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Germany, Austria & Switzerland: Bavarian Alps & Lake Constance Reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Exploring Nature on bike trails of Bodensee

I discovered that Cuckoos aren’t just in clocks. They are in the woods
surrounding Lake Constance. Frequently cycling on this tour I would hear their cuckoo, cuckoo, and would stop riding and stand and listen.
They must be masters of camouflage. I never did see a cuckoo.

During a leisurely stroll on Mainau Island I stopped to admire a Hanky Tree. This tree is from China and at first I thought small sheets of paper had been hung on the branches. Nature can be so interesting!

Diana, Illinois

5 out of 5 stars

Nothing but Superlatives

Great biking (not too many hills), great food (white asparagus was in season) and great leaders (helpful, informative and FUN!)

Kathy9131, Lincoln NE

5 out of 5 stars

Lake Constance is a tour of pristine lakesides and rural areas.

The feel of the Lake Constance is of clean, pristine natural beauty. You cycle through a variety of waterfront and rural areas and it is all so orderly and well cared for. There are several true garden spots, both flowers and salads-to-be. The cycling is easy which enables you to take in, admire, and truly appreciate the landscape. There were moments of feeling like you were in a photo spread of a well-illustrated travel magazine.

Marf, Nashville, TN

2 out of 5 stars

Tour needs some work

We just got back from the Lake Constance tour. This tour is brand new this year and VBT has a lot of kinks to work out. While the lake was pretty and some scenery was beautiful, many of the bike paths were just next to railroad tracks or busy roads and the lake was not visible. Many of the towns we stayed in were nice, but overall the biking was not especially pretty or scenic. The mileage was very low every day and the trip should be rated as not even just easy, but beginner.
The first day we took a ferry across the lake and biked through Switzerland and Austria. This was the only time (maybe 20 minutes) that the tour was in Austria and only about one hour in Switzerland. The tour description is misleading suggesting more time in those countries. We stopped in Bregenz and took the cable car up the mountain. This was not included on the tour but after I mentioned it to our guides, they told the rest of the group and we all went up. Perhaps VBT should include this on the tour. It was a beautiful view over the lake from the top of the hill. The schnapps distillery tour that was promised in the afternoon was not offered. When we were deciding on a trip, this was one of the reasons we picked this one, so were very disappointed that this was had been cancelled. The hotel in Lindau was beautiful and right on the lake although it appeared that VBT was given the absolute worst rooms since everyones room overlooked an interior courtyard.
The hotel and time in Meersburg was the best part of the trip. It was lovely, the rooms large and the staff incredibly helpful. The town is charming and we had a great dinner/wine tasting in the hotel restaurant the first night and a lovely walk into the old town the next night.
The fondue lunch was great and at an excellent cheese shop, however many of our group lingered at a museum in the morning and the owner of the cheese shop was clearly upset that we were not there on schedule. The fondue making was supposed to be a group process but since we arrived well before all the others, my family and one other couple made the fondue. It was fine for us, but the rest of the tour group did not get to participate.
The visit to Mainau was wonderful and the gardens were gorgeous, however the biking around Richenau was not particularly pretty and the bike paths took us through mainly greenhouses and agricultural fields. While the old church was interesting, the rest of the island was not.
On the day of the picnic, it was raining so we went to a restaurant along the route. We were offered a small bowl of oversalted soup and a small salad that was so overdressed as to be inedible. Many of us did not eat any of the lunch. VBT should have rain plans for things like this. It appeared our guides just planned this at the last minute since the directions to the restaurant were vague. We were told it was at distance 5.8 on our daily bike route but instead was at 10+.
Lastly, the hotel in Konstanz was TERRIBLE….an absolute DUMP! . For the amount of money we paid, to be stuck in a third rate hotel for three nights was insane. Tripadvisor actually rates this as one of the worst hotels in the town. The furniture was dirty and stained and the towels threadbare and grey. The rooms were so small that my husband and I could not get up and walk around at the same time. The shower was so tiny that every time I turned around, I would hit the faucet and turn it off. The area was noisy and we were woken up every morning at 4:00 by street cleaners and other road noise. The rooms were hot with no ventilation and the front desk staff was overworked and barely had time to answer any questions. From others on our trip who have been on multiple VBT trips, we were told that this was the rock bottom, worst hotel they had EVER stayed in and one couple even went so far as to look for another hotel.
The only upside of this vacation were the two guides. Andy and Martin were absolutely fantastic. Despite the rain for half the tour, they were cheerful and enthusiastic. They always had great restaurant recommendations and were knowledgeable about the area and the history. On the last day, we wanted to visit the Rhine Falls and Martin gave us an extremely helpful itinerary on how to get there by train, including times, tracks and costs for each leg of the trip. We took the excursion boat back and he even had times for that as well as connecting train information.
After this trip, I’m not sure we would go on another VBT tour although from what I heard from the rest of the group, this trip was unusual and other tours are much better. The routes were not very pretty and many of the activities, such as Mainau, would be better offered as a side excursion than as part of the main tour (as well as the trip to the prehistoric village). The bike routes were too short each day and the short option only consisted of not biking for the whole day and taking the van back to the hotel. Having not done a VBT tour before, I don’t know if that is typical, but I imagined that the short option would take you back to the hotel and the longer mileage would be side trips to other areas. As I heard from other people on our tour “We could be biking anywhere”. Rain plans would also be a good idea. On one day, we were told that we could sit in the van all day and drive to the next hotel or pay for a boat ride to the Meersburg. The alternate lunch for the picnic day was inedible. The rainy season in the area ends in early July so perhaps starting this tour later in the season would be better as it rained on most of our trip and we were told this was common for the time of year. VBT should reassess the route and change the Konstanz hotel.

