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Inghams is an award winning specialist tour operator for Lakes & Mountains holidays with over 80 years’ experience. Our Gardens of Lake Constance tour explores the diverse gardens of this beautiful region, from the monastery on the nearby island of Reichenau to the sculptured labyrinth of Salem Castle and the magnificent 'Flower Island of Mainau', considered by many as home of Germany's most impressive array of floral displays.
We are delighted to bring you this unique 'Explorer' itinerary. Using the excellent local transport network (travel pass included), and accompanied by your Explorer Guide throughout, you will discover the diverse gardens of this beautiful and little known region in Germany.
Fly to Zurich and transfer by train to Constance (1hr). There are so many reasons to visit Constance: the idyllic location on Europe's third-largest lake, the stunning views of the Swiss Alps, the historical old quarter, the cosmopolitan atmosphere and the exquisite Flower Island of Mainau, to name but a few. A car will be waiting to pick you up at Constance station to transfer you to your hotel.
We’ll start our week with one of many scenic boat trips, our first to the UNESCO Island of Reichenau to visit the medicinal garden in the grounds of the former monastery, which dates back 1200 years. The three well-preserved Romanesque churches on the island are notable examples of monastic architecture. Discover an oasis of natural beauty, harmony and relaxation. The Lake Constance region, where Germany borders Austria and Switzerland, is a holiday paradise set around Europe's third largest inland lake.
Today we take the boat to Überlingen to follow the ‘horticultural’ path, then continue to Salem Castle and former monastery for its French-style baroque gardens and vineyard. We’ll sample and learn about some of the local wines before we head back to Constance for our evening meal at the hotel.
In the morning, we will explore the pedestrianised streets of historical Constance admiring the many frescoed buildings. The afternoon is free time at leisure for you to take the opportunity to explore a little further afield. Why not take a lake cruise to one of the many nearby lakeside villages. Our recommendations are Schaffhausen for the impressive Rhine Falls, or Unterühldingen for the UNESCO ‘Village on Stilts’.
After another pleasant boat trip to the lakeside village of Mannenbach on the Swiss side of the lake, we’ll then take a short walk to the Park & Castle Arenenberg, home to the Napoleon Museum and a beautiful landscaped garden with lawn, fountains and grassy labyrinth. From Arenenberg, we’ll continue onto the Charterhouse Ittingen and one of its 4 topical garden routes.
Free day at leisure - visit one of the regional attractions included on your Lake Constance Regional Pass - the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, or the Sea-Life Aquarium in Constance. The Zeppelin Museum is located in the former harbour train station in central Friedrichshafen, right on the edge of Lake Constance. The museum hosts cultural events and regularly changing exhibitions throughout the year, as well as special functions and themed guided tours during the winter.
From Constance, our final day sees us visit one of the garden highlights of the region and spectacular ‘Flower Island of Mainau’ for its Italian rose garden, butterfly house, palm house with tropical flora (entrance included). On the way back we will stop in quaint Meersburg for a chance to visit the New Castle with its vineyards.
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