Headwater - Lake Constance Self-Guided Cycling

11 days
from
3,245 CAD
incl. taxes
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Traveller ratings
3.5 / 5 from 2 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
C10LC
Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Premium Adventures
Activity:
Cycling
Min group size:
1
Min age:
8

Postcard-pretty villages, half-timbered, frescoed towns, cafe-lined waterfronts and stunning mountain views dotted around Lake Constance

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.

Highlights

  • Cycle through postcard-pretty villages and stunning mountain views
  • Visit Baroque churches, Gothic cathedrals, fairytale palaces, romantic castles
  • Swim every day

Key information

  • 10 nights 3 to 4-star hotels, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days cycling with luggage transfers
  • 20% on quiet tarmac roads, 80% on cycle paths and tracks
  • Optional electric bikes
  • The terrain is perfect for first timers.
  • Countries visited: Austria, Switzerland, Germany

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 8 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All luggage transfers
  • Route notes and maps
  • Ferry ticket from Staad to Meersburg included
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Optional electric bikes
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Days of Cycling
Day by day breakdown
Day 241.0km/25.0miles
Day 459.0km/37.0miles
Day 645.0km/28.0miles
Day 825.0km/16.0miles
Day 1033.0km/21.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Bregenz
to
Bregenz
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Bregenz

    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.
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Bregenz to Arbon

    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.

    Two routes: 24km/15mi or 41km/25mi
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    At Arbon

    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 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. There's lots of swimming possibilities before an easy waterfront cycle back to the hotel.
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Arbon to Stein am Rhein

    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/26mi or 59km/37mi
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    At Stein am Rhein

    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'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!
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Stein am Rhein to Konstanz

    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 on to Konstanz, the unofficial regional capital. 
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    At Konstanz

    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.
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Konstanz to Friedrichshafen

    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. 
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    At Friedrichshafen

    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.
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 10

    Friedrichshafen to Bregenz

    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! 
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 11

    Leave Bregenz

    Leave Bregenz

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Switzerland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Austria

There are no specific health risks.

Switzerland

There are no specific health risks.

Germany

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

We have included all breakfasts and eight evening meals, leaving you free to try some of Konstanz's many restaurants. Look out for local specialities like kretzer (perch) and zander (pike-perch) on the menu, accompanied by fine local wines.

Weather

Lake Constance has a big influence on the local climate due to its size, resulting in a moderate maritime climate. Summers are pleasant and winters cool, but not bitterly cold. The average summer temperature is 25 C, perfect for cycling.

Is this trip for you?

Exploring by bike is by far the best way to travel here as a 270km cycling path leads from country to country, taking in daisy-strewn meadows, billowing wheat fields, Bavarian vineyards and picturesque marinas. Not only does this itinerary offer easy, level cycling on lakeside paths, the flexibility of our route notes is also a huge bonus. We give you fully detailed cycling notes to take you from each hotel to the next; if however, you wish to shorten, or lengthen, your route at any point, simply hop on the local train or boat - taking your bike with you - and tailor your journey to suit.

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
Average daily distance: 32km (20 miles).
No. of days cycling: 5
Terrain and route: The suggested cycling mainly follows quiet tarmac roads and cycle paths with a few sections on dirt roads. The terrain is mainly flat with a few undulating sections, ideal for first timers.

Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

Your accommodation is varied; you stay in an old coaching inn, a grand riverside hotel and a luxury lakeside mansion. We've tried to ensure that you are never far from the waterfront, with its pebble beaches, colourful marinas and half-timbered houses.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed August 2018
    Andrew Singfield

    Great cycling

    Cycling around Lake Constance is a great experience - good cycle paths, lovely views across the lake, nice towns and few hills. We went as a group of four with one person using an e-bike. As infrequent cyclists we found the pace very comfortable and the directions easy to follow. The area is geared up for cyclists with lots of paths. The standard of accommodation was good with clean rooms, enough luggage space and generally helpful staff. The only reason for a 3* (good) rating is that the meals were a bit of a let down. The food is high quality but the choice is limited. In some of the hotels we felt a bit like second class diners as others on the full menu got more attentive service. In reality this holiday would be so much better if evening meals were not included - giving travelers the chance to find local restaurants (of which there are lots in all the areas). Unfortunately four courses, slow service and limited dining times did mean we sometimes felt a little trapped in the evenings when it would have been nicer to explore the locality (plus be prepared to shell out a lot for wine if you want a drink with your meal). But this format might work for some people and everything else about the trip was fantastic (e.g. brilliant bikes, scenery, towns) so do get to this part of the world if you can.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Constant views of the stunning lake.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Self-guided.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Kim Hurst

    A great achievement

    April is too early for this trip as it is still their winter season. Some boats etc are not running and we did end up cycling in snow one day! However we really enjoyed the week, we were very proud of our cycling achievement. There are occasional short hills to get the heart going but mostly this trip is all on flat good quality cycle paths. The hotels are mostly very good quality and where dinners were provided these were good. 4 courses was a bit much to be honest. We paid single supplements and the rooms in Konstanz and Friedrichshafen were small. In particular the Friedrichshafen hotel is inadequate- our rooms were cell- like with single beds up against the wall, nowhere to sit and a view of a wall. It was a bit depressing especially as the downstairs is very dark and oppressive. Really a come down after the other hotels.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The mountain scenery is stunning.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A bit of German helps! Not all railway employees etc were all that helpful. Be aware that the hotel in Friedrichshafen requires you to pay for drinks etc as you go along as you cannot charge to your room. When we ate out in Konstanz we were a bit taken aback that they didn't take cards. Doing the trip over 10 days helps as the rest days help recovery. Even though we went before the summer we found lots of things to do.

Dates & Prices

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