The most renowned French wine route exhibits proudly its medieval castles, its Renaissance houses, the flowered alleys of its colourful villages full of timeless charm. A land of traditions and wines, Alsace offers the visitor a unique experience.
Famous for its exceptional and easy itinerary, the Wine Route invites the visitor to discover the area and its wine growers. Winding from dale to hill, it unfolds at the foot of the Vosges over more than 170 kilometres through vineyards to meet a thousand wine producers.
Five « terroirs » labelled ‘Vignobles et découverte » follow each other.
The vineyards of the Pays de Wissembourg, of Strasbourg (from Marlenheim to Molsheim), Cœur d’Alsace (between Mont Sainte Odile and Haut Koenigsburg castle) Terre et Vins au pays de Colmar and Route des vins sud Alsace (Thann and Guebwiller).
… and the wine festivals which mark the calendar from Summer to autumn.
|Christmas in Alsace|
A region rich in colourful traditions, Alsace has a character that is all its own and that remains widespread today. This is never more evident than at Christmas-time when the renowned Christmas markets open on the first Sunday in Advent and remain open until December 31st. The nature and
character of these markets varies from village to village, each of them offering visitors unforgettable magic moments, particularly when night falls and streets and houses are aglow with thousands of lights.
You will discover such markets in Strasbourg, Sélestat, Colmar, Mulhouse, and also in such traditional Alsatian villages as Obernai, Eguisheim, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, Marckolsheim,…
|Discover the Ammerschwihr-Trois Epis golf course set in calm and restful surroundings, amidst vineyards and forests, with its undulating, 18-holes track, 5,207 meters long.
The option of constantly varying your playing positions will no doubt appeal to you ; a diversity that pleases beginners as well as experienced players and makes the course all the more attractive.
Dating from different architectural periods, the buildings give the town a picturesque cachet which you will discover while strolling through the narrow streets of this ancient medieval city up to the birth place of Dr Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Peace Prize Winner.
Numerous half timbered houses, historic centre, and ruined imperial castle towering over the town (Kaysersberg means « the emperor’s mountain »).
|Hiking circuits : follow the various circular trails maintained by the Club Vosgien and discover the massif of the Vosges, and the numerous mountain lakes, as well as the Alsatian and « Welch » heritage of the Kaysersberg valley.
Cycling and mountain biking : the marked trails in the area are very easily accessible, and excellently marked.
Here, let yourself be charmed by the romanticism of the old city, which is Gustave Bartholdi’s native town. Discover for yourself the architectural heritage of the historic centre, with its prestigious monuments and such picturesque quarters as «Petite Venise », the Tanners’ quarter…. not forgetting its boat rides !
The cradle of the Alsatian vineyards, set amidst gentle rolling hills covered with vineyards, Eguisheim is a walled city whose heritage is unrivalled : Saint Leon’s Castle dating from the 8th century was the birth place of Pope Leon IX. The walls of the castle are listed as a historic monument, Saint
Peter and Saint Paul’s church with its tower built in 1220 and its romanesque tympanum dating from the 13th century is also listed as a historic monument. You will see too Saint Leon’s Chapel where the relics of Pope Leon IX are preserved, the fountain on the market place from 1557 (yet another listed historic monument), the fountains of the Virgin (1563), of the Lower Gate (1841) Saint Leon’s fountain (1834) with a capacity of 80,000 litres, one of the largest in Alsace.
Eguisheim offers the visitor a unique concentration of 5th century civil and military architecture : the old rue des Fossés with its half-timbered houses, balconies, oriel windows, pointed gables, and tithe-yards. On the Schlossberg hill three castles stand out against the horizon : the Weckmund, the Wahlenbourg built in the 11th century and the Dagsbourg, erected in the 12th century.
A medieval city which has retained its authenticity behind its walls.With a very old urban network consisting among others of half-timbered houses dating from the 13th to the 18th century and of a well-preserved town gate, the Dolder, built in the 13th century.
The typical Alsatian house presents a wide range of carved timbered designs, of oriel windows, of courtyards with old wells and fountains.
