Four Country Tour
Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland Bike Tour
Four countries, 3 lakes, and 1 Cosmopolitan city…
This cycling vacation begins in Constance (Konstanz), which lies on the ever-so-beautiful Lake Constance (Bodensee) in Germany. It is the largest city on the lake and remains one of the best-preserved major medieval cities in Germany. It is known for its resorts, shops, and beaches. From Constance, the tour will cross the Swiss border and cycle through small romantic villages to Stein am Rhein, a beautiful, small medieval town, before reaching Schaffhausen. Stein am Rhein sits idyllically on the Rhine and has immaculately restored burgher houses as well as the inviting Rathausplatz, town hall square. The picture gallery in the monastery of St. George has been very highly regarded by art historians.
Located in northern Switzerland, Schaffhausen is a beautiful town with many narrow streets decorated with Renaissance houses showcasing outdoor sculptures and frescos in addition to its impressive oriel windows and Munot fortifications. Be sure to enjoy a glass of local wine in the medieval Old Town. Schaffhausen became world-famous for the nearby Rheinfall or Rhine Falls, the largest waterfall in Europe that is said to be approx. 17,000 years old. Further along the romantic river valleys of the Rhine and Glatt Rivers, this tour will bring you to Zurich, the largest of all the Swiss cities. Its Bahnhofstrasse is one of the world’s most elegant shopping streets.
The small town of Rapperswil (on the eastside of Lake Zurich) is frequently called Rosenstadt, the Town of Roses, and it won’t take you long to figure out why! Also of note are the 13th century castle of Rapperswil, a wooden footbridge and the Capuchin monastery from 1606, all mostly located within the medieval centre. From the banks of Lake Zurich, you will ride on to Lake Walen and into Weesen. You will board a boat and sail to the other end of the lake to Walenstad surrounded by mountains with peaks over 1800 m high.
From Walenstadt, the route runs north through Liechtenstein. Then it is over the Austrian border to Feldkirch with a nice, medieval town center. Through more small villages and protected waterways, the route will lead you back to Lake Constance via the enchanting St. Gallen. The Abby of St. Gall is a UNESCO world heritage site, well worth a visit!
Come explore these countries, rich in culture and history!
Where You’ll Stay
Good, clean, and comfortable family-run 2 and 3 star hotels.
- 8 nights’ hotel accommodations
- 21/24-speed hybrid bicycle
- Luggage transportation (each piece must weigh under 44 lbs / 20 kg)
- Route descriptions & maps
- Service hotline
- Entrance to the Rosgarten museum in Constance, incl. 1 coffee
- Boat trip to the Rhinefall rocks
- Train journey from Altstatten - Gais, incl. bicycle
- Boat transfer Weesen - Walenstadt inc. bicycle
What’s Not Included
- Individual arrival to Constance
- Remaining meals
- Fridays, Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays April 27 to May 20, 2013.
- Daily from May 22 to October 10, 2013.
Relatively easy self-guided hotel tour with variable daily distances from approximately 19 to 41 miles. Terrain is flat and rides along good roads/bike paths.
Day 1: Individual arrival in Constance.
Day 2: Constance - Schaffhausen, 32 mi. (50 km)
Day 3: Schaffhausen - Zurich, 41 mi. (65 km)
Day 4: Zurich - Lachen, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 5: Lachen - Walenstadt, 19 mi. (30 km)
Day 6: Walenstadt - Feldkirch, 35 mi. (55 km)
Day 7: Feldkirch - St. Gallen, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 8: St. Gallen - Constance, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 9: Departure or extended stay in Constance.
*All distances are approximate.
DAY 1: Arrival in Constance
Individual arrival into Constance (Konstanz) with the afternoon free for sightseeing in this intriguing city. The city is the largest on the Lake and is still Medieval in character to this day. Overnight in Konstanz.
DAY 2: Constance - Schaffhausen, 32 mi. (50 km)
Today is the first official day of cycling, and you will cross over the Swiss border and ride through small romantic villages to Stein am Rhein, one of the most beautiful remaining medieval towns in the German-speaking countries. Riding into Schauffhausen you'll see the Munot Fortress towering over the town. There are over 170 oriels in the town which testify to the former wealth of its citizens. The day will end in Schaffhausen.
DAY 3: Schaffhausen - Zurich, 41 mi. (65 km)
The first highlight of today's route is the world famous Rheinfall waterfall, which you will approach by boat. The Glatt River valley will lead you on to Zurich, a fascinating and bustling Swiss city.
DAY 4: Zurich - Lachen, 25 mi. (40 km)
Today you have sufficient time for a leisurely stroll through the great metropolitan city of Zurich. Walk along the promenade, visit the beautiful old part of town and also one of its many museums or art galleries. Subsequently, you will bike following the banks of Lake Zurich which is locally known as the Gold Coast. You come to Rapperswil with its old castle and cross over the lake over the dam to the small town of Lachen, located on the opposite shore of Rapperswil. Here you will spend the night.
DAY 5: Lachen - Walenstadt, 19 mi. (30 km)
Cycling out of Lachen you will pedal along the man-made Linth Canal located between Lake Zurich and Lake Walenn, finally reaching Weesen. Here you will board a ferry which will take you to the other end of the Lake Walen to Walenstadt. The lake is 150 m deep and is towered by the Churfirsten Mountains, the highest peak being 1800 m high.
DAY 6: Walenstadt – Feldkirch, 35 mi. (55 km)
After a few kilometers of cycling you will approach the valley of the Alpenrhein. From here, you will quickly reach the principality of Liechtenstein, where numerous, impressive castles decorate the valley. Cycling on, you reach the the medieval Austrian town of Feldkirch.
DAY 7: Feldkirch - St. Gallen, 29 mi. (45 km)
Today's route, following the banks of the Rhine and then a cog railway will bring you through Appenzell countryside to Gais. Alpen meadows and cows, like those found in children’s books, will accompany you on your way to St. Gallen which is home to one of the former, most important monasteries in the region. The library here is a UNESCO world heritage site.
DAY 8: St. Gallen - Constance, 29 mi. (45 km)
You will cycle downhill towards Lake Constance today, which you will reach at the town of Arbon. From here you will cycle along the shoreline through Swiss villages and apple orchards on towards Constance.
DAY 9: Individual return home or extension of your trip.
After breakfast your cycling tour through four countries comes to an end.