If you plan to stay in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen, the most simple and recommended day trip is to visit Lake Constance, one of Europe's largest lakes, located just 10 kilometers from town. Lake Constance borders Germany, Switzerland, and Austria near the Alps.
Scenic Lake Constance
Measuring 64 kilometers in length and stretching 12 kilometers at its widest point, the lake not only offers incredible scenery but also is a paradise for water sports and leisure activities. Many hiking, walking, and cycling trails surround the shoreline and nearby areas. A favorite classic is the Lake Constance Cycle Path, which leads right around the lake. Lake Constance is a great place for day trippers wanting to experience the scenic Swiss countryside. It is possible to spend the whole day there, exploring extensive walking and hiking trails, boating on the lake, or just relaxing with a picnic and taking in the great views of the vivid blue water surrounded by trees and mountains—a typical Swiss setting. And of course, by walking around the lake you will cross the borders into Austria and Germany.
The "white fleet" of lake steamers connects the small shoreline towns and attractions around the lake. Travel all around and across the lake, using boats, buses, cableways, and railways; companies often offer special holiday discount cards or different travel card options such as the Bodensee Ticket, some of which also offer free admission to excursion destinations. No trip to Lake Constance is complete without a boat ride. Venture over to the German side for a popular cruise destination to Mainau Island and let yourself be enchanted by the burst of colors and the heady scents of flower gardens. Mainau also has a butterfly garden and playgrounds, making it a perfect family destination. Once you're on this side, complete your tour with the Reichenau peninsula and its UNESCO-World-Heritage-listed monastery. Don't miss out on views from Romanshorn. A car ferry will take you to the opposite German lakeshore in Friedrichshafen. The Romanshorn boat harbor is the largest leisure harbor on Lake Constance and it is where Lake Constance spreads to its maximum size and beauty. For an authentic vintage experience, get on board a steamship that operates on Lake Constance. After a labor-intensive restoration over several years to return the vessel to its original state, the "Hohentwiel" steamer offers public cruises again.
The gently undulating landscape around Lake Constance is a paradise for active holidaymakers on the lookout for relaxation and countless sports opportunities.