Lake Constance, a natural paradise on the Rhine RiverJanuary 16, 2015
Lake Constance, also referred to as Lake Bodanico (Bodensee Lake in German), ranks as the third largest lake in Europe and it is located on the border between Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It’s 64 km long and 12 km wide, in its point of greatest amplitude.
Located along the banks of the Rhine River, Lake Constance is situated at a height of 395 meters above sea level and it is divided into four parts: Obersee, Überlinger See, Zeller See and Untersee. The origins of this lake date back to the Ice Age, when the Rhine glacier melted and large portions of it were transported by the surrounding rivers.
It is one of the most popular resorts among German and European tourists, thanks to the mild climate and beautiful scenery, as well as the opportunity to enjoy various water sports. It is surrounded by a cycle path, which allows you to circumnavigate the lake without having to use the car. The track is 270 km long and it is well equipped with several stations at which you can rent bikes; the cycle path is in excellent condition and it’s suitable for people of all ages.
As an alternative to the car or bike, you can make a tour on the lake by boat, thanks to the multiple ports located along the banks. You can choose between different ferries or boats, all of them carrying passengers from one bank to another or making trips to other islands and locations. The "Weisse Flotte" (White Fleet) connects the towns and the various points of tourist attraction scattered along the banks of the lake.
In the southwestern part of Lake Constance, you can find the resorts of Romanshorn, Arbon and Rorschach, all of them characterized by a picturesque old town centre. On the opposite bank stand Rheineck and Friedrichshafen, which has the Zeppelin-Museum (Museum of the airship) and allows you to make excursions on the lake by airship.
Among the most popular places on Lake Constance, there are its three islands: Lindau, Mainau and Reichenau. The latter has been recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site, thanks to its ancient and beautiful Benedictine abbey. The entire island is a place of worship full of churches, chapels and monasteries dating back to medieval times, such as the church of St. George and the one of St. Peter and Paul or the cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Mark. Lindau is a very popular holiday resort in Germany; the main street is the Maximilianstraße, overlooked by elegant shops, colorful houses of the '500 and baroque buildings, while at the center of the island is the colorful and lively Marktplatz. Mainau belongs to the Bernadotte family and it is renowned for its beautiful vegetation: the island is a giant park with flower gardens and a tropical greenhouse. The Teutonic Knights built the castle and the church of this island, which date back to the eighteenth century.
Lake Constance is surrounded by hills, which allow hikers to make long and healthy walks, enjoying a unique view of the entire reservoir.