Stage 1, From the source of the river Rhine to lake Constance
The River Rhine has its source at an altitude of 2345 metres, in a small shimmering lake surrounded by high peaks. From Lake Toma, the small torrent cascades down the hills, joins other streams and becomes increasingly larger as it continues its journey over 1233 kilometres through Switzerland, Germany, France, to its mouth in the Netherlands.
From Andermatt to Lake Constance, EuroVelo 15 covers a large loop along the powerful Alpine river. Along the whole of this route located in mountain settings, cyclists can appreciate several different landscapes. First of all, it passes through the Surselva, the largest Romansh region of the Grisons (Graubunden) and its impressive and breathtaking ravine created by the falling rocks of the mountain more than 10 000 years ago. From Chur, the oldest town in Switzerland with numerous medieval streets, the valley broadens slightly and crosses the Grisons district – the Bündner Herrschaft, a small tourist and wine-growing region which spreads over the right bank of the Rhine to the border with the Principality of Liechtenstein. The EV15 finally reaches the largest freshwater delta in Europe, which opens onto Lake Constance, known as “the heart and soul of Europe”. The landscape surrounding the shimmering green and silver lake is a source of some old natural heritage. Despite some very busy banks, the lake maintains its idyllic characteristics, with its castles and orchards. Constance is located on the West side of the lake. As a university town, it offers a multitude of leisure activities and has managed to maintain its traditional position as a centre of excellence for trade and culture. This part of the EV15 is undoubtedly the most demanding part for the cyclists, as it begins by a climb up the Oberalp pass, perched at an altitude of 2046 metres, before sweeping down to Disentis and continuing its journey towards the North-East.
ALTITUDE OF THE DEPARTURE
POINT OF THE EV15
HIGHEST POINT OF THE EV15
AT THE OBERALP PASS
The Ruinaulta in Grisons is one of the most spectacular and diverse landscapes in the Alps. A wild gorge with a raging river with steep white cliffs and lush forests. The tranquil lakes filled by magic, in the riparian breeding rare birds. Even orchids can be found in this little paradise … Explore the Ruinaulta on your own – it’s easier and more exciting than ever! In the forests and along the Upper Rhine, a dense network of hiking trails, a variety of bike tours and convenient resting places are waiting for you.
Vaduz is the capital of the principality of Liechtenstein and the seat of the national parliament. The town, located along the Rhine. Vaduz has a lively tourist industry, despite being one of the very few capital cities in the world without an airport or railway station. The closest railway station is Schaan–Vaduz located around 2 km from the city centre in the town of Schaan. However, very few trains stop here except for a local service between Buchs in Switzerland and Feldkirch in Austria
Administrative, religious and historical capital of the Grisons district, Chur is considered as Switzerland’s oldest town. Built from the 5th century under the name of “Curia Rhaetorum”, this medieval town, of which a large part of the town-centre has been pedestrianised, is an essential stopping-place for visitors travelling along the Rhine. The narrow streets, flowery fountains, lively little squares and the multitude of restaurants and shops encourage visitors to take a stroll. The town is also the departure point for the Rhaetian railway and its lines certified as World Heritage by UNESCO and its famous lines of the Bernina and Glacier Express.
The highway A1 runs close to the south of Rorschach, but the town does not have its own junction. The highway leads towards Sankt Gallen to the west and Sankt Margrethen to the east. Rorschach also has a harbour served by passenger ferries. These travel to nearby towns on the Swiss and German sides of the lake. A number of hiking trails either start or end in Rorschach. These include the Via Jacobi (one of the routes of the Way of St. James), the Alpenpanoramaweg to Geneva, and the Rheintaler Höhenweg to Sargans.
Kreuzlingen is a municipality in the district of Kreuzlingen in the canton of Thurgau in north-easternSwitzerlandThe Former Augustinian Chorherrenstift of St Ulrich, the former granary and wine press at Seeburgscheune and Seeburg Castle are listed as Swiss heritage site of national significance. The Untersee region is part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites.
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