Beautifully flat, flexible cycling along dedicated lakeside paths, wildflower fields, vineyards and cherry orchards through three countries.
a Destinations d > Austria > Lake Constance Cycling
10 nights accommodation, breakfast daily and eight dinners, support vehicle to transfer baggage, route notes and maps
Every two days, 15 Apr - 16 Oct 2016
This itinerary cycles along lakeside paths and detailed notes allow you to cycle at your own pace. Your accommodation is as varied as your cycling days; you’ll stay in a coaching inn, a grand riverside hotel and a luxury lakeside mansion. We’ll ensure you’re never too far from the waterfront. You’ll also have the opportunity to try regional delicacies at local restaurants. This is a fun way to discover a beautiful part of the world.
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Exploring by bike is the best way to travel around this region, along easy cycling paths with detailed cycling notes.
Stay in diverse accommodation; from an old coaching inn to a grand riverside hotel and luxury lakeside mansion.
The region is brimming with highlights such as fairytale castles, gothic cathedrals, baroque churches and palaces.
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You arrive at your hotel, a historic coaching inn, in the centre of Bregenz. Explore the ancient
cobbled streets of the old town before dinner on the courtyard terrace.
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 Arbon where you’ll find pretty half-timbered houses and a 16th Century castle.
It’s easy to spend a morning exploring Arbon’s historic old town with its well preserved buildings.
After lunch at one of the many lakeside restaurants, hop on the train (option to take your bike
too), for the 20 minute ride (10km) to historic St Gallen - a bustling market town packed with
18th Century merchants’ houses and open air cafes. Visit the 8th Century Benedictine Abbey’s fabulous UNESCO
library, then blow the cobwebs away by freewheeling back down to the lakeside. Lots of swimming
possibilities before an easy waterfront cycle back to the hotel.
Option to take the train to Guettingen this morning and shorten your route. Otherwise, pedalling
clockwise around the lake, you’ll pass numerous waterfront villages affording lots of panoramic sun
terraces for coffee stops and lunch. In the afternoon, you coast effortlessly between sleepy harbours
before arriving at the riverside Hotel Chlosterhof where you spend the next two nights.
It’s easy to spend the day in mediaeval Stein am Rhein with its 11th Century monastery, beautiful frescoed
square and lovely chocolate shops! Alternatively, Schaffhausen, a lively German town full of street
theatre in the summer, is ideal for a day trip. It is great for shopping, has riverside cycle paths to
Schloss Laufen, a tiny castle perched precariously above the tumbling Rheinfalls waterfall, the
biggest in Europe!
Freewheeling east this morning, you’ll soon cross the border to enter Germany - look out
for cormorant and red crested pochard in the Hornstaad Nature Reserve. 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 onto
Konstanz, the unofficial regional capital.
Spend the day exploring the narrow streets of Konstanz: visit the Altstadt, Munster and lively
centre crammed with quirky shops and museums. Alternatively hop on a boat (pay 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.
It is a short ride through oak forest to catch the 15 minute ferry ride (included) to fairytale
Meersburg with its twin castles, steep streets and hillsides of vines. It’s a perfect place for a lunch
stop! Then, pedalling south, it’s a gentle cycle into Friedrichshafen.
There are superb wine tasting opportunities on your doorstep today - local Müller-Thurgau
wines come from Riesling and Silvaner grapes for which Lake Constance is famous. Or visit
Friedrichschafen’s amazing Zeppelin Museum, full of fascinating knick-knacks, including an original
menu and wine list from the Hindenburg!
Past the pretty village of Langenargen and through peaceful vineyards and cherry orchards en
route to lovely Lindau, a gorgeous island village surrounded by cobalt blue waters with long
distance views of razor-edged peaks across the lake. There are lots of idyllic choices for lunch then,
keeping the lake at your side, a final swoosh takes you back down to Bregenz. Time permitting,
perhaps, take the cable car up Pfander mountain, (1064m), for a fantastic vista of your entire
route, a real sense of achievement!
Your journey ends after breakfast.
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