Many Brits head to Italy to spend time at Lakes Garda and Como, however maybe they’re lacking a trick after they bypass Central Europe’s third largest lake: Lake Constance, whose pure magnificence makes it, no doubt, the Alps’ best-kept secret.
Additionally recognized Bodensee in German, what makes Lake Constance so particular is that its 270 kilometres of shorelines takes in three international locations: Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It’s made up with the waters of The Rhine that descend from the Swiss Alps and can also be an growth of Switzerland’s Rhône River.
There aren’t any border controls so you possibly can simply embark on a latter-day mini-Grand Tour and go to 4 international locations – taking within the micro state of Liechtenstein situated few miles south of the lake.
Apart from the sensational views over the Swiss Alps from the German phase, listed here are the ten sights and actions you completely should not miss once you go to the Lake Constance space.
On the water of Lake Constance
The biggest lake in Germany and Austria, Constance is 65km lengthy, 14km huge and 252m deep. The very photogenic lake is so large that due to the Earth’s curvature, you can’t see one finish of it from the opposite.
The water of Lake Constance is a beautiful, shimmering, crystalline blue which might not look misplaced round a Greek island. The water is an inviting 26° in the summertime, and plenty of love bathing in it. It’s also a water-sports paradise for guests, providing the whole lot from paddle-boarding to yachting.
Germany – Constance metropolis centre
Located in an enthralling spot on the sting of the lake, the German metropolis of Constance is freighted with historical past. Nowhere is that clearer than within the centre. An space the place it isn’t onerous to lose your self in enticing, higgledy-piggledy, winding alleyways, it’s crowded with eye-catching medieval buildings which date again so far as 1260 and – unusually for Germany – survived the Second World Battle. Throughout Allied raids on the world, warplanes mistook it for impartial Switzerland, and the medieval city centre was spared.
Germany – The Council Constructing
Now’s a very good time to go to the town of Constance as a result of it’s celebrating the 600th anniversary of the Council of Constance. Within the early 15th century, the Catholic Church had not one, not two, however three popes. So a four-year assembly was known as in 1414 on the splendid waterside Council Constructing (a former items warehouse) in impartial Constance to resolve the issue. Why was the Council obligatory within the first place? As a result of within the 15th Century, rival European nations had been incessantly jockeying for energy. There actually is nothing new beneath the solar.
Germany – Imperia
The inhabitants of Constance swelled from the conventional 5,000 to 25,000 through the 4 years of the Council. The brand new residents of the city included as many as 700 prostitutes. To mark that reality, “Imperia”, a towering, 9-metre-high, rotating statue by the native sculptor Peter Lenk was put up on the mouth of Constance Harbour in 1993.
Imperia’s gown is cut up down the entrance in a decidedly revealing trend, and in 1993 the staid city council tried to ban the statue for “outraging public decency.” Nonetheless, the harbour’s homeowners tersely knowledgeable the council that the statue was staying put. It turned out to be an impressed resolution: Imperia is now the town’s most photographed landmark.
Germany – The Lake Dwelling Museum
There’s a nook of Lake Constance that’s perpetually Stone Age. One in all many UNESCO World Heritage Websites within the area, the lake dwellings of Unteruhldingen in Germany represent the biggest and oldest open-air museum in Europe.
Relationship again three millennia, 23 remarkably preserved homes are suspended on stilts above the water of Lake Constance. They offer an unrivalled perception into the lives of the farmers, merchants and fishermen who lived there over 3000 years in the past. It’s an astounding journey again via time.
Germany – Zeppelin flights
In case you occur to discover a spare €700 down the again of the couch, you possibly can catch a once-in-a-lifetime flight over Lake Constance in a 12-seater Zeppelin flying machine from Bodensee Airport in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
Housed in gigantic lakeside hangers and pioneered within the early 20th century by Rely Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who lived within the metropolis of Constance, the airships are a gargantuan 75m lengthy. Like these magnificent males of their flying machines, you possibly can drink within the true majesty of Lake Constance from the air in these awe-inspiring air-ships.
Austria – The Hohentwiel Paddle Steamer
One of the memorable actions on Lake Constance is taking a dinner cruise on the Hohentwiel, (from €119 per individual ). This can be a fantastically restored 1913 paddle steamer, that units off from Laborious in Austria.
Serenaded by a jazz trio, you glide throughout the lake whereas having fun with a scrumptious, five-course meal. Every course is paired with a really tasty native wine. The cruise is the proper melange of connoisseur and glamour – even when the Hohentwiel will certainly be carrying extra weight by the top of the night than it was originally!
Austria – Bregenz Opera Home
The centrepiece of the annual performing arts competition in Bregenz, Austria is a serious operatic manufacturing. That is mounted each July and August on the breath-taking lakeside Opera Home on the world’s largest floating stage, which was additionally the backdrop for a well-known chase sequence within the 2008 James Bond film, Quantum of Solace.
After an acclaimed Carmen this 12 months, you possibly can guide now for subsequent 12 months’s manufacturing of Rigoletto within the spectacular 7000-seat area. However hurry: tickets are already promoting out.
Liechtenstein – The Treasure Chamber
When it comes to GDP per capita, Liechtenstein, to the south of Lake Constance, is the richest nation on earth. A few of that wealth is mirrored within the splendiferous Treasure Chamber within the centre of its capital Vaduz.
In addition to the crown of the Prince of Liechtenstein, somewhat extra surprisingly it additionally showcases a chunk of moon rock and two Lichtenstein nationwide flags, which had been carried to the distant planet on Apollos 11 and 17. This stuff recognise the truth that the moon landings wouldn’t have occurred with out Liechtenstein, which was then the one nation that had the superior vacuum know-how required to check if an area capsule might land safely on the planet.
Switzerland – The Weinfelden Wine Path
The Weinfelden Wine Path in Switzerland is a picturesque 9km loop that encompasses a number of native vineyards. En route, you possibly can name in on the wine secure. This can be a massive picket field which homes a guests’ guide and a lever that you simply pull to boost a dumb waiter holding a rack of 20 totally different wines from a cooler under. On the finish of the path, you possibly can gaze out in direction of a number of the 240 breath-taking Alpine peaks that encompass you. This second reinforces the sense Lake Constance is an unknown pleasure simply ready to be discovering by British guests.
FLY: Swiss Airways fly from London to Zurich from £56 per individual.
Notice: From Zurich airport it’s round a 45 minute drive to Steigenberger Inselhotel Konstanz resort in Germany. Make your final go to to the Weinfelden Wine Path in Switzerland and fly again from Zurich airport.
Germany: Steigenberger Inselhotel Konstanz. Room charges are from €110 per evening for a single room
Austria: Lodge am See. Room charges are from €108 per evening for a single room Lichtenstein: Lodge Turna Malburn. Room charges from €71 per evening for a single room
MORE INFO: Go to Bodensee web site