Response from: Product Team

Thank you for your candid feedback about your experience. We’re sorry to hear that parts of the tour did not meet your expectations. We continually make improvements to our tours based on constructive guest feedback. Some of your concerns are being, or have already been, addressed. To follow up on your feedback:

Two of our rides travel through Switzerland, and as you pointed out, only one ride goes through Austria. Because of how Lake Constance is situated, most of the highlights of the region are located in Germany. Our goal is to feature the best aspects the region has to offer.

Yes, the Pfänder cable car offers spectacular views of Lake Constance. We’re happy to hear you enjoyed your ride up the mountain and that you were able to share that experience with other travelers in your group. Because we already spend time traveling by ferry across Lake Constance in the morning, we opted to offer more cycling as part of our itinerary in the afternoon. Of course, the cable car is an option for travelers who might be interested.

In order to incorporate more time riding along the lake, we chose to replace the schnapps tasting in Austria with a wine tasting in Constance. We have received positive feedback from our travelers regarding this change.

We are aware of the issues with the final hotel in Constance. Our guests will be staying in a new hotel starting in September of 2014. Thank you for sharing your concerns.

Our rain plans on the final day of riding includes an indoor lunch, instead of our typical outdoor picnic spread. Thanks for your feedback regarding the quality of this lunch.

In regards to the routes, the tour is advertised as an easy tour–ideal for beginner cyclists with longer options available for more avid bikers. There are daily options available for riders up to 35 miles daily.

Thanks for your positive comments about trip leaders, Andy and Martin, as well. We will be sure to share your kudos with them.

Morrie63, New York, NY, USA

4 out of 5 stars

Nice hotels, bike paths, interesting sights to see

Hottest weather in Germany for the whole time made no air conditioning in hotels nor restaurants uncomfortable. Will never go to Germany in June again. And, it was Pentecost weekend, a huge 3 day weekend in Germany when every German and their bicycle rode the same paths we did – very crowded – would recommend not offering the trip on that weekend again.
The bicycles were very nice. The transportation worked extremely well and city guides that VBT provided were knowledgeable and helpful. Our trip guides were good – didn’t always seem to know where we were when we got lost. I had trouble telling 0.2 km from 0.3 km, especially when the route description of the road sign seemed like it fit so I was lost a couple of times as were many others.
The visit to the neolithic remains outside Meersburg was really nice. We had a couple wine tastings or parties which were fun. Mainau Island was a delight – best Butterfly House I’ve been in. The lake was lovely and easy to get around by ferry and nice to get in the water on such hot days. Hotels in Lindau, Meersburg, and Zurich were wonderful. Hotel in Munich was in a good position for getting around the city on the pre-trip. Hotel in Konstanz was terrible – dirty and small and noisy. Not a good place to stay.

Response from: Product team

Thanks for your positive review of the Lake Constance tour, as well as your helpful feedback. Yes, Germany was hit by record high temperatures this June. We hope you were able to enjoy the swimming in Lake Constance to relax and cool off after riding. We have received feedback from other guests and our leaders about the crowds during the Pentecost weekend and are not planning to operate during that weekend in 2015. Our aim is to provide route notes that are as accurate and usable as possible. We continue to strive to improve our routes and notes. We’re happy to hear you enjoyed your accommodations on tour. We will be working with a new property in Konstanz starting in September 2014. Thanks again for your helpful feedback on our Lake Constance tour.

Lindabikes, Sequim, WA, USA

5 out of 5 stars

June turned out to be a perfect time for this trip

Busy riding but beautiful our weather turned out to be perfect June is a good time for this trip.

