Travel report: Around Lake Constance in 4 stages

By our guests Isabel and Mark in September 2018

Kreuzlingen harbour

Kreuzlingen Hafen

Mainau Island

Auf der Insel Mainau


Die Promenade in Überlingen



On the Pfänder

Auf dem Pfänder

Stein am Rhein

Die Altstadt von Stein am Rhein

On their bike tour around Lake Constance, Isabel and Mark discovered the most famous cities at Lake Constance in September 2018. Always close to the shore and with the Alpine panorama in view, the route takes them to Constance, Meersburg, Friedrichshafen, Lindau, Bregenz and Arbon. They opted for a trip that is individually tailored to them and cycle in four stages around the beautiful Lake Constance.

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By Isabel and Mark

We are Isabel and Mark from North Rhine-Westphalia and we are enthusiastic cyclists. With our mountain bikes we are always and gladly on the road. However, we have not dared so far to take our bikes on a longer tour over several days. On the Internet we came across and decided spontaneously: "We want to drive around the Bodensee with our bikes!" We have never been to Lake Constance region before, so let's do it now! At Radweg-Reisen, staff was really helpful and let themselves be involved in our individual wishes. We specify that we want our trips to be 4 nights long and that we would like to stay in Kreuzlingen, Überlingen, Lindau and Constance.

Isabel and Mark

Within a very short time everything is booked. We get detailed and very accurate travel documents and a great Lake Constance cycling map sent by Radweg-Reisen. All hotels are described in detail and we are already looking forward to our little adventure...
Will the weather be good? Is the Lake Constance Cycle Route really as beautiful as described in many travel guides? Is our physical condition sufficient? Many questions we take with us on our little bike trip.

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Arrival in Kreuzlingen

We organize the arrival ourselves by car. We're bringing our own bikes, since we feel most at ease on them.
The hotel is already reached in the early morning and lies directly at the port of Kreuzlingen. The weather is fabulous at our arrival. Blue sky and sunshine. The hotel is a dream, everybody is friendly and we get to move into our room early. This way we can make the best of our first day. Quickly we park the car and start a small discovery tour on foot through the beautiful Seeburgpark in Kreuzlingen. We get to marvel at Lake Constance and are thrilled by the crystal clear water of the lake and the Mediterranean atmosphere that captures us already here.
Full of anticipation, we enjoy the first day and can hardly wait for the start of our bike tour.

At Seeburgpark

Kreuzlingen – Überlingen – Mainau – Wallhausen, approx. 25 km

Well rested, we say goodbye to our accommodation and start cycling. We find the entrance to the bike path directly in front of the hotel. It is very well marked, you can not get lost. Our first stage leads us from Kreuzlingen in Switzerland via Constance to Mainau Island. We deliberately don't want to ride so many kilometers on our first cycling day in order to have time for the flower island Mainau. Already at 8 a.m. we sit on the bike and arrive in on Mainau Island in the early morning fog. There we spend a great day marveling at the dahlia garden, redwood trees, flower arrangements and visit the butterfly house.  In the afternoon we continue by bike through apple orchards and past the beautiful lake shore to Wallhausen. There we take the boat, we have received a voucher for this from Radweg-Reisen and are very happy about it. In picture-perfect weather we arrive in Überlingen and now have to cycle a steep stage up to the hotel, which is located in a park above the lake. Again, a great hotel awaits us, our suitcases are already there and we are happy that the luggage transport worked out so great. Relaxed, we let the evening end at the beautiful lake promenade and look forward to the next day.

At Wallhausen harbour
Mainau Island

Überlingen – Unteruhldingen – Meersburg – Friedrichshafen – Lindau, approx. 65 km

Once again we had a good breakfast and slept well. Great that you get breakfast in the accommodations already from 7 a.m. This way we can again get started at sunrise and cycle on our the next stage leading us to Lindau.
We go down from the high hotel to the bike path on the lake and can easily manage with our mountain bikes. The ride goes beautifully through apple orchards and vineyards. Again we're blessed with wonderful weather!
Early we arrive at the pile dwellings in Unteruhldingen, which we've been wanting to see for so long. The guided tour is very interesting and the pile dwelling village lies mystically in the morning light. This village is worth a visit. Here you can learn a lot about the people who inhabited this area thousands of years ago. After the visit we continue on the bike towards Meersburg. So far we have no problems following the signs, the weather is perfect and we are motivated to the roots of our hair.


Apple orchards

Past bathing beaches and many stops along the lakeshore, we arrive in Meersburg at the old town at noon. How beautiful it is here! We put our bikes in one of the many bike racks and climb up to the New Palace. From here there is a beautiful view down to the lake and the old town. In front of us is the State Winery and the quaint Meersburg Castle. It's all so picturesque here, we don't want to go any further. So we take one more scoop of ice cream and very gradually we drive on via Friedrichshafen to Lindau. Again it goes through many apple orchards, this time many other cyclists are with us together on the road.

There is enough space for everybody on the bike path. (Before starting the trip I was worried that this could not be the case.) So unnecessary worries made!
Today our accommodation is located in the old town of Lindau. We find the hotel right away and are overwhelmed by this beautiful location. We are allowed to spend the night directly at the harbour and are greeted by the great scenery upon arrival. The harbor entrance of Lindau with the famous lion is beautiful!
Again, we are received friendly in the hotel, everything is very stylish and elegantly furnished. Our luggage has also arrived safely again. We waste no time, store our bikes and spend the evening in the old town. We enjoy the sunset in a delicious restaurant at the harbour and watch the hustle and bustle. We are happy and pleasantly exhausted from the beautiful day's stage. Let's see what the new day will offer us tomorrow.

