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Lake Constance | self-guided | Germany, Austria, Switzerland - 6 Days

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Price/person:
from 960 € per person

Highlights & Hinterland: On this bike tour in the very popular Lake Constance region, you will cycle off the beaten path, away from the crowds, into the hinterland, experiencing a different side of Lake Constance. You will be accommodated in the best hotels the lake has to offer. This is a world of forest paths, blooming orchards, wonderful vineyards. and quaint villages and hamlets. Located in the foothills of the Alps, this ancient cultural land is not only a feast for the eyes, but is also rich in architectural and historical treasures. It is an atmosphere that has inspired artists and poets throughout the ages and seems untouched by the passing of time. While passing through Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, you will enjoy the best that this region has to offer, replete with history, nature, wildlife, and great cycling.



Highlights

  • Natural and low- traffic bike routes on quiet forest and meadow paths
  • Lovely boutique accommodations
  • Historic seaside towns of Überlingen, Meersburg, Lindau, and Constance
  • World cultural heritage St. Gallen and Reichenau Island
  • Bioreserve of the Rhine delta
  • Bregenzer Ache


Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival in Überlingen
  • Day 2: Überlingen - Salem, 21 mi. (34 km)
  • Day 3: Salem - Lindau, 32 or 39 mi. (51 or 63 km)
  • Day 4: Lindau - St. Gallen, 20 or 34 mi. (32 or 55 km)
  • Day 5: St. Gallen - Gottlieben, 27 mi. (44 km)
  • Day 6: Gottlieben - Überlingen, 14 or 21 mi. (23 or 34 km)

All distances are approximate. Due to circumstances beyond control, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during your holiday. For example, along the way you may find temporary deviations/detours caused by roadwork, In this case, please follow the directions posted on site.


Day 1: Arrival in Überlingen

Your room will be ready for check-in at 3:00 p.m. From the terraces and many rooms of the comfortable and first-class Parkhotel St. Leonhard you can gaze out over Lake Constance, which seems to stretch endlessly to the east and west. In the next few days you will not only cycle around this huge lake landscape, you will also learn about the culture

In the afternoon, you should take your time for a tour of the old imperial city of Überlingen. The contours of this medieval city, which flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries, can be clearly seen even today. Mighty gates and walls, carved out of the surrounding rock, have been preserved to this day. The soft rock of the hills around Überlingen allowed the city's builders this unique construction. The core of the old town is grouped picturesquely around the “Hofstatt” square with the town hall and many Gothic stair gables. The Gothic cathedral of St. Nicholas is also nearby. Not only is it imposing on the outside, but also holds something valuable on the inside, including the works of art by the woodcarver Jörg Zürn. He created the sacrament house and a grand high altar.

Overnight at the Parkhotel St. Leonhard **** / Überlingen. This is an exquisite, modern hotel in a scenic position above Überlingen with a wide view of the lake. The hotel features an indoor swimming pool and is an ideal hotel for an extension of your stay before or after the trip. In fine weather, dinner is served on the hotel terrace with a wonderful view of the city.


Day 2: Überlingen - Salem |
21 mi. (34 km)
For luggage transfer, please bring your suitcases to the reception every morning by 9:00 am and inform the hotel staff that they will be picked up by the Lake Constance Cycle Route Service. If you have booked rental bikes, they will be delivered by 9:30 a.m this morning.

The first bike stage begins with a slight descent directly from the hotel and runs slightly hilly on paths off the country road. This is followed by forest and meadow paths with wonderful views of the lake on which you cycle directly to the gates of Birnau. This Rococo church has almost become a symbol of the entire Lake Constance landscape and is one of its most visited treasures. In front of the church there is a balustrade from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the lake. Meersburg, surrounded by steep vineyards, is one of the most romantic medieval towns on the entire lake. Quaint alleys, lined with beautiful old houses, lead up to the castle that still dominates the town today. Artists of all types have always been drawn to this lovely area. Annette von Droste-Hülshof, a poet from the Münsterland region, once lived here in Meersburg.

