Island-hopping on Lake Constance


Island-hopping on Lake Constance

Island-hopping is a way of life in the four-country region of Lake Constance. In addition to the well-known Mainau (Flower Island) and Reichenau (Vegetable Island) there are plenty of other islands to explore by bike, boat or foot.

Lovers’ Island is one such hidden gem—located off Höri Peninsula near Radolfzell. It was the backdrop for a love scene in the 1956 film classic, The Fisher Girl from Lake Bodensee. Explore by canoe or kayak from one of the many rental harbors in the Untersee (lower lake) region.

The 4**** Steigenberger Island Hotel is set in a former 12th century Dominican monastery overlooking Lake Constance and the Alps in historic downtown Constance. Dominican Island (as locals call it) played host to many big names including Emperor Charlemagne in 780. It’s also where heretical church reformer Jan Hus was imprisoned in the monastery dungeon before his trial and death by burning at the stake.

A real secret is the tiny river islet of Werd a small, ancient monastery island close to Stein am Rhein where Lake Constance narrows and becomes the Rhine River. It is a perfectly romantic spot for a picnic, accessible by a long pier from the mainland on the Swiss side.

The city-island Lindau thrills visitors with its island circuit walk. An hour’s stroll includes stunning lake and alpine views, medieval alleyways, fun shops, outdoor cafés and beer gardens. Named after the sweet-smelling linden tree, it is the home of Bavaria’s only lighthouse and annual meeting place of Nobel Laureates.

For one month every July and August, opera fans converge on the floating Island-Stage in Bregenz, Austria where Bizet’s Carmen plays through 2018. Arrive by boat, train or bike for this internationally acclaimed music event.

Island-Hopping Tours around Constance

(By Land or Lake) Special Tour 1: Explore the Wollmatinger Ried by bike or canoe, a protected wildlife sanctuary for migrating birds located close to Reichenau Island.

(Garden Party) Special Tour 2: Two islands loaded with treats and treasures.  Mainau island is a pedestrian-only oasis of flowers, decorative gardens and baroque architecture. Enjoy her seasonal bounty at one of the many cafés where cakes, soups and salads come garnished with flowers. Reichenau is the island for fresh fish and vegetables. Cycle around the island’s bike path and get to know first-hand this ancient, UNESCO World Heritage landscape of Romanesque churches, hot-houses and colorful lettuce fields.

(We Have a Pope) Walk or Bike Tour in Constance: Learn the fascinating history of these times in a new walking and bike tour offered by the Constance Tourist Office. 600 years after later, Constance celebrates the anniversary of The Council at Constance, the historic election of a legitimate pope during the Great Schism crisis of 1414. The only pope ever to be elected north of the Alps was here in Constance in the Council Building on the harbor.