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Lake Constance: Germany, Austria & Switzerland

Ebikes Available on this TourPretty alpine reels in stunning lakeside settings take center stage during this enriching sojourn straddling three nations.

  • 10 Days
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 35 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 5 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking Activity
  • Perfect for those trying a bike vacation for the first time.
  • Airfare Packages Available

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available

Limited quantities —
first come, first served.

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Lake Constance: Germany, Austria & Switzerland

Clean air, soaring peaks, and charming Bavarian villages are your constant companions from Füssen to Constance as you cycle the shores of crystalline lakes and visit historic treasures. Step into the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein, cross the drawbridge to Meersburg Castle with origins to the 7th century and the Merovingian Dynasty, and marvel at the Baroque splendor of St. Gallen’s Abbey. Ride the ancient and historic Emperor’s Road, one of many invigorating routes. And indulge in farm-fresh cuisine from organic farms and renowned beers from local brewers.

Cultural Highlights

  • See Forggensee, Alpsee, and Schwansee, the three crystalline lakes around Füssen
  • Step into the magical world of King Ludwig II’s enchanting Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Cycle to Lindau via the Bodensee-Königssee Bike Route”
  • Breathe fresh alpine air in the Bregenz Forest as you pass through flowering gardens and historic chalet villages
  • Sample some of the best cheeses in the world in a 300-year old Austrian tavern
  • See Bregenz’s remarkable floating stage
  • Enjoy a lunch of local delicacies on a Swiss organic apple farm
  • Visit St. Gallen’s baroque cathedral and abbey library,  a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Savor freshly picked organics from a local farm
  • Raise a stein of German beer or local wine to your three-country discoveries
  • Enjoy centrally-located hotels in all towns with shops, parklands and lakeside views.
  • Get to know the ancient city of Constance during a guided walk with a local German professor

What To Expect

This tour offers easy terrain on bike paths and bike lanes, and on roads in the neighborhoods and countryside in the Bavarian Alps and surrounding Lake Constance. Longer optional rides and some rolling hills on a couple of days offer fun for more avid bikers. This tour is ideal for both beginning and experienced cyclists. Our VBT support shuttle is always available for those who would like assistance.

Average Daily Mileage: 15 – 35 miles
Average Cycling Time: 2 – 5 hours

Climate Information

Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Friedrichshafen
May 65º/46º  Jun 70º/52º  Jul 74º/55º Aug 72º/54º  Sep 65º/49º  Oct 54º/42º

Average Precipitation (in.) – Friedrichshafen
May 3.5  Jun 4.5  Jul 5 Aug 4.5  Sep 3.5  Oct 3

What’s Included:

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available on this tour.

Limited quantities — first come, first served. Learn more.

Bicycle Vacation Only – Without Air

  • 6 nights in 4-star hotels
  • 11 meals – 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • 6 nights in 4-star hotels
    PLUS 1 extra night in Munich and 1 extra night in Constance
  • 14 meals – 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
  • All overseas transfers
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Munich– 2 nights for only $345* • Post-trip: Zurich – 2 nights for only $545*

Both Vacation Options Include

  • FREE use of our custom VBT bicycle and helmet
  • Service of two bilingual VBT Trip Leaders
  • FULL VAN SUPPORT
  • Daily route directions and maps
  • Welcome reception with local wine and hors d’oeuvres
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation. See details.

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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $595 | Land Only Single Supplement: $445 (2018: $395)

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

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Itinerary & Map
2018
Or, Expand All Days
Day 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Munich

Depart from home for Germany. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary and airline tickets.

Day 2: Arrive in Munich / Transfer to your hotel

Arrive at Munich airport, where a VBT representative will meet you and help you transfer (approximately 40 minutes) to your centrally located hotel.

If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m. You may store your luggage with the reception desk.

Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you fly in earlier than the scheduled program dates, transportation from the airport will be at your own expense.

The rest of the day is free for you to explore and dine on your own, using VBT City Information as your guide.

