Switzerland’s Lake Constance

October 14, 2011 by

Day Trips, Sightseeing, Things To Do, Top Attractions

The quaint shores of Lake Constance
- photo courtesy of Günter Wieschendahl via Wikimedia Commons

Though slightly smaller and less famous than Lake Geneva to the southeast, Lake Constance is a destination equally as laudable as its noteworthy neighbor. With a shoreline shared by Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, Constance is home to restful vistas, marine recreation, beautiful beaches, and surrounding hills replete with vineyards, orchards, and farmland.

The most common approach to the Swiss areas of Arbon, Horn, and Romanshorn is Rorschach, which is accessible from Zurich by train in less than 2 hours. Once lakeside, these centers and their German and Austrian counterparts are served by a dependable fleet of modern passenger ferries.

Though the name is generally applied to the largest section of the lake (Bodensee), Constance is actually divided into three parts. At its western end, the lake splits off into two sections, a long fjord (Uberlingersee), and a marshy area known as Untersee. The latter area is connected to the rest of the lake by the young Rhine River, out of which emerges a species of pike that is unique to these waters and is renowned for its distinctive (and delicious) flavor.

Travelers to Lake Constance tend to choose their specific destinations more by hotel rather than municipality, as the amenities offered depend in large part on the individual private hoteliers operating in the area. Of these, there are plenty to choose from, most of which feature lakeside gardens and promenades, and ready access to water sports, cruising, and sailing, as well as numerous bike and hiking trails marked with telltale red signs.

- John Reality

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