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 cycling 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
||€10/day per bike for 7 days
||€130/night for 6 nights
|Food and drink
||€40 per person per day, for 7 days
||say €20 per person
making €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