Antarctica & Arctic
Postcard-pretty villages, half-timbered, frescoed towns, cafe-lined waterfronts and stunning mountain views dotted around Lake Constance.
a Destinations d > Switzerland > Lake Constance Self-Guided Cycling
10 nights' accommodation, all breakfasts and 8 dinners, all luggage transfers, route notes and maps, ferry ticket from Staad to Meerburg included and local bike hire.
Selected dates, May - Sep
Flanked by the majestic Alpine peaks of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, the turquoise shoreline and pebbly beaches of Lake Constance are shared between three countries.This is a region brimming with history and cultural highlights such as the fairytale castle in Meersburg, the flower-decked palace in Konstanz and books dating back over 1,000 years in St Gallen's UNESCO library.
Back to Switzerland Tours
Cycle through postcard-pretty villages and stunning mountain views.
Visit Baroque churches, Gothic cathedrals, fairytale palaces, romantic castles,
Enjoy swimming every day on this eleven day incredible tour.
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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. (D)
Cycle 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 push 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 and a real sense of achievement! 33km/21mi (B)(D)
End our journey in Bregenz. (B)
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 C16 castle. Two routes: 24km/15mi or 41km/26mi (B)(D)
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 bus for the 35 minute ride (10km) to historic St Gallen, a bustling market town packed with C18 merchants' houses and open-air cafes. Visit the C8 Benedictine abbey's fabulous UNESCO library, then blow the cobwebs away by freewheeling back down to the lakeside. There's lots of swimming possibilities before an easy waterfront cycle back to the hotel. (B)(D)
There's an option to take the train to Guettingen this morning and shorten your route. Otherwise, pedal clockwise around the lake and 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. Two routes: 42km/26.5mi or 59km/37mi (B)(D)
It's easy to spend the day in mediaeval Stein am Rhein with its C11 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's great for shopping and has riverside cycle paths to Schloss Laufen, a tiny castle perched precariously above the tumbling Rheinfall waterfall, the biggest in Europe! (B)(D)
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 C8 Benedictine abbey. It's then on to Konstanz, the unofficial regional capital. 45km/28.5mi (B)
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 (payable 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. (B)
It's 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. 25m/16mi (B)(D)
There are superb wine tasting opportunities on your doorstep today - local Muller-Thurgau wines come from Riesling and Silvaner grapes for which Lake Constance is famous. Or visit Friedrichshafen's amazing Zeppelin Museum, full of fascinating knick-knacks, including an original menu and wine list from the Hindenburg. (B)(D)
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