Museums will allow you to discover the historic and cultural heritage of the city : the Thieves’ Tower (a famous prison), the Wine-growers’ house (16th century), the Dolder Tower (an ancient 13th century defensive gate), the museum of communication in Alsace, the « House of Uncle Hansi » ( a famour Alsatian artist and illustrator).
A lovely city which has known how to promote its historical heritage. During the Middle Ages the city was the seat of the Ribeaupierre seigneurie (hence Ribeauvillé).
The Ribeaupierres had three castles built in the vicinity whose majestic ruins still tower over the city and the surrounding hills, accessible through walking trails : St Ulrich castle, Girsberg castle and High Ribeaupierre castle.
The city still preserves part of its medieval walls and some of its defensive towers, among which the Butchers’ Tower (13th century, rebuilt in the 18th century).
The main street and its picturesque adjoining streets boast several squares decorated with Renaissance fountains. The buildings you should not miss are the town hall (18th century) and its prestigious collection of silver goblets, the Butchers’ Tower (13th century), the old corn exchange, the minstrels’house (with its unique façade dating from 1683).
|In the heart of Alsace, the Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg is the inescapable stop-over in the Summer !
Dominating the Alsatian plain at a height of 757 metres, the castle has all the attributes of a stronghold : while in the past it occupied a strategic position relatively easily defensible, today it offers the visitor a breathtaking
panoramic view over the Alsatian plain, the Vosges, the Black Forest and sometimes even the Alps.
The Alsatian Ecomuseum is laid out to look like a real village at the beginning of the 20th century with its streets and gardens, its river and all its buildings : houses, farmhouses, school, chapel, station, mills, craft workshops… Open the doors and go into each house where you will find an
exhibition of some kind or meet some villagers, perhaps a housewife preparing traditional dishes, a school teacher from a school-room in the past or a potter in his workshop.
A visit out of time which will enchant you and fill you with joy.
Selestat benefits from a very special geographical location in a stunningly beautiful setting between the Ried and the Piemont of the Vosges and can boast over a millenium of history which has left behind an abundance of testimony of many kinds, all remarkable : remains of the walled city, of
imposing churches, of magnificent Renaissance and 18th century houses.
With an exceptional built heritage and more than thirty protected monuments, Sélestat has made sure of protecting both its immediate environment and, in its vicinity, one of the largest regional nature reserves in Europe with the Ill Wald and its 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres) of woods, forests and grasslands….
|This area has a rich and diversified religious heritage, which is why it has become customary to refer to it as « The Divine Land » ! Romanesque, Gothic or neoclassical churches can be found side by side with a synagogue and a Jewish necropolis, with small chapels and military
cemeteries (chapel of the Koesterler, Saint Nicolas’ chapel, convent of the Bischenberg, church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Saint Peter and Paul’s Romanesque church, Saint Stephen’s church, Mont Sainte Odile, Synagogue of Rosheim).
Look out for the numerous cultural and historical treasures of this city : in particular the old town hall, Saint Stephen’s temple, Loewenfels house, and its museums, among the most prestigious in Europe (Automobile museum, Railway museum), and others linked to the town’s textile industrial past (museum of printed textiles, wallpaper museum)….
Strasbourg exhibits a remarkable historical heritage and yet, at the same time, startles the visitor with its bold and creative contemporary architecture. At the crossroads of German and French influences, Strasbourg’s Grande Ile constitutes a remarkable urban ensemble. It has been inscribed on the World heritage list since 1988. Discover the very best of Strasbourg :
Petite France : a large fortified lock known as Barrage Vauban, the tanners’ house.
Around Notre Dame cathedral : astronomical clock, Kammerzell house, former episcopal palace of the Rohans, Place Gutemberg.
Place Broglie : national Rhine Opera, city hall.
Place Kleber : Café Aubette 1928, Odyssée - an arthouse cinema - church of Saint Peter the Young, Grande Percée.
Neustadt, the imperial and academic quarter : national and academic library, botanic garden, Observatory, Palais du Rhin….
European quarter : Palace of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, European Parliament.