Hotel: Hotel Stadt Rosenheim

Day 3: VBT Bicycle Vacation begins / Lindau

VBT Bicycle Vacation Only guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders and the rest of the group at 12:30 p.m. in the lobby of our hotel in Lindau (Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Seepromenade, Lindau, Tel: +49 (0)8382 9150). A direct train connection from Munich to Lindau can take you there in approximately 2.5 hours for about $70-$100 USD per person. If your arrival at the hotel is scheduled later than 12:30 p.m. or if you are delayed, please contact the Hotel Bayerischer Hof (or the Hotel Reutemann Seegarten) to advise of any travel delays or changes, and the staff will pass your message on to your VBT Trip Leaders.

VBT Air Package guests & Pre-Trip Extension guests: Meet your VBT representative and the rest of the group in the lobby of your Munich hotel at 10:00 a.m. The VBT representative will be holding a VBT sign and will be easy to recognize. Please plan to have or buy some lunch before you leave. On the way, you will make a short stop.

From Munich, you’ll transfer to your Lindau hotel, where you’ll meet your Trip Leaders, who will provide an introduction and safety talk. On your afternoon warm-up ride you will leave Lindau Island following the railroad/causeway through a residential neighborhood, then along the lakeshore toward Bregenz, Austria. Please note that check-in time is 4 p.m., and your room will not be ready when you arrive. You will be able to leave your bags with the reception desk.

Your 5-star Hotel Bayerischer Hof and its sister property, the 4-star Reutemann Seegarten, are right on the waterfront and lake promenade in the heart of Lindau. They have been operated by the Stolze-Spaeth family for more than 150 years and offer lovely gardens, a heated swimming pool, and a wellness center.

Later, gather with the group for a welcome cocktail reception at the hotel and dinner at a small local restaurant serving hearty German cuisine and fresh fish dishes from Lake Constance.

Hotel: Hotel Bayerischer Hof
Meals:
B, D
Daily Options:
12 miles (20 km)

Day 4: Bike into Bregenzerwald (Austria)

After a hearty breakfast, shuttle 50 minutes to the start of the bike path in the alpine village of Schoppernau, located on the upper reaches of the Bregenzerach River. It’s a different world here at 2,500 feet (762 meters) in the Austrian Alps. You will see firsthand the sophisticated country lifestyle that is prevalent in the mountains high above Lake Constance. During a day of mostly downhill spinning on a well-marked paved path, admire high mountain scenery, passing small family farms, meadows of wildflowers, forests, villages, waterfalls, wooden troll bridges, and the region’s famous architecture—a unique blend of customary chalet styles and über-modern design. This region is known for its traditional crafts, including fine lace, woolen textiles, and especially wood crafts, such as toys, shoes, carvings, and carpentry. Cows, sheep, and goats are also important to the local economy—which explains why our inspirational route is called the “Cheese Road.” A traditional Austrian lunch awaits you at Adler-Grossdorf Restaurant in the village of Egg, where you will taste regional delicacies from local farms with your elegant hostess Irma Renner.

After lunch, our longer option leaves Bregenzerwald and continues to Lindau, crossing into Bavarian Germany. Tonight’s dinner is on your own in Lindau.

Across the lake in Bregenz, you may consider taking in a show at the world-renowned floating stage, a breathtaking summer opera venue. The town itself is also worth a visit, home to wood-inspired architecture, museums, and art galleries. During summer, the Bregenzer Festspiele floating stage features various performances. Tickets can be purchased at http://bregenzerfestspiele.com/en months in advance. A ferry to the show can be booked from Lindau to Bregenz at www.bsb.de/schiffstransfer.html or through our Lindau Hotel. Please note that you will return to Lindau after midnight.

Hotel: Hotel Bayerischer Hof
Alternate: TBD
Meals:
B, L
Daily Options:
19 and 17 miles (30 and 28 km)

Day 5: Cycle to Friedrichshafen, Meersburg, and Überlingen

Begin today’s reel along the lakeshore, passing the many impressive villas of Bad Schachen and Wasserburg. Your route on this small peninsula affords lovely views of picturesque houses and a small castle before you continue on to Kressbronn and Langenargen.

