Lake Constance Self-Guided Cycling Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Premium Adventures
Destinations:
Austria, Switzerland, Germany
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
C10LC
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

11 Days Flight Inclusive
11 Days Land only
Min age: 1

Trip Overview

Flanked by the majestic Alpine peaks of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, the turquoise shoreline and pebbly beaches of Lake Constance are shared between three countries.This is a region brimming with history and cultural highlights such as the fairytale castle in Meersburg, the flower-decked palace in Konstanz and books dating back over 1,000 years in St Gallen's UNESCO library.

At a Glance

  • 10 nights 3 to 4-star hotels, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days cycling with luggage transfers
  • 20% on quiet tarmac roads, 80% on cycle paths and tracks
  • Optional electric bikes
  • The terrain is perfect for first timers.

Trip Highlights

  • Cycle through postcard-pretty villages and stunning mountain views
  • Visit Baroque churches, Gothic cathedrals, fairytale palaces, romantic castles
  • Swim every day

Is This Trip for You?

Exploring by bike is by far the best way to travel here as a 270km cycling path leads from country to country, taking in daisy-strewn meadows, billowing wheat fields, Bavarian vineyards and picturesque marinas. Not only does this itinerary offer easy, level cycling on lakeside paths, the flexibility of our route notes is also a huge bonus. We give you fully detailed cycling notes to take you from each hotel to the next; if however, you wish to shorten, or lengthen, your route at any point, simply hop on the local train or boat - taking your bike with you - and tailor your journey to suit.

Average daily distance: 32km (20 miles).
No. of days cycling: 5
Terrain and route: The suggested cycling mainly follows quiet tarmac roads and cycle paths with a few sections on dirt roads. The terrain is mainly flat with a few undulating sections, ideal for first timers.

Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. The route notes contain an emergency telephone number. In an emergency, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service. 

A supplement (payable in advance) applies for sole occupancy of a room. 

Adult min age:
15
Child min age:
1
Child max age:
14

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Bregenz
End City:
Bregenz

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Bregenz

    You arrive at your hotel, a historic coaching inn, in the centre of Bregenz. Explore the ancient cobbled streets of the old town before dinner on the courtyard terrace.
    Comfortable hotel

  • Day 2

    Bregenz to Arbon

    Cycle west along Lake Constance's southern shore before crossing the mighty Rhine delta that straddles the border between Austria and Switzerland. It's an area of great natural beauty and a refuge for wildlife - be sure to keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers in the reeds. Your final stretch takes you around the lake to Arbon where you'll find pretty half-timbered houses and a 16the century castle.

    Two routes: 24km/15mi or 41km/25mi
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 41 km / 25 miles
  • Day 3

    At Arbon

    It's easy to spend a morning exploring Arbon's historic old town with its well-preserved buildings. After lunch at one of the many lakeside restaurants, hop on the bus for the 35 minute ride (10km) to historic St Gallen, a bustling market town packed with 18th century merchants' houses and open-air cafes. Visit the 8th century Benedictine abbey's fabulous UNESCO library, then blow the cobwebs away by freewheeling back down to the lakeside. There's lots of swimming possibilities before an easy waterfront cycle back to the hotel.
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Arbon to Stein am Rhein

    There's an option to take the train to Guettingen this morning and shorten your route. Otherwise, pedal clockwise around the lake and pass numerous waterfront villages affording lots of panoramic sun terraces for coffee stops and lunch. In the afternoon, you coast effortlessly between sleepy harbours before arriving at the riverside Hotel Chlosterhof where you spend the next two nights.

    Two routes: 42km/26mi or 59km/37mi
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 59 km / 37 miles
  • Day 5

    At Stein am Rhein

    It's easy to spend the day in mediaeval Stein am Rhein with its 11th century monastery, beautiful frescoed square and lovely chocolate shops! Alternatively, Schaffhausen, a lively German town full of street theatre in the summer, is ideal for a day trip - it's great for shopping and has riverside cycle paths to Schloss Laufen, a tiny castle perched precariously above the tumbling Rheinfall waterfall, the biggest in Europe!
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Stein am Rhein to Konstanz

    Freewheeling east this morning, you'll soon cross the border to enter Germany - look out for cormorant and red-crested pochard in the Hornstaad Nature Reserve. Cycling along the Gnadensee you'll soon reach the UNESCO Heritage Site of Klosterinsel Reichenau, the first populated area on Lake Constance and home to an impressive 8th century Benedictine abbey. It's then on to Konstanz, the unofficial regional capital. 
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 45 km / 28 miles
  • Day 7

    At Konstanz

    Spend the day exploring the narrow streets of Konstanz: visit the Altstadt, Munster and lively centre crammed with quirky shops and museums. Alternatively hop on a boat (payable locally) to visit Mainau Island's palace and landscaped rose gardens. If you take your bike, you can pedal back at leisure along traffic-free lakeside cycle paths.
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Konstanz to Friedrichshafen

    It's a short ride through oak forest to catch the 15 minute ferry ride (included) to fairytale Meersburg with its twin castles, steep streets and hillsides of vines. It's a perfect place for a lunch stop! Then, pedalling south, it's a gentle cycle into Friedrichshafen. 
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 25 km / 16 miles
  • Day 9