Buck, Michigan, USA

5 out of 5 stars

A European gem that most people never heard of

I wanted a trip where the biking was described as “easy” and our guide last year recommended the area. But I knew almost nothing about this region. What a memorable experience. The park at Mainau was spectacular. The hotel in Meersburg was lovely and we had a memorable wine tasting on its lawn. The cheese fondue restaurant was great as was the chocolate fondue dessert. Best of all was the group we biked with. Everyone looking out for each other; couln’t have been a nicer group; we lucked out.

evanB, Atlanta, GA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Awesome experience

This was our first VBT trip and first time in Europe, also my 50th B-day present from the hubby. I am hooked. To be able to take in the smells, scenery and sights on a bike was amazing. I was hoping to lose weight on this vacation with all the exercise but did not because of the beer and food was very enjoyable. I will never forget the experiences of this trip and have already booked a trip to Tuscany by the Sea with VBT.

Donna B, Cape Cod, MA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

lake constance

great views and bike paths . everyone rides bikes in the area

hench, Bellevue, WA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Good title

This was a very enjoyable trip. We stayed in great hotels situated within walking distance of many sites. The bike rides were fun and through very beautiful county. The towns were picturesque and easy to navigate.

5 out of 5 stars

Biking the Bodensee

This was my 10th VBT trip and as usual everything was wonderful, especially our 2 guides Andi and Kristen. Andi has been my guide 3 times and he is extremely dedicated and professional in his duties!! When one of our bikers injured his leg Andi immediately went into first aid action. It was pouring down rain but the injured rider felt so much better after Andi cleaned his wound and taped him up that he decided to ride to 20 miles back to our hotel!! Kristen has an enthusiasm that is contagious. She is energetic and makes everybody have a good time!! We loved being taken to her home for cake and coffee and seeing the lovely garden around her home.
I loved all the hotels on this trip with the exception of the Munich hotel. I lived in Munich for 3 years and I would much have preferred to be near the Marienplatz. Being right across the street from the Ost Bahnhof was not a very desirable location. It was noisy and dirty. The Hotel Stadt Rosenheim staff however couldn’t have been nicer!! They ran out of ice every night and I told them that Americans LOVE ice. She said they were working on getting a larger icemaker. I never felt the magic of Munich that one gets staying near its “heart”. I’m sure VBT could find a reasonably priced hotel in the Marienplatz area. The food on this trip was excellent. No complaints there. Andi also grilled some brats and other German sausages for our picnic. All in all I had a wonderful time and am planning on going to Normandy next year. I am trying to convince several of my friends to go with me!!

Response from: Product Team

Thanks for your feedback regarding our Lake Constance tour, including the trip leaders, lodging, and food. 66% of our travelers have rated the location of the Hotel Stadt Rosenheim as excellent and said they enjoyed the easy access by foot and rail to many places in Munich, including the Marienplatz (only 7 minutes or 3 stops away), and throughout Bavaria.

Charlie123, Jacksonville, FL, United States

4 out of 5 stars

Great Guides!

This was my 1st tour and it was beautiful! Our tour guides, Andy & Kristen, were awesome, the hotels were great, food was great. I hope I will be able to do another tour again.

Mrst, Kentucky, United States

3 out of 5 stars

Some nice rides but routes often crowded.

My 6th VBT bike trip and clearly the least good. Needs work. Routes often coerwed near lake with bikers and walkers.

Response from: Product Team

Thanks for your feedback regarding the routes on our Lake Constance tour. It is a spectacular region and popular for cyclists from around the world. We make an effort to avoid the most popular paths at busy times, while still sharing the beauty of Lake Constance. There are also opportunities for riding through the surrounding countryside and villages. Many of our travelers enjoy the opportunity to be in a part of the world where cycling is a way of life.

RAUD, Naples Florida

5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful Scenery, Great Leader and Good Friends

Went to Germany, Austria and Switzerland with 19 close friends travelling as a group which we have done for about 20 years. The biking was perfect as was the food along the way. Our group leader (Andy) was one of the best we have had over the years. My wife and I would recommend this trip to anyone.

Brian L, Reston, VA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Excellent time!

Our guides did a wonderful job of showing us all the wonderful things to see. They adapted to our group’s needs. The cycling was manageable despite the heat, and the scenery was delightful.

Kat W, Providence, RI, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Great accommodation

We enjoyed it so much, we will probably do another one

none used, Minneapolis, MN, United States

4 out of 5 stars

Excellent cultural experience, super guides

Cycling average, guides super, great location, hotels excellent

Ann Brady, Telluride, CO

5 out of 5 stars

Bicycle trip

The trip was fabulous. Andreas Alber (Andy) and Zsuzsanna Szurocev (Suzy) were exceptional tour guides. The bike tour was very scenic. There were fun things to do as a group having fondue, seeing museums, culture of the countries. Everything was planned out beautifully.Thanks for a wonderful experience.

lady lynn, Amelia island, Florida

5 out of 5 stars

Great guides, beautiful location, great trip!

