Highlights of Alsace
The Alsace, with a succession of fortified medieval villages running down the foothills of the Vosges mountains and the frontier of the Rhine River, gives rise to a region that is so different to the rest of France. The impact of changes between being part of Germany and of France has endowed the region with architecture, place names, and language that are unique.
This is a region of German-styled castles and they are mainly found on rocky outcrops in the Vosges mountains. Recommended visits include Bernstein Castle above the village of Dambach-la-Ville.
With every village boasting of a fine church the visitor is spoilt for choice however they do offer an insight into village life and focus. Obernai is typical with a huge church reflecting the power of the bishops of the region
Alsace Route des Vins
This famous wine route runs for 170 kilometres along the foothills of the Vosges from Marlenhein in the north to Thann in the south through over 160 wine villages. Four typical villages are:
A delightful wine town in Route des Vins d'Alsace. While not having an abundance of accommodation the traveller will find ample space available most seasons, booking ahead is recommended. A good stopping place for those on the wine route.
Very much a "tourist town" with loads of restaurants, boulangeries (bakeries), patisseries and souvenir shops plus wine outlet shops.
Very much a wine village with wine-growers houses, 20 wineries open to the public, a large cave co-operative, a fortified church, 2 restaurants and 1 shop.
A historical "touristy" wine town with wide streets and attractive shops. A number of winery outlet shops in the town but in most instances you need to get out into the vineyards to find operational wineries. Delightful places to eat and relax.
A former monastery dedicated to the 720 AD Sainte Odile, it sits on a rocky plateau high in the Vosges mountains at 763 metres above the plain of Alsace. For some a place of pilgrimage and reflect; for others a great view from a place of historical interest. A short side trip off the wine route.
The capital of the Alsace and the home of the European parliament, Strasbourg is a large and busy city and yet it has a reputation as being the "boutique city" with fashion shops at every turn.
Walking and cycling
The stunning surrounding countryside is excellent for walking, rambling, cycling and even running! The vineyards which are open for all to wander through, and /or cycle through, along easy paths. You can take in the countryside, enjoy the fresh outdoors and maybe linger for an hour or two in a village cafe, or picnic on the excellent regional foods and wines so readily available from local shops. There are national park forests where you are free to wander, so the potential for walking, picnics, horse riding and cycling is endless.