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Contrasts of Alsace and The Vosges Walk

from $2,379.00

Incorporating both Alsace’s Route des Vins and the picturesque Vosges National Park, this 8-night walking holiday showcases the very best that the region has to offer. Your holiday starts in the heart of wine country and takes you west through ancient forest and into the Vosges Mountains, straddling the French and German border.

  • Reviews 23 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
All about the Contrasts of Alsace and The Vosges Walk.

Incorporating both Alsace’s Route des Vins and the picturesque Vosges National Park, this 8-night walking holiday showcases the very best that the region has to offer. Your holiday starts in the heart of the wine country and takes you west through ancient forest and into the Vosges Mountains, straddling the French and German border. Here you’ll discover the crumbling ruins of once-mighty hilltop castles and vivid reminders of Europe’s wartime past.
You’ll enjoy idyllic walking through fragrant pine forest and sprawling vineyards as you hop between the storybook villages and towns so typical of the Alsace region – think narrow streets filled with colourful, half-timbered houses and shops selling traditional, local wares (make sure you look out for the delightful Christmas shop in Riquewihr)! Connected by the world-famous Camino de Santiago, the places you visit are home to some of the region’s finest wine producers and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to stop for tastings.
Tearing yourself away from the Route des Vins, you’ll head west into the Vosges Mountains, where you’ll discover secluded woodland hermitages and the remains of once-grand hilltop castles. Here you have some truly inspiring ‘rest day’ options. A walk up to the incredible, 12th century Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg affords mesmerising views across the entire Alsatian Plain as far as the Black Forest, while following the Tete des Faux walking trail you’ll pass abandoned WWI fortifications and witness the remains of the former front line between France and Germany. A bit of light relief then as you return to the vineyards and make your way back to idyllic Ammerschwihr.
Wine and food go hand-in-hand in the region of Alsace and all of the hotels we’ve picked for you offer great local cuisine along with superb wine lists! Your hotel in Ammerschwihr is only a short walk from several wine cellars in this typical Alsatian village. In Thannenkirch your hotel is nestled beautifully at the foot of the Taennchel Mountain, with an indoor swimming pool and spa; while your hilltop hotel in Lapoutroie boasts an impressive restaurant with panoramic views over the Vosges.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 8 nights accommodation, hotel-to-hotel in a mix of *** hotels
  • Continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Walk along the world-famous Camino de Santiago
  • Authentic medieval villages on the Alsace Wine Route including France’s 2nd most beautiful village, Riquewihr
  • Off-the-beaten-track walking in the picturesque Vosges National Park
  • Ancient forest and awe-inspiring hilltop chateaux
  • Sweeping vineyards (some with Grand Cru status) and some of the region’s finest wine producers
  • Stay in one of France’s oldest Auberges in Ribeauville
  1. Day 1 Day 1: Arrive in Kientzheim

    Arrive at your hotel, the Abbaya d’Alspach, in time for dinner, which is included.

  2. Day 2 Day 2: Kientzheim to Ribeauville 12km/7.5mi/4hr

    It’s a gentle walk to the neighbouring town of Kaysersberg before heading along the Camino de Santiago and over to the spectacular medieval villages of Riquewihr and Ribeauville, where you’ll stay at the Hotel de la Tour for 2 nights.

  3. Day 3 Day 3: At Ribeauville

    Explore the picture-perfect town of Ribeauville, pay a visit to some of the most respected wineries in the local area or, alternatively, enjoy a walk to the fortified village of Bergheim.

  4. Day 4 Day 4: Ribeauville to Thannenkirch 19km/12mi/5hr

    Climb into the Vosges Mountains to find the majestic ruins of the Three Castles of the Lords of Ribeaupierre. Rejoin the Camino de Santiago to head to the village of Rodern and on to Thannenkirch and the Hotel Clos des Sources, for two nights. There’s an impressive pool and spa, plus a high quality restaurant offering traditional Alsatian cuisine, where dinner is included.

  5. Day 5 Day 5: At Thannenkirch (optional 11km/7mi/3.5hr)

    Explore some of the 60km of walking trails around Thannenkirch, or follow the well-marked GR5 walkig path up to the incredible Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg.

  6. Day 6 Day 6: Thannenkirch to Lapoutroie 14km/9mi/4hr

    Take a transfer (and a picnic) to start your walk in Aubure. Descend on ancient forest paths to enjoy superb views towards Hachimette and Lapoutroie, as you make your way to Freland. Quiet lanes lead you to the idyllic village of Lapoutroie and the Hotel Les Alisiers, where you’ll find a wonderful restaurant (dinner included) with panoramic views over the Vosges.

  7. Day 7 Day 7: At Lapoutroie 15km/9.5mi/4.5hr

    Today’s walk is a memorable one – follow the Tete des Faux trail through atmospheric forest, passing old WWI bunkers, and eventually reaching the front line between France and Germany.Spend another night at the Hotel Les Alisiers

  8. Day 8 Day 8: Lapoutroie to Ammerschwihr 20km/12mi/5.5hr

    Enjoy the undulating woodland, heading to the little mountain villages of Orbey and Labaroche and on tp Trois-Epis, the perfect place to picnic with spectacular views. Visit some chateau remains before returning to the Abbaye d’Alspach for your dinner in a local restaurant, which is included.