Andi & Martin did a fabulous job as guides, they took such great care of us. This was a beautiful lake with a lot to see. The hotels were beautiful, great bikes

Donnabird, Denver, CO, United States

3 out of 5 stars

The Lake Constance itinerary needs work.

This was the 9th VBT biking trip for us and the one we enjoyed the least. The hotels were well located, clean & comfortable. Sponsored meals were fine. Cultural side trips & event were interesting and well chosen. Andy & Martin were well organized, efficient, sociable, knowledgeable, and attentive to the needs of all.
The itinerary needs a lot of reworking. No previous trip required 7 pages of route
notes to take us through the day. It was necessary for trip leaders to lead the riders & this fact took away the enjoyment & challenge of finding our way. Not really a
very scenic ride when half the afternoon is spent going past a cluster of greenhouses. More time was spent in urban areas & less time in rural and small villages than on our previous trips. There also were numerous changes required due to detours.

Response from: Customer Service

We appreciate your candid feedback regarding the bike routes and agree in order to be exposed to all of the areas our guests expect to see on this trip, the scenery can be less rural then our other Italian tours. Our product team is looking into seeing if any improvements can be made.

Regards,

worak, Lexington KY

5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful scenery

This is a lovely bike tour through varied and beautiful scenery around Lake Constance on bike paths connecting small farming villages, historic sites, and lakeside resorts.

easyrider, Illinois, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Better than I could have dreamed

Everything about the trip was amazing. The guides were stellar! They were fun and knowledgable. The sights, sounds and tastes were fantastic. I like how we didn’t just go to tourist traps. We were really immersed in the culture. As soon as I got home I wanted to go again! Best trip of my life!!

Frohnatur, Arvada, CO, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Full days of biking and touring

My third VBT trip and it was as great as expected. Bike paths were so pleasant with great scenery and towns were eye candy, popping with color and unique architectural details.

Lucky Mushroom, Rochester NY

5 out of 5 stars

Lake Constance

Cycling in the Alps and around Lake Constance was amazing. The ride was breathtaking and our trip leaders were knowledgeable, warm and fun. We were able to see beautiful countryside, visit historical sites, meet some of the locals, interact with our group and learn about the culture. Our team leaders made the trip for me because they really care about people and they have so much pride in their country. I attended this trip with my 74 year old mom and both of my sisters. It was a fabulous way to see Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Hats off to you – VBT does it right. This trip was fabulous and I loved it!

Dana E, Lancaster, PA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Our Rainbow Vacation

It rained, it poured. We had a great trip! Our guides, Kristin and Bodhi made our trip fantastic despite lots of rain and cloudy skies. We laughed, we connected with fellow cyclers, we had so much fun!
The scenery was beautiful with small villages and mountain views being our favorites. The hotels were lovely. If we needed something, Kristin and Bodhi took care of it. We ate well, we slept well and we rode many miles on great bikes.
This is a great tour and we highly recommend it!

VickiHess, Baltimore, MD, United States

5 out of 5 stars

A most enjoyable and rewarding experience!

This was the first cycling vacation that my wife and I have participated in. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Our fellow cyclists were very compatible, the leaders were terrific and the accommodations were very good. The rides, in general, met my definition of easy and were uniformly beautiful and interesting. We would definitely recommend the your.

Chickie, Connecticut, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Exceeded Expectations!

Could there be better ambassadors for VBT than tour leaders Kristen and Suzy? I doubt it. These gals were competent, deeply knowledgeable, committed to ensuring a great trip for all and just plain fun.

Be forewarned however: this trip is not “Easy” More like easy to moderate.

The trip itself: Great hotels–clean, comfortable, with great staff. The rides were different every day and ranged from biking through the “Sound of Music” Alps, to walking the “garden island” of Mainau. Great stops along the way (including the beer garden right on the bike path) as well as some half days (at UNESCO sites, etc.)

Our group loved the glimpse into the local economy with such charming, interesting and generous souls as the Dairy Queen, Regina and her compelling personal story; and Florenz, who hosted a taste=bud tingling chocolate sampling. (We bought out the store after that.)

Our group was quite diverse, with some seasoned and serious bikers, some casual bikers and some non-riders. All were accommodated, with grace.

This was my first trip with VBT and I will be back. Thank you!