By lunchtime, you’ll coast into Friedrichshafen, a city whose history is tightly linked to World War II. Its aviation industry and strategic location made it an important outpost of Nazi Germany. The city was heavily bombed and largely destroyed in April 1944 by 1,086 tons of bombs. A lighter and loftier side of Friedrichshafen’s history can be found in its modern Zeppelin Museum, housing the world’s largest aviation collection. The zeppelin airship was born here on July 2, 1900, the creation of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin. Zeppelins took to the air once again in 1993. On a clear and quiet day, you’re sure to see them drifting quietly through the sky.

(If you’d like, you can book a Zeppelin flight by visiting www.zeppelinflug.de months in advance. Should you choose to organize a Zeppelin flight, you will be responsible for getting yourself from our Lindau hotel to the airport and then to our Überlingen hotel at the end of the day. This is best done by taxi, which can be organized through our Lindau hotel. You will miss today’s bike ride.)

This afternoon, ride inland through the countryside of low-lying hills cloaked in vineyards and miles of apple and pear orchards. You may stop to purchase fresh strawberries, delicious cherries, and apricots from local farmers. Organic farming is very popular here, and the mild climate yields fruit of almost any variety. Later, you’ll arrive in Meersburg, a fortress on the sea and home to the longest inhabited castle in Germany.

The final leg of your ride takes you on a scenic path along the lake to your hotel in Überlingen, where you will enjoy dinner.

Hotel: Bad Hotel Überlingen
Meals:
B, D
Daily Options:
15, 24, or 41 miles (25, 39, or 66 km)

Day 6: Überlingen / Unteruhldingen / Wine tasting in Überlingen

In the morning, you’ll ride to the Stone and Bronze Age “Pile Dwellings,” a UNESCO site. Here, you’ll see how these prehistoric cultures built their stilt homes over the water, and how they lived, fished, and crafted tools. The short option today continues along the lake to the village of Hagnau before retracing your route back to Überlingen. The longer option ride explores the lake’s hinterland, an idyllic patchwork of fertile fields and fruit orchards woven into a lovely tapestry with streams, bike paths, and church spires.

Lunch today is on your own. You have the choice of relaxing in Überlingen, and then perhaps soaking at the thermal spa (located next door to the hotel). The fortress ruins on the cliffs high above are a reminder of ancient ties with the Carolingian Empire.  Or have lunch at one of Meersburg’s many cafes, or a beer garden along the route. Your leaders can give you recommendations.

Tonight, we stroll to a nearby tasting room where you will learn about the customs of German wine making. Afterwards you have a dinner on your own and many excellent dinner options are within a short walk from the hotel.

Hotel: Bad Hotel Überlingen
Meals: B
Daily Options: 23 or 36 miles (36 or 59 km)

Day 7: Überlingen / Reichenau Island / Constance

Begin your ride from the hotel on an easy morning ride along the far western end of Lake Constance, cycling along lovely waterfront bike paths past the old town of Radolfzell. Then cycle onto the largest island in Lake Constance, Reichenau, via country roads and a lovely causeway lined with spectacular poplar trees. Reichenau is an interesting cultural site, thanks to the three imposing Romanesque churches built between the ninth and eleventh centuries. All are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, testament to the important role of the Benedictine monastery in the Middle Ages. Enjoy lunch on your own in this pastoral spot.

Then, continue cycling to your final destination, the city of Constance. Your hotel is right on your biking route and just outside the city center, making for a perfect stroll into town later this evening.  Explore the city and enjoy dinner on your own at one of many local restaurants.

