Lake Constance and Rhine Falls Cycling Holiday

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.

Stein am Rhein

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.

Lake Constance and Rhine Falls Cycling Holiday

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.

Stein am Rhein

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

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 : Arrive Constance

Arrive in Constance 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.

You will spend the night in Constance or a nearby village depending on availability and the accommodation standard booked – see below.

Likely accommodation location

Comfort: Litzelstetten

Superior: Constance

Day 2 : Constance – Radolfzell – Überlingen
31 miles/50 kms

Your first ride leads you along the lake shore to the old imperial town of Radolfzell. You then pedal through the pretty countryside of the Bodanrück Peninsula passing through the charming villages of Güttingen 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 Überlingen 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 : Überlingen – Lindau
31 to 38 miles/50 to 60 kms

Today you carry on along the northern shore of the lake. After 6 km 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 Lindau. You will spend the night in Lindau or a nearby village depending on availability and the accommodation standard booked – see below.

Likely accommodation location:

Comfort: Kressbronn or Nonnenhorn

Superior: Lindau or Wasserburg

Day 4 : Lindau – Höchst/Rorschach/Arbon
25 to 32 miles/40 to 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 spend the night in Höchst, Arbon or Staad, depending on availability and the accommodation standard booked – see below.

Likely accommodation location:

Comfort: Höchst or Staad

Superior: Arbon

Day 5 : Höchst/Rorschach/Arbon – Constance
22 to 35 miles/35 to 60 kms

Today’s route leads you up the eastern shoreline of the lake through the Swiss canton of Thurgau. The fertile area is well known for its fruit production and apple orchards will be omnipresent throughout today’s ride. Perhaps stop in Romanshorn which is home to Switzerland’s largest harbour on Lake Constance, 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 where you first arrived 5 day ago. You will spend the night in Constance or a nearby village depending on availability and the accommodation standard booked – see below.

Likely accommodation location:

Comfort: Litzelstetten

Superior: Constance

Day 6 : Constance – 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
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 Höri 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. You will spend the night in Constance or a nearby village depending on availability and the accommodation standard booked – see below.

Likely accommodation location:

Comfort: Litzelstetten

Superior: Constance



Day 8 : Constance - end of trip

After breakfast it is time to check-out and head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 27 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

Child seats, children’s bikes and child trailers are also available.

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

Accommodation

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: Comfortable hotels and guesthouses.

Constance/Litzelstetten: Hotel Volapük

Überlingen: Hotel Rotes Haus

Kressbronn/Nonnenhorn: Bodensee Yachthotel Schattmaier/Gasthof zur Kapelle

Höchst/Rorschach: Das Smarte Hotel/Hotel-Restaurant Weisses Rössli Staad

Schaffhausen: Sorell Hotel Rüden

Superior: Good quality hotels.

Constance: Hotel Halm

Überlingen: Parkhotel St Leonard

Wasserburg/Lindau: Hotel Gierer/Hotel Lindauer Hof

Arbon: Hotel Römerhof

Schaffhausen: Hotel Kronenhof

Local taxes

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.

Getting there

Fly to Zurich airport – Innsbruck, Munich and Stuttgart airports are also viable alternatives but slightly further away.

Research flights from the UK here.

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

Research train times here.

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