    At Friedrichshafen

    There are superb wine tasting opportunities on your doorstep today - local Muller-Thurgau wines come from Riesling and Silvaner grapes for which Lake Constance is famous. Or visit Friedrichshafen's amazing Zeppelin Museum, full of fascinating knick-knacks, including an original menu and wine list from the Hindenburg.
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Friedrichshafen to Bregenz

    Cycle past the pretty village of Langenargen and through peaceful vineyards and cherry orchards en route to lovely Lindau, a gorgeous island village surrounded by cobalt blue waters with long distance views of razor-edged peaks across the lake (there are lots of idyllic choices for lunch). Then, keeping the lake at your side, a final push takes you back down to Bregenz. Time permitting, perhaps take the cable car up Pfander mountain (1064m), for a fantastic vista of your entire route and a real sense of achievement! 
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 33 km / 21 miles
  • Day 11

    Leave Bregenz

    Leave Bregenz

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels

Your accommodation is varied; you stay in an old coaching inn, a grand riverside hotel and a luxury lakeside mansion. We've tried to ensure that you are never far from the waterfront, with its pebble beaches, colourful marinas and half-timbered houses.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £374.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

Look out for local specialities like kretzer (perch) and zander (pike-perch) on the menu, accompanied by fine local wines.

Transportation

Your luggage will be transported between the hotels by taxi or minibus. The local representative is often able to dispatch a taxi should you need it in an emergency, but may wish to charge you for this service.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Lake Constance has a big influence on the local climate due to its size, resulting in a moderate maritime climate. Summers are pleasant and winters cool, but not bitterly cold. The average summer temperature is 25 C, perfect for cycling.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Alternative flights can be arranged from most UK airports.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Bregenz
Location end:
Bregenz

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Helmets are compulsory in Austria for all customers under 12 years, you must bring one as they are not provided locally.

Warm top and leggings for the early spring and autumn departures

Swimming costume

Windproof and waterproof layer

Comfortable shoes and clothes for the days off the bike if you want to explore the towns.

Self-Guided Hire Bikes

We use hybrid bikes. All bikes are supplied with:

  • 2 rear panniers
  • 1 bike lock per 2 people
  • 1 puncture repair kit per 2 people, which includes puncture repair spray and a pump


If you are booked as a group, but intend to cycle seperately please let us know in advance if you wish to have additional map holders or repair kits.

Seat and handlebar heights will have been set up in advance from the heights you have given us on booking. However, when you receive your bike there will be the opportunity to test and adjust. Our representative will be on hand to assist you and can fit pedals and your saddle if you wish to bring these with you.

Please note helmets are not provided, please take your own on this trip.

Bike Repairs
As you are riding unaccompanied, it is wise to know at least how to repair an inner tube before setting off on your bike! The bikes are serviced before being rented out so there should be no problems but there are emergency numbers provided in the Route Notes for more complex problems.

Equipment Hire

Self-Guided Hire Bikes
All bikes are supplied with:
- 1 handlebar map holder
- 2 rear panniers
- 1 bike lock per 2 people
- 1 puncture repair kit per 2 people, which includes puncture repair spray and a pump

If you are booked as a group, but intend to cycle seperately please let us know in advance if you wish to have additional map holders or repair kits.

Seat and handlebar heights will have been set up in advance from the heights you have given us on booking. However, when you receive your bike there will be the opportunity to test and adjust. Our representative will be on hand to assist you and can fit pedals and your saddle if you wish to bring these with you.

Please note helmets are not provided, please take your own on this trip.

Bike Repairs
As you are riding unaccompanied, it is wise to know at least how to repair an inner tube before setting off on your bike! The bikes are serviced before being rented out so there should be no problems but there are emergency numbers provided in the Route Notes for more complex problems.

Local Bike Details

A quality local hire bike is included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions 

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Bringing Your Own Bike

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may, of course, bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount off the price of the holiday, as specified above. You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees. You will also be responsible for assembling and disassembling your bike as well as bringing along spare parts and any tools specific to it. Our cycling team only carry the relevant spares for the hire fleet. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

Lake Constance, Austria

Practical Information

Passport

Austria

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Switzerland

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Germany

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Austria

Switzerland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Germany

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Austria

There are no specific health risks.

Switzerland

There are no specific health risks.

Germany

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Austria's Timezone:
Europe/Vienna CET (GMT +01:00)
Switzerland's Timezone:
Europe/Zurich CET (GMT +01:00)
Germany's Timezone:
Europe/Berlin CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Austria's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Switzerland's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC. Switzerland also has a 3 round pin plug, which includes a grounding pin (type J). 

Germany's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

Austria's Currency

The national currency of Austria is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (August 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.84 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.67 to the AUD and 0.63 to the NZD.

Switzerland's Currency

The national currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (June 2017) of approximately 1.2 to the GBP,  0.96 to the USD, 0.74 to the CAD, 1.1 to the EUR, 0.73 to the AUD and 0.69 to the NZD.

Germany's Currency

The national currency of Germany is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (September 2018) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.86 to the USD, 0.66 to the CAD, 0.61 to the AUD and 0.56 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.