Travel report Lake Constance Cycle Tour

Sabine follows the trail of the rhein falls & co

I didn’t have to think long about which cycle tour I would like to test this year. For four years I have taken care of the tours of our partner Radweg-Reisen, specifically cycle tours on Lake Constance. Now I finally wanted to meet my colleagues, the lake and the region in person.

My long time friend Susanne accompanied me on the tour. She had never done a cycle tour before and didn’t know what to expect. We planned a shortened Lake Constance cycle tour because Susanne didn’t want to leave her kids (and husband) at home for too long.

By boat from Meersburg to Constance and the flower island Mainau

We started on Sunday. In the morning we headed in the direction of Meersburg, where we took the ferry to Constance. Keep the ferry boarding in mind as we were lucky we were allowed to board immediately and set off. We sailed across Lake Constance in beautiful weather. The first impression was perfect.

After arriving in Constance we checked into the traditional hotel Halm. We could pick up our bikes from Radweg Reisen until 7pm. Since it was only 2pm, we spontaneously decided to visit the island of Mainau.

You can only walk on the flower island. From herbs to banana plants, there is much to marvel at. A highlight are the big ‘flower animals’. We walked to the end of the island, had a coffee there and made our way to the office of Radweg Reisen around 5pm.

Once there, I immediately met Karin, who I have known since working at Eurobike. It’s nice to finally know the faces of the colleagues I only hear on the phone. In addition, Udo was still at the bike rental and gave us some good tips for Constance and the tour. After a short practice round in their courtyard we headed towards the hotel. Constance is very cyclist-friendly. There are extra bike lanes and many cycle paths. It feels so safe to cycle in the middle of the city!

Since it was already 8pm, we stopped in the pedestrian area to have something to eat. We opted for pasta at the Italian Piazza, as it was nice to sit outside. Then we took our wheels to the hotel and spent the evening in a ship converted into a bar. The weather forecast was good and we were looking forward to the first day of cycling.

From Constance to Überlingen

Our day kicked of at 8am. The breakfast was great and we were fuelled up for our first stage.

Udo had already explained how to best leave the city the day before. But everything is well signposted. If you don’t talk too much, you can’t miss the signs 😉 – but that only happened to us once and we noticed quickly! The cycle path is paved and runs partly near the lake. Sometimes separated by a small road, sometimes directly on the lake. It travels through Wollmatinger Ried (a nature reserve at the Untersee) in the direction Allensbach and on to Radolfzell. There we took our first longer break to visit the old town with its winding streets and of course to enjoy a cup of coffee.

We continued towards Bodman. This stage leads away from the Untersee and is at times a little hilly. In Sipplingen, shortly before Überlingen, we were overcome by hunger and took a stop in the lake restaurant Sipplingen. There were fresh chanterelles and you sit on a great terrace overlooking the lake. We then went on strengthened. Our hotel was right on the cycle path and we could not miss it. It was still early in the afternoon, we freshened up briefly and then jumped into the lake. We deserved it! 😊

Afterwards we visited the beautiful Überlingen, the city garden and the pedestrian precinct before we looked for a nice restaurant on the promenade for dinner. Since our lunch wasn’t so long ago, we ate a small antipasti plate. The evening ended with a view of the lake and a great sunset. Susi was thrilled with her first day of cycling.

Friedrichshafen and by catamaran back to Constance

A delicious breakfast was available in the Bad Hotel. With such a huge selection you don’t know what to try first. At 8.30 we were ready to go. We were scheduled to go to Friedrichshafen and from there by catamaran back to Constance. The stage was not very long at 35km.

The cycle path continues to Friedrichshafen always on the lake and we could take a lot of time to take photos and look at attractions. The first stop was the stilt dwellings in Uhldingen. Once there, the way to the museum is well signposted and the entrance fee of €10 is really worth it. The stilt museum presents people and forms of settlements from the Stone Age and Bronze Age. You can visit replica houses and huts build on stilts in the shallow water. We continued along the vineyards towards Meersburg – Friedrichshafen.

In the sky we could see zeppelins again and again, sightseeing flights are possible from Friedrichshafen. However, you have to register a few days in advance and the flights are rather expensive.

From Sigmaringen you cycle to Friedrichshafen next to the main road. If you don’t want to do that, you can also take the boat to Friedrichshafen. Once there we exchanged our vouchers for tickets for the catamaran. Since we had more than one hour, we strolled over the long promenade and treated ourselves to a delicious sundae. The crossing with the catamaran was really nice. The sun was shining and we were looking forward to Constance, as we did not see much of this beautiful city when we arrived. First of all, I cycled to the office of Radweg Reisen, to say hello to the colleagues who were not there on Sunday.

From Constance to Schaffhausen

I was looking forward to this stage in particular, because today we went to Switzerland and I knew from travel feedback from our guests and Stein am Rhein and Schaffhausen should be beautiful. We were not disappointed.

But first we took the ferry across from the island Reichenau to Gailingen. We hurried because we wanted to catch the 10am ferry. The crossing is short and in the sunshine we cycled towards Stein am Rhein. It couldn’t be better. Today the stage was rather hilly and at 50km, a bit longer than the day before. However, the efforts were rewarded with very nice views of the great landscape. Stein am Rhein has a charming, medieval old town and the facades of the houses are beautifully painted – you won’t want to leave. After a delicious cappuccino, we then left Schaffhausen, after all, today we also wanted to go to the Rhine Falls. The cycle path was hilly. Past beautiful sunflower fields and pastures, always along the Rhine, which has a turquoise blue colour here and invites you to swim.

We cycled past Diessenhofen with its beautiful wooden bridge and reached Schaffhausen around 15.30. On this day we stayed at the Hotel Park Villa Schaffhausen, a stately villa built in 1900. We were warmly welcomed and freshened up in our rooms.

Then we hopped back onto the bikes and headed towards the Rhine Falls Rock, which was about 3km from our hotel. The cycle tour includes a ticket for a boat trip to the rock in the middle of the island and we were looking forward to it. The rock in the middle of the huge waterfall is impressive. It’s a great feeling to be at the top, surrounded by the thunderous masses of water. After about 15 minutes you are picked up by the boat again. The drivers make it fun and sail very close to the waterfall, so you get a bit wet. At the end of this great day of cycling we ate Cordon Bleu and ‘Käsespätzle’ in the Schäffli restaurant in Schaffhausen.

Back to Constance and departure

Since today was our last day and we still had to make our journey home, we shortened part of the stage by train. Along this route you can get on and off about every 10km.

The first part to Stein am Rhein would have been the same as yesterday, so we decided to cycle from Stein am Rhein to Constance. The cycle path now led us on the Swiss side, past nature reserve Kreuzlingen and back to our starting point of Constance.

Once there it started to rain, suitable for the trip home! We waved goodbye to our bikes and colleagues and the tour was over.

The stage from Constance to Schaffhausen was my personal highlight of the tour, as you are off the beaten track in nature and Stein am Rhein and Schaffhausen are very beautiful. Susanne liked the stage to Überlingen a lot, as there was so much to see with the stilt houses, vineyards and small spots beside the lake.

The tour around Lake Constance has something for everyone and I was very happy to take a friend on one of our cycle tours – next year she would like to cycle with her family.

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