Lake Constance

Lake Constance, known as Bodensee by the Germans, is a very large lake located along the borders of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Fed by the River Rhine as it flows down from the Alps, Lake Constance is some 40 miles long and almost nine miles wide. With an area of 220 square miles, it's Central Europe's second largest freshwater lake and over four million people rely on the lake for drinking water.

An interesting fact about this lake in Germany is that there's no firm layout for where the boundaries of the three bordering countries begin and end. The Swiss think the border runs down the center of the lake while Austria believes that the lake should be shared equally by all three nations. Germany does not possess a firm opinion on the matter.

The water around the edge of this lake in Germany is quite shallow and features some marshes which are home to approximately 250,000 different kinds of birds. Some merely nest there during their winter migration while others take up residence throughout the year. Amazingly these birds find room to live when the shallows consist of 14% of the entire surface area of the lake. The birds feed on shellfish, plants, and other things around the lake. Those touring Lake Constance, by bike or other means, will want to keep an eye on the marshes. Several species of threatened birds are fond of nesting amid the reeds and some blossoming plants—such as Siberian lilies—can be found.

There are over 30 species of fish to be found in Lake Constance. Yet pollution and over-fishing has damaged the aquatic ecology. However, conservation efforts have brought a species of fish back from the verge of extinction.

Those looking to take bike tours Lake Constance will not be disappointed. A circular trip around this lake in Germany is possible and is approximately 150 miles and takes around four days to complete. While you will remain near the lakeside, there are some hills to be climbed. Generally the bike path is paved but there are instances of gravel so be certain to pay attention. The signs for cyclists will change depending on where you are as each country uses a different style. Accommodations for those taking bike tours Lake Constance are readily available—there are both hotels and bed and breakfasts along the way. If you want to take bike tours Lake Constance you are advised to make reservations as this scenic activity is very popular, particularly during the summer and especially during July.

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