This unique part of France provides a fantastic step back in time - an absolute must for the history buff and those who appreciate a good glass of wine.
Having been fought over for centuries by Germany and France, this rolling, wine-growing heartland is now heavily characteriszd by an eclectic mix of cuisine, language, architecture and customs. Pristine German and French cemeteries offer a moving reminder of Alsace's history.
Our tour offers a leisurely walk alongside the Route des Vins, using sections of the world-famous Camino de Santiago trail, through delightful medieval villages and ancient neatly-groomed vineyards, passing east-facing ruined castles.
Along the way you will pass through some of the most beautiful villages in France; Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, with their brightly-colored, half-timbered buildings decked with window boxes spilling with geraniums and traditional ornamental features. Alsace is a well-known white wine region boasting several Grands Crus vineyards, and every village, no matter their size, will have a 'cave' or 'degustation' to visit. The people are welcoming and helpful and keen for you to sample their produce!
For those who wish to take on more challenging terrain or longer routes, there are 2-Boot walking options attached to three of the four walking days. These take you up into the forests of the Vosges and provide a wonderful contrast to the undulating trail through the vineyards. You can visit the tiny Chapel St Alexis or The Galtz monument with its viewing platform or even have a walk around the ruins of the chateaux of Ribeauville.
Each September Ribeauville town celebrates one of the oldest festivals in Alsace; the Fete des Menetriers (Festival of the Minstrels). In the C8, Ribeauville was passed to the Lord of Rappolstein (the protector of the wandering minstrels). If you look carefully, you will see evidence of the Piper.
Historic Riquewihr is a highlight of the tour, an enchanting medieval village nestled among sloping hills of vines that produce the exceptional aromatic Riesling wine.
We have selected traditional, family-run hotels for your stay, including the stunning Hotel des Deux Clefs in Turckheim whose building dates back to the C16 and is officially classed as a monument historique. Turckheim also has a town crier who, at 10pm, walks the streets telling of the day's events and bidding the local people a 'good night'. Hotel a l'Oriel in the heart of Riquewihr has a cozy winstub and a pretty internal courtyard. Its beautiful beamed decor is stunning and quaint.
|Meals||Continental breakfast and 2 evening meals|
|Tour Starts||Colmar train station: 15:05 (Mon-Fri), 16:04 (Sat & Sun via Mulhouse Ville), pick up and transfer to hotel, 15 mins, provided.|
|Tour Ends||Return: Colmar train station by 13:26 (transfer provided).|
|Rail Options||Strasbourg to Colmar 13:51/14:33 Mon-Fri (pick up at 15:05), 14:51/15:32 Sat & Sun (pick up at 16:04). Return: Rail Colmar to Strasbourg (drop off at 13:26) 14:00/14:39.|
|Rail Supplement||$20 per person, round trip, standard class. Rail prices from Paris to Colmar (on request).|
|Singles||Add $40 per night.|
|Other details||Child: Prices on request. Room upgrade: Prices from $26 per person, per night, based on 2 sharing. Extra nights: we recommend Turckheim or Strasbourg. Prices from $106 per person, per night B&B, based on 2 sharing.|