Hotel: 47 Grad
Meals: B
Daily Options: 35 miles (56 km)

Day 8: Bike through Switzerland / St.Gallen

This morning, take a short train ride to St. Gallen, Switzerland, located near the point where Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein meet. The city has been a major religious center since the seventh century. A guided tour of the Abbey of St.Gallen reveals the treasures of the baroque cathedral with its fantastic ceiling frescoes. For centuries, this was an Imperial Benedictine Abbey and a center of Western science, art, and high culture. The rococo Abbey Library, equally ornate, is the oldest in the country and one of the world’s most significant monastic libraries. Later, stroll the traffic-free Old Town replete with brightly painted oriel windows, pretty boutiques and world-famous embroideries.

Back on your bicycle, enjoy a scenic spin to the charming Swiss village of Steinebrunn, where you stop for a traditional Swiss lunch at a local organic apple farm. Afterwards, continue your ride back to Constance, where you have more time to explore this beautiful city on your own. You might find this to be the prettiest, most cozy corner of Lake Constance, the perfect place to end your journey.

Tonight, we raise a glass and say “prost!” to a magnificent week during a festive farewell dinner.

Hotel: 47 Grad
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 25 miles (41 km)

Day 9: Constance / Free time / VBT Bicycle Vacation ends

VBT Bicycle Vacation Only guests: After breakfast, meet your local guide at 9:00 am for your one-hour walking tour of Constance. Afterwards, you are free to continue on your own.

From Constance, there are many train connections to other cities in Germany and Switzerland. Or you might embark the catamaran that whisks across the lake to Friedrichshafen and from there continue by plane or train to your final destination.

VBT Air Package and Post-Trip Extension guests: Remain another day in Constance to explore on own.  We highly recommend a visit to Mainau Island, nicknamed locally “Blumeninsel,” or the flower island. This 111-acre, pedestrian-only private island is a lavish display of plants and manicured gardens, blossoming in tune with the seasons. A Baroque palace with a church featuring notable artworks marks one end of the island, and inviting trails crisscross its length. Tulips, orchids, and rhododendron burst in a riot of color in May, followed by 350,000 other blooms, plus potted plants and fuchsias. Dahlias and roses arrive in September. It’s a feast for the eyes that will enchant even the most novice gardener.

Another option to consider is a visit to the falls of the Rhine River in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, easily reached from Constance. Many guests enjoy taking a ferry from the harbor in Constance to Schaffhausen, then returning to Constance later in the day via train.   These are the largest falls in Europe, sometimes called a mini-Niagara. Hot-spring lovers might want to take to the waters at the Thermalbad. The soothing, mineral-laced water that feeds its pools bubbles up from as far below ground as 5,500 feet (1,676 meters).

The alleys and squares of Constance’s old town are lively and bustling. Guests have spoken highly of the view from the top of the Constance Münster church.  For a few Euros, you can walk up the stairs and look through the telescope across the lake to many of the destinations where you cycled this week. You’re sure to find myriad keepsake options in charming shops. If you’d like to take in some local culture and history, Constance boasts museums, galleries, and historic buildings.

If you still have not had enough cycling this week, bike shops in town rent cruiser bikes by the day and can suggest routes to suit your desire.

Hotel: 47 Grad
Meals: B

Day 10: Depart for home

After breakfast* this morning, transfer to the Zurich airport (approximately 50 or 60 minutes, depending on traffic) for your departing flight **. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled departure time, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: B

Lake Constance Bike Tour

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2019
Or, Expand All Days
Day 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Munich

Depart from home for Germany. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary and airline tickets.

Day 2: Arrive in Munich / Transfer to your hotel

Arrive at Munich airport, where a VBT representative will meet you and help you transfer (approximately 40 minutes) to your centrally located hotel.

If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m. You may store your luggage with the reception desk.

Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you fly in earlier than the scheduled program dates, transportation from the airport will be at your own expense.

The rest of the day is free for you to explore and dine on your own, using VBT City Information as your guide.