After an individual visit and lunch break, your route continues in the afternoon towards Salem, the former Cistercian monastery. It is still the residence of the Margrave of Baden and the seat of the world-famous boarding school. The route to Salem also leads through field, forest, and meadow paths through an untouched landscape. As you pedal pass silent ponds, you will see the hills that are called “drumlins” and are witnesses of the ice age. This section of the cycle path is part of the “prelate path”. On it, the monks and priests moved from Salem Monastery to Birnau to hold mass there. The venerable walls of Salem's monastery complex, which now houses a renowned and internationally known boarding school, rise up suddenly. Here you can participate in a short tour (approx. 1 hour, €11 p.p.) to visit the monastery and church or take a coffee (or beer) break at the Schwanen Inn, located directly on the grounds of the Salem Castle / Monastery.

Overnight at Gasthof Schwanen *** / Salem Castle (or equivalent). Gasthof Schwanen (Gasthaus zum Schwanen) was built in 1665 as a cloister inn of the Cistercian monastery. Only a few steps away from the lower gate, through which the wealthy guests entered the complex. In the course of history, the Salem Abbey has become Salem Castle, and the post-inn of the monastery has become the Margravial Badische Gasthof Schwanen with restaurant, monastery tavern, wine bar, hotel, and museum cafe. Lots of history! This is the most simple accommodation of your entire tour.


Day 3: Salem - Lindau | 32 or 39 mi. (51 or 63 km)
It is 10 km from Salem to the pretty town of Markdorf (alternatively, from Salem you can also take the train connection from Salem to Markdorf if the route seems too long to you today). For the route to Lindau, you will cycle on a little-known route through small villages and into the farmlands and forests.

Eventually, the landscape descends to Lake Constance and Wasserburg, which literally translated, means castle in the water. The historic peninsula of Wasserburg, with the onion dome of the baroque church St. George, rises from the landscape and is an iconic landmark of the region. Cycling onward from Wasserburg to Lindau, you will enjoy a traffic-free route to the gates of your hotel at Lindau harbor. The port entrance with lighthouse and lions is one of the postcard motifs of Lake Constance Be sure to take a stroll on the harbor promenade and enjoy the alpine views.

Overnight at the Lindauer Hof **** / Lindau. This is hotel is situated at a prime location on the island of Lindau. It is particularly picturesque on the harbor with a view of Lindau's harbor entrance.
It is family-run, comfortable, and rated 4-star. An evening stroll along the waterfront is unforgettable and the beautiful conservatory restaurant with a view of the lake invites you to stop and enjoy a perfect place for your personal dining.


Day 4: Lindau - St. Gallen
| 20 or 34 mi. (32 or 55 km)
Please note: Your suitcase must remain unlocked today since it will be transferred to Switzerland (via an EU external border!). Customs must be able to open and check the luggage.

Today you experience three countries in one day! The medieval city of Lindau merits a closer look before you set off for your cycling day. There are alleys and streets lined with arches, a magnificently painted town hall crowned with stepped gables, and wonderfully decorated churches. The port of Lindau is the most important in Bavaria and its entrance is flanked by a lighthouse and a huge stone lion. The bike path from Lindau to Bregenz takes you across the German-Austrian border. You bike the winding paths near the shore, to the natural idyll of the Bregenzer Ache, and finally to the biodiverse nature reserve near Rohrspitz, surrounded by two arms of the Rhine. Not only a haven for migratory birds, it is also rich in flora and fauna, and is an intensely beautiful wilderness. In May the nightingale sings and the cuckoo calls.

After you have passed the customs station (be sure to have your identification documents), you reach the town of Rheineck. From here, the signposted cycle path leads to St. Gallen on a steady but gentle uphill (approx. 22 km). If this is too tiring for you, you can also get on the train in Rheineck (Attention! In Switzerland you also have to buy a ticket for your bike!).
It is a 15-minute walk from the train station in St. Gallen to your modern and very comfortable hotel, ideally located close to the old town.

Overnight at Hotel Einstein **** / St. Gallen. Four-star hotel with very comfortable furnishings behind a classical facade. It is ideally located for an evening stroll through the nearby old town and the venerable district of St. Gallen Cathedral and its monastery district.


