Our fantastic cycling trip from Lindau to Rorschach
Family fun around Lake Constance
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll already know that we, as a family, love outdoor activities as much as we love our food! That means we love walking, cycling and anything outdoorsy – particularly now our son is getting older. I’m always up for trying out something new and discovering the world through kid’s eyes.
We always enjoy our pit stops
One of the most frequent questions asked on our holiday is always, “where are we going to stop for something to eat?” We never like planning everything to the last minute and much prefer to take our time and enjoy the scenery. However, we never say no to a nice restaurant, café or bar!
We’re also not that fussed about what kind of bikes we hire – as long as they’re comfy, reliable and have enough gears to tackle an incline.
I’ve had the Lake Constance cycling path (Bodenseeradweg) on my bucket list for some time now, so I couldn’t wait to discover it while we were on holiday on Lindau Island this year. We certainly didn’t cycle the full 250km, but we did cycle about 35km of it on our hired bikes and absolutely loved it!
Options to make every cyclist happy
Up on the saddle
We hired our bikes from Unger bike shop, located just around the corner from our lovely hotel (The Alte Post) in Lindau. The shop had a good selection of bikes to suit every taste. Luckily, we didn’t need to get the bikes back before closing time – giving us plenty of time to enjoy our day without any urgency to rush back.
We had originally planned to cycle along Lake Constance’s eastern shore from Lindau to Friedrichshafen but after chatting to some locals, we decided to go along with their advice and take the western route towards the Swiss village of Rorschach. It turns out that the eastern side is much hillier and probably would have been a bit challenging for our little one (or perhaps more likely for us!) We didn’t regret our decision for a minute – although I would definitely like to explore the other route at some point, especially as a rather professional looking cyclist explained that the eastern route is even closer to the lake and has some breath-taking views.
Tip: Don’t forget to bring your own cycle helmets as some shops don’t hire them. Also, don’t forget your passport if you fancy travelling to one of the neighbouring countries.
When ‘Guten Tag’ turns into ‘Grüß Gott’
You can pass through three countries in a day
I must say that we were incredibly lucky with the weather – super sunshine for practically the whole week. The area around Lake Constance is known for its mild climate during the summer months, and as we set off on our cycle ride, it was a comfortable 24C. The cycle path takes you through the forest in some places and the shade is often a welcome relief from the heat. We did have a couple of spots of rain for a few minutes but it soon passed, which was rather refreshing after all that heat. The weather can often change quickly, so be prepared, particularly if you’re cycling with young children. With that in mind, our rucksacks contained a waterproof jacket, a jumper, as well as a swimsuit!
The route was generally quiet on most of the stages – perfect when cycling with less experienced cyclists like our son. However, certain parts of the route were busier and we needed to remind our son to keep right so that faster riders could whizz by. Cyclists are generally a friendly lot and you usually get a ‘Hallo’ or a ‘Guten Tag’ in Germany – turning into a ‘Grüß’ Gott!’ in Austria!
September is fabulous too
A good time to travel to Lake Constance
September is also a fabulous month to travel to the region – much quieter after the busy summer season, but equally as impressive. September is the time when the grapes are harvested ready for making the region’s delicious wine. It’s also a time of beauty as nature begins to change from its vibrant summer colours to the warm, golden shades of autumn.
Take your time and have a break
Stunning scenery awaits you
Our journey was frequently interrupted (in a good way) by the temptation to have a dip in the lake or a wander through the Austrian city of Bregenz, with its well-known festival stage. This year, Carmen was performed there. It really is truly impressive to see and well worth a visit. If you know you’ll be in the area in July or August, and want to see a performance, it’s advisable to book tickets in advance as they are very popular. However, it’s always worth taking a chance on the day – you may find someone selling spare tickets.
As we moved further away from the lake, we passed through villages nestled in the beautiful Austrian countryside and enjoyed the impressive scenery of the surrounding mountains.
Tip: The next Bregenz festival will be on 17th July – 18th August 2019!
What’s for lunch?
Finding a nice place to eat is important for us
When it’s getting close to lunchtime, it’s not only our son that starts to show signs of hunger; we’ve already started to look at the map for places to eat. On this occasion, we decided on a family-friendly restaurant in the Austrian city of Fussach. The Salzmann restaurant has a lovely terrace overlooking the lake and a playground just next to it. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal of Greek salad, Alsace tarte flambée and Bodenseefelchent, a local fish, which was served with boiled potatoes. The service was excellent and the view idyllic – just what we needed after a morning of cycling!
Fantastic ferry trip
It felt like being on the open sea
We continued cycling as far as Rorschach in Switzerland so that we could catch the ferry back to Lindau. In fact, there are several ferry routes that criss-cross the lake – making it easy to discover the beautiful villages dotted along the shoreline. A little piece of advice – do check the ferry times as the last ferry back to Lindau is at 5.15pm and we only just made it in time! I certainly didn’t have enough energy to cycle the 35km back to Lindau. Our 45-minute cruise was spectacular as we took in the breath-taking scenery along the way.
In short: An enjoyable holiday
A repeat is very likely
All three of us agreed that it was the perfect day and would definitely do it again.
Have you done any sporting activities in the Lake Constance region? It would be lovely if you’d share your stories. Maybe you have some top tips or photos you’d be happy to share with our community. You can contact me via social media or post your pictures with the tag #holidayingermany.
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I’m also happy to answer any questions if you’d like help with planning your trip. Just drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll reply as soon as I can. Thank you!
Here are some links for the places we went to and the things we did:
Lake Constance tourist information: http://www.bodensee.eu/en
The Helvetia Boutique Resort hotel in Lindau: https://www.hotel-helvetia.com/
The Unger bike shop in Lindau for hiring or buying bikes and equipment: http://www.fahrrad-unger.de/
Lindau tourist information http://www.lindau.de/en/
Lake Constance cycling path information: http://www.bodensee.eu/en/Lake%20Constance%20cycle%20route_touroute594
The Alte Post hotel and restaurant in Lindau: https://www.alte-post-lindau.de/
Bregenz Festival: https://bregenzerfestspiele.com/en
The Salzmann harbour restaurant in Fussach (Austria): http://www.salzmann.at/de/angebot/seerestaurant.html
Ravensburger Spieleland entertainment park (close to Lindau) in Meckenbeuren: https://www.spieleland.de/uk/start/index.html.
Have a look at my blog here about the entertainment parks we visited while we were on holiday in the Black Forest and Bavaria.