Marybeth, New Jersey

5 out of 5 stars

Nice introduction to German Culture.

Germany was way prettier than I imagined. The rides were a nice mix of urban and rural.

SteveW, Cincinnati, OH, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Easy Ride, Beautiful countryside, great leaders

This was a lovely trip, with beautiful scenery, good food, great lodgings. Our trip leaders were great fun, knowledgeable, respectful, and helpful.

MaggieLu, California

5 out of 5 stars

Another great VBT trip

We used the Munich pre-trip to train to Neuschwanstein Castle and Dachau. On the final day we took a train to visit to St. Gallen. The main bike trip had beautiful scenery and exceptional accommodations.

JohnT, Gwynedd, PA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

More then I expected

This trip around Lake Constance through 3 countries was definitely one of our top 5 cycling trips. We have taken close to 18 trips with VBT and while I expected it to be a good experience both for the cycling and for the eyes it was so much more. If it is on your bucket list be sure and sign up.

Sidbean, Glenview, IL, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly Beautiful

This tour exceeded our expectations. It was our sixth bike tour and we thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip. Many small towns were on the ride and the views were spectacular. The guides were experienced and very helpful. Most of the time was spent in southern Germany around Lake Constance, an upscale vacation spot for Europeans.

BobA, Massachusetts

5 out of 5 stars

Trip of a lifetime

My husband and I went on this trip to Lake Constance and just returned a few days ago. One day biking in beautiful surroundings, I asked myself if I had actually had died and this was truly heaven!! We met wonderful people, biked through sweet little towns, mountains, streams, fields lush with vegetables and fruit, vineyards and other amazing scenes. The leaders were awesome, had a real sense of their cultural heritage, always looked after us and were concerned that we had the best time possible, The food was exceptional and the hotels amazing. I wish I was still there!

BobA, Massachusetts

5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful scenery.

This was our 3rd trip with VBT and it was absolutely great! Our guides were very fun and experienced – Kristin was an absolute blast and Martin was so kind and cheerful. Lake Constance (Bodensee) is a beautiful area and it’s a shame that more Americans aren’t familiar with it. VBT’s hotels, food, and cultural diversions were all top notch. We chose the shorter bike route one day so we’d have time to hit the thermal spa before dinner – worth it! For those up for a dip in the Bodensee, Kristen found us a couple of nice beaches along the route. The water was a bit chilly but very refreshing! Keep a swimsuit in your Gucci bag. The scenery was beautiful, especially the day up in the Swiss Alps (nearly all downhill). Most of the biking was on bike trails or rural farm roads and was smooth, pleasant, and definitely easy as advertised. There was some gravel in spots, more than expected, but it was manageable. Our only complaint is that the route notes need improvement. They were confusing and, as far as we could tell, incorrect in places. We had PHDs and CEOs in our group yet we managed to get lost just about every day! (Our guide was busy tending to other riders). But you know what they say… you’re never lost, you’re just exploring!

SFandPS, Oak Hill, VA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

An Awesome Adventure

I am so EXCITED to share with you an AMAZING experience! A little background information: The traditional economy of the Alps is based on rearing fat dairy cows who spend the summer (120 days) high in the lush Alpine pastures. There is a seasonal migration from September to early October when the herds are brought down from the high Alpine pastures and herded down to the lower pastures. The cows walk non-stop (up to 30 miles). This is a huge event in this area of Austria with music, dancing, parades, etc. as the animals return home with a traditional procession (Alpabrieb).

We were on our way to Schooppernau, Austria to start the day’s bike ride when the bus came to a halt along with all of the other traffic. People were standing alongside the road watching as a group of cattle dressed for this festive occasion slowly made their way down the road. Our group jumped off of the bus and joined the crowd to take photos of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. We could hear them clanking their way towards us.

The cows wore pine branches along with flowers that symbolize a good, healthy summer for the cattle. The herdsmen wore traditional clothes with lederhosen and hats with pine branches. The different herds that we witnessed wore different sized bells and a variety of greenery.

We got back on the bus after the first herd, only to get off the bus again and again for different herds and their parades. Our tour guides had to change our plans for the day, and finally pulled off the road and we rode down the Alps from there (shortening the day’s ride).

