Cycling around Lake Constance
The main lake east of Konstanz is called the Obersee (Upper Lake), while the smaller western parts are known as Untersee (Lower Lake) and Überlinger See.
Stunning natural beauty, historical sights and great variety: Over a distance of 260 kilometers (160 miles), you can cycle around most of Lake Constance, which is shared by the three bordering countries Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Frequented by over 220.000 cyclists per year, this is one of Europe's most popular cycle routes. The path looping around the lake can be taken in either direction and is clearly – if inconsistently – signposted.
Eastern part of Lake Constance
Konstanz - Meersburg - Friedrichshafen
Traditionally, a tour of Lake Constance begins in the German town of Konstanz, which lies at the center of the three lake parts. Konstanz, an old University town on the Swiss border, lies on the Rhine Cycle Path. But Friedrichshafen and Bregenz are also well connected and make good starting points.Thanks to a wide choice of ferry and train connections, you can tailor your own shortcuts or avoid bad weather spells. With so much to see in each of the historical lakeside towns, this is the perfect route for those who like to cycle at an easy, rather than an athletic, pace.
Meersburg, across from Konstanz, is a famous medieval town and boasts not one castle, but two. The town itself is split into an upper and lower part, connected by steep stairways, and surrounded by vineyards.
Friedrichshafen is the birthplace of the Zeppelin and offers modern airship flights over the surrounding scenery.
Lindau - Bregenz - St. Gallen
To get to the lovely old town of Lindau, which lies on an island on the northern shore of Lake Constance, take a bridge from the mainland. Don't miss the famous harbor entrance with the lighthouse and a Bavarian Lion sculpture while you stroll around the pretty houses and alleyways.
On the brief Austrian stretch, the city of Bregenz is famous for its open-air opera festival on a stage floating on the water. For those looking to relax, there is an art museum and a beach. To get up high for those Alpine views, ride up the Pfänder mountain on your bike – or take the cable car.
Passing into Switzerland, the south side of the Lake Constance Cycle Path offers 70 flat kilometers (45 miles) via Rorschach, Arbon and Romanshorn. From here it is not far to St. Gallen with its beautiful Abbey Cathedral.
Western part of Lake Constance
Medieval town of Stein am Rhein
An absolute gem on the Lake Constance Cycle Path is the medieval town of Stein am Rhein, situated on the Untersee (Lower Lake). It is famous for its beautiful frescoes and a must-see stop before leaving Switzerland. As the name suggests, Stein lies on the Rhine, and this part of the route is characterized by the great river. It also coincides with the Rhine Cycle Path.
The Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen
At the far end of the Untersee (Lower Lake), the most western point of the Lake Constance Cycle Path has a special treat in store for its visitors. Cycle just past the Swiss town of Schaffhausen to see the Rhine Falls. Europe’s largest waterfall is most impressive after the snowmelt in early summer. Cool off on a refreshing boat trip in the spray!
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