DREAMSCAPES SPRING/SUMMER 2024
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GERMAN ISLAND GETAWAY
 
(2024 - Spring/Summer Issue)

Writer: LINDA BARNARD



Instead of palm trees and rum punch, imagine an island getaway with forests, vineyards and views of snow-capped Alps in a fairy-tale setting with year-round mild climate.

The storybook medieval town of Lindau tucked in Bavaria is on a small island just off the shore of Lake Constance (Bodensee in German), the third-largest lake in Europe.

You’ll be well travelled when you make charming Lindau a base for a Lake Constance break. Three countries—Germany, Austria and Switzerland, plus the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein—touch the shores of Lake Constance, a lake so large that it could pass for an inland sea.

Most of the town of Lindau is on the shore. Old Town Lindau is accessed by a short bridge from the mainland. Or board a train in Munich, Stuttgart or at Zurich airport and the under-three-hour trip ends as the train crosses a causeway and pulls into the station in the historic town centre.

Pedestrian-Friendly Lindau

While you can walk around the entire island in about an hour, you’ll wish to extend your stay for the many diversions. Follow the lakeside promenade, considered the best walkway on Lake Constance, to the dramatic entrance at the island town’s harbour. It’s fitting for such a magical place that the waterway gateway to Lindau is framed by a 33-metre-high lighthouse and a sandstone sculpture of a Bavarian lion.

Car-free main street Maximilianstrasse is lined with shopping arcades, Gothic and Renaissance houses, chic shops and cafés. To get to the heart of the town, the Marktplatz market square, follow narrow cobblestone streets dating back to the Middle Ages.

Buildings covered with colourful frescoes front the square, including the circa-1436 Old Town Hall. Haus zum Cavazzen, the former home of a wealthy merchant, is now a Bodensee culture museum.

If you’re craving delicious Bavarian and Austrian food, like plump maultaschen dumplings, Swabian Käsespätzle and crispy wiener schnitzel, Lindau has some excellent restaurants, including Gasthof Engel and Wissingers im Schlechterbräu. Gasthof Alte Post is a white-tablecloth restaurant in the former post office building that specializes in Styrian Austrian and German Swabian cuisine.

Debate the best version of German potato salad over a stein of excellent local brew at a biergarten and make some new friends at adjoining tables.

After dinner, enjoy a truly unique cultural experience at the Lindau Theatre, home to the Lindau Puppet Opera. Costumed marionettes are moved with incredible precision. To get an idea of how challenging it is, stay for the free behind-the-scenes tour after the performance.

Save a day for Lake Constance itself, which has been a huge draw for domestic leisure seekers for decades. Boat trips are available from Lindau taking you to various points on Lake Constance, including one of the other islands in the lake, Mainau.

Reichenau, the largest island, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its medieval churches, vineyards and views. Mainau, called the Flower Island, has lush parks and gardens, a Baroque castle and a butterfly sanctuary.

Many of the boat trips pass along the Bavarian Riviera, named for the more than two dozen lavish villas built along the lake in the 19th century. Further down the lake, get that fairy-tale feeling as you pass 12th-century Meersburg Castle, Germany’s oldest inhabited castle.

Hit the road

For your Bavarian adventure spend a few days in Lindau and Lake Constance, then rent a car for a self-drive through one of the world’s most spectacular scenic drives along the German Alpine Road. Spend time soaking in the vistas making stops along the way on Germany’s oldest tourist route. The 484-kilometre road from Lindau to Schönau on Königssee travels past alpine meadows, steep mountain peaks, castles, monasteries, farms and quaint towns, including Ettal and the famed Neuschwanstein Castle.

Not to Miss

Try a Zeppelin ride. The airships depart from Friedrichshafen, about 30 minutes from Lindau. Include time for a guided tour of the facility and lunch in the Zeppelin hangar restaurant before gliding across the red roofs of Lindau.

Travel Planner

For Lindau travel information see lindau.de/en and booking.lindau-tourismus.de/lindau/ukv/search?lang=en

 
 
 
 
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