VBT Cyclists, Oregon, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Trip

Such a fun trip. The leaders, Kristin and Martin, were amazing. The tag line of our vacation became, “There are always options”. I don’t know how they accommodated everyone’s needs but they did. The biking, scenery and activities were phenomenal. We loved the fondue dinner and the extra enhancement of Dan the guitar player made the night memorable.

pammycpa, Chicago, IL, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Best trip with best friends and best guides

We planned this trip for a year! Should have been twelve friends enjoying this fab trip,we lost three due to situations at home. But the nine who made this wonderful trip enjoyed every second. The pre-trip in Munich truly worth the extra time taken, such perfect city to sightsee and taste the culture!! The biking thrust Germany , Austria , and Switzerland were by far some of the most beautiful and magical places we have ever been. Collectively we are a very well traveled group,we all found this tour one of our very favorites! Our guides Kirstin and Martin were super perfect for this tour as well as being wonderful fun and super professional guides to the region, customs and the terrain. Can’t say enough about how amazing these two truly are as guides.

Debby 1, Chicago, IL, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Great Tour

Our vacation was flawless. Guides were knowledgeable, flexible, accommodating and FUN! We saw such beautiful countryside and felt like locals.

Marianne Bill, San Diego, CA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Breathtaking Scenery and Fun Biking.

This was a trip of a lifetime for my daughter and I. We’ve both traveled a lot but this was our first bike tour. It’s a wonderful active way to experince this part of Europe. We biked down the mountains in Austria (my favorite day) as well as in Switzerland. In Germany we biked along the beautiful lake and through villages, countrysides, and forests. Kristen and Andy were incredible leaders. They were knowledgeable, professional, caring, and fun. They went out of their way to give us a top notch experience. We had 2 home hosted lunches that were fabulous, a spectacular wine tasting experience, and a couple of cultural tours. The hotels and food were exceptional. We were mostly right by the water and walking distance to all that we wanted to explore. We felt safe at all times. Nice balance of autonomy if desired and support/safety. The bikes were of good quality and well maintained.
VBT is the company to go with and I loved the Bodensee which is what the Germans call Lake Constance.

MomBear, Oregon

5 out of 5 stars

Amazing trip!

We just finished the Lake Constance trip and couldn’t have been happier. We cycling through beautiful Austrian, German, and Swiss countryside on mostly car free bike trails and some roads with very few cars. Group leaders Kristin and Andreas took care of everyone and made things run smoothly. If you have dreamed of seeing Alpine scenery and lovely a lakeside, take this trip!

janedeb, Long Beach, CA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

VBT does it again. Best Yet!

I can’t say enough about this tour. Love, love, loved it. The rides were very easy & we saw incredible sites, beautiful accommodations and a very fun group of people. Kristen & Andy took this tour to the next level.

Bmore, Saint Louis, MO, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Highly recommend!

Perfect combination of nice riding on dedicated bike paths and opportunities to experience the culture of this beautiful region. We LOVED this itinerary. Kristin and Andi were the perfect tour leaders — made everything seamless and kept us laughing. This was my third VBT trip and my husband’s first. Maybe because I talked it up too much, he was a little skeptical before the tour. But by day 2 was “in” for our next one! Thanks, VBT!

Alex13, Noblesville, IN, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Great balance

I took this trip with my 88 y/o dad, 85 y/o mom, my 3 siblings and a few spouses. How lucky I am! The guides did a fabulous job of integrating culture, history and the lovely countryside and worked tirelessly to make sure we all had a fantastic experience. There was something for everyone! If you like easy biking, a blend of city and alpine scenery then this trip is for you!

Mary1220, Grand Rapids, MI, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Bodensee - Beautiful

Our 5 VBT trip, this one did not disappoint. Great guides, great setting, beautiful rides and very nice accommodations.

Dave S, Chicago, IL, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful!

Great itinerary and accommodations, fantastic trip leaders, fun group of fellow cyclists, delicious food and drink, beautiful scenery, and interesting cultural side-trips in a unique part of the world. A wonderful trip!

Geroldm, Bradenton, FL, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Natural beauty, history -- and great food

Lake Constance is a popular resort area for good reason. The towns date back centuries (even millennia if you count the prehistoric offshore stilt houses). The scenery is stunning. The biking is very easy. Our side trip up into the Austrian Alps added a whole new scenic dimension — and there’s nothing like a long downhill roll in the bracing air along the rushing river to put one in the mood for a glass of schnapps. The tour included plenty of historical background. A highly enjoyable week.

anne from san fran, San Francisco, CA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

A great trip in every way

Super trip. Leaders were attentive and all-around wonderful. Lots of opportunities to discover the places we visited. Great food, great itineraries. Hotels were excellent. Transfers were efficient. We are happy campers.

