Island and volcano hopping in western Lake Constance
The rousing scenery of western Lake Constance is full of pretty islands and peninsulas, unspoilt shores, hidden bays and bizarre volcanic formations. Its mix of leafy natural oases, cultural treasures and culinary experiences is unforgettable and inspiring.
A paradise for explorers
The islands, peninsulas, small harbours and picturesque villages can be discovered on an invigorating tour by canoe, solar ferry or pleasure boat. Keen cyclists and walkers can look forward to a special experience – once the peaks of the volcanoes have been conquered, they are rewarded with amazing views of the lake and the majestic Alps beyond. A totally different way of seeing the lake and the islands.
For many migrating birds, the mild climate makes this region one of the most important protected resting and wintering areas in central Europe. Nature lovers will enjoy learning about rare plant and animal species on the fascinating excursions run by nature conservation organisations. In addition to bird watching, there are other excellent tours that bring visitors closer to nature.
Inspirational arts and culture
This corner of Lake Constance has always been an inspiration to painters and poets, and there are museums dedicated to some of them. In Gaienhofen, for example, visitors can find out more about the life and legacy of Otto Dix and Hermann Hesse. In Allensbach, they can familiarise themselves with the works of writer Fritz Mühlenweg, while the house of painter Adolf Dietrich in the small village of Berlingen in the Thurgau region is a true delight. A particular local highlight is the MAC Museum Art & Cars in Singen, which showcases classic cars and art under one roof. Constance, the largest town on Lake Constance, is home to many reminders of the Council of Constance, which took place over 600 years ago and was the only time a pope was elected north of the Alps. The Flower Island of Mainau, meanwhile, indulges the senses throughout the year with a programme that includes exhibitions, exotic flora and fauna, and food menus featuring local blossoms. Equally amazing is Reichenau – the island with its famous abbey is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Lakeside concerts, such as the Jazz am See festival in Allensbach, and open-air concerts featuring internationally acclaimed musicians in the atmospheric Hohentwiel castle ruins, will delight any music lover. The spectacular fireworks that round off the Constance Lake Night Festival are guaranteed to be unforgettable.
The region is a chef’s dream come true – fields of vegetables, extensive orchards and the lake itself offer top quality local produce without the food miles. Salad, herbs and tomatoes thrive on Reichenau Island and the Höri peninsula, and crunchy apples are grown in orchards near the shoreline. Freshly caught fish has only a short distance to travel from the lake to the plate, and it can all be rounded off with a wine from Germany’s highest vineyard on Hohentwiel. The small town of Eigeltingen in the Hegau region is famous for its Lake Constance sweets, and you can even watch them being made if you happen to visit. This is a dream destination for foodies – there are Michelin-starred establishments, slow food outlets, restaurants serving traditional German dishes and delis specialising in local produce. And for an all-round experience, why not try a cruise offering tastings of such local delights as whisky, gin, wine and cheese? Or how about the Höri-Bülle tour, which is dedicated to the flavoursome red onion that is typical of the region?
Relaxing, stimulating or active
The region is defined by water, so why not dive in, have fun and relax? Visitors can go for a swim at one of the many beaches, unwind in the Bodensee-Therme spa, or try their hand at standup paddle boarding, canoeing or kayaking. Tip: enjoying the spectacular sunsets from the shore or on the islands is highly recommended – even better with a picnic.
When spring arrives, the region explodes in a kaleidoscope of colours, and many people open their gardens to visitors. The ‘Grenzenlose Garten-Rendezvous’ event provides access to 77 inspiring variations – from unspoilt farm gardens, fragrant herb gardens, and welcoming family gardens to imaginative artist’s refuges and landscaped parks. Every garden has its own story to tell.
A wonderful walking experience
Western Lake Constance is a real insider tip for keen walkers, and there are several routes that have been certified as premium walking trails by the German Institute of Hiking. The nine premium trails around the peaks of the Hegau region vary in length from seven to 15 kilometres and lead walkers to hilltop castles, along idyllic rivers and through picturesque ravines. The volcanic landscape, shaped by fire, water and ice, provides an insight into how nature evolved around the lake. The SeeGang premium walking trail affords unforgettable views as it follows the shoreline of Lake Constance for 53 kilometres. Ambitious walkers can tackle the whole route from Constance to Überlingen in two to three days, but shorter sections are also possible.