Hotel: Hotel Stadt Rosenheim

Day 3: VBT Bicycle Vacation begins / Füssen

VBT Bicycle Vacation Only guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders and the rest of the group at 11:00 a.m. in the lobby of our hotel in Füssen (Hotel Hirsch Füssen, , Kaiser-Maximilian-Platz 7, 87629 Füssen, Germany. Tel: +49 (0) 8362 9398 0-). A direct train from Munich to Füssen takes a little over 2 hours and costs about $33-$75 USD per person. If your arrival at the hotel is scheduled later than 11:00 a.m. or if you are delayed, please contact the Hotel Hirsch to advise of any travel delays or changes, and the staff will pass your message on to your VBT Trip Leaders.

The enchanting Old-World town of Füssen, located in the foothills of the Alps and at the southern end of the Romantic Road, is nestled in one of the most breathtaking natural settings in the world. At 2,651 feet in elevation, Füssen is the highest town in Bavaria. Looking south, you will glimpse the peaks of Austria.

VBT Air Package guests & Pre-Trip Extension guests: Meet your VBT representative and the rest of the group in the lobby of your Munich hotel by 9:00 a.m. for a prompt departure. Your VBT representative will be holding a VBT sign and will be easy to recognize. From Munich, transfer to Füssen (2 hours), with a short stop on the way.  Please come dressed for cycling (with your pedals or saddle if you use your own), as there will be no place to change into cycling clothes before beginning the warm-up ride.  Please note that check-in time is 4:00 p.m., and your room will not be ready. You will be able to leave your bags with the reception desk.

Meet your Trip Leaders for an introduction and safety talk. Then set off on a pleasant warm-up ride. Your first ride in this magical realm takes you to the world’s most famous castle, King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein. The ride follows paved bike paths on flat terrain to the village of Hohenschwangau. From here you will park your bicycle and will take the local bus (2 km) up to the castle. Enjoy lunch on your own before a guided visit (30 minutes) of the castle. Afterwards, return to the village by local bus and ride back to your hotel.

For those seeking additional miles this afternoon, and optional ride is available. Pedal into a lovely countryside to a pristine lake, taking in breathtaking alpine vistas and coasting along charming narrow farm roads.

Later, gather with the group for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner at the hotel.

Hotel: Hotel Hirsch Füssen
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 6 miles (10 km)  and 9 miles (15 km)

Day 4: Füssen / Cycle around Lake Forggensee / Bavarian mountain village loop

After breakfast, discover Füssen by foot with a local guide (45 minutes-1 hour). Then enjoy an invigorating reel through the scenic district of the region known as Eastern Allgäu. Marvel at views of the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle, cycle around the shores of pristine Lake Forggensee, the largest in the Allgäu, and savor postcard-perfect views of the Bavarian Alps. For lunch, stop at Jürgen’s Panorma Hut for a buffet of locally cured cold meats and cheeses, served by our generous Bavarian host.

Our longer option follows the 2,000-year-old Via Claudia, or “Emperor’s Road” from the days of trade between Venetian and alpine emissaries. You will find it’s a pure pleasure to cycle between the many mountain villages of Bavaria, each more charming than the last, punctuated by onion-domed steeples rising against a backdrop of emerald-green mountain slopes. This is truly a working farm region that carries on traditions from generations past. In September, a procession of 30,000 cattle return to the valley’s farm stables from the high mountain pastures of the Allgäu Alps, where they have been feeding all summer on high-nutrition grass and herbs that grow at higher altitudes. Still, you will no doubt coast past dairy cows with their tell-tale bells around their necks. After so many miles of enchantment, you may wish to swim in the lake before returning to the hotel. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Hotel:  Hotel Hirsch Füssen
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 18 or 31 miles (30 or 50 km)

Day 5: Train to Röthenbach / Cycle the "Bodensee-Königssee Bike Route" from Heimenkirch to Lindau

After another delicious breakfast, stroll to the train station and board the train to Röthenbach, Germany (2 hrs). Upon arrival, enjoy a spin along the Bodensee-Königssee Bike Route, a mostly downhill reel to Lindau brimming with lush green pastures surrounded by mountain streams and breathtaking views of the Alps. You pause in Heimenkirch for a leisurely lunch on your own at Meckatzer Brewery, or at a local café for take-away sandwiches.

