The Alsace wine route, situated in japanese France, is an excellent blend of fairytale cities and picturesque vineyards. 3 days on the Alsace wine route provides you adequate time to go to a handful of those charming cities and to explore the countryside.
About the Alsace Wine Route
The Alsace wine route stretches 170 km, starting close to Strasbourg in the north and ending south of Colmar.
Over seventy towns are situated alongside the Alsace wine route. Of those seventy cities, about twenty of them make the listing of prime places to go to in the Alsace.
The Alsace wine route is where France meets Germany. The Alsace has changed arms several occasions between France and Germany and the structure and the meals mirror that. Alsatian meals is an excellent mix of German and French cuisine, with spaetzle, foie gras, tarte flambee, and baeckeoffe all making their means onto the native menus.
This blend of French and German culture can also be reflected in the structure here. Colourful, half-timbered homes line cobblestoned streets. Add in adornments of flowers, whimsical decorations on the buildings, and charming road cafes, and it really does really feel like you’re strolling around in a fairy story.
Little Venice, Colmar
Greatest Issues to do on the Alsace Wine Route
Visit the Fairytale Cities
Undoubtedly, the neatest thing to do alongside the Alsace wine route is to visit the enchanting towns. Most certainly, pictures of colorful buildings with flowers spilling out of window bins is what first attracted your consideration to this area.
Most of the towns along the Alsace wine route are small. You possibly can stroll by means of lots of them in just some hours, or even less, as some are tiny.
Exploring the cobblestoned streets was our favourite factor to do in the cities, but you may also buy groceries, do wine tastings, and naturally, dine on Alsatian food.
These cities might be found along the complete 170 km route, however the most popular and the most picturesque are situated near Colmar, at the southern end.
We spent 3 days on the Alsace wine route and visited twelve towns. All have been very good, but in fact, we had our favorites. We liked Colmar, Eguisheim, Riquewihr, Ribeauville, and Bergheim.
Visit Chateau du Haut – Koenigsbourg
Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg is a medieval citadel situated in the Vosges Mountains. It’s situated near Kintzheim and Saint-Hippolyte on the Alsace wine route.
This citadel was destroyed throughout the Thirty Years Wars in the 17th century. The fort lay in ruins for 200 years. From 1900 to 1908, the fort was restored beneath the path of the German emperor Wilhelm II. In 1919, the citadel turned French property with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Now, this fort attracts over 500,000 visitors yearly.
Hours: Hours differ by season. 9:15 am to five:15 pm, longer hours during the summer time months, shorter hours during the winter months. Visit the official web site for the full listing.
Hike the Vosges Mountains
Over 1700 km of climbing trails wind their approach via the Alsace wine area and the Vosges Mountains. If you wish to take a break from fairytale towns and wine tastings, put on your mountaineering footwear and hit the trails.
Go to the Alsace Tourism web site for extra info.
Tips on how to Get Here
The 2 largest towns on the Alsace wine route are Strasbourg in the north and Colmar in the south. In case you are traveling by aircraft or practice, most certainly you will arrive in one in every of these cities.
Strasbourg has an airport and a big practice station. From Strasbourg, it takes 35 minutes by practice and 1 hour by automotive to succeed in Colmar.
Colmar has a practice station but no airport. So, to get to Colmar, you will both should take a practice or drive. There is a high-speed practice that connects Paris to Colmar in underneath 3 hours.
An alternative choice is Basel, Switzerland. Basel additionally has an airport, and from here, it is takes just 50 minutes to succeed in Colmar by practice or automotive.
Getting Round Alsace, France
One of the simplest ways to get around the Alsace wine area is by automotive. This provides you the most freedom and adaptability to day trip to the small cities. The most cost effective method to do that is to arrive in Strasbourg or Colmar after which lease a automotive for the time that you will spend in the wine area. Return the automotive to similar place to keep away from paying a drop payment.
By practice, you will get to Colmar, Selestat and Strasbourg. The practice doesn’t journey to the small towns.
It is attainable to get around by bus. Visit the Alsace Tourism website for more info.
It’s additionally potential to cycle by way of the wine area. Bike trails join lots of the cities, so for those who like the concept of getting round by bicycle, it’s relatively straightforward to do here. Click on right here to study more.
Where to Stay
Since the wine route spans 170 km, with Strasbourg in the north and Colmar in the south, in case you stay in one among these towns, you’ll do extra driving than when you base your self in the middle of the route. Even so, Strasbourg and Colmar supply some advantages.
Since Strasbourg has an airport and practice station, it is straightforward to get here after which it’s straightforward to move on to your subsequent destination once you’re finished visiting the Alsace region. Nevertheless, it’s the largest town on the Alsace wine route. Actually, it’s extra like a small city. Parking could be a challenge and this city lacks the allure of the different towns on the Alsace wine route (for my part).
Overlooking Strasbourg from the cathedral
It’s also very straightforward to get to Colmar by practice. From Colmar, it is only a brief drive to a few of the greatest towns on the Alsace wine route. And Colmar itself is a superb little city full of a lot of nice eating places. Positive, it is going to be an extended drive to get to the northern towns, however that could be value it.
We stayed in Colmar and liked it. In the mornings Colmar was very quiet and I liked strolling the streets and going to the bakeries for recent pastries and occasional. There was loads of parking in town so having a rental automotive was not a problem.
