/2017
- Name - Vicky Franklin
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - Charming people. Nothing is too much trouble.
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - We thoroughly enjoyed cycling around Lake Constance. The route was easy (perfect for us) and there was plenty to see and do each day. We particularly liked Stein am rhein, the butterfly island of Mainau and our night in the lovely village of uberlingen.