Later, you follow the shores of Lake Constance, Europe’s third largest freshwater lake. Its waters reflect heat, creating a Mediterranean-style climate conducive to growing Pinot Noir and white Müller-Thurgau grapes. Its shores are also renowned for the gardens that grace residential areas, lakeside parks, and the botanical island of Mainau. Upon arrival at this remarkable lake, you cycle onto Lindau Island where your 5-star Hotel Bayerischer Hof and its sister property, the 4-star Reutemann Seegarten (or alternate hotel on select dates), sit right on the waterfront in the heart of Lindau Island, a charming medieval town with a picturesque harbor and Bavaria’s only lighthouse. These hotels have been operated by the Stolze-Spaeth family for more than 150 years and offer a heated swimming pool, spa, and wellness center.

Hotel:  Hotel Bayerischer Hof
Alternate: TBD
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 22 miles (35 km)

Day 6: Bike into Bregenzerwald (Austria)

After a hearty breakfast, shuttle 50 minutes to the start of the bike path in the alpine village of Schoppernau, located on the upper reaches of the Bregenzerach River. It’s a different world here at 2,500 feet (762 meters) in the Austrian Alps. You will see firsthand the sophisticated country lifestyle that is prevalent in the mountains high above Lake Constance. During a day of mostly downhill spinning on a well-marked paved path, admire high mountain scenery, passing small family farms, meadows of wildflowers, forests, villages, waterfalls, wooden troll bridges, and the region’s famous architecture—a unique blend of customary chalet styles and über-modern design. This region is known for its traditional crafts, including fine lace, woolen textiles, and especially wood crafts, such as toys, shoes, carvings, and carpentry. Cows, sheep, and goats are also important to the local economy—which explains why our inspirational route is called the “Cheese Road.” A traditional Austrian lunch awaits you at Adler-Grossdorf Restaurant in the village of Egg, where you will taste regional delicacies from local farms with your elegant hostess Irme Renner.

After lunch, our longer option leaves Bregenzerwald and continues to Lindau, crossing into Bavarian Germany. Tonight’s dinner is on your own in Lindau.

Across the lake in Bregenz, you may consider taking in a show at the world-renowned floating stage, a breathtaking summer opera venue. The town itself is also worth a visit, home to wood-inspired architecture, museums, and art galleries. During summer, the Bregenzer Festspiele floating stage features various performances. Tickets can be purchased at http://bregenzerfestspiele.com/en months in advance. A ferry to the show can be booked from Lindau to Bregenz at www.bsb.de/schiffstransfer.html or through our Lindau Hotel. Please note that you will return to Lindau after midnight.

Hotel: Hotel Bayerischer Hof
Alternate: SENTIDO Seehotel Am Kaiserstrand
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 19 and 17 miles (30 and 28 km)

Day 7: Cycle to Friedrichshafen, Meersburg, and Constance

Begin today’s reel along the lakeshore, passing the many impressive villas of Wasserburg and Nonnenhorn. Your route on this small peninsula affords lovely views of picturesque houses and a small castle before you continue on to Kressbronn and Langenargen.

Coast into Friedrichshafen, a city whose history is tightly linked to World War II. Its aviation industry and strategic location made it an important center for Nazi Germany. The city was heavily bombed and largely destroyed in April 1944 by 1,086 tons of bombs. Today’s “modern” city, therefore, exudes a 1950s air in its architecture. A lighter and loftier side of Friedrichshafen’s history can be found in its modern Zeppelin Museum, housing the world’s largest aviation collection. The zeppelin airship was born here on July 2, 1900, the creation of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin. Zeppelins took to the air once again in 1993. On a clear and quiet day, you’re sure to see them drifting quietly through the sky. Perhaps you will pause here for a refreshment in one of its many cafés.