  9. Day 9 Day 9: Leave Ammerschwihr
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Where you stay
Abbaye d
Abbaye d’Alspach is located on the Alsace wine Route in the heart of the medieval town of Kientzheim. This former 11th century convent is beautifully refurbished with modern and traditional rooms.
Hotel de la Tour
Hotel De La Tour is was once a former winery and is located in the heart of Ribeauvills medieval centre. The 31 unique rooms are comfortable and well equipped. There is a variety of restaurants close by where you can sample the delights of the Alsatian cuisine.
Hotel Clos des Sources
Opened in 1929 and situated in the Ballons des Vosges Regional Park, the Clos des Sources Hotel Spa is conveniently located in the centre of the small village of Thannenkirch. Recently renovated, the hotel’s rooms are presented in the style of a chalet and are decorated in a rustic-chic fashion using natural materials. The high quality restaurant provides traditional Alsatian cuisine as well as other French inspired dishes and breakfast is a well-stocked continental style buffet. Of particular note for guests is the impressive swimming pool and spa, recently completed, which offers such things as hot-tub, steam room and saunas, as well as a range of additional treatments at extra cost. Note: there are no twin-bedded rooms at this hotel however ‘Austrian Twins’ can be created – 2 separate mattresses and covers in the same king size bed frame.
Hotel Les Alisiers
Sitting on a hillside overlooking the village of Lapoutroie is the small, modern Hotel Les Alisiers. Thanks to the enviable location, the impressive restaurant and several of the rooms offer panoramic views of the surrounding hills and countryside. Once a farm, the hotel was recently renovated and now has the feel of an up market chalet with each room furnished in a warm traditional style with lots of wood. Hosts Caroline and Mathias offer a friendly welcome and their restaurant provides a fine selection of contemporary regional cuisine from its ever changing menu as well as an excellent wine list.
Eating and Drinking

Continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals.

Although traditional Alsatian cuisine is originally a peasant cuisine featuring potatoes, cabbage, beef and pork as the main ingredients, there are now some 30 Michelin starred restaurants in the Alsace region, offering visually spectacular and delicious, locally sourced, dishes. With two ‘starred’ restaurants in Kaysersberg, one in Riquewihr and one in Ammerschwihr, along with several others featured in the Michelin guide, there is plenty of top quality dining to choose from along your route.
Alsatian cuisine features a lot of different pies, long simmered or stewed dishes like the traditional baeckeoffe (a blend of 3 meats – representing the three religions present in Alsace: beef for Catholics, pork for Protestants, and lamb for Jews – and potatoes, cooked for almost a day in a terracotta terrine sealed with bread dough). There is also the famous tarte flambée (flammekeuche in Alsatian dialect), a thin dough covered in cream, chopped onions and diced bacon.

Activity level: Leisurely/Moderate

This is a self-guided tour, as such there will be no group or tour leader and you are free to complete the walks at your own pace. Please bear in mind that although this is a self-guided holiday, the atmosphere in the hotels tends to be quite social and they will sometimes place walkers together at breakfast and dinner. We have suggested that 8yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you.

You’ll enjoy idyllic walking through fragrant pine forest and sprawling vineyards as you hop between the storybook villages and towns so typical of the Alsace region – think narrow streets filled with colourful, half-timbered houses and shops selling traditional, local wares (make sure you look out for the delightful Christmas shop in Riquewihr)! Connected by the world-famous Camino de Santiago, the places you visit are home to some of the region’s finest wine producers and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to stop for tastings.

Tearing yourself away from the Route des Vins, you’ll head west into the Vosges Mountains, where you’ll discover secluded woodland hermitages and the remains of once-grand hilltop castles. Here you have some truly inspiring ‘rest day’ options. A walk up to the incredible, C12 Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg affords mesmerising views across the entire Alsatian Plain as far as the Black Forest, while following the Tete des Faux walking trail you’ll pass abandoned WWI fortifications and witness the remains of the former front line between France and Germany. A bit of light relief then as you return to the vineyards and make your way back to idyllic Ammerschwihr.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 11/10/2019
5/5

Mr Stather

A great insight into this little bit of the Alsace and at a time when the grapes in the vineyards are almost ready for picking

Reviewed On 26/09/2019
5/5

Mr Asteriades

We’ve been on 12 previous Headwater holidays, most of which we’ve enjoyed immensely. This Alsace Vosges holiday was probably the one we have enjoyed the most. The walking and countryside were fabulous, the hotels ranged between good and excellent and the food was always great.

Reviewed On 23/08/2019
5/5

Mr Phillips

The holiday really does offer a contrast of the Alsace with beautiful villages, some challenging forest walks, castles both ruins and preserved and a very helpful rep. Jude was always available and helped when needed. Would highly recommend this trip. The included meals were a highlight especially hotel les alisiers and at the aux armes hotel.

Reviewed On 29/07/2019
5/5

Mrs Mcmillan

A wonderful way to explore a beautiful and peaceful region of France. Interesting walks take you through forests and meadows. Beautiful towns and villages and nesting storks on buildings. Good food and local wine. The visit to Tete des Faux was a highlight - very beautiful and moving. Would recommend visiting Colmar by bus on the free day, it's a real gem with lots to see. We enjoyed an excellent lunch al fresco at Palmyre Syrian/Lebanese restaurant on rue de Canard.

Reviewed On 10/07/2019
5/5

Mr Jackson

We have done more than a dozen hotel to hotel walks, mainly in France, & this was certainly the best. The countryside was wonderful, the walks were varied, the Headwater Rep was very helpful without being intrusive & the hotels couldn't be faulted - even the breakfasts were excellent, which, in our experience of French hotels, is not always the case.

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$2,379.00
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