FrankH, Rochester, NY

4 out of 5 stars

Pleasant first bike tour trip

We joined a couple of friends who have done many organized bike tours and it was a positive experience. We were fortunate on the weather and our guide Andy was pleasant. I was surprised that there was not narration of what we were seeing by a guide during our biking, that there was only one guide during the rides (I would think two – one at the front and one at the back) and also that quite a number of meals were not covered. The lack of a guide at the front led to a lot of confusion about the route and the lack of a guide at the rear led to slow riders often being lost. There had been route changes that were not fully reflected in the GPS directions. The hotels were acceptable but the room assignments seemed rather random with some people getting excellent rooms and others not being so fortunate. Our other guide besides Andy has perhaps been doing this job too long and was not pleasant to deal with and was brusque with many of the guests. Overall poor communications, nothing in writing re scheduling (in fact on the last day, a tripod appeared that they could have posted the days’ schedules but our guide laughingly brushed off using it).
The distances of 25-35 miles a day were what I expected though far less than what I do on my own. The distances seemed appropriate for the group. She scenery was beautiful.
There was also poor communication between headquarters and our guides. I called VBT before the trip to make sure that a XXL helmet would be available and they assured me that one would be. However, only an XL was available which was very tight and uncomfortable. The bike, which was the largest that they had, did not fit a 6’5″ person and there was no stem extender so with the seat so high and the handlebars so low, I spent the six days riding in a very uncomfortable riding position and the rock hard racing seat (not a touring seat) made matters worse. Compound that that the road bikes had very stiff aluminum frames – not more comfortable carbon fibre or chrome moly steel which are more standard for distance touring.
I have done many long distance multi-day rides and I will continue to do them. I don’t think that there was sufficient value added by the extra cost of VBT services which appears to be about half of the cost of the tour (the other half was hotels and meals). However, for a more elderly person or couple, especially if they are nervous about traveling outside of the US, I could see VBT being a better fit.

Response from: Guest Services

Thanks for your 4 star review and detailed comments. They have been shared with our leader, bike and operations managers.

JamesOhlone, Denver, CO, USA

5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful Cycling Cycling and Culture

This was a good level of difficulty for my 64 year old knees, and I really liked the museum visits and the cultural information. I now know first-hand that the beauty of the scenery in “The Sound of Music” is real. We also opted for a ferry trip on the lake, which was a scenic and relaxing change of pace. It was a wonderful trip, with knowledgeable guides, good food and good company.

Artistic Quips, Durham, NC, USA

5 out of 5 stars

My Top 10

If you’re reading this you either #1- Are signed up for this trip and want to know if you’ll have fun.- Yes you will. OR #2- Are debating if you should sign up for this trip. Sign up! I’d never heard of Lake Constance either. To keep my glowing 5 star review to a readable length I’ll just give you my Top 10 favorites.

1-Beer Gardens
2-Peter Lenk- new favorite artist!!!!!!! (ask the guides)
3-Amazing scenery- mountains, lake, rolling hills, cows and cow brush, orchards, agriculture, idyllic towns
4- Pear schnapps- and good food, lake fish, local produce, wine, snacks and hosted lunches…
5- Andy and “the other guide”s narrations, guidance, restaurant recommendations, camaraderie, and wry sense of humor!!!
6- Great hotels- 47′ had view saunas and beer and wine in the vending machines
7-Interesting history- Stilt homes, Zeppelin museum, St. Gallen library
8- Ancient churches- and all that amazing art and glass
9- Mainau Island- the flower island- we took a ferry there and city bus back to hotel.
10- Beer Garden for morning break on Mother’s Day- I have 4 kids- I earned that BEER! wait- I mentioned that twice- guess I was just – “Here for the Beer!”

Keiser, Nevada

5 out of 5 stars

Great Guides, bikes, territory

This was my 7th biking trip and I must say it was the best. The location was wonderful. Our leaders were very informative and provided the best service possible. All efforts were focused on our comfort and enjoyment. Thanks VBT for an awesome adventure. Great value for the price.

sharwood, Palm Desert, CA, USA

5 out of 5 stars

Exceeds Expectations!

My first VBT tour and it exceeded my expectations in every way. Excellent itinerary, views, hotels, food, cultural experiences, camaraderie, and options for levels of activity. Our guides, Kristin and Andi, went over and above to make sure it was the best possible experience for all of us. Their passion, knowledge, expertise, and love of fun ensured us a safe, extraordinary tour. Because of them, I will definitely travel with VBT again.
Thanks to all at VBT,
Anna M.

Newbee, Palm Springs, California

5 out of 5 stars

Exceeded my expectations in every way!

This was my first VBT tour and I loved everything about. The destinations, culture, views, accommodations, food, our group, the choices for levels of activity, and especially our guides. I will definitely be planning another trip with VBT. Thank-You for doing it right.

SharAnn, Palm Springs, CA, USA

5 out of 5 stars

My first VBT trip!!! Did not disappoint!