(If you’d like, you can book a Zeppelin flight by visiting www.zeppelinflug.de months in advance. Should you choose to organize a Zeppelin flight, you will be responsible for getting yourself from our Lindau hotel to the airport and then to our Constance hotel at the end of the day. This is best done by taxi, which can be organized through our Lindau hotel. You will miss today’s bike ride.)

Cycle along the lake to Meersburg, a Baroque fortress town on the lake and home to the longest inhabited castle in Germany. The fortress ruins are perched high on the cliffs above, a reminder of ancient ties with the Carolingian Empire. After lunch in this charming town where flowers spill from window boxes, you ferry across the lake from Meersburg, and continue cycling to your final destination in Constance. The hotel is on our biking route along the Rhine River just outside the city center, ideally located for a perfect stroll into town later this evening.  Explore the city and enjoy dinner on your own at one of the great local restaurants nearby.

Hotel: 47 Grad
Meals: B
Daily Options: 15.5 and 4 miles (25 and 7 km)

Day 8: Bike through Switzerland / St.Gallen

This morning, take a short train ride to St. Gallen, Switzerland, located near the point where Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein meet. The city has been a major religious center since the seventh century. A guided tour of the Abbey of St. Gallen reveals the treasures of the baroque cathedral with its fantastic ceiling frescoes. For centuries, this was an Imperial Benedictine Abbey and a center of Western science, art, and high culture. The rococo Abbey Library, equally ornate, is the oldest in the country and one of the world’s most significant monastic libraries. Later, stroll the traffic-free Old Town replete with brightly painted oriel windows, pretty boutiques and world-famous embroideries.

Back on your bicycle, enjoy a scenic spin to the charming Swiss village of Steinebrunn, where you stop for a traditional Swiss lunch at a local organic apple farm. Afterwards, continue your ride back to Constance, where you have more time to explore this beautiful city on your own. You might find this to be the prettiest, most cozy corner of Lake Constance, the perfect place to end your journey.

Tonight, we raise a glass and say “prost!” to a magnificent week during a festive farewell dinner.

Hotel: 47 Grad
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 25 miles (41 km)

Day 9: Constance / Free time / VBT Bicycle Vacation ends

VBT Bicycle Vacation Only guests: After breakfast, meet your local guide at 9:00 a.m. for a one-hour walking tour of Constance. Afterwards, you are free to continue on your own.

From Constance, there are many train connections to other cities in Germany and Switzerland. Or you might embark the catamaran that whisks you across the lake to Friedrichshafen from where you may continue by plane or train to your final destination.

VBT Air Package and Post-Trip Extension guests: Remain another day in Constance to explore on own. We highly recommend a visit to Mainau Island, nicknamed locally “Blumeninsel,” or the flower island. This 111-acre, pedestrian-only private island is a lavish display of plants and manicured gardens, blossoming in tune with the seasons. A Baroque castle with a church featuring notable artworks marks one end of the island, and inviting trails crisscross its length. Tulips, orchids, and rhododendron burst in a riot of color in May, followed by 350,000 other blooms, plus potted plants and fuchsias. Dahlias and roses arrive in September. It’s a feast for the eyes that will enchant even the most seasoned gardener.

You may also visit the falls of the Rhine River in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, accesible by boat or train from Constance. Embark a ferry from the harbor in Constance to Schaffhausen, then return later in the day by train. These are the largest falls in terms of water volume, in Europe. Thermal bath lovers might want to take the waters at the Bodensee Thermalbad in Constance. The infinity pool overlooks the lake and the hi-tech water features and jets do wonder for biking muscles. The perfect place to relax for an afternoon.

The alleys and squares of Constance’s old town are lively and bustling. For a bird’s-eye view, ascend to the top of the Münster church. For a few euros, you can walk up the stairs and look through the telescope across the lake to many of the destinations where you cycled this week. You’re also sure to find myriad keepsakes in charming shops. If you’d like to take in some local culture and history, Constance boasts museums, galleries, and historic buildings.