Colmar is a extremely popular spot on the Alsace wine route so will probably be crowded midday and accommodations can sell out during the peak seasons. In case you like the concept of staying in a town that is quieter and “less busy,” take your decide from towns like Kaysersberg, Bergheim, Dambach-la-Ville, or Ribeauville.
How one can Plan Your Time
For the greatest expertise, plan to spend at the very least 3 days on the Alsace wine route. This provides you adequate time to day trip to the cities, dine on the Alsatian food, go on wine tastings, and really experience this area.
During our visit, we sometimes visited four cities per day. Four towns per day is lots and it did really feel rushed. Nevertheless, we needed to see as much as we might so we might gather info for this text. Despite the fact that we saw quite a bit, it left us feeling exhausted by the finish of our visit.
I like to recommend maintaining your visit to 3 cities per day and savoring the expertise slightly than racing by means of every city simply to see as much as potential.
Here’s how I recommend you propose your time.
Arrive in the first city by 9 am. The streets will still be quiet and uncrowded. In case you are into images or simply need to seize these colorful, cobblestoned lanes crowd free, that is the greatest time to do it. You may stroll by means of city after which visit a bakery or espresso store for a mid-morning snack.
Eguisheim is a superb city to visit very first thing in the morning. I took this photograph along Rue de Rempart round 9 am.
Colmar, Riquewihr, and Kaysersberg also make good cities to visit very first thing in the morning, if you wish to seize the streets crowd-free.
Spend the center a part of the day in the second town. Have a leisurely lunch, go shopping, take your time exploring the city.
Spend the afternoon in town #3. Have dinner here or in the town the place you’re staying.
Tips to Have the Greatest Expertise
Some towns really feel like ghost cities earlier than midday. Throughout our go to, Rosheim, Kintzheim, and Dambach-la-Ville felt like this. They nonetheless are nice to go to in the morning, but these quieter towns may be better to visit in the afternoons, when other towns like Colmar, Riquewihr, and Eguisheim are full of visitors.
If you want to visit Chateau du Haut – Koenigsbourg, do this at opening time. Like the extra in style cities, this citadel gets very crowded midday.
Considered one of our favorite experiences was lunch at Auberge des Lavandieres in Bergheim. This pretty little city is extra of a “local” spot so it feels gloriously quiet compared to Riquewihr and Colmar. You might have lunch here after visiting Chateau du Haut – Koenigsburg.
Make your whole dinner reservations prematurely. In case you are visiting the Alsace wine area during peak season, it is going to be virtually unimaginable to get seated at a restaurant for dinner and not using a reservation. No less than that was our expertise in Colmar in August. Getting seated for lunch was a lot easier.
Most towns have parking tons situated simply outdoors of the metropolis middle. There shall be indicators for parking as you strategy the city. Many parking tons have automated pay cubicles the place you pay a number of euros and then enter in the license plate number of your rental automotive. So, ensure you have spare change for these pay cubicles.
What We Did
There are various alternative ways to plan your time, however here’s what we did.
- Day 1: We arrived in Colmar in the afternoon and spent the evening exploring the town and had dinner.
- Day 2: Eguisheim, Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, and Ribeauville
- Day 3: Dambach-la-Ville, Obernai, Rosheim, and Strasbourg
- Day four: Kintzheim, Saint – Hippolyte, Chateau du Haut – Koenigsburg, and Bergheim
We might spend the beginning and end of every day walking by way of pretty Colmar.
This appears like a fast itinerary, and it is, however we only spent an hour (or less) in some cities: Dambach-la-Ville, Kintzheim, Rosheim, and Saint – Hippolyte all fall into this class.
You may spend hours in Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, Eguisheim, and Strasbourg. And there is sufficient to do in Colmar to keep you busy all day.
Even with three very busy days, we didn’t get to all of the cities alongside the Alsace wine route. Different towns that we heard fantastic issues about are Turckheim, Barr, and Hunawihr.
When To Go
The Alsace Wine Area might be visited year-round. Nevertheless, for those who get your timing right, you’ll be able to go to the Alsace during one in every of its many festive seasons.
From late March by means of early April, Colmar is adorned for Easter and you may go shopping at the Easter markets. In early July, classical musical artists perform at the Colmar International Pageant. At the end of July into early August, Colmar hosts the Alsace Wine Truthful. And eventually, the streets in Colmar fill with smalls outlets and decorations throughout the Christmas market season.
The busiest occasions to go to the Alsace are during the summer time months and from late November via December, when it is the Christmas market season. If you want to keep away from the crowds, go to the Alsace Wine Route in late winter and early spring, in between New Yr’s and Easter.
Late spring and early fall are additionally nice occasions to go to. This is the shoulder season so crowds and motels costs are lower.
Itinerary Concept: 7 to 10 Days in France
In case you have 7 to 10 days obtainable and are in search of a nice trip concept, think about spending 3 days in Paris and 3 days in the Alsace wine area. Journey from Paris to Colmar by practice in underneath 3 hours. Once on the town, lease a automotive for a number of days and street journey by means of the area. Return to Paris by practice (or continue on to someplace new…Zurich and Lucerne, Switzerland are another quick practice journey away) and fly house from Paris.
In case you are planning a visit to the Alsace Wine Area and have any questions, remark under.