I truly enjoyed my first VBT experience. I think Andi and Kristen were awesome hosts and could not have done a better job with this group. They both have a passion that they pass on about cycling, exploring and food. The van support was great and the snacks were generous and tasty. VBT as a company stood behind their service and any unavoidable glitch was immediately rectified. Thanks so much to Kristen and Andi for an unforgettable trip!

SamTay66, Harrisonburg, VA, USA

5 out of 5 stars

Lots to see and do

Nice choices for length and difficulty of daily rides. Diverse landscape. Loved the wine tasting. But, without doubt, what made this trip so great (other than the other travelers) were Kristin, Zsusy and Per. Incredibly accommodating, could think on the fly when the weather turned (who knew a rainstorm could be so much fun!) and they were just simply great people to hang with.

L from Music City, Nashville, TN, USA

5 out of 5 stars

Lake Constance

Great trip. Great guides, great weather, great scenery

Nelson, Denver, Colorado

5 out of 5 stars

Charming

The best VBT yet. Everyone was helpful and welcoming and the country itself is gorgeous.

5 out of 5 stars

well organized

Bikes were great, loved the Ride with GPS option. The scenery and routes were wonderful. The tour leaders were great and omnipresent. Accommodations and meals were great. Would do it again.

Trust me, Indiana

5 out of 5 stars

Bavarian bicyling, bells and beauty

We were enchanted by cowbells and church bells, vivid flowers on alpine chalets, rushing mountain streams and towering forests as we biked downhill from Schoppernau on a brilliant Fall day — the finest day ever. A week along Lake Constance has refreshed my life and reminded me that mastering challenges is the key to joy.

spcheryl, Saint Paul, MN, United States

5 out of 5 stars

This trip was a WOW!!

This was my first biking tour ever and I am 72. I sure wish I’d started earlier. I highly recommend VBT. Our leaders were fantastic and the trip was exhilarating!

Tresa125, New York, NY

5 out of 5 stars

Rolling Hills

Excellent rides. Felt like the Sound of Music every day. The meals were like “farm to table.” Guides were fantastic. The island of flowers were beautiful.

Brooks, Boxford, MA

5 out of 5 stars

Lake Constance - best bike trip we ever had

This bike trip was outstanding. The guides were terrific and the scenary was so magnificent. This was the first VBT trip for us and we are already planning next year’s VBT trip.

Pat and Anne, Elk Grove Village, IL, USA

5 out of 5 stars

Best VBT So Far!!

If you’ve read my reviews in the past (Ireland 2016 or Czech Rep/Germany/Austria 2015) you know I can be a bit verbose in my reviews. Since I have a limited amount of space with this new format I will just say this is the best of my 4 trips so far on VBT. Certainly nothing against the other trips or tour leaders of course but this one was our favorite for the simple fact that everything was first rate; hotels, food, people/locals, beer/wine/schnapps, bikes (we rode both hybrids and e-bikes), and the rides themselves!
For Hotels- all first rate, comfortable and very clean and centrally located.
Food was delicious no matter where we went; hotels, local farms/people’s homes or just exploring on our own. We didn’t have a bad meal the entire trip!
We highly recommend both Pre and Post Trips if you can do them as there is just so much to see in Munich that speaks to Germany’s past as well as its future!
In Zurich, we loved the central location of the hotel, museums and being so close to the water.
As for the rides themselves what can I say? Breathtaking doesn’t really do it justice. The weather was fantastic, the days sunny and bright and although we did get a brief shower or two is was never a heavy rain or one where we got particularly drenched.
Finally the guides: Luca and Kristin were just fantastic! Our group was small due apparently a last minute cancellation of a larger group. Thus our tour was only my wife and I and two others. At first we didn’t know what to think with there only being 4 of us (totally crazy!) but Luca and Kristin really set about to make us feel like VIPs the entire time (and frankly this is the VBT way anyway but here it felt more so!) and couldn’t have been more amazed. They were funny, informative and really took the time to ask good questions about our riding styles and what was working and not for us every day. They both were also very knowledgeable about everything on this trip and just didn’t go through the motions. They came up with new and oftentimes unique things to do that weren’t on the itinerary because they took the time to listen to what we were interested in. Thus, an awesome trip to a Schnapps maker (brewer? distillery?) was on the agenda on a fun morning!
We were so impressed with this entire trip we are planning a return visit to the area.
Thank you to VBT, Luca and Kristin for making our 2nd wedding anniversary a memorable one!

Jaylaw01, Boise, Idaho

5 out of 5 stars

absolutely wonderful trip

this was our first VBT trip and we will be back! From beautiful venues and routes, to excellent hotels and meals and finally amazing help from our awesome leaders, we had such a wonderful time.

gabikers, Woodstock

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