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The pile dwellings

Lindau – Bregenz – Rorschach – Romanshorn – Constance, approx. 95 km

Again we start early in the morning. We had a very good breakfast, slept well and felt completely comfortable in the accommodation. So we start in a good mood on our longest stage, which should lead us back to Constance. From Lindau, we travel quite quickly along the lakeshore to Bregenz. Here we dare a detour to the Pfänderbahn, which runs directly in the city center to the 1064 meter high Pfänder. From 8 to 10 p.m. bicycles are transported free of charge and so we float up the mountain with the bikes. Up there it has a great view of the lake and we enjoy the panorama in wonderful weather. We meet a nice fellow cyclist who also rides the Lake Constance Cycle Route and chat for a while. There are extra bike runs from the Pfänder, which are signposted. Pedestrian and bike paths are strictly separated! So we drive 800 meters rapidly downhill and have down quite hot run brakes. So much fun!
Further it goes on the Austrian side always along the lakeshore. In between, the bike path runs several kilometers away from the lakeshore and a large part must be driven through the hinterland, which is also very beautiful. After the Rhine delta we are back on the lakeshore and quickly crossed the Swiss border. In Rorschach we take a longer rest on the beautiful lake promenade under shadowy plane trees.

Lindau harbour

We continue along the lakeshore to Romanshorn. There we find a great bathing bay, the water has a crystal clear quality. We just stop and jump into the water. That is wonderful!
After our swimming break it goes back on the bike. However, we do not like this part of the stage at all. It goes incessantly along railroad tracks, we do not see the lake at all. And this drags on endlessly, with scorching heat from above.
But even this section finds a good end. We arrive in Constance and are really exhausted after 94 kilometers. Our accommodation is in the middle of the old town, we have to search a bit, but then we find it. Here we are also warmly welcomed, the house has a long history and was already at the time of the Council of Constance an accommodation for travelers. Thiere is something to this house;  creaking floorboards, ancient walls and a lot of atmosphere. We like it!
In the evening in the beer garden we meet our acquaintance from the Pfänder again. Together we enjoy a delicious beer and exchange our experiences on the bike path. The sun goes down slowly, but it remains very warm. It is a very nice evening in the middle of the old town. And again we look forward to the next day!

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The ride with the Pfänderbahn

Constance – Reichenau – Stein am Rhein – Constance, approx. 50 km

Today we do not need to reach a new hotel, we stay in our accommodation. The advantage: We do not need to prepare our luggage early in the morning for the transfer. Nevertheless, we start early again. We are not the first ones at 7.a.m. at breakfast, some cyclists are already there before us. We want to visit the island of Reichenau and leave satiated and well rested. The way is a bit tricky this time, we get lost in Constance. But finally we reach our destination. It is only a few kilometers to the Reichenau from Constance. Once there, we see vegetables and fruit all over the place. This impresses us very much. Unfortunately, we can not look at the minster, there is filming going on in the building and access is banned.

Stein am Rhein

We move on across the island and spontaneously decide to take the boat to Stein am Rhein. My calf cramps and hurts, I'm a little worried. The ride by boat is great. It all looks quite different from the sea and the crew on board is helpful and nice and has the stowage of all bikes and passengers very well in hand! Below us I see schools of fish swimming in the crystal clear water. Since the water is extremely low, the captain has to drive very slowly and the trip ends in Stein am Rhein. We can not continue to Schaffhausen because of the low water levels. We like Stein am Rhein very much, we marvel at the old town with its magnificently painted houses. The way back to Constance is easy and goes beautifully along the lakeshore. There are many opportunities to take breaks. So slowly we notice our backside and the kilometers in our bones. But tanned and full of great insights and experiences we arrive in Constance and have another great evening in best weather with good food.

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Ship trip

Additional day in Constance

Radweg-Reisen has responded to our wishes and has booked us an extra night in our hotel. This day we urgently need to get a break from cycling and just relax. As much as we like cycling, we are done now.
So we use the day for excursions and discoveries. We leave again early in the morning, but this time with the ship at sunrise towards Meersburg. The crossing is fantastic, the weather as well. In Meersburg we visit the Old Castle, stroll along the lake promenade, enjoy the truly Mediterranean climate and take the boat back towards Constance. In Constance we visit the Rosgartenmuseum, for which we still have a voucher, and enjoy a coffee. The day winds down, we have to say goodbye and we already know that this was the most beautiful bike tour we have ever done. It was really a dream.

The trip with the ferry

Our conclusion

This bike tour was a dream come true for us. Not least because of the very good organization of Radweg-Reisen and the beautiful hotels that left nothing to be desired. We have enjoyed every single hour and were so lucky with the weather...
Untrained, however, you should not approach the tour. There are some altitude meters to manage. If you are on the road without a battery (i.e. an e-bike), this is important to take into consideration. We were in many places glad to be on the road with mountain bikes, because there are many gravel roads with coarse split.
The bike trip has us so excited that we will certainly come back for more.

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