Bicycling the Black Forest to Lake Constance

Bicycling the Black Forest to Lake Constance

Join us to cycle across the French-German border as you experience stunning and diverse landscapes. Discover how French and German influences have coalesced to create the rich history and exceptional cuisine of this special region.

If this sounds great but you prefer a longer tour, take a look at the 14-day option Grand Bicycling Tour of Alsace and the Black Forest.

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Sep 26-Oct 3, 2020
USD$4295
USD$550
Guaranteed to Go!

* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

Tour Style: Classic Book This Trip Now Hold-A-Space/Questions Request Custom Date Download Itinerary Tour Map
  • Trip At-A-Glance
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
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Trip At-A-Glance

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 8 Days
  • Total Distance / 363 km (225 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 61 km (37 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 3.0 Classic
  • Countries / France, Switzerland, Germany
  • Begin/End / Colmar/Constance
  • Price / From USD$4295
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Freiburg, brewery visit, border crossings, fairy-tale scenery, medieval towns, Constance
  • Includes
    7 nights accommodation, 5 dinners with wine, 7 breakfasts, brewery visit, guided bike tour of Freiburg

    Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic Tour Style page.
  • Arrive / Depart
    Zurich (ZRH)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    61km / 502m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.5
    3
    46km / 957m
    Mountainous
    difficulty level 4.0
    4
    72km / 1313m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 4.5
    Shorter optional ride available
    5
    72km / 471m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    6
    51km / 325m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    7
    61km / 512m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.0
    Shorter optional ride available
    8
    Last day

    Tour Level Note:

Terrain Legend

Gently rolling Gently rolling hills

Rolling hills Rolling hills

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary
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DAY 1: Meet in Colmar

Highlights: Welcome dinner, test ride

Welcome to Colmar! Take some time to explore the canals, museums, and great shopping this stunning city has to offer. Colmar has been a famous market and wine center since the 13th century. We'll meet this afternoon for a bike fitting and enjoy a delicious Alsatian dinner together this evening.

DAY 2: Ride to Freiburg

Highlights: Freiburg

Freiburg is arguably one of Germany's most beautiful cities with its impressive cathedral and colorful houses lining its streets. You will also find the old "Bächle," an unusual system of gutters that run throughout its center. These Bächle were once used to provide water to fight fires and feed livestock. They have a constant flow of water diverted from the Dreisam River. During the summer, the running water provides a natural form of air conditioning and offers a pleasant sound of running water. It is said that if one accidentally falls or steps into a Bächle they will marry a Freiburger, or 'Bobbele.'

DAY 3: Freiburg

Highlights: Guided bike tour of Freiburg

Today we explore Freiburg by bike on a guided city tour. Known for its multiple forms of well-integrated public transportation and its commitment to renewable energy, you will have plenty of time to explore on your own after the tour. For those who want to pedal and climb, we will have the perfect extra ride for you to tackle on your own.

DAY 4: Bike the Black Forest to the highest brewery in Germany

Highlights: Titisee, Schluchsee, Rothaus Brauerei with guided visit

Today’s ride takes you through stunning natural areas with very few tourists. Climb through the dense pine trees of the Black Forest up to the village of Titisee and enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Titisee and Schluchsee lakes. Or, if you’re in the mood to relax, jump on the Höllentalbahn - a train that passes through the impressive “Hell’s Valley.” No matter how you choose to get there, we will finish our day enjoying a guided visit of Germany’s highest brewery located right next our hotel in Rothaus. From our hotel you also have the option to take a 2 km hike to an isolated lake if you’re in the mood for a swim.

  • Distance: 72km (45mi)
  • Gain: 1313m (4307ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 4.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Bike from the Black Forest to the Rheinfall

Highlights: Schlüchten gorge, Rheinfall, Schaffhause city of the orlies

This morning you’ll enjoy quiet roads descending through the stunning Schluenchten Gorge to the Rhein. This is actually referred to as the “Uping Rhein" since it’s still a small river and not the wide river most think of then they think of the Rhein. We will cycle right next to the breathtaking Rhein waterfall, supposedly the largest waterfall in Europe. If you’d like to stop by the Laufen Castle along the way you can overlook the falls for another stunning perspective. We will end our day in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. This beautiful town was untouched by WWII so you will be able to admire the town’s pristine history. As you stroll through the “City of Bay Windows” enjoy this charming medieval town ornately decorated with oriel windows and extravagantly painted facades.

  • Distance: 72km (45mi)
  • Gain: 471m (1545ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 6: Young Rhein

Highlights: Crossing Germany and Switzerland borders, Diessingen wooden bridge

Today you’ll weave across the German and Swiss border about seven times as you take in the fairy-tale scenery and medieval towns. When you arrive at the point where the Rhine River becomes Lake Constance you’ll feel like you’re traveling back in time as you cross the wooden bridge into Stein am Rhein. Famous for its Old Town and the well-preserved monastery of St. Georgen, this town’s scenic streets and colorful history are sure to delight.

DAY 7: Constance Loop

Highlights: Insel Mainau – island of flowers, Island Raichenau

Bisected by the Rhine River, sidling up to the Swiss border and outlined by the Alps, Constance sits in one of the most idyllic settings you could dream of. Spared from WWII bombing, this town has the mark of Roman emperors, medieval traders and 15th century bishops - a delightful backdrop to the lively buzz brought on by today's university culture. Today you can enjoy a loop ride along quaint roads and rolling hills between Überlingen and Gnaden. If you prefer a day off the bike, enjoy the town’s lakefront views as you stroll its tree-lined promenade or take a boat trip to the island of Meinau, or Flower Island, named for its spectacular flower gardens. We will enjoy our final dinner together tonight in the Dominikaner Beer Garden.

  • Distance: 61km (38mi)
  • Gain: 512m (1679ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 8: Bon Voyage! - Constance

Highlights: Enjoy the city

Our tour ends after breakfast today. Enjoy the rest of your travels around Europe or have a safe trip home!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Meet in Colmar

Lodging: Hotel Le Colombier - Colmar

Meeting time 4 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying out of the Strasbourg Airport (SCB). Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is a 2.5-3.5 hour train ride away.

From the Strasbourg Airport to the starting hotel:

  • Taxi (1 hour/EUR 100)

Or public transportation:

  1. Train from Strasbourg Entzheim International Airport Train Station to Strasbourg Gare (9 min/EUR 2.50)
  2. Train from Strasbourg Gare to Colmar (no pre-purchase needed) (30 min/EUR 15)
  3. Taxi from Colmar train station to the starting hotel (10 min/EUR 15)

Look up French train schedules and book tickets, if necessary, SNCF.com or Trainline.eu. Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us.  

Day 8: Departure Information

Bon Voyage! - Constance

Your trip ends on the final day after breakfast.

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio

We recommend flying out of the Zurich Airport (ZRH).

From the ending hotel to the Zurich Airport:

  1. Taxi from the ending hotel to the Konstanz/Constance train station (10 min/EUR 10)
  2. Train from Konstanz/Constance to ZRH Zurich Airport (1 hour to 1.5 hours/fares vary)

Look up German train schedules at Trainline.eu. Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us.

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • Begin your chosen training program.
  • Final payment is due 90 days (120 days for Bike &Barge/Boat tours) prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike will be equipped with: a men's or women's saddle, a quick release style seat post adjustment, rear rack and expandable pack, pump, patch kit, spare tube, cable lock, cyclometer, rear lights, a water bottle cage (or two), one water bottle , and a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

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