Lake Constance (Bodensee) – the third largest lake in Central Europe | Switzerland, Germany, Austria
Based at the northern foot of the Alps, this lake consists of three bodies of water and reaches into Germany, Switzerland and Austria. More than half of the shoreline lies in Germany and the views across to the Swiss Alps are quite stunning. The lake only has one airport nearby in Friedrichshafen which is an industrial town, so not much of a tourist destination.
Sunset at Lake Constance (Bodensee) by Stefan Munder
The lake is a fantastic venue for water sports including sailing, canoeing and windsurfing. There are countless pebble beaches around the edges of the lake ready to be explored. If you want a family friendly centre for water sports, try Kressbronn where supervised sailing lessons can be organised for children.
Landing on the shores, you’ll be spoilt for choice with local Baroque churches, castles, beautiful town squares and intriguing museums.
A few kilometre beyond the German/Austrian border you will come to Bregenz which is a celebrated cultural centre. There is an amazing floating stage behind the concert hall in the town and during the summer festival, it plays host to spectacular operas.
Lake Constance (Bodensee) by Stefan Munder
If you are looking for something more off the beaten track, head to the Rhine delta. This area straddles the border of Austria and Switzerland and offers an amazing amount of wildlife and is an area of real natural beauty.
Konstanz, the town that gave the lake its name, is a thriving university town on the Swiss border. It’s an interesting place to visit and provides a base for exploring the surrounding area.