If you have not had enough cycling, you may rent cruiser bikes from a small bike shop across the street from our hotel. The shop owner can suggest routes to suit your desire.

Hotel: 47 Grad
Alternate Hotel: Hotel Opera
Meals: B

Day 10: Depart for home

After breakfast* this morning, transfer to the Zurich airport (approximately 50 or 60 minutes, depending on traffic) for your departing flight **. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled departure time, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: B

Lake Constance Bike Tour

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Accommodations

Hotel Stadt Rosenheim

This design hotel in Munich is across a park from the Ostbahn, the metro stop that whisks you to the Marienplatz, Munich’s main square, in just five minutes. Built in a historic building, the Hotel Stadt Rosenheim underwent total renovation in 2010, with many of its Art Nouveau features retained. It rests on the beautiful and vibrant Orleansplatz, lined with cafés, restaurants, art studios, and shops. Each room is elegant and stylish, mixing a traditional sensibility with a modern touch to create a warm, welcoming feeling. Throughout, guests can access free WiFi. However, as the building is listed in the city as a cultural monument, it is not equipped with air conditioning.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Bayerischer Hof

The 5-star Hotel Bayerischer Hof and its sister property, the 4-star Reutemann Seegarten, are right on the waterfront and promenade of Lake Constance, in the heart of the historic city of Lindau. Operated by the Stolze-Spaeth family for more than 150 years, each offers generous amenities to make the close of each day truly rewarding. Stroll the lovely gardens, take a dip in the heated swimming pool, relax in the wellness center, or unwind with a drink on the lakefront terrace café and bar, with fresh breezes coming off the lake. Rooms are non-smoking and spacious, with free WiFi connections. A/C is available.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel 47 Grad

The beautiful Hotel 47 Grad is located in the blossoming neighborhood on the north side of the Rhine. The hotel looks out over the Rhine River as it flows out of Lake Constance and is located directly on VBT’s bike path. The interior of this brand-new property has a decidedly modern atmosphere with an excellent breakfast spread. Just outside the hotel’s doors, the bike-and-pedestrian path takes you over a small bridge and into the heart of the Old City. A/C is available.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Opera

This private boutique hotel has been exquisitely decorated by the well-known Swiss interior designer Roland Schön. It is ideally situated in Zurich’s city center next to the famous Opera House. The nearby lakeside promenade makes for a lovely morning jog or a leisurely stroll. Just a five-minute walk away, the glamour of the world-renowned Bahnhofstrasse unfolds, the most attractive and exclusive shopping mile in Zurich. The Old Town is also nearby, with its pastel-hued guild houses and historic buildings. For an unforgettable meal, indulge in the gourmet Restaurant Opera, awarded the “golden fish” for its exquisite fish specialties. Elegant paintings from the young Baroque artist Tatjana Tiziana adorn its walls, inviting you into Zurich’s opera world. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel. A/C is available.
Free WiFi Included

Bad Hotel Überlingen

The Bad Hotel, whose name in German translates into English as “Spa Hotel,” is located on the shores of beautiful Lake Constance. This 4-star hotel in historic Überlingen offers fantastic views from its sun terrace. Lavishly renovated in 2013, each room is comfortably furnished with luxurious oak flooring. Some groups will also stay at the stately Art Nouveau Villa Seeburg, situated on the lakeshore and just a short 328-foot (100-meter) walk through the garden from the Bad Hotel. The hotel also offers a restaurant with regional dishes and breakfast buffet. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel and in your room. A/C is available.
Free WiFi Included
Photos

Lake Constance Bike Tour Photo Gallery
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  • Lake Constance, VBT, Bregenz Bike Path, Austria
  • Lake Constance, Germany, orchard, VBT
  • lake constance promenade
  • Meersburg, lake Constance, Germany
  • Lake Constance_women group, VBT
  • Kristin VBT Trip leader, Lake Constance
  • Lake Constance, beer
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