Holidays around Lake
Constance are not generally offered by travel agents or tour operators
outside of Germany. But it is perfectly possible to use the web to
book bike tours offered by local operators and prices can be very good
due to high levels of competition. For example, a company called Bodensee-Radweg will provide a five night / six day trip, on a half board basis, with luggage transfer (if you go clockwise) and bike rental
for around €670 per person, or a seven night / eight day trip for
€950. This seems like a good price , but you should check out the
alternatives (see bike hire shops listed).
Accommodation and other
costs are average for Germany, and standards are generally high.
However, in mid 2011 the Swiss Franc soared on the international markets
and as a result the cost of visiting Switzerland has more than
doubled, based on this you may want to limit your time on this side of
the lake. Luckily it is possible to take a ferry along the Swiss side
barely touching the country, hopefully this will soon change.
Our estimate of the cost (at early 2011 prices) of a reasonably
comfortable holiday (ie staying in medium quality hotels, and eating and drinking moderately well) and assuming you rent a bike, based on riding for 7 days and two people sharing a room for 6 nights is:
||Cost in Euros
| Bike hire
|| €10/day per bike for 7 days
|| €130/night for 6 nights
| Food and drink
|| €40 per person per day, for 7 days
| Public transport
|| say €20 per person
€1,540 in total, or €770 per person. This would require you to travel
40 to 50km per day, which is quite feasible as the route is level and
the surface of the bike path generally smooth. But if you want to take
it a bit easier we suggest you let the ferry cut off some of the
distance. A trip on the lake on a sunny day is not to be missed.
Lake Constance route guide
The bike route
follows the circuit of the lake shore (in our case we have laid it out
anti-clockwise). It passes through three countries. As you can see
from the map at the base of this page, the lake splits into two fingers
at its western end and the most southerly of these mini-lakes is bridged
at Konstanz. In addition, the lake is crossed by a number of ferries
and many of the towns are linked by train services. As a result, while
the overall route is 268km (167 miles) long, this can be reduced by
taking advantage of such short cuts. This flexibility makes Lake
Constance ideal for a bike tour with children, elderly people or
infrequent cyclists - if anyone needs a rest day, it is easy to arrange
without spoiling the trip for the rest of the group.
For the purposes of this guide we start the trip at Friedrichshafen. The majority of the route is level and well supplied with
snack bars and icecream stalls, in particular on the north side.
Accomodation is also easy to find but, given the popularity of this ride
with Germans in particular, finding somewhere to stay at short notice
can be difficult in high summer.
The accommodation column below provides an indication of the number of
hotels or similar in each village/town. Places of interest a short way
off the route are highlighted in blue.
There are no tricky bits and many ferry opportunities to cut off the long bits on the route. Have a look at our Constance Map to get a full view of the route.
- None: 0
- Few: 1 or 2
- Some: 3 to 6
- Many: 7 or more
Information on each village
can be obtained from its web site by clicking on the village name in the
table above. For those that do not provide an English version, see the
advice on web translation below.
A lot of the smaller
tourist web sites are written in German only. This should be no barrier
to you using or them as Google offers a number of translation
solutions. Our preferred option is the Google toolbar
which can be downloaded, as the quality of translation is reasonable
and in most cases the web page will appear in English as you read down
it. This means it is always up to date and integrated with the website.
3rd party insurance
It is sensible to have 3rd
party insurance. At the time of writing there is a law in Switzerland
which requires Swiss bike owners to mount a "Velo Vignette" on the
mudguard each year and this also acts as a stolen bike tracking system.
Right now this rule does not cover visitors and may be about to be
rescinded in any case.