Day 5: St. Gallen - Gottlieben | 27 mi. (44 km)
From the Middle Ages to the present day, St. Gallen has always been a prosperous city. The huge, centuries-old monastery with its cathedral and the world-famous abbey library form the heart of the old town. A visit to the library (world cultural heritage) is highly recommended (opening times: daily 10 am to 5 pm, admission: SFr 12). From the old town to the villa and university district on the slope, you first have to go uphill and you may have to push your bike. A cycle route now leads all the way down to the lakeshore, where you cycle more downhill than uphill. You approach the lakeside on agricultural paths and small streets. The day's destination is Gottlieben, a small town with picturesque half-timbered houses located on the Untersee.

Overnight stay in Hotel Die Krone *** / Gottlieben. Your hotel is a historic and lovingly restored 300-year-old building. Each room has its own unique character. Though some rooms are small, this accommodation is one of the most romantic places on the banks of the Rhine and the lake. The restaurant terrace overlooks the Wollmatinger Ried nature reserve and the island of Reichenau. On mild summer nights, you can experience unforgettable sunsets.


Day 6: Gottlieben - Überlingen | 14 or 21 mi. (23 or 34 km)
Please note: Your suitcase must be unlocked today as again it will be transferred over the EU- Switzerland border. Your tour around the lake ends with today's bike route. From the hotel, you get on your bike to return to Germany near Constance along the lake. A beautiful bike path crosses this council city. From 1414-18 the famous Council took place here, which was one of the most important of the Middle Ages. After a stroll through the city and/or a coffee break on the lakeshore, you cycle through elegant residential areas from Constance to the south shore of Lake Überlingen. You follow a quiet and picturesque bike path that leads you to the town of Wallhausen, and here from the small port, you take a ferry to Überliningen. If you stick to the proposed schedule, you will arrive in Überlingen at around 1:35 p.m. From the port to the hotel, where your luggage will be delivered and where your car may be parked), it is still 2.3 km through Überlingen (approx. 90 meters in altitude). Luggage will also be delivered to you by 6 p.m. today so it may be more relaxing for you to book another night here.

You can if you prefer, travel to the vegetable and monastery Island of Reichenau. At 9:32 a.m., a Swiss liner is only a few steps away from the hotel in the direction of Schaffhausen. Reichenau is reached after about 34 minutes. A tour around the enchanting island with its 3 Romanesque monastery churches (world cultural heritage) increases the distance to Constance by approx. 11 km. In total, you should expect at least 2 hours more time due to the ferry and viewing times! Depending on the length of your lunch break in Constance, you will catch the ferry to Überlingen at 4:12 p.m. and arrive to Überlingen at 4:42 p.m. With this option, again, it may be much more relaxing for you to book an extra night.


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Inclusions

  • Accommodations for 5 nights in a double room with breakfast in lovely boutique hotels
  • Luggage transfer from hotel to hotel. One piece per person with a max weight of 20 kg. Cannot guarantee delivery before 6 pm so please pack accordingly for your cycling itinerary.
  • One ferry service from Wallhausen to Überlingen (you will receive voucher)
  • Maps with marked routes & travel information
  • GPS-tracks for navigation via a smartphone app or Garmin
  • CO2 compensation in the region
     

What’s Not Included

  • Bike Rental
  • All beverages other than those offered at breakfast
  • Meal other than those mentioned
  • Helmet (due to Covid hygiene protocols, you must bring your own helmet)
  • Ferry & train fares not mentioned as included 
  • Gratuities 
  • Bike protection
  • Travel Insurance

 

Accommodations - Lake Constance - Self Guided

 
Details
  • Price per Person in a Double room / Categorie Premium
    960 €
  • Price per Person in a Single room / Categorie Premium
    1090 €

added options / discounts

  • Rental bike (7-gear-touring bike with back pedal)
    95 €
  • Rental bike (21-/24-gear-touring bike with free-wheel)
    95 €
  • Rental Ebike
    245 €
  • Extra nights Parkhotel St. Leonhard in Überlingen | Double/twin:
    115 €
  • Extra nights Parkhotel St. Leonhard in Überlingen | Single:
    148 €
  • Transfer from the airport to Parkhotel St. Leonhard in Überlingen:
    250 €
  • Transfer from the airport to Parkhotel St. Leonhard in Überlingen:
    375 €