On the trail of the mountain bike world champions
The varied topography of the Hegau region provides plenty of challenges for mountain bikers. Following in the footsteps of world champions, keen mountain bikers can explore the trails of the 2017 MTB World Championships on a length of 31 or 51 kilometres. The views from the volcanic peaks provide a quick photo opportunity before continuing at pace down to the lake.
Constance, Radolfzell and Singen are perfect for a mini sightseeing and shopping tour. Just like the more than two dozen small towns in the Hegau and lower Lake Constance regions and in nearby Switzerland, they all generally have a well-preserved old quarter. The towns can be easily reached on the regional Seehas train.
The visitor card is your ticket to ride
The VHB visitor card offers holidaymakers free travel on local public transport, so there is no better reason to leave the car at home. The day trip guide that comes with the visitor card provides plenty of inspiration for things to do and see – more than 60 local attractions are showcased in two languages. The VHB visitor card issued by accommodation providers in the ten participating towns and villages is a valid ticket in the Constance region, including Stein am Rhein and Überlingen. It also provides a 20 per cent discount on pleasure cruises as well as money off museums and bicycle and boat hire.
Further Informations and Downloads
- Übersichtskarte: https://www.bodenseewest.eu/de/westlicher-bodensee/uebersichtskarte
- Thema Radfahren allgemein: https://www.bodenseewest.eu/de/erleben/aktiv/radfahren-bodensee
- Insel & VulkanHopping am westlichen Bodensee: https://www.bodenseewest.eu/touren/insel-und-vulkanhopping-am-westlichen-bodensee-c10bd757d6
- GartenTouren: https://www.bodenseewest.eu/de/erleben/grenzenloses-gartenrendezvous/gartentouren und Broschüre:https://issuu.com/untersee/docs/garten-rendezvous_2020_internet
- Bodenseeradweg: https://www.bodenseewest.eu/touren/bodensee-radweg-baden-wuerttemberg-335ab9f737 und Seite Bodenseeradweg
- lit. Radroute – per Pedal zur Poesie (D+CH): https://www.bodenseewest.eu/de/erleben/kultursee/kunst-literatur/literarische-radroute undhttps://prospektbestellung.toubiz.de/media/prospekt/file/4700705_Route-03.pdf
- Mountainbiketouren: https://www.bodenseewest.eu/de/erleben/aktiv/radfahren-bodensee/mountainbike-touren
- Kulinarische Radtour: https://www.gaienhofen.de/touren/rettich-buelle-und-salat-genussradtour-ueber-die-halbinsel-hoeri-1b0db59033
- Kunstroute: https://www.bodenseewest.eu/de/erleben/kultursee/kunst-literatur/kunstroute-untersee und https://www.bodenseewest.eu/touren/kunstroute-untersee-87ef47dc06 und https://prospektbestellung.toubiz.de/media/prospekt/file/5506101_Kunstroute_Untersee_2015_Internet.pdf
- BodenseecardWest: freie Fahrt mit Bus und Bahn: https://www.bodenseewest.eu/de/planen-buchen/bodenseecardwest
- Schifffahrt: https://www.bodenseewest.eu/de/erleben/schifffahrt
- Hinweise zu Währung Grenze, Gepäcktransport: https://www.bodenseewest.eu/de/service/gut-zu-wissen
- Anreise und Mobilität: https://www.bodenseewest.eu/de/service/anreise-mobilitaet-vor-ort
- Magazin SinnesImpulse: https://prospektbestellung.toubiz.de/media/prospekt/file/9297836_191211_Regio_Magazin.pdf
- Ausflugstipps 2020: https://prospektbestellung.toubiz.de/media/prospekt/file/9704057_VHB-Ausflugstipps_2020_INTERNET.pdf
- Broschüre Natur: https://prospektbestellung.toubiz.de/media/prospekt/file/7670508_Natur_pur_2018_Internet.pdf
- BodenseeKirchenbesucher: https://prospektbestellung.toubiz.de/media/prospekt/file/6441503_190124_BRW_Kirchenbesucher_komplett_RZ_Web.pdf
- Kirchen-Klöster-Weltkultur (gesamter Bodensee): https://prospektbestellung.toubiz.de/media/prospekt/file/6900378_190227_BRW_KKW_InspirationBodensee_Web.pdf