Accommodations - Lake Constance - Self Guided

 
Accommodations - Lake Constance - Self GuidedAccommodations - Lake Constance - Self GuidedIndividuelle Bodensee Radreise - Überlingen: Parkhotel St. Leonhard****Individuelle Bodensee Radreise - Überlingen: Parkhotel St. Leonhard****Individuelle Bodensee Radreise - Gottlieben: Romantik-Hotel Krone***Individuelle Bodensee Radreise - Gottlieben: Romantik-Hotel Krone***Individuelle Bodensee Radreise - Salem: Hotel Schwanen***Accommodations - Lake Constance - Self GuidedAccommodations - Lake Constance - Self GuidedAccommodations - Lake Constance - Self Guided

 

Our standard when choosing a hotel is high. Our partner-hotels should not only be functionally perfect, but above all offer a pleasant and regional atmosphere. Only now and then does the route force a compromise. We don't accept a cheaper hotel just to get what appears to be a cheap tour price. terranova always mentions the hotel names. You are welcome to check our rating in Michelin or on tripadvisor.

  • Überlingen: Parkhotel St. Leonhard****
    Exquisite, modern hotel in a panoramic location above Überlingen with a wide view of the lake. All rooms with bath / toilet, mostly balcony. Indoor swimming pool. Quiet location. Ideal for a follow-up stay before or after the trip. You can park your car in the spacious parking lot during your trip. When the weather is nice, you can have breakfast on the hotel's terrace or have lunch or dinner served there with a wonderful view of the city and Lake Constance. 1 night with breakfast.
     
  • Salem / Markdorf: Gasthof Schwanen***
    The Gasthof Schwanen is the simplest hotel on our Lake Constance trip. However, its location on the Schlossgelän-de Salem is unique! Home-style cooking with a romantic beer garden. 1 night with breakfast. 
     
  • Lindau: Lindauer Hof****
    One of the best addresses on the island of Lindau. It is particularly picturesquely situated on the harbor with a view of the famous view from Lindau's harbor entrance. A family-run, comfortable 4-star hotel with friendly service. The ideal location tempts you to take an evening stroll along the promenade. The beautiful winter garden restaurant with a view of the lake invites you to stop. 1 night with breakfast.
     
  • St. Gallen: Einstein-Hotel****
    Four-star hotel with very comfortable furnishings behind a classical facade. It is ideally located for an evening stroll through the nearby old town and the venerable district of St. Gallen Cathedral and its monastery district. 1 night with breakfast.
     
  • Gottlieben: Hotel Porto Sofie***
    The historic, listed half-timbered house is picturesquely situated on the banks of the Seerhein / Bodensee in the idyllic and romantic Gottlieben. Living here is an exclusive pleasure, because in summer this house is often booked out well in advance for weddings and anniversaries. The hotel only reopened in April 2021 after a renovation. The historical character of the house was retained. All 31 rooms are lovingly and individually furnished.

    A comfort restriction arises due to its different room sizes, which are due to the historical floor plan. Some rooms are quite small. But the very atmospheric ambience in a fantastic location makes up for it. 

    An equivalent historical hotel (3-star) directly on the lakeshore in Gottlieben is the neighboring hotel "Drachenburg", which we use when the "Porto Sofie" is fully booked.
     

Please note: The hotels mentioned are the accommodations included in the tour price. If a hotel is fully booked on your preferred date, we will inquire about and offer equivalent alternatives. If these hotel alternatives are more expensive than our contract hotels for this trip, we will have to charge you a surcharge for these additional costs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • SKILL LEVEL: 
    EASY–MODERATE: Rating a bike tour is one of the hardest things we do. What you find difficult or easy depends on your own personal physical condition and training. The itinerary leads through a gently rolling landscape on forest and meadow paths. The total distance is approx. 213-220 km. On some days, you will enjoy a very flat route and on other days, the itinerary leads through rolling hills with great panoramic views and wonderful landscapes. To cycle through the picturesque idyll of the hinterland, you do need a little extra effort on a few days. If you are concerned and don’t want to worry about your own fitness and ability, we recommend an electric bike.
     
  • DAY OF DEPARTURE
    Sunday departures April 2 through October 30, 2022
    The minimum number of participants for this self-guided tour is 2. Special tour start days may be possible on request and will incur a supplement.
     
  • AIRPORT INFO
    The closest and largest international airport to your tour start and end is Zurich International Airport (ZRH), located 58 km from Überlingen.
     
  • LOCAL TRAVEL
    Zurich Airport railway station is a railway station is located underneath the main ground-side passenger terminal of the airport. Here you can access a train to Überlingen. Please note that train travel, though not lengthy, will entail a transfer in Schaffhausen. The train station in Überlingen is still one mile from your hotel so you will need to take a taxi. Train travel time is approx. 2 1/2 hours. Train travel costs vary but will be between €60 - €110 per person. If you prefer a private transfer from the airport to your first hotel, this can be arranged. Please see pricing.

     
  • RENTAL BIKES

    Touring Bike: 
    The rental bikes are comfortable 28” trekking bike, equipped with Shimano eight-speed gearbox or a new 24-speed chain/gear hub with freewheel. You can choose between a male model (with top-tube) and a unisex model with low-step frame. Both are available in different frame sizes. The handlebars are ergonomically shaped. All bikes are equipped with a rack (rear wheel) and ideal for multi-day trips with bike panniers.

    Electric Bike: In addition to touring bikes, e-bikes (pedelecs) are also offered from the brands EBIKE / Velo de Ville / Kreidler. These are all equipped with a powerful battery and have a BOSCH or SHIMANO mid-engine, which will give you a pleasant tailwind on your bike tour.

     
  • CLIMATE
    The climate in the Lake Constance region is very mild with warm summers and moderate winters and can therefore almost be described as Mediterranean and owes it fame in fruit and wine growing to the warm and sunny climate. In spring, millions of fruit trees and spring flowers bloom covering the meadows in the rural area. The summer and autumn are particularly attractive due to the lush cherry and apple trees and the full grapevines. From April to October, the weather is ideal for cycling and discovering the beauties of this region. Please do check the local conditions before your arrival.
     
  • REMARKS
    This unique itinerary utilizes cycling routes that explore the still, quiet, and picturesque hinterland on the German and Swiss side of the lake, allowing you to avoid the crowd of cyclists directly on the lakeshore. The routes are planned with meticulous precision to avoid the tourist hotspots and the traffic that threatens to dispel the magic of the landscape. You will not utilize the “official” cycle paths on busier roads, but use forest and meadow paths. You will cycle the official Lake Constance Cycle Path along the bank on the Austrian side of the lake on Day 4 because here the Alps reach almost directly to the lake and it is not possible to switch to the hinterland. However, this stage is very beautiful as it leads through the nature reserve of the Rhine Delta.
     
  • IMPORTANT TO KNOW
    Due to the changing requirements for entry, it is imperative that you stay up to date on requirements set by the country/countries that you are visiting. Please visit our Travel Restrictions Tool page and the country/countries government webpage for this information.

    Documents: Before you travel, please check the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have proper identification. For US citizens, the U.S. Passports & International Travel website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. It is important to research before you travel as airlines will not permit boarding if you do not have the required valid documents.
     
  • We recommend that you make copies of your important documents and papers (insurance cards, etc.). Leave a copy at home and have a copy with you. In the unfortunate situation that you lose your original documents, having copies facilitates the replacement process.

    *Important note: Please check on the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) status as once implemented, this will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.
     
  • Insurance: Before traveling, we strongly recommend you review your personal insurance and health insurance to ensure you have coverage appropriate to meet your needs, and the needs of your family and dependants, in case of any